JPS Design Group - SEO Tactics graphic design, packaging design, web design en-us Fri, 23 Feb 2024 14:13:00 -0800 Tue, 9 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0800 no Why Content Marketing Is a Fool-Proof SEO Strategy Today <p>the search engine optimization (seo) market changes all the time. as search engines implement smarter algorithms, it’s not enough to produce low-quality content in the hope that it sways crawlers to your favor.</p> <p>in fact, seo now requires human touch, as well as more financial and creative resources than ever before.</p> <p>fortunately, seo experts can take advantage of many different tools that are created precisely with these new requirements in mind. one of them is a content marketing platform called <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank'><em>marketin9</em></a> that helps marketers publish <a href='' target='_blank'>sponsored articles</a> on websites.</p> <p>but let’s see what content marketing can do for seo first.</p> <h2>content marketing – the new seo?</h2> <p>if we looked back to what content marketing meant five years ago, it was a method used to acquire valuable links that only the most significant brands could use.</p> <p>companies that had marketing budgets counting in millions invested in promotional campaigns to gain links from websites that were way beyond the financial reach of small and mid-sized businesses.</p> <p>your average seo specialist executing a campaign could only dream about such a sophisticated link building strategy.</p> <p>the situation has changed radically during the last few years, primarily due to the increased competition among smaller news websites or thematic blogs that strive to attract advertisers with competitive pricing.</p> <p>marketin9 is a platform that helps advertisers make sense of all these offers and choose the best value for money when it comes to publishing sponsored content.</p> <p>it allows advertisers to get discounted pricing when placing a larger order from specific publishers. that way the cost of publishing a sponsored article is usually 20 percent (and up to 50 percent) lower than if the advertiser contacted such a website directly.</p> <h2>how do links obtained from sponsored articles help to improve ranking?</h2> <p>seo experts agree that content marketing is of great value to link building.</p> <p>however, the final results of publishing sponsored articles on websites and portals are influenced by many factors such as:</p> <ul> <li>the current link profile of the site.</li> <li>the authority of the site.</li> <li>whether the website publisher allows us to include keywords in the anchor text.</li> <li>whether the links obtained from articles are nofollowed.</li> </ul> <p>here are two case studies that show the potential of content marketing for seo.</p> <h2>case study 1: producer of tent halls</h2> <p>last year, we were approached by a tent halls producer who had spent six months trying to get his website back to the first page of search results, unsuccessfully. our analysis found that his website’s link profile was built with links from sites with very low authority.</p> <p>timing was essential for our client – the high season in his industry was about to begin. having his website located lower than the first 10 results displayed on the search engine page meant that he was going to lose out on customers and revenue.</p> <p>we decided to focus on developing 20 sponsored content pieces on websites with the highest possible authority in the country. we managed to secure these publications and links within seven days from the beginning our cooperation.</p> <p>as a result, the client’s website went up to the first page of search results in just two weeks from publication. following three months of publishing sponsored articles, the site reached the top 3 in search results for the most crucial phrase in the industry, ensuring optimal exposure of our client’s website.</p> <h2>case study 2: insurance company</h2> <p>insurance is one of the most competitive industries when it comes to seo.</p> <p>our client’s internal marketing department decided to test marketin9 for establishing a long-term publication plan of sponsored articles for one of their brands. their goal was increasing the volume of traffic from organic search results and subsequently the conversion rate of the website.</p> <p>within 12 months we created 300 content pieces on websites with high authority. each month we noticed an increase not only in the website’s position but also traffic.</p> <p>if you’re curious to learn how our seo activities increased the traffic on the website, read on.</p> <p>in general, publications can generate traffic to a website – provided that the content is of high quality and dedicated to solving a problem of the website’s audience.</p> <p>by developing content that <a href='' target='_blank'>addresses the queries of customers</a> and offers them quality answers and solutions, we not only boost the website’s rank in search engine results, but also create new revenue streams, attract new audiences, and engage people to stay longer on the site.</p> <p>have a look below to see how the website’s rank and traffic have changed over that period of time:</p> <p><em><img alt='case study' src='' style='height:274px; width:554px' /></em></p> <p>finally, at the end of the year, we achieved roi at the smashing level of 255 percent.</p> <h2>take advantage of content marketing</h2> <p>content marketing is about creating content that audiences engage with and share, boosting a website’s online exposure. moreover, quality content that provides real value to users generates traffic to your site.</p> <p>then there’s the seo component of content marketing. search engines that see the links between the website and authority sources are more likely to offer that website a higher position in their rankings.</p> <p>it’s a simple calculation – investing in publications on high-authority websites and portals with followed links is a surefire way to increase the rank of our site in search engine results. the authority of publishers is, in a way, transferred to our website, at the same time bringing us plenty of valuable traffic.</p> <p>still, securing publications of that sort can still be challenging to marketers.</p> <p>marketin9 was designed to answer this need by connecting marketers to publishers easily. you can take advantage of the platform to:</p> <ul> <li>order content.</li> <li>get in touch with publishers of thousands of websites in over a dozen countries.</li> <li>filter them by parameters, categories, or topics.</li> <li>quickly order the publications they need.</li> </ul> <p>you can also monitor publication status and control the budget being spent on content marketing.</p> <p>launching a content marketing campaign has never been so easy.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'>search engine journal</a>.</p> SEO Tactics Tue, 9 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0800 SEO: How to Rank against the Heavyweights <p>merchants want to rank number one in google for search terms that are seemingly important to their business, such as “dog food.” or “office supplies.” or whatever popular term describes their products.</p> <p>the problem, however, is that not every company can rank for high-demand keywords. the workaround is to be realistic about ranking potential and develop search engine optimization strategies accordingly.</p> <h3>relevance and authority</h3> <p>ranking well in any search engine takes a strong combination of relevance and authority. relevance is determined by the pairing of the search phrase with the context and authority of your site. authority is based on the quality and quantity of links from other sites to yours, as well as mentions within relevant content communities.</p> <p>say you want to rank for “auto parts.” is your brand known for auto parts, or does it only sell replacement wheels and hubcaps? if you don’t all types of auto parts and focus instead on a few subtypes, your site will almost certainly not be considered relevant for a broader search for “auto parts.” don’t fight it. work with your strength.</p> <p>conversely, assume you sell all manner of auto parts. your site could, therefore, be considered relevant for a broader search. evaluate the content on your site. do you have critical text content anywhere besides the navigational structure of your header and footer?</p> <p>descriptive, plain text content is essential to relevance. and it must be unique, high-quality content that shoppers want to read. it’s not easy, but it’s necessary.</p> <p>which brings us to authority. you can’t buy authority without risking penalties. you can’t manufacture it, either. you have to earn it. that’s why authority is so valuable. it’s difficult to accumulate and requires the agreement of others in the topical community.</p> <p>links and mentions from any (reputable) source will have some value, such as from the chamber of commerce in your hometown, or a random blog with a single car restoration post linking to your wheels and hubcaps. the most valuable links, however, will come from sites with a large amount of authority in a topically relevant area.</p> <p>how much relevance and authority you need is based on your competitors. if their sites are highly relevant to high-demand keyword phrases, you’ll need more than they have. and if their backlink portfolios number in the five- or six-figure range, yours will need more, as well.</p> <p>be realistic. how strong is your competition — the real competition, not who you prefer?</p> <h3>realism required</h3> <p>it’s important to be realistic. if you’re a flyweight boxer, it’s likely impossible to win confronting a heavyweight head on. instead, look for the opening to dodge that powerful punch and attack swiftly where he is unprotected.</p> <p>perhaps you are an seo flyweight. amazon, ebay, and other category leaders are the heavyweights. can you really win top rankings for the highest-demand keyword phrases? they have the ranking power, but you may have the advantage of <a href=''>targeting smaller opportunities</a> more quickly.</p> <p>after all, 0 percent of high-demand keywords such as “laptops” is less than 20 percent of long-tail keywords such as “laptops with backlit keyboard.”</p> <p>in november 2017, 10,000 searches on google were for that phrase, “laptops with backlit keyboard.” that’s 10,000 impressions and thousands of chances to sell laptops to people who know exactly what’s important to them. moreover, those long-tail searchers convert more often because they’re farther down the purchase cycle.</p> <p>it took me 15 seconds to find that example (“laptops with backlit keyboard”) in google’s search bar autosuggest list. it took another 45 seconds to log in to adwords keyword planner to check the search volume, to determine if it’s worth writing content around. the process is not difficult, in other words. and it’s quick enough for a spot check, for content ideas.</p> <p>however, use a more concerted effort if you’re forming a content strategy for your site or a plan of attack against a major seo competitor.</p> <p>make sure you’ve captured as many of opportunities as possible that have a sufficient demand to matter to your business, with little resource expenditures.</p> <p>that calls for organized keyword research. learn more about how to plan and execute a keyword research project in my “seo how-to” series, at “<a href=''>keyword research concepts</a>” and “<a href=''>keyword research in action</a>.” it will walk you through the process of brainstorming keyword ideas and using the keyword planner to extract and analyze keyword data.</p> <p>mining keyword research is a valuable exercise no matter the size of your business. we all have competitors. some we want to attack and others we want to maintain our leads on. content that targets long-tail keyword themes will accomplish both goals.</p> <p>original article by <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>practicalecommerce</strong></a>.</p> SEO Tactics Thu, 10 May 2018 00:00:00 -0800 9 Essential Types of Webpages Every SEO Needs to Know <p>before we get into the meat of this chapter, i want to make one thing perfectly clear: when it comes to seo, every page is a landing page. and when i say “every page,” i mean every single page that is <em>crawlable</em> and <em>indexable</em> by the search engines.</p> <p>so if you don’t want search engines indexing a page, be sure to <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>block them</a> from it. everything else – and i mean <em>everything </em>– needs to be treated as a landing page.</p> <p><img alt='every page is a landing page' src='' style='height:503px; width:1920px' /></p> <p>so what then makes a good landing page? there are a lot of answers to that question that has to do with design, usability, conversions, etc.</p> <p>let me give you some quick hits that cover it all without getting outside of my scope here.</p> <p><strong>a good landing page:</strong></p> <ul> <li>captures the visitors’ attention.</li> <li>addresses their needs, wants, and requirements.</li> <li>answers important/relevant questions.</li> <li>entices them to want the solution you provide.</li> <li>directs them to take a particular action.</li> <li>compels them to do so.</li> </ul> <p>now with all that in mind, we realize that every page on a website requires an seo professional’s attention. no webpage is outside the scope and purview of seo.</p> <p><strong>bottom line:</strong> if the page is relevant to the visitor, it’s relevant to seo.</p> <p>but not all pages are created equal. every page on a website will:</p> <ul> <li>have a unique purpose.</li> <li><a href=''>attract different audiences</a>,</li> <li>direct visitors to different goals.</li> </ul> <p>it’s the seo professional’s job to determine which pages present the most value – the biggest opportunities for gain – at any given time in the digital marketing campaign.</p> <p>with that in mind, let’s discuss what are typically the most important pages to an optimization campaign and why.</p> <h2>pages every seo must pay attention to</h2> <h3>1. home page</h3> <p>the home page is usually one of the single most visited pages of any website and, just as often, the first page a visitor sees.</p> <p>but whether a visitor lands on your home page first or navigates there from an internal page, they have certain expectations of what they’ll find.</p> <p>the home page must provide a global view of what the website offers. it should give visitors the “big picture” of the products and services you offer and why they should do business with you.</p> <p>your home page acts as a doorway for the visitor to enter and begin their journey into your site where they’ll find more details about what you offer.</p> <p><img alt='example of a website home page ' src='' style='height:592px; width:1347px' /></p> <p>many seo pros make the mistake of trying to optimize home pages for the business’s primary product or service. this strategy can be just fine if you’re a singular product or service company. but the moment you offer something outside of the one product/category scope, the optimization of the home page becomes irrelevant.</p> <p>the better and more sustainable strategy for optimizing a home page is to focus on the company brand name.</p> <p>in that sense, that makes optimizing the home page easy because when you type in the name of the company, the home page of that business should be more relevant than any page on a competitor’s website.</p> <p>but rankings are not the only reason to optimize this page.</p> <p>in fact, i would argue that optimizing the home page for click-throughs and engagement are far more important than anything else.</p> <p>getting rankings only presents the opportunity to get the clicks.</p> <ul> <li>what do searchers see in the search results?</li> <li>does it compel searchers to click into the site?</li> <li>once visitors have clicked, is the messaging they see on point, giving them a reason to dig further into the site?</li> </ul> <p>part of your job is to see how any page on the site performs. if the home page isn’t doing a good job of keeping visitors on site, then more work is needed.</p> <h3>2. about us page</h3> <p>studies have proven that visitors who have seen a site’s <a href=''>about us page</a> are more likely to convert than those that don’t. this statistic can prove either a symptom or a result.</p> <ul> <li><strong>symptom:</strong> visitors who are close to converting check out a site’s about us before they commit.</li> <li><strong>result:</strong> visitors who visit an about us page are heavily influenced by the content and become more likely to convert, if the page satisfies what they wanted to learn.</li> </ul> <p>which is it? my theory is that it’s both.</p> <p>but either way, the page <em>is</em> an important part of the conversion process. and that means that the about us page is an important page to drive traffic to.</p> <p>like any good landing page, your about us page must fulfill its role in the conversion process.</p> <p>the about us page may seem like an odd one to try to optimize, but in reality, there are a lot of keywords that are tailor made for these pages.</p> <p>any industry- or product-related keywords that are qualified with <em>company</em>, <em>business</em>, <em>agency</em>, <em>firm</em>, <em>office</em>, <em>bureau</em>, or similar types of keywords are ready-made fits for the about us page. and let’s face it, trying to fit these keywords anywhere else is difficult.</p> <h3>3. contact us page</h3> <p>there is pretty much only one reason a visitor will intentionally navigate to a <a href=''>contact us page</a>: they want your contact information.</p> <p>what they actually do with that information is anyone’s guess. maybe they’ll send you an email, maybe they’ll call, or maybe they just want to know where you’re located. and it’s this last option that provides us with prime optimization fodder.</p> <p>whether you’re a national or a local company, inevitably, some people prefer to do business with someone close by. a quick bit of <a href=''>keyword research</a> will likely prove this out for your industry.</p> <p>while local business may not be your bread and butter, there is no reason to ignore it either.</p> <p>focus your optimization efforts on your location:</p> <ul> <li>find what keywords searchers use that are most relevant to your area.</li> <li>integrate maps onto your contact page.</li> <li>use <a href=''>schema</a> on your address and phone number.</li> </ul> <p>most importantly: make it easy for visitors to contact you.</p> <p>this is a primary engagement page. if too many people visit your contact us page and don’t engage, that could be a sign that you’re making it difficult, demanding too much information, or simply not providing the right contact options.</p> <p><img alt='southwest contact us page' src='' style='height:622px; width:757px' /><em>provide plenty of options so visitors can contact you in the way they feel most comfortable.</em></p> <h3>4. product category & sub-category pages</h3> <p>product category and sub-category pages provide <a href=''>fantastic optimization opportunities</a>.</p> <p>in the buying cycle, these pages most frequently serve those who are in the shopping phase. that means those visitors have a good idea of what they want but are looking to learn more about the options available to them.</p> <p>the goal of the page is to give the visitor access to those options, which are usually the actual product detail pages themselves.</p> <p>for the most part, the product category pages are nothing more than pass-through pages. visitors may revisit the page frequently, but only so you can pass them through to the products.</p> <p>on an seo level, these pages are an optimization gold mine. the keywords that these pages cover are generally not so broad that they lose all value, but not so specific that they lose all search volume. consider them the seo sweet spot.</p> <p>these pages do, however, present something of a problem.</p> <p>pages need content in order to be optimized, but visitors on these pages don’t want content, they just want to see the products. at least that’s what many believe. i, on the other hand, don’t subscribe to this theory.</p> <p><strong>cover your entire backlink workflow</strong><br /> analyze, clean, earn, and track backlinks from one tab. manage your link profile easily with semrush!.</p> <p><a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank'>get a free trial</a></p> <p>advertisement</p> <p>i agree that you don’t want your content to push the products down the page. visitors need to see the products without scrolling so they don’t assume it’s an informational page.</p> <p>but <a href=''>content plays a valuable role</a> in the conversion process.</p> <p>there are many ways to add content to pages without hiding it or the products. how you do it and how much content each page needs is up to you. just make sure you’re giving <em>all</em> visitors what they need.</p> <p><img alt='product pages with content' src='' style='height:481px; width:1114px' /><em>revo does a good job of describing their security cameras on the category page without taking away from products.</em></p> <h3>5. product detail pages</h3> <p>when a visitor is in the shop phase of the sales cycle, they will visit a lot of product detail pages. when they move on to the buy phase, that means they have gathered enough information to know fairly precisely what they want. now they are just looking at the fine details and deciding which version of the product they want and who to buy it from.</p> <p>when it comes to <a href=''>optimizing product pages</a>, keyword research almost becomes irrelevant. that’s because there are so many variables that it’s impossible to focus the content of these pages on every potential variable in any traditional way.</p> <p>but, as odd as that sounds, that actually makes optimization of these pages that much easier. and it has less to do with the keywords and more about the construction of the page’s content.</p> <p>as with any page, you want to optimize the tags: title, description, alt, headings, etc. but where most other pages require a custom approach, product pages can easily be optimized <em>en masse</em> by using dynamic keyword insertion.</p> <p>you can also write boilerplate content that can be used for all products of a specific category. just insert the product name in the appropriate place (though unique content here is always preferred).</p> <p>beyond that, you want to make sure the page contains the relevant <em>types</em> of information. and this is where keyword research becomes valuable. not for the specific words but the information types.</p> <ul> <li>if people are searching for colors, make sure that information is listed on the page.</li> <li>if they want sizes, get that in there.</li> <li>if they search for product numbers, yep, add those as well.</li> </ul> <p>see where i’m going with this?</p> <p>it’s not that you need to optimize for a specific product number that you see in your keyword research, it’s that you need to optimize for product numbers, period.</p> <p>one final bit of information:</p> <p>how you make these pages accessible can have a huge impact on your seo.</p> <p>the more links you have to your product detail pages, the more link authority you drain from your other pages. however, that also means the more link authority you give to these pages which are often the highest converting.</p> <p>the trade-off could mean lower rankings on category pages in lieu of higher rankings on the product pages, or vice versa. it’s up to you to see what serves you better overall.</p> <h3>6. faq pages</h3> <p>in the age of google answer boxes, help, and <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>faq pages</a> have become more important than ever.</p> <p>while you always want to make sure you are answering questions throughout your website, faq pages provide a good catch-all for the often requested information.</p> <p>faq pages are ready-made for getting your content to appear in the coveted answer box.</p> <p>not sure what your most asked questions are? your keyword research will tell you.</p> <p>search for your keyword and then pull out any phrases that start with who, what, when, where, why, and how.</p> <p>decide which questions are worth answering and you have yourself the start of a faq page!</p> <p><img alt='faqs' src='' style='height:452px; width:1145px' /><em>make sure your faq pages answers questions users really ask</em>,<em> like microsoft does here.</em></p> <h3>7. blog category & tag pages</h3> <p>every blog needs to have categories that each post goes into.</p> <p>you can, if you wish, take that a step further and tag your posts with keywords they are relevant for. readers navigating your blog can use these categories and tags to find more related content.</p> <p>that’s just good blogging!</p> <p>but now what?</p> <p>those category and tag page can be great landing pages in their own right.</p> <p>throw in some optimized text that stays at the top of those pages and then the blog posts that fill the rest of the content takes care of the rest. this is an additional opportunity to rank for phrases that you may not have targeted in your main site.</p> <p>just be careful not to duplicate the optimized text on the additional pages (page 2, 3, etc.) for each category, or keep those pages out of the search index so they don’t devalue your optimized text.</p> <h3>8. blog posts</h3> <p>every site has a limit to the number of pages that can be added before it gets overly cluttered and begins to interfere with the conversion process. but there is almost no limit to the number of relevant topics you can optimize pages for. this is where blog posts come into play.</p> <p>any topic that you can’t explore – or can’t explore as in depth – on your main site, can be explored in great detail in a blog post. or a series of blog posts.</p> <p>every blog post can be targeted for a specific searcher’s need and be used to drive relevant traffic to your site.</p> <p>but getting visitors to your site isn’t enough.</p> <p>make sure your blog posts contain calls to action back into your site.</p> <p>that’s not permission to relentlessly promote your products and services with each post, but that doesn’t mean you can’t provide some gentle encouragement to direct readers to get more information.</p> <p><img alt='blog cta' src='' style='height:349px; width:727px' /><em>hubspot adds a simple cta right in the text of the blog post conclusion.</em></p> <h3>9. pdfs</h3> <p>ok, so technically these aren’t webpages, but <a href=''>pdfs</a> are often a part of providing valuable information to your visitors, albeit in a different format.</p> <p>pdfs should be used sparingly, but when they are used, they should be optimized, just like any other webpage.</p> <p>the process for optimizing them is different, but the concepts are the same.</p> <p><img alt='pdf document properties' src='' style='height:650px; width:760px' /></p> <h2>conclusion</h2> <p>if your site has other pages not mentioned here, don’t assume that means they’re not important. remember, <em>every page is a landing page</em>, which means every page can and should be optimized. and not just for traffic from search engines, but for usability and conversion.</p> <p>this list will get you started, but you need to create your own adventure from here.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>search engine journal</strong></a>.</p> SEO Tactics Mon, 26 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 How do I make a strategy for SEO and SMO? <p>seo and smo strategies are offered by the web promotion companies are very cheap compared to the internet marketing services of others. nowadays, internet marketing has become an indispensable part of a company's marketing strategies making it more important for them to find a reliable seo services company that would not only provide quality services, but at the same time, be reasonable as well.</p> <p><strong>what is seo?</strong></p> <p>seo stands for <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>search engine optimization</a>. it requires the mix of several online marketing procedures that would result in improvement of a website's ranking in major search engine sites like google, yahoo!, msn, etc. </p> <p><strong>what is smo?</strong></p> <p>smo stands for <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>social media optimization</a> to promote the product of website using digital marketing or electronic media like twitter, facebook, instagram and google plus etc. it refers to the creation of online content that is likely to be shared through social networks. it is the easy way to increase the traffic of the website.</p> <p>for those who want to increase their site's online visibility, seo and smo package of good service provider is must. if you want people to visit your company's website, click on your products and place order through your site, you should work towards improving your company's online ranking.</p> <p><a href='' target='_blank'><img src='' /></a></p> <p>if you want a website which is comfortable to get more business and attract the clients towards it you have to check some points-</p> <p><strong>check for the credibility</strong></p> <p>make sure that the company you are approaching has a good background of providing quality services to its clients. most of the seo companies flash the names of their premier clients on their website. you can check their credibility by checking the ranking of their clients. to confirm the same, you can also call their clients or visit their website to confirm whether their online marketing services are taken off by this company or not.</p> <p><strong>check for the strength</strong></p> <p>a company's strength depends on its employees and their commitment. make sure that you are approaching a licensed company that has qualified employees to do the work for you. if possible ask for a dedicated employee, who would only work for your projects.</p> <p><strong>compare the package plans</strong></p> <p>there are plentiful companies that provide a wide range of online marketing services. so you will have to be really careful to decide which one to approach. as cost is a major influencing factor compare the package prices of different service providers to ensure you are not spending more than what is required.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>linkedin</strong></a>.</p> SEO Tactics Sun, 18 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 Three Major Developments That Will Shape SEO In 2018 <p>search engines are constantly improving the search experience and, as a result, search engine optimization (seo) is in a nonstop transformation. for seo marketers, the challenge isn’t to simply understand the complex science behind the strategy -- it’s to be able to adapt to the ever-changing rules of the game.</p> <p>the past few years have been exciting for seo, marked by a series of algorithm updates, evolving techniques and fast-advancing tools that make seo what it is today. to stay on top of the trends and equip their seo arsenal with relevant strategies, most marketers scramble to learn or predict the emerging developments poised to shape the new face of seo. </p> <p>from the domination of voice search to the increasing role of rankbrain in providing search results, we’re expecting bigger changes on the horizon.</p> <p><strong>marketers may start optimizing for voice search.</strong></p> <p>this past december, google’s webmaster trends analyst john mueller <a href='' target='_blank'>tweeted</a> about webmasters asking for voice search data in google search console. it reflects the current behavior among search console users -- more and more are seeing voice search queries separately.</p> <p>this raises the question: why do site owners suddenly care about voice search data? the simple answer is people are using voice search now more than ever before, and gaining insights into these queries gives marketers ideas for how to provide better experiences for those searching by voice.</p> <p>in 2015, <a href='' target='_blank'>voice search jumped</a> from zero to 10% of overall search volume globally. that means 50 billion voice searches were performed every month. and a <a href='' target='_blank'>google study found</a> that 41% of adults and more than half of teens use voice search multiple times per day.</p> <p>when there’s demand, there’s supply. many tech giants (not just google) have invested in virtual assistants and, by extension, voice search. google launched google assistant and google home, apple has siri, microsoft has cortana, amazon has alexa, and so on.</p> <p>brands and businesses that are reliant on search for web traffic have seen drastic implications from this rise in the usage of voice assistance. seo marketers must conquer a new market: the virtual assistants. in 2018, we can expect more web pages to compete to be the favored result by voice assistants in order to reach the user.</p> <p><strong>the shift to mobile-first indexing will be completed.</strong></p> <p>the rise of voice search wouldn’t be possible without <a href='' target='_blank'>the rise of mobile devices</a> since smartphones are the source of most mobile searches. if going mobile-first was important a year ago, it’s even more important now.</p> <p>in 2016, google took the first step toward <a href='' target='_blank'>mobile-first indexing</a>, which is expected to culminate in mid-2018. that means, by the third quarter, if the prediction comes true, mobile indexing will take priority over desktop.  </p> <p>the new index will crawl the mobile version of a website’s content and determine how it should be indexed in search. it presents a significant change from google’s old indexing practice, which involved crawling the desktop version of a webpage and indexing it in both mobile and desktop search results.</p> <p>the tireless thrust for mobile is in line with a phenomenon that google calls “<a href='' target='_blank'>micro-moments</a>,” which are instant moments where users seek knowledge about an idea, a restaurant, an online store, a travel booking agency -- in other words, moments when people consume media. naturally, micro-moments occur on a mobile device and have become a<strong> </strong>battleground among brands.</p> <p>when searching on their phones, <a href='' target='_blank'>65% of users</a> say they are looking for the most relevant information without giving priority to the company or publisher providing the information. as the name suggests, micro-moments require urgency and instantaneity. seo marketers must make sure to be there when these moments happen and be quick about providing the right results.  </p> <p>in other words, being mobile-friendly is the only way to survive -- and stand out -- at a time when people’s lives are defined by micro-moments. from page responsiveness to page speed to content readability, your seo campaign must be ready to compete.</p> <p><strong>machine learning will play a bigger role in providing search results.</strong></p> <p>when rankbrain was introduced in 2015, people had a vague idea about how it worked. and the case hasn’t improved much since. rankbrain is google’s machine-learning, artificial intelligence (ai) technology designed to help process and deliver its search results. rankbrain appeared to turn the game on its head when it was announced as one of <a href='' target='_blank'>google’s top three ranking factors</a>. since its rollout, rankbrain has gone from handling 15% of search queries to <a href='' target='_blank'>all of them</a>.</p> <p>though the digital community is mostly in the dark as to the workings of this ai system, we know it analyzes user behavior to provide more accurate search results, and dwell time (the time spent on the page) is one of its most important factors.  </p> <p>rankbrain, in essence, is after user experience. so it doesn’t make that great of an impact on the way we approach seo. optimizing for a machine-learning technology is fundamentally optimizing for humans since its goal is to draw up predictions as a human would.</p> <p>it has been <a href='' target='_self'>predicted</a> that by the end of 2018, machine learning will have a greater influence over traditional search results and, eventually, it will replace algorithm updates with its “automated, continuous, and iterative algorithm updating process.”</p> <p>with rankbrain and google’s integration of ai in general, there’s a stronger push for site owners to become more nimble and adaptable to constant, unpredictable changes in the delivery of search results.</p> <p>seo and search experience have come a long way since the 1990s. over the years, we’ve witnessed how search engines have increasingly narrowed their focus on providing the best results for users. from the reliable, hands-free voice search to the dependence on machine learning, it’s interesting to see how search is taking shape, and it will be interesting to see where it takes our seo approach in the coming months</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>forbes</strong></a>.</p> SEO Tactics Sun, 18 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 How to Build Your Brand With Content: 4 Things You Must Do <p>wow! congrats if you’re reading this article. that means you’ve taken the plunge and are ready to start and grow your own business.</p> <p>it can be daunting when it comes to developing your business model, how much it will cost to launch, and how you will get your customers.</p> <p>one sure way to help build your business’ brand is by creating content.</p> <p>content will help your brand build trust, while also entertaining and educating your consumers about what you do and why you do it.</p> <h2><strong>1. define your audience</strong></h2> <p>it’s one thing to develop content, but you really need to develop the strategy around your content.</p> <p>that starts with defining your audience.</p> <p>many new businesses i’ve worked with develop buyer profiles personas to help narrow what type of topics and content to develop.</p> <p>more detailed messaging will lead to better conversion.</p> <p>you may also have different personas/demographics that you’re trying to target, as your business caters to more than just one.</p> <p>for example, if you sell health insurance, your content for people who are under the age of 65 would differ from those people who are over the age of 65 seeking medicare. also, their interests could be different.</p> <p>one segment you would be targeting people over the age of 65 who have diabetes and then there’s the healthy under 65-year-olds where you need to develop content about the importance of annual physical exams and various ways to take care of yourself for preventive purposes.</p> <p>all these types of details, depending on your business should be considered.</p> <h2>2. differentiate your brand from your competitors</h2> <p>another item within your content marketing strategy should be about setting your business apart from your competitors.</p> <p>developing branded content around the solutions you provide will both help conversions and your search engine rankings.</p> <p>for example, a client i work with is an urgent care business, but they’re able to deal with high acuity cases (e.g., people suffering from severe injuries, in addition to potentially life-threatening conditions). they’re a very small player in the urgent care world, with only three locations.</p> <p>when <a href=''>developing a content strategy</a> with this client, i suggested to not only build out branded content around who they are and what they do, as well as how they’re different from their competitors.</p> <p>also, developing content about the various illnesses they treated helped build up their content foundation and gave them a higher likelihood of showing up in search engines.</p> <p>as this business is a brick-and-mortar and located in a specific city, we made sure that majority of content mentioned the locations of their businesses, as this also helps with search engine optimization.</p> <p>developing a mix of branded and non-branded content on a consistent basis will not only help you gain new customers but will also help your digital presence.</p> <h2><strong>3. optimize & promote your content</strong></h2> <p>creating content is pointless if no one will ever see it.</p> <p>your website needs to have helpful content that talks about the solutions your company provides for your target audience.</p> <p>two things are vital when developing content. make sure:</p> <ul> <li>it’s easy to find.</li> <li>you have budget to promote the content.</li> </ul> <p>i will tell you a brief story – i was working with a client that was a totally new brand and business model.</p> <p><strong>never. stop. learning. - advanced search summit.</strong><br /> at advanced search summit, our industry experts will share their latest successes and tactics on how you can get ahead of your competition.</p> <p><a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank'>register now</a></p> <p>advertisement</p> <p>year one and two, i developed numerous blog posts, but there was never any budget allocated to promote the content.</p> <p>another challenge was that the client’s site wasn’t linking to the blog in the main navigation, but in the footer.</p> <p>year three we finally got budget to promote a few of their blog posts. i went into google analytics and found content that was performing pretty well organically. i quickly allocated budget to promote these blogs on facebook.</p> <p>after about a month, i was doing a google search to know how the content was ranking, and to my surprise, the blogs i had promoted not only managed to hit page 1 of google but also beat huge healthcare content-focused competitors like webmd.</p> <p>this experience alone proved to my clients that if they’re spending the money to have the content developed, they <em>have</em> to spend the money to promote it. otherwise creating content is a total waste.</p> <h2><strong>4. tell them what you do, over and over again, but differently</strong></h2> <p>much of the content you develop will be about the same topics and themes.</p> <p>content about what your company does and the solutions they offer need to be repeated over and over again. this will help consumers start to understand and trust you.</p> <p>for example, if you’re in health and wellness, seasonal illnesses are always a topic of conversation.</p> <p>flu season comes every year. so if you’re in the healthcare space, you can’t think that your blog post on the flu from a year ago will help you this year.</p> <p>no. you have to develop new content. every year.</p> <p>talk about the new strain, the benefits of getting a flu shot, and the symptoms and dangers of not getting vaccinated.</p> <p>while the general topic of the flu is evergreen, the flu season isn’t. you must create timely new content about it every year, in a different way.</p> <p>ideas on how to do this are:</p> <ul> <li>write the blog on the latest updates on the topic.</li> <li>develop infographics.</li> <li>cinemagraphs of tips around the topic.</li> <li>videos (less than 60 seconds for social).</li> </ul> <p>while you may end up saying the same thing over and over again, one piece of content will never reach every potential consumer.</p> <p>diversifying the way you communicate your message will have an impact on your audience.</p> <p>it’s also important that you give your existing content new life by using it in different formats.</p> <p>older, <a href=''>evergreen content</a> may get even more attention as a facebook video or an infographic, for example.</p> <p>keep in mind that all of us prefer to consume content in different mediums, so it’s safe to assume that your target audience is the same way.</p> <h2>conclusion</h2> <p>over time your business will develop a strong foundation of content that will be well received in the digital space.</p> <p>now you have a few solid tips to think about when developing content that will help build your brand.</p> <p>what are you waiting for? get started now!</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>search engine journal</strong></a>.</p> SEO Tactics Mon, 22 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0800 Going organic: Our top SEO columns of 2017 <h2>search engine optimization saw another exciting year as readers consumed content on everything from video optimization tips to research on the latest ranking factors.</h2> <p>another year has come and gone, and as usual, seos had their work cut out for them. many issues were top of mind for seo practitioners in 2017, from concerns about the impact of an <a href='' target='_blank'>unannounced algorithm update</a> to <a href='' target='_blank'>speculation about the impending mobile-first index</a>.</p> <p>our most popular seo columns this year encompassed a wide variety of topics, suggesting that our readership wasn’t overly focused on any one particular trend. from <a href='' target='_blank'>illustrative case studies</a> to <a href='' target='_blank'>detailed tactical guides</a> — from <a href='' target='_blank'>youtube optimization</a> to <a href='' target='_blank'>technical seo audits</a> to the interplay between <a href='' target='_blank'>seo and web design</a> — our experienced and insightful columnists on search engine land covered a lot of ground in 2017.</p> <p>wondering which organic search columns garnered the most attention from readers this year? read on for our top 10 seo columns of 2017:</p> <ol> <li><a href='' target='_blank'>youtube seo: how to find the best traffic-generating keywords</a> by <strong><a href='' target='_blank'>sherry bonelli</a></strong>, published on 5/30/2017.</li> <li><a href='' target='_blank'>how we hijacked google’s seo guide search rankings</a> by <strong><a href='' target='_blank'>dan sharp</a></strong>, published on 3/6/2017.</li> <li><a href='' target='_blank'>google site search is on the way out. now what?</a> by <strong><a href='' target='_blank'>paul shapiro</a></strong>, published on 3/22/2017.</li> <li><a href='' target='_blank'>how to check which urls have been indexed without upsetting google: a follow-up</a> by <strong><a href='' target='_blank'>paul shapiro</a></strong>, published on 1/27/2017.</li> <li><a href='' target='_blank'>seo ranking factors in 2017: what’s important and what’s not</a> by <strong><a href='' target='_blank'>jessica thompson</a></strong>, published on 10/25/2017.</li> <li><a href='' target='_blank'>the complete guide to optimizing content for seo (with checklist)</a> by <strong><a href='' target='_blank'>nate dame</a></strong>, published on 4/12/2017.</li> <li><a href='' target='_blank'>5 must-do technical seo audit items in 2017</a> by <strong><a href='' target='_blank'>aleyda solis</a></strong>, published on 6/22/2017.</li> <li><a href='' target='_blank'>5 massive seo and content shifts you need to master right now</a> by <strong><a href='' target='_blank'>jim yu</a></strong>, published on 5/17/2017.</li> <li><a href='' target='_blank'>seo case study: zero to 100,000 visitors in 12 months</a> by <strong><a href='' target='_blank'>andrew dennis</a></strong>, published on 7/5/2017.</li> <li><a href='' target='_blank'>seo & website design: everything you need to know</a> by <strong><a href='' target='_blank'>marcus miller</a></strong>, published on 4/19/2017.</li> </ol> SEO Tactics Fri, 29 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0800 6 tips for identifying the best keywords for your next SEO campaign <p>these days, simply publishing an advertisement or blog post is not enough to get you any sort of valuable exposure. the internet’s deluge of promotional material has created an ocean vast enough that what you post can get swept away before anybody ever notices it existed.</p> <p>fortunately, online marketing is not a game of chance; it’s a game of skill. when you’re planning out your campaign, the name of the game is search engine optimization (seo). the quality of your seo campaign is paramount to your <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>business’ online success</a>.</p> <p>putting together a knockout campaign, however, is easier said than done. below, you’ll find a few actionable tips that will help make sure that your next seo campaign will be your most effective campaign to date.</p> <h3>1) don’t follow the crowd</h3> <p>in every industry, there are certain keywords that everyone is gunning for. sometimes, it may be inevitable that you have to join in the fray — for example, if you’re a tax preparer, you can’t very well form a campaign without using the phrase “tax preparer.”</p> <p>generally, unless you’re already at the top of the pack for a certain keyword (i.e. turbotax can take advantage of related keywords more so than a local business), you want to find areas where the competition is a bit scarcer. especially when you’re new to the scene, you have to pick your battles wisely.</p> <h3>2) find the ‘sweet spot’</h3> <p>once you’ve scouted out the competition and found what keywords they’re targeting, you’ll know where not to go. however, just because not many people are hitting a certain keyword, doesn’t mean that you should automatically make that keyword the focus of your campaign.</p> <p>odds are, if a keyword is being ignored by your competition, it’s because it’s not a worthwhile keyword to hit. if nobody’s searching for it, you can harp on in all you want, but it won’t do you any good. use the software you have to find keywords that have a relatively high search volume but that aren’t being properly addressed.</p> <p>the pool of keywords like this may not be vast, but you’ll generally have enough at your disposal together with a high-quality campaign that addresses a need that your competitors have failed to recognize.</p> <h3>3) use good software</h3> <p>of course, you’ll have no way of knowing which keywords will be useful based on their search volume and ranking difficulty if you aren’t using the right seo software. a great place to start is with <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>semrush</a>, where you can search keywords or businesses, and find the right areas to attack in your campaign.</p> <p>you can start with a keyword search, which will lay out the search volume, ranking difficulty, search trends, and cost per click of that keyword. also included will be a list of related keywords, which can be a goldmine for your campaign. find what people are searching for and which unattended needs you can address here, and get to work.</p> <h3>4) trust the pros</h3> <p>while the above tips will help a good marketing professional get started on his or her campaign strategy, the fact of the matter is that not all businesses are in the position of running their own effective seo campaigns.</p> <p>whether it be through a lack of experience, lack of resources, or simply a desire for more specialized services, it’s often best to turn to industry professionals to run the most effective, results-driven seo campaign possible.</p> <p>that said, when looking for an seo agency or firm to work with, be careful — it’s easy to partner with the wrong people. founded by immy tariq and huey lee, <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>webmetrix group recommends</a> that brands look only for seo professionals with a well-documented history of strong keyword optimization, white hat link-building strategies, and quality customer service.</p> <h3>5) know your place</h3> <p>before you start your campaign, you have to know where you stand in the market. this will inform all decisions you make. again, if you’re an industry giant, you can afford to take on the top-ranking keywords and rely on the fact that you have the reputation and name recognition to get traffic. if you’re a <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>small business</a>, you’ll need to pay closer attention to your niche or local market, and understand what their needs are.</p> <h3>6) learn from the competition</h3> <p>when you know who you are, and you know where you want to go, feel free to glean as much information as you can from <a href='' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>your competition</a>. look at the keywords they’re using and the strategies they’ve taken to carve out a space in the market.</p> <p>get to work taking whatever they’ve done to find success, and making it work better for your business. there’s no dibs system with seo campaigns — just because they had success with certain keywords doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be going after the exact same ones.</p> <p>in the end, the best material using the most effective keywords will win out. if you’ve put together a quality team, or have hired one, make the most of their talent by maximizing the value of the keywords you use. your success will no longer be up to chance, so long as you’ve maximized the seo value of your efforts.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>tnw</strong></a>.</p> SEO Tactics Mon, 13 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0800 These 13 Common SEO Myths Are More Fiction Than Fact <p>search engine optimization is constantly changing as search sites update to improve how data is displayed, leaving marketers in a state of constant adaptation.</p> <p>with this continuous change, it's easy for myths or bad information to get spread. search sites only share a limited amount of information about how it's changed, and advertisers can easily miss industry news on updates, leaving them operating off of less-than-efficient approaches.</p> <p>to help you sort fact from fiction, members of the forbes agency council have chimed in on 14 misconceptions about seo:</p> <p><strong>1. seo is free traffic</strong></p> <p>business owners keep saying that seo is free traffic, and that couldn't be further from the truth. to benefit from "free organic traffic," business owners need to invest a lot of time, technical expertise and technology to ensure that they rank well for high-value traffic. it's not simple and often requires big investment into the website, consultants and content. - jordon meyer, granular</p> <p><strong>2. a focus on seo will drive all leads</strong></p> <p>we run across a number of organizations that believe that if they put their entire budget into seo, they will generate all the leads they need. nothing could be further from the truth. seo needs to be one pillar of an overall integrated marketing plan in order to get the best results. messaging and exposure play just a role in seo. - lisa allocca, red javelin communications</p> <p><strong>3. all you need is an optimized website</strong></p> <p>a common seo myth is that all you need is a well-optimized website to rank. the foundation of an seo solution is to ensure the website is built with best practices — it's mobile friendly, has robust content and unique metadata per page, but you can’t stop there. in order for a website to outrank a competitor’s website, link-building, offsite blogs and google my business optimization are needed. - laura cole, vivial</p> <p><strong>4. exact match domains have an advantage</strong></p> <p>exact match domains are often seen as a potential ranking signal or boost for a given keyword. the truth is that any brand or website can potentially rank for a relevant keyword. in september 2012, google released an update commonly known as the "emd update," which was aimed to prevent poor-quality sites from ranking well just because they have keywords in their domain name. - aaron henry, foundry512</p> <p><strong>5. load the content with keywords</strong></p> <p>many companies sacrifice content by overly repeating keywords. they apply keywords in an unprofessional manner within their content and description tags to the point where they don't make sense. let's assume that your strategy works: would you trade your hard-earned image for rank? it's like parking a run-down trailer in a fancy subdivision — your customers will get annoyed as they pass you by. - ahmad kareh, twistlab marketing</p> <p><strong>6. there is a duplicate content penalty</strong></p> <p>contrary to popular belief, there is no duplicate content penalty. there is a filter. essentially, when google encounters two or more versions of the same page, they choose the most authoritative copy and filter out the rest. but, rest assured, your website will not be penalized for duplication of content - jon clark, fuze seo, llc</p> <p><strong>7. paid search affects organic seo results</strong></p> <p>organic seo results are not a result of paid search. paid advertising, such as pay-per-click, does not affect organic search results. search engines — google and yahoo, in particular — maintain a separation between the organic results and paid advertisements. advertisers spend millions of dollars trying to increase organic results. however, the bolstered notion is a myth. - alex quin, uadv</p> <p><strong>8. higher rankings mean more money</strong></p> <p>many businesses believe that higher visibility in search engines will automatically translate to increased revenue. this is simply not true. many keywords have different levels of buyer intent and search volume, which can dramatically impact the bottom line. the user experience on the website also plays a huge role, as you could have no. 1 rankings, but then have users visit a poorly designed site. - guillermo ortiz, geek powered studios</p> <p><strong>9. the more backlinks you have, the better</strong></p> <p>there is a common misconception in seo that more is better, especially regarding backlinks. however, the quality of backlinks significantly trumps the quantity. in order to improve your ranking, you need to focus on high authority websites. in addition, you want a diverse backlink profile, with a multitude of referring domains. a few high-quality links are worth dozens of low-quality links. - jeff grover,</p> <p><strong>10. meta descriptions are a ranking factor</strong></p> <p>the myth that we see most often is the misconception that meta descriptions are a ranking factor. although important for click-through rates, which are a direct ranking factor, a meta description by itself will not affect page rank without all other seo components in place. that said, meta descriptions are still very important for searchers and should be part of every page optimization checklist. - nina hale, nina hale, inc</p> <p><strong>11. it's all about content</strong></p> <p>yes, content is essential, but it's not the driving factor. optimization still requires a set of practices, including quality link-building and relevant content that gets a high time on site. a content-strong website with poor image and mobile optimization will not rank high for selected keywords. always make improvements based on user behavior, and google will reward you. - raffi keuhnelian, inexxus</p> <p><strong>12. seo is set and forget</strong></p> <p>there's a perception that you can do seo for a few months and your site will then automatically get more organic traffic. on the contrary, you should never stop doing seo: it is an ongoing activity. our slogan that we preach is "seo is a marathon, not a sprint.” a website is a living and expanding entity, therefore it should be monitored and optimized on an ongoing basis. - zach morrison, elite sem</p> <p><strong>13. you must rank no. 1</strong></p> <p>being no. 1 is great, but it's not worth spending a ton of money for one generic keyword that may have high search volume. being ranked no. 4 or no. 5 could possibly help you more. instead, your seo strategy should focus on ranking for relevant keywords that your consumers are searching for so you can create more visitors, leads, and potential customers to your website. - solomon thimothy, oneims</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>forbes</strong></a>.</p> SEO Tactics Mon, 13 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0800 How to Get More Links to Your Website with 7 Types of Content <p>content can be used for a variety of different things, from attracting search engine traffic to getting a cacophony of likes on social media.</p> <p>however, one of the biggest targets for people creating content on their websites remains <a href=''>attracting links</a>, whether from blogs, top-tier news publications, or anything in between.</p> <p>knowing who and what you’re creating content for is crucial in finding <a href=''>link building</a> success.</p> <p>in the same way that you should create different kinds of content for different channels, you should also create different kinds of content for different link targets.</p> <p>creating the same kind of content, targeted at the same people over and over again, won’t broaden the variety of links you get; it will usually lead to you getting links in the same places over and over again.</p> <p>we know that most seo value comes from the first link you get on a domain, so creating different kinds of content that target different kinds of authors and publications will give you a better chance of getting coverage across a wider set of sites.</p> <p>there are many different types of content you can create which can attract links, and if you ensure you cover as many of them as possible you’ll give yourself the best possible chance of getting links across a broader set of sites.</p> <p>i’ve pulled together some of my favorite types of content that we use to get links at seo travel, along with tips on how to maximize them.</p> <h2>provide value on your site</h2> <p>creating content on your site that is link-worthy is a great start to this process, as it can leave you with assets that stand the test of time and that you can use over and over again to get links into the future.</p> <p>i’ve highlighted four of my favorites below. all need a bit of time to bear fruit, but if you invest the time up front you will reap the rewards when they are ready.</p> <h2><strong>1. reference content</strong></h2> <p>one of the biggest reasons for linking on the web is to support what you’re saying with <a href=''>statistics</a>.</p> <p>therefore, if you create pages on your site that include the data to back up people’s argument, then you’ll have a great chance of being referenced and linked to whenever that topic is written about.</p> <p>this doesn’t mean you have to conduct expensive in-depth studies to create new data, you can simply aggregate the information that’s already out there.</p> <p>hubspot has a great example of this with their <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>marketing statistics page</a>which has 2,056 linking domains!</p> <p>in travel, pricing pages are a great example of this, such as this backpacker index on <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>price of travel</a> which breaks down the costs of a variety of cities and has 17 domains linking to it, with each individual place page on the site also attracting lots of links.</p> <h2><strong>2. host an event</strong></h2> <p><a href=''>creating and hosting an event</a> is a great way to attract links as people need to link back to your page so people can sign up or get tickets.</p> <p>it also has inbuilt methods of promotion, as speakers will always be happy to share it and will likely link back to it from personal sites where they talk about their speaking experience.</p> <p>you can also add it to event listing sites like event brite. some of these will be nofollowed, but there are many with followed links out there you can add your event to.</p> <p>people also like to create lists of the <a href=''>best conferences and events</a> in an industry, so you give yourself the opportunity to be featured in those kinds of posts too.</p> <p>branded3 are a great example of this in action having launched their <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>search leeds</a> conference this year, which has already racked up links from nearly 40 domains, many of which are extremely powerful.</p> <h2><strong>3. do a study</strong></h2> <p>new research is always a popular way of getting links, particularly if you can find a topic or angle that people in your industry are struggling with.</p> <p>this type of approach is one that takes time and effort to implement, but if you land on a great angle you can then turn it into a recurring study each year and create an ongoing outreach opportunity.</p> <p>orbit media does a fantastic job of this with their <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>blogger trends research</a> being particularly successful, attracting links from 164 domains and counting. they’re now on their third iteration of the study, and no doubt will continue long into the future as it continues to gain traction.</p> <p>don’t be too concerned about spending lots of time on research and ending up with an outcome that’s different to your desired hypothesis either.</p> <p>mailchimp did a study on the ideal length of an email subject line and found that <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>it didn’t matter at all</a>! however, the post has still attracted links from 68 domains, with some of the most powerful sites on the web amongst them.</p> <h2><strong>4. create tools</strong></h2> <p>as with events, tools are a fantastic way to attract links as you are providing value for your audience and the natural thing for people to do when referencing it is to link through to where people can use it.</p> <p>you can do this in two ways; free or paid. some companies use their tools as a premium offering and spend a lot of time making them best-in-class, serving as standalone software companies in their own right.</p> <p>screaming frog is a great example of this, with various tools that have attracted a huge amount of links over the years (3,792 linking domains). many people might think of them solely as a software company, but they are also an agency and rank on page 1 for “seo”, “seo agency”, and various other phrases that are the most competitive in the industry.</p> <p>but you don’t have to spend as much time as that to use tools as a link building approach.</p> <p>built visible have created a variety of free tools for people to use that have attracted a wealth of links, such as their seo gadget for excel (42 linking domains) and content strategy helper (61 linking domains). these won’t require anywhere near the amount of upkeep as screaming frog, but still offer great value and so people love referencing and recommending them.</p> <p>and as with events, there are lots of blog posts out there about the best tools in an industry (particularly in seo) so there are lots of outreach opportunities to be had if you want to be proactive about promoting your tool. and if you don’t believe me, sej has <a href='' target='_blank'>a whole section</a> dedicated to it!</p> <h2>offer people value for their site</h2> <p>so you’ve created lots of fantastic content on your site that is built to attract links, but some of those take a long time to come to fruition and often levels of effort and investment that aren’t feasible for smaller businesses.</p> <p>what other options are available?</p> <p>there are some great ways to get coverage on big publications without having to build tools, conduct studies or host events. this boils down to <a href=''>creating interesting content</a> that you can give to third parties to feature and making the process for them to publish it as easy as possible.</p> <p>this could be classified as ‘content marketing’ in today’s jargon, but boils down to good old-fashioned publicity of something you’ve created. however, the key is to create alternative styles of content that are targeted at different types of publication. this gives you the potential to get featured on a much wider variety of sites in a larger cross-section of industries, and therefore more links that will help drive forward your performance!</p> <h2><strong>5. maps</strong></h2> <p>another popular approach is creating maps that illustrate some form of information.</p> <p>maps allow you to illustrate information from around the world, which means you can pitch it to publications in any country with an angle based on their country and audience.</p> <p>large national news publications often feature them if the topic is prominent enough, and it’s also a popular style of content <a href='' target='_blank'>on reddit</a> which many journalists and website editors use as a source of stories for their own sites. if you get something to take off on reddit, you’ll likely find that the links will follow.</p> <p>i wrote <a href='' target='_blank'>a case study</a> of how we did this to get more than 100 links for a site, which breaks the process down step-by-step. you can follow our exact approach if you wish.</p> <h2><strong>6. infographics</strong></h2> <p>there’s nothing groundbreaking about <a href=''>infographics</a>, but it’s amazing how many people are still doing this wrong. simply churning out a graphic with some figures on will never be enough to get you links and coverage.</p> <p>you need to illustrate information that proves a point or shows off information that people will want to use as a reference to support the article they’re writing.</p> <p>for example, this <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>wine and food pairing infographic</a> can always be used as a reference for people writing about food or diet, and it looks beautiful too. that’s why it’s got links from the likes of business insider, lifehack, and many others.</p> <p>don’t create infographics for the sake of it, think of a story you (and others) want to tell with the information and then create something beautiful to highlight that angle.</p> <p>infographics like this are generally great for links from sites in your own niche, as well as some of the bigger news-style sites like business insider and buzzfeed who will usually find a way to publish interesting content when it comes their way. if you can tie it in with topical news stories then you can also find your way into national news publications like the independent or daily mail in the uk.</p> <h2><strong>7. illustrations</strong></h2> <p>creating illustrations is a great way to open up your outreach to design-led sites, who publish content very regularly and are always on the lookout for beautiful design. places like my modern met and design taxi are great targets for this kind of approach and both are very powerful.</p> <p>your approach can vary, from creating retro posters to faux book covers – as long as it looks beautiful and is an interesting concept you will have a great chance of gaining coverage.</p> <p>this approach also allows you to tie into popular culture too, creating illustrations that tie together your topic and the kind of things pop culture publications want to talk about. we did this by creating illustrations of the instagram feeds of disney princesses (a perennial topic of interest) on holiday, that was covered in <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>cosmopolitan</a> and <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>glamour</a> amongst many others.</p> <p>these kinds of publications aren’t usually interested in infographics or covering the content businesses have created on their own site, so illustrations open a new door to get links and coverage from them.</p> <h2>summary</h2> <p>the key to getting great links isn’t a mystery, but it does need some creative juice and good old-fashioned elbow grease. hopefully, these examples will give you some inspiration for types of content that you can use to go and get started.</p> <p>the key points to remember are:</p> <ul> <li>create different content for different types of site.</li> <li>tailor your content to those different audiences.</li> <li>always build in promotion methods into your content.</li> </ul> <p>if you’re prepared to work hard and invest in the long-term benefit that these types of content can bring then you’ll be well on the way to a beautiful link profile and coverage you can be proud of!</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>search engine journal</strong></a>.</p> SEO Tactics Sat, 4 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Nofollow links are not useless: Earning them is central to good SEO <p>with major publishers like inc., forbes and the huffington post placing the <a href=''>rel=”nofollow”</a> tag on their external links, the sky is once again falling. or not. in fact, i’ve always believed that earning nofollow links was an important part of any seo strategy built to last.</p> <p>the reality of the situation is that nofollow links are good for your seo, full stop. whether your evidence comes from case studies, personal experience or correlative data, the answer is the same.</p> <p>we can debate about whether nofollow links have any <em>direct </em>impact on rankings until the cows come home, but in the end, it just doesn’t matter that much. what matters is that, if you are earning nofollow links on high-profile platforms, you are earning brand exposure, referral traffic and various off-site signals that <em>do </em>help your rankings in the search results.</p> <p>i have witnessed the effect myself far too often to conclude otherwise, and anybody who has been in this industry long enough knows that you shouldn’t decide to pursue — or decline to pursue — a link based upon whether or not a link is nofollowed.</p> <p>let me present the evidence, and then i’ll explain how you can make the most of link building by incorporating nofollow links in the appropriate way.</p> <h2>nofollow links can definitely help seo: the evidence</h2> <p>i feel comfortable saying that nofollow links definitely help your seo, although most of the benefits are probably indirect. the exposure associated with a high-profile nofollow link is well worth the effort and contributes positively to your visibility in search results, as well as sending direct referral traffic and improving brand reach. it also appears to be almost indisputable that nofollow links help pages get indexed.</p> <p>it’s more speculative to say that nofollow links can, in some cases, <em>directly </em>improve your rankings, and i won’t commit to a statement that strong. what i can say is that search engines reserve the right to ignore the nofollow tag, and i suspect that they do for some links they view as editorially placed and trustworthy.</p> <p>remember that google’s <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>own answer</a> is that “<strong>in general</strong>, we don’t follow them.” (emphasis mine.) this seems to imply that, while they usually don’t follow them, they sometimes do.</p> <p>perhaps more importantly, if your link-building strategy places importance on whether or not a link is nofollowed, then you are using the wrong link-building strategy. google guidelines have been clear on this for a very long time. if you’re doing something <em>just </em>for the seo value, it’s probably a violation of the google guidelines.</p> <p>your <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>link-building strategies</a> should be focused on building exposure that leads to organic seo signals. that is where the real value is.</p> <p>but let’s not talk about platitudes. let’s talk about evidence.</p> <h3>case studies</h3> <p>consider <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank'>this case study</a> by teknicks. between january of 2014 and may of 2015, they helped a client earn 99 links. of those, only 11 were followed. the remaining 88 links were all nofollowed links — 89 percent of the total.</p> <p>but during that period, the client saw 288 percent growth in their organic search traffic. at the end of the period, the client ranked in their top position for their main keyword, which teknicks claims is “very competitive,” and which receives 2,000 monthly searches.</p> <p>at the end of this period, they additionally ranked for an even more competitive keyword, with 8,100 monthly searches. for the period, organic traffic grew from 1,700 sessions a month to 6,500 sessions.</p> <p>but, perhaps equally importantly, one of the nofollow links they earned sent 3,922 referrals between january and october of 2014.</p> <p>and teknicks isn’t the only agency to experience something like this. fractl has <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank'>three excellent examples</a> of nofollow links working wonders for clients, demonstrating the power of media exposure.</p> <p>they developed an infographic called “your face as an alcoholic” for client, which quickly hit the front page after they shared it with the daily mail in 2014. the resulting exposure led to coverage in <em>900 media stories</em>, including the huffington post and the new york daily news.</p> <p>only 30 percent of those newly-earned links were dofollow, and they earned over 14,000 shares on social media.</p> <p>in a second example, fractl placed a story for a client on yahoo travel, exposing how expensive hotels often have more germs than cheaper hotels. this featured article led to coverage in 700 stories, a third of which contained dofollow links, as well as 23,000 social shares.</p> <p>finally, one fractl client saw a 271 percent increase in organic search traffic resulting from an exclusive, but nofollowed, link on buzzfeed.</p> <p>in a more controlled test, <a href='' target='_blank'>eli schwartz</a> of surveymonkey demonstrated that, at a minimum, nofollow links definitely help pages get indexed.</p> <p>after surveymonkey moved its blog from the subdomain to their root domain, eli <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank'>ran a few tests</a> on the old subdomain urls. he modded the 404 page, including a link to a page with bogus anchor text. google crawled the 404 page and indexed the test page in under 48 hours, after it was included in a newly published item. the resulting link even carried the anchor text.</p> <p>running the same test again with a link to a different page, he tried using a nofollow link instead. as you can probably guess, google indexed the url, even though the hyperlink was nofollowed. he did notice, however, that the anchor text didn’t carry over.</p> <h2>how google treats nofollowed links</h2> <p>nofollowed links are also typically accompanied by brand mentions. according to a google patent, brand mentions <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank'>may be considered</a> “implied links.” in other words, if a brand gets mentioned online, this may be treated in a similar manner to an actual link. while we don’t know for sure, a brand mention along with a nofollow link may also help the search engines in understanding the semantic link between a brand mention and the website it refers to, since brand mentions are less clear due to their less explicit nature.</p> <p>whether “co-citation” of this form helps traditional search results, it’s certainly clear that citations help local search. in one example, local seo phil frost explains how including citations (with name, address and phone number) in a press release <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank'>helped a client</a> move from position 20 to position 1 in local search results for their primary keyword. in this case, despite the links being no-followed, the citations clearly helped their client rank.</p> <p>case studies by <a href='' target='_blank'>search engine land</a> and <a href='' rel='nofollow'>moz</a>, in addition to <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank'>more recent case studies</a> that come out on a fairly routine basis, demonstrate that it is still possible to improve rankings using press release distribution. while we generally avoid this tactic unless it’s also used with the primary goal of generating press, it continues to be popular even though the majority of press release distribution sites now contain nofollowed links. that press releases still help with seo is a testament to the value of nofollow links in this context, whether direct or indirect.</p> <p>correlative analysis of observational ranking data <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank'>conducted by ahrefs</a> also suggests that a relatively even split between dofollow and nofollow links may help rankings. while correlative studies have their flaws, primarily because they can’t establish a cause and effect relationship, it would be a mistake to ignore them.</p> <p>likewise, moz’s <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank'>analysis</a> of ranking factors finds a 0.32 correlation between the number of nofollow links pointing to a page and rankings. this is nearly identical to the correlation between the number of external domains linking to a page and its rankings, which sits just 0.02 higher, at 0.34.</p> <p>one can rightfully argue that these correlation studies could just be showing us that successful pages are more likely to get linked to, and thus are more likely to receive nofollowed links. this is a reasonable objection, but it applies equally to followed links, and, with such a small difference in correlations, it does make one wonder if nofollowed links could actually contribute directly to rankings.</p> <p>regardless of whether or not this is the case, the case studies above demonstrate definitively that, directly or indirectly, nofollow links can have a dramatic positive impact on search engine rankings. my personal experience with nofollow links leads me to the same conclusions.</p> <h2>how to maximize the seo value of nofollow links</h2> <h3>1. remember: the anchor text is meaningless for keyword rankings</h3> <p>whether or not nofollow links can directly improve your rankings, it’s clear that the anchor text is most likely ignored entirely.</p> <p>if you are earning nofollow links with seo in mind, anchor text should be the last thing on your mind, or more accurately, you shouldn’t be thinking much about keywords when it comes to anchor text.</p> <p>the primary value of the link is in getting people to visit your site directly, and that means the purpose of the anchor text is to get people to click through and see more. that means the anchor text should pique the reader’s curiosity as much as possible, promise them something in a clear and non-deceptive way or address objections the user might have to clicking the link.</p> <h3>2. focus on an audience of influencers</h3> <p>other than receiving direct clicks from your target audience, the main thing you want a nofollow link to accomplish is to earn additional followed links from trusted influencers.</p> <p>earning those links means producing content that appeals to journalists, thought leaders, microcelebrities and others who have large audiences of their own.</p> <p>this means that your content should be going the extra mile, since influencers are generally the most voracious infovores in your industry. they know almost everything, and they aren’t easy to surprise.</p> <p>how do you catch these people’s attention with your content? there are two primary methods:</p> <ul> <li>focus on novelty.</li> <li>focus on being comprehensive.</li> </ul> <p>these can be subdivided into far more categories, but these are the primary things to focus on.</p> <p>focusing on novelty means providing influencers with things they’ve never seen before. the best examples of this type of content include:</p> <ul> <li>orginal research, such as surveys, experiments, or studies</li> <li>interactive tools like web apps</li> <li>“investigative journalism”-style work that provides insider information</li> <li>exclusive interviews</li> <li>news</li> <li>event coverage</li> <li>proprietary information</li> </ul> <p>focusing on being comprehensive includes things like:</p> <ul> <li>ultimate guides</li> <li>white papers</li> <li>how-to videos</li> <li>e-books</li> <li>courses</li> <li>“30-day challenges”</li> <li>introductions and primers</li> <li>glossaries and dictionaries</li> </ul> <p>in short, say something new, or distill something big.</p> <p>if you do this, and then get your resource published on a major platform, it doesn’t matter whether or not your link is followed or nofollowed. what is important is how the exposure will lead to coverage in the press, on social networks, on blogs and magazines and so on.</p> <p>by making influencers your audience, you maximize your reach and seo impact.</p> <h3>3. use the opportunity to mention your brand</h3> <p>as i mentioned above, google patents suggest that a simple mention of your brand can help improve your visibility in the search results. such brand mentions may be treated as “implied links” and, if so, likely carry similar authority metrics, so that a mention in a more authoritative media platform results in a stronger rankings boost.</p> <p>whether google has actually put this patent to use and found that it helped their rankings algorithm is unclear, but brand mentions are valuable for obvious reasons, and can indirectly benefit your seo as well.</p> <p>brand mentions lead to increased searches for your brand name, which in turn can help your rankings in a virtuous feedback cycle.</p> <p>while you shouldn’t name-drop shamelessly, don’t skip the chance to promote your brand when you place a nofollow link on an authoritative platform.</p> <h3>4. leverage social media</h3> <p>failure to pursue nofollow links can hurt your seo performance in many ways, but one of the worst consequences is the tendency to avoid techniques that involve (typically nofollowed) social media.</p> <p>google has explicitly stated many times that there are no special ranking factors developed for social networks.</p> <p>since google evidently doesn’t use “likes” and “retweets” as ranking factors, and since links on social platforms are nofollowed, some in the seo industry ask, “why bother?”</p> <p>well, for starters, as i mentioned above, google’s own statements on nofollow <em>suggest</em> that they sometimes <em>do </em>count nofollowed links, even though in general they don’t. moz’s correlation studies certainly find very strong correlations between social media activity and rankings. could the nofollowed links from this social activity be counting toward rankings?</p> <p>there’s no way to know for sure, but the correlation is meaningful either way.</p> <p>what social media undoubtedly can do is earn you attention that leads indirectly to links. viral activity on social networks inevitably leads to media coverage and followed links. scrapers also replicate links from social media in other locations, often without the nofollow tag.</p> <p>social media platforms are perhaps the most effective way to amplify your content’s reach in the short term. in addition to sharing your content with your own audience, you can leverage other influencers by reaching out to personalities that are popular on social media. if you do so tactfully, you can reach much larger audiences. this activity inevitably leads to naturally earned links, as well as various other off-page activity that helps improve your rankings.</p> <h3>5. republishing</h3> <p>republishing your content on major platforms is a tactic that frequently results in nofollowed links, but if the platforms attract a large enough audience, this is well worth the effort. since many bloggers and editors refer to major media platforms for their sources, if you can get republished on a major platform, you can earn editorial links from the writers who cite those platforms frequently.</p> <p>while it’s true that some of these writers will cite the republished version, more vigilant writers will click the nofollowed link and cite your website as the original source, since links to primary sources are preferred by writers who take research seriously.</p> <p>more speculatively, it’s possible that under some circumstances, google will see the duplicate content and identify your original publication as the primary source, and as a result, transfer the search engine authority from the other duplicates to your original. i have witnessed effects that seem to imply this is happening, although it would be hasty to conclude with too much certainty that this is exactly what is going on.</p> <p>either way, it’s as clear as day that republishing content on more popular platforms expands your reach, puts your brand in front of more eyeballs and increases your likelihood of getting cited with a link by other writers.</p> <h3>6. get obsessed with referral traffic</h3> <p>too many in this industry are focused on building links without concerning themselves with whether or not those links actually send any referral traffic.</p> <p>it’s been said many times but it can never be said enough: the most valuable links are the ones you earn organically and editorially — when people link to you without you reaching out or doing anything else to earn the link.</p> <p>i’m not arguing that those are the only kinds of links you should be earning, but if you optimize your own “manual” link-building efforts in such a way that it generates the largest number of organic links, you are approaching link building the <em>way</em> you should be.</p> <p>few things more reliably produce organic links than sheer traffic. it’s probable that a certain percentage of your readership will always end up linking to you if you have enough readers. so if you can expand the number of people who see your content, you can expand the number of people who will link to you.</p> <p>oh, and referral traffic is valuable on its own, too. but you knew that already, right?</p> <p>so, how do you go about earning nofollow links that send traffic?</p> <p>i would argue that the primary thing to focus on is earning links that grow your traffic in a <em>cumulative </em>fashion. in other words, it’s not the link that sends you a thousand visits one day and zero the next that you really want to chase. it’s the link that sends 100 visits a day every day for the foreseeable future that you really want to get your hands on.</p> <p>here are some of the types of links that can help you accomplish that:</p> <ul> <li><strong>quora</strong>. if you’ve ever answered a question on quora, you’ve probably noticed that while the referral traffic numbers aren’t necessarily high for any given question, you tend to see traffic from quora for a very long time after posting an answer. build up a lot of these and you will start seeing cumulative growth in referral traffic.</li> <li><strong>pinterest</strong>. while its traffic-driving power isn’t quite as strong as it was when it first made a splash, it is still an incredibly useful referral source that sends a lot of traffic when an image does really well.</li> <li><strong>forums</strong>. i know they seem like a throwback from the 1990s, but forums are still incredibly popular, and if you use them in a similar fashion to quora, they can send you long-term cumulative traffic, especially if the forum allows you to link to your site in your forum signature or elsewhere.</li> <li><strong>slideshare</strong>. presentations here can attract a very different type of audience and can be a constant source of traffic, especially if you are in the b2b sector.</li> <li><strong>interviews.</strong> interview an influencer, and they are likely to promote that interview on their own platforms. if they publish it on their site, the link can sometimes become evergreen and send a continuous drip of traffic.</li> <li><strong>resource lists</strong>. these are especially popular on educational sites. inclusion in somebody’s resource list is almost guaranteed to be an evergreen traffic source if their site has enough traffic.</li> <li><strong>youtube</strong>. a youtube video that does well with the algorithm becomes an evergreen source of brand mentions and traffic.</li> <li><strong>podcasts</strong>. these can be a great source of long-term traffic for the same reasons as youtube videos.</li> </ul> <p>if you stop chasing the followed link and shift your obsession toward upping your referral traffic, you start to realize how unimportant the nofollow tag really is, both in terms of growing your overall traffic, and even in improving your authority with the search engines.</p> <p>the myth that nofollow links are useless for seo needs to die. a solid seo strategy is not concerned with whether the manual links you place will directly impact your seo. a thorough reading of the google guidelines should, in fact, lead you to the conservative assumption that <em>no </em>link you place yourself counts toward rankings. the indirect effects are where the true value lies, and it is where you should be focusing the majority of your effort.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>search engine land</strong></a>.</p> SEO Tactics Mon, 30 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0800 9 Reasons You Might Need to Rethink Your SEO Approach <p>have you ever wondered why your website isn’t generating any traffic?</p> <p>perhaps you have traffic, but it’s the wrong audience and not converting. maybe it’s because you are still living in the past.</p> <p>many are still using seo practices that were effective years ago, but have no value today.</p> <p>if that’s the case, you need to rethink your seo strategies.</p> <p>best seo practices evolve, over time, as google and the other search engines change ranking methods and algorithms.</p> <p>seo is a practice that never stays constant.</p> <p>whether you consider yourself a marketing professional or a newbie, you’ll only stay on top of your game by knowing what works and what is outdated.</p> <p>in this post, we’re going to discuss the reasons you may need to rethink your seo approach, by exploring practices that no longer work.</p> <h2>1. dated content marketing practices</h2> <p>if you still consider keyword density an integral part of your content marketing, knock it off.</p> <p>that practice dates back to a time when google used strings of meta data for rankings.</p> <p>today, google uses <a href='' target='_blank'>artificial intelligence</a> in the form of <a href='' target='_blank'>rankbrain</a> to understand the context of a page.</p> <p>not only does keyword stuffing make your content appear spammy, in the most egregious cases you could also trigger the panda algorithm and take a ranking hit.</p> <p>instead of worrying about keywords, focus on being contextually relevant and genuinely useful to the users</p> <h2>2. dated title tag practices</h2> <p>stuffing keywords in your titles is no longer a recipe for success and could even be counterproductive.</p> <p>study after study shows pages now ranking for keywords that neither appear in the title nor on the page.</p> <p>instead of worrying about keyword placement in the title, think about creating a snippet that describes the page and encourages users to click on it</p> <h2>3. paid link building for higher rankings</h2> <p>there was a time when pointing “enough” exact match anchor text links from high pr urls to your page would guarantee top ranking. i’m not naÏve enough to say this practice is dead, (like public pagerank) but it certainly is on life support.</p> <p>just take a look at any of the black hat forums and you will find members bemoaning the fact that private blog networks (pbns) just don’t work like they used to.</p> <p><a href=''>link building</a> is still crucial for seo success, but after the release of the penguin algorithm, things are different (see: <a href=''>link spamming in the age of google penguin 4.0</a> to understand why). cutting corners and taking shortcuts in link building is a waste of time.</p> <p>you must shift your attention to acquiring high quality, topically relevant links, rather than focusing on getting any link. if you know how to properly execute link building, less is more.</p> <h2>4. pointless press releases</h2> <p>few seo practices have been abused like the press release.</p> <p>there was a time that seo practitioners would create a stream of nonsensical press releases for the sole purpose of getting an exact match anchor text link.</p> <p>of course, google caught onto this practice.</p> <p>in the end, google devalued these links and many of the pr firms decided to nofollow their links.</p> <p>when you decide to issue a press release, it shouldn’t be for getting a link. a press release should only be created for a genuinely newsworthy event.</p> <p>if you can’t honestly say that you would issue a press release, even if it held no seo value, then you probably shouldn’t do it.</p> <h2>5. reliance on automation</h2> <p>auto-generated or spun content is one of the most prevalent remnants of a long-gone seo era.</p> <p>with google on a mission to deliver quality search results and a good user experience, there is no room for this garbage in the serps.</p> <p>if you automatically generate, copy, or spin content, don’t be surprised when you’re slapped with a <a href=''>pure spam penalty</a>.</p> <p>that said, natural language generation programs (nlg) have been successfully used at the enterprise level to create content at scale. nlg, a form of artificial intelligence (ai), produces content based on data input.</p> <p>for smaller businesses, nothing beats original content written by humans.</p> <h2>6. disregarding the mobile experience</h2> <p>more than <a href=''>60 percent of searches</a> done on google are from mobile devices. with google’s commitment to a <a href=''>mobile-first index</a>, this can no longer be ignored.</p> <p>to succeed online, websites must be seamlessly optimized and responsive across all platforms, including tablets and mobile devices</p> <p>the current algorithm factors in at least some <a href=''>ux elements</a>, specifically <a href=''>distracting pop-up advertisements</a>.</p> <p>if you aren’t putting users first, your chances at maximizing online visibility will diminish.</p> <h2>7. publishing thin content</h2> <p>gone are the days of writing a keyword-“rich” (a.k.a., spammy), 300- to 500-word article to rank for anything competitive.</p> <p>in most cases, it’s a waste of time.</p> <p>in the worst cases, it will draw a penalty.</p> <p><img alt='manual action due to thin content' src='' style='height:310px; width:600px' /></p> <p>to get maximum visibility on search engines, long-form content rules. <a href=''>studies have shown</a> that blog post pages with over 2,000 words ranked higher than shorter blog posts.</p> <p>if you have any doubts, do a quick search of whatever pops into your head right now and you’re likely to find long-form content.</p> <h2>8. depending on guest blogging for link building</h2> <p>the only “seo tactic” abused more than press releases is <a href=''>guest blogging</a>.</p> <p>prior to google’s <a href=''>public warnings</a> against this practice, “online marketing strategists” took every blogging opportunity to write content, irrespective of whether the content was good, bad, or relevant. i still see tons of offers for guest posting on “authority websites.”</p> <p>selling blog posts became a big enough problem that <a href='' target='_blank'>forbes, entrepreneur, & inc</a>, among others, had to start adding nofollow tags to external links.</p> <p>long story short: if you engage in guest blogging, ensure that you do it on relevant websites – sites that are recognized as trusted in your niche. forget about high volume guest blogging on low-quality websites.</p> <h2>9. depending on ‘trophy phrases’ for quality traffic</h2> <p>another misconception about seo is that ranking highly for a “trophy” or head phrase translates into a high volume of quality traffic to your site.</p> <p>there’s no denying that high ranking means that your page will be seen by more people. however, this isn’t a guarantee that you’re going to receive more click-throughs or conversions.</p> <p>as a rule of thumb, trophy phrases drive traffic, but long-tail drives conversions.</p> <p>your keyword strategy should be contextual in nature. your webpages need to describe, in detail, precisely what your product or service delivers.</p> <h2>the takeaway</h2> <p>search engine optimization is unique. it is the only area that i am aware of where doing the same thing, over time, will actually yield different results. <em>that would normally be considered insanity.</em></p> <p>because search algorithms are fluid and always changing, your approach to seo must be fluid as well.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>search engine journal</strong></a>.</p> SEO Tactics Tue, 10 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0800 2018 SEO tips and predictions <p>gone are the days when all you had to do to build a solid online foundation was splash as many keywords as possible across a web page and link to as many (non)relevant sources out there. </p> <p>though we may feel like we have put these rudimentary tactics behind us, many are those who are still looking to get the easy way out – they rely on the unethical practices in order to yield the best possible results in the least amount of time. </p> <p>but here’s the trick – search engines tend to nip such people in the bud. in the long run, this shortcut has done more damage to your website than good. </p> <p>manipulation of results is out of the question, and while you are <em>under google’s roof, you obey its rules.</em> over the years, these rules have more or less changed, and quite often we found ourselves surprised by the new regulations, that only makes it more difficult for users to predict the search engine’s next step. </p> <p>still, if we were to look at the past changes a bit more carefully, we might be able to notice a pattern; we might be able to conclude which area of the digital marketing world search engines are likely to target next.</p> <p><strong>amp as a ranking factor</strong></p> <p>as the whole world is going mobile, <a href='' target='_blank'>google</a> is about to make sure the accelerated mobile pages project takes center stage. so far, amp has not been officially declared a ranking signal, however, it still has a great impact on website performance and search. </p> <p>users’ abandon websites which don’t load in two seconds and are usually using their mobile devices to check out one of your pages, it is only logical to make sure they load fast on a small screen.  </p> <p><strong>beyond links and keywords</strong></p> <p>search engines are beginning to pay more attention to the way users interact with your website. while <a href='' target='_blank'>seo</a> used to be a job for the technical team, the responsibility was transferred to online marketing professionals; they are required to possess rich knowledge of on- and off-site seo, need to be creatives in order to craft quality content pieces and need to understand user behavior. after all, they are the ones you are after. </p> <p>if google is devoting more time and energy to improving its understanding of visitors’ queries and needs, why wouldn’t you? search engines are doing their best to fully <a href='' target='_blank'>understand the semantics</a> behind each query, website owners have to do whatever it is in their power to optimize content in such ways that both users and search engines understand what the pages are about.  </p> <p><strong>emphasis on the design</strong></p> <p><img alt='design' src='' style='height:523px; width:960px' /></p> <p>note that design still plays a significant role. aside from the responsive, mobile-first approach to website development, we are hearing more and more about the importance of a visual effect. in fact, experts from <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>websitesthatsell</a> report that from their own experience, users will stop interacting with a website if they find it unappealing. for this reason, we are seeing more and more graphic elements, high-resolution photographs, video and other visual content being implemented on websites. </p> <p>now, while glitz and glam can make a lasting impression on some, bear in mind that the 2018 user will appreciate the simplicity and straightforwardness of your website’s message. </p> <p>minimalist design is the preferable option, since the 21st-century visitor is always on the go, looking for an instant solution, and is as such in need of a site that will lead them right to the answer to their query, not bombard them with a multitude of flashy elements.  </p> <p><strong>spammy comments</strong></p> <p>believe it or not, a not-small number of those who dare to call themselves online marketing professionals implement these activities in their digital strategies. it also represents one of the most irritating tactics around. </p> <p>namely, the comment section of a quality article quite frequently contains an abundance of relevant opinions and advice from industry experts, what makes it a great appendix to the post you have read a few minutes ago. </p> <p>when you leave a clearly promotional comment, you not only kill the conversation, you also lose respect from your fellow colleagues. in 2018, it will be all about building relationships and reputation via informative statements – slowly but surely, you will not only be rising in the search results but also the eyes of your peers.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>know techie</strong></a>.</p> SEO Tactics Fri, 6 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0800 5 easy-to-miss SEO mistakes blogs make <h2>is your content great, but not ranking? here are some of the more common seo errors bloggers and content marketers make.</h2> <p>the digital marketing landscape has evolved significantly over the last two decades. and between google’s ever-changing algorithm and the deluge of misinformation floating through the digital marketing sphere, it’s easy to lose sight of basic practices we should be employing in our own seo and content marketing strategies.</p> <p>with every new algorithm update and technological shift in search, we become obsessed with how the field of seo will enter a wholly new paradigm, and we shift our focus to reflect this. yet as much as the medium may change, the core principles remain the same — and it’s time to get back to the basics.</p> <p>we all understand the secrets and best practices of seo, so why do we often fail to leverage these tactics? let’s explore five common blogging mistakes you may be making right now.</p> <h2>unoptimized keyword structure</h2> <p>despite the rise of semantic search and machine learning technology, <a href='' target='_blank'>keyword research</a> should still take precedence when modeling an internal content marketing campaign. all on-site content should be thematically linked by topics and keywords to your overall business objectives.</p> <p>if our content is simply covering topics and not keywords, how do we know what users <em>really</em>demand? without keyword research, how can you truly know who your audience is and who you are writing for?</p> <p>keywords serve as the bridge between user intent and informational/transactional content. keyword-optimized content helps to position individual web pages to rank higher organically and drive impressions for targeted searches. this effectively makes blog content a lead generator.</p> <p>for on-site blogs, the focus should remain on informational long-tail keyword phrases. common examples include question phrases beginning with <em>how, what, when, where</em> and <em>why</em>.</p> <p>other keyword ideas could include actionable phrases that are often searched for, such as the top “tips” and “hacks” to improve upon some process.</p> <p>bloggers often fail to optimize their headers, meta tags and content with targeted keyword phrases. consider the fact that specific keyword phrases will often be bolded within the meta description of a serp listing, potentially increasing your click-through rate.</p> <p>inadequate keyword research runs deeper than failing to optimize your header structure (e.g., title, meta description). many bloggers fail to leverage semantic seo, or similar keyword phrases with the same meaning. semantic seo allows bloggers to create more thorough and <em>readable</em> content that can drive impressions for multiple keyword phrases, answer more user questions and qualify your content to be a <a href=''>featured snippet</a> — think of the rise of voice search.</p> <p>on the other hand, over-optimized content could cross a dangerous line as well. keyword stuffing, or possessing a high keyword density, will qualify your content as spam. keyword stuffing also obstructs your content’s readability, which results in poor user signals.</p> <p>following seo best practices, it’s still important to optimize all relevant site elements, such as urls and meta tags, with targeted keywords to categorize and rank individual web pages. and aside from signaling to search engines the main focus of your on-site content, keywords also serve an important function for your site architecture.</p> <h2>inconsistent internal links</h2> <p><a href='' target='_blank'>internal linking</a> is probably one of the most overlooked aspects of seo optimization, and issues with internal links frequently occur on seo agency websites themselves!</p> <p>there are many functions of proper internal linking for seo:</p> <ul> <li>establishes paths for users to navigate your website.</li> <li>opens up crawling to deep linked web pages and increases crawl rate.</li> <li>defines site architecture and your most important web pages to search engines.</li> <li>distributes “link juice,” or authority, throughout your website.</li> <li>indexes linked-to web pages by the keywords used in the hyperlink anchor text.</li> </ul> <p>while backlinks remain the gold standard of search engine ranking factors, their magic can be amplified through strategic internal linking.</p> <p>ideally, you’ll want at least three to five internal links per blog post, and a drop-down or navigation menu on your home page to provide deep links to inaccessible web pages. just because a piece of content is posted to your blog, it doesn’t mean google or bing can automatically access it.</p> <p>conduct a thorough internal link audit and record which web pages have the most authority. simply insert internal links on these pages to other high-value internal pages to distribute authority evenly throughout your domain.</p> <p>many websites display featured posts in a drop-down menu or on the home page to distribute authority to their blog posts. a blogger’s home page will be his/her most authoritative. limit the number of links between each blog post and your home page to evenly distribute link juice throughout your domain.</p> <p>don’t overlook the importance of a sitemap, either. this will ensure all web pages are properly crawled and indexed — assuming url structures are clean and keyword-optimized.</p> <p>finally, optimize all anchor text to categorize and drive impressions for linked web pages. be sure to use varying anchor text phrases for each link so that you can rank your web pages for multiple search queries.</p> <h2>poor page copy</h2> <p>as we often say in digital marketing, it’s important to write for readers and not search engines. keep content light, don’t try to show off knowledge with excessive jargon, and write for readers on an eighth-grade reading level.</p> <p>in most cases, on-site content is not about publishing, but building awareness around a need. i always suggest placing actionable tips in informational content to provide value.</p> <p>content marketing is as much a branding exercise as it is a marketing tactic. consistent content production establishes your brand’s ethos and also creates your voice as an author. in turn, this establishes you as an authority in your niche.</p> <p>don’t sacrifice this authority with poor body copy.</p> <p>look over your blog post as a whole. what does a reader experience when they first encounter your web page? consider the fact that the average attention span is estimated to be eight seconds. optimize your header structure and meta tags to encourage easy scanability and communicate a clear purpose.</p> <p>leverage a powerful headline to pique reader interest, and nurture this interest with a strong introductory paragraph. always insert clear transition phrases, and consider using animated gifs and videos to give users a mental break between long chunks of paragraphs. these will also increase your average user dwell time.</p> <p>make your content visually appealing by utilizing white space properly and inserting images after every 400 words or so. this essentially chunks content and prevents information overload.</p> <p>finally, edit fiercely. many writers live by the rule that about two-thirds of writing should be editing and reworking. use tools such as grammarly and the hemingway app to create concise and clean body copy.</p> <h2>unoptimized images and videos</h2> <p>speaking of poor page copy, most bloggers still ignore image and video optimization. unoptimized image file formats and sizes are the most common load time mistakes that deteriorate seo performance.</p> <p>all on-site images should be formatted as .jpg, and all vector images as .png.</p> <p>always optimize image alt text to position it to rank in a targeted keyword image search. the alternative text is what’s displayed when a browser fails to actually display the image and tells search engines the content of your image. (it’s also used to describe images to those with screen readers.)</p> <p>when optimizing video files, host all of your video files in a single folder and create a video site map for search engines to index your videos. you should optimize the meta description of all video pages with targeted keywords for indexation. leverage a call to action in your meta description and video annotations.</p> <p>video marketing can be distributed from multiple channels, as well as your blog. according to <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>a recent survey by hubspot</a>, 43 percent of consumers want to see more video from content marketers.</p> <h2>poor content promotion</h2> <p>this leads us to probably the greatest error that plagues bloggers and stumps small businesses. we’re told that a good piece of content should serve as a natural link magnet and even rank highly based on the merits of the writing itself. to be candid, from experience we’ve discovered this isn’t always true.</p> <p>consider the idea that a 10-hour project totaling 3,245 words, featuring exquisite content and imagery, is just as useless as a poorly written 400-word listicle if it doesn’t drive conversions or traffic. this is what i refer to as potential energy. without a proper technical structure or any content promotion strategy at work, your awe-inspiring content is a dud.</p> <p>what if, after writing his theory of relativity, einstein had simply posted his theory on his front door and waited for someone to discover it? content distributed over a blog on a young domain won’t gather backlinks or social shares without promotion.</p> <p>leverage your connections, and follow these strategies to promote content and allow it to compound over social media:</p> <ol> <li>have influential members of your organization share and promote a piece of content.</li> <li>contact influencers over social media to share content.</li> <li>request a quote from an industry thought leader to place in your content; advertise this in your rich snippet on social media channels.</li> <li>repurpose content into a video or infographic for greater shareability.</li> <li>contact websites that have linked to similar content in the past.</li> <li>submit your content to replace relevant broken links on authoritative sites.</li> <li>run a paid advertisement campaign over social media to place content directly in front of targeted audience members.</li> </ol> <p>content promotion involves thorough audience analysis. segment audience members into one of three boundaries based on habits, demographics and psychographics. investigate what social media channels each audience segment uses the most and the points of time when they are most active.</p> <p>understand which pieces of content perform best over specific social media channels. the most viral content examples include:</p> <ul> <li>“how-to” tutorials</li> <li>infographics</li> <li>videos</li> <li>listicles</li> <li>“why” articles</li> </ul> <p>content serves as an effective pull marketing tactic and inbound lead generator. yet, if content is simply sitting on the shelf and gathering dust, it’s a lost investment.</p> <p>social and user signals factor greatly into organic ranking. essentially, social promotion will draw users to your content, which will determine — based on their engagement — the efficacy of your content.</p> <h2>conclusion</h2> <p>seo agencies and content marketers often tell clients about technical and onsite errors they may be making. but sometimes it takes a little realism to take a step back and analyze our own campaigns for greater success in the long run.</p> <p>hopefully, you’ll take the news that your seo content strategy is imperfect in the right way. it’s an opportunity to refine and improve.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>search engine land</strong></a>.</p> SEO Tactics Mon, 25 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 12 SEO Mistakes To Avoid For Better Search Engine Rankings <p dir='ltr'>the power of search engine optimization is stronger than ever before: as many as 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search engine results, according to stats compiled by <a href='' rel='noopener noreferrer' target='_blank'>search engine journal</a>. this is reason enough that you need to employ good seo techniques and get your business to rank on page one of every targeted keyword search.</p> <p dir='ltr'>employing poor seo practices can leave your business buried in search engine searches, making it impossible for your customers to find you. below are the most common seo errors that could be hurting your search engine rankings.</p> <p>search engine optimization is constantly evolving. here, 12 forbes agency council members share advice on how to avoid common seo mistakes.</p> <p dir='ltr'><strong>1. lack of quality content </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>while user experience is increasingly paramount, you also have to think about what search engine bots see when they crawl your website. your content needs to be effective in communicating to your audience and to bots. each page on your website should have 400 words of quality content at the very least, but 700 to 1,200 words is optimal. remember, this includes your product and collections pages as well.</p> <p dir='ltr'><strong>2. seeing double </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>one of the most common seo mistakes out there is duplicate content. if you have the same content on more than one page on your site then the search engines will be confused and your pages will end up competing against each other or your website will get penalized.</p> <p dir='ltr'><strong>3. choosing the wrong keywords </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>the definition of "wrong" keywords extends to selecting keywords that don't accurately describe your products and services, or selecting keywords that don't convert into customers. select target keywords carefully, as they are your biggest determinant in seo success.</p> <p dir='ltr'><strong>4. not optimizing for engagement </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>while backlinks are still a heavily weighted value in seo rankings, you should focus on user engagement. we are finding that longer, well-written content that captures the reader's attention is increasing rankings. incorporate images, videos, quotes, resources and infographics to assist with the reader engagement. your bounce rate should reduce while the time on site and rankings increase.</p> <p dir='ltr'><strong>5. lack of title tag optimization </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>one of the biggest errors we see with our clients' websites is that the textual content is not optimized. it is a best practice to have variations of your primary target keywords in three heading tags across your homepage and any other sub-pages where seo work is being done. the heading tags consist of h1, h2 and h3 title tags. keeping those optimized will help boost your rankings.</p> <p dir='ltr'><strong>6. keyword stuffing </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>now that google’s algorithms are much smarter and always change, they can recognize and penalize sites for keyword stuffing. instead of overstuffing, use relevant keywords within your site’s content but always in moderation. always keep your audience in mind.</p> <p dir='ltr'><strong>7. absence of a blog strategy </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>one big seo initiative that we work on with our clients is developing a consistent, ongoing, informative blog strategy. too often, people create a blog and don't take the time to blog properly – helpful, meaningful information with regular posting that uses appropriate keywords. this is very helpful for organic search, plus it provides great content to share on socials and e-newsletters.</p> <p><strong>8. thin content lacking target keywords </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>one of the most common issues for my clients is the use of thin and irrelevant content that lacks a target keyword and related keywords. content needs to have depth and deep analysis of the subject, and each piece should focus on one or two keywords at most. next, semantically related keywords are needed for algorithms to grasp the relevancy of the topic.</p> <p dir='ltr'><strong>9. index bloat </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>i'd say about 35% of the leads we receive suffer from index bloat in one way or another, whether from poor wordpress optimization resulting in tag, category, media and archive pages being indexed or from an absurd amount of thin content being indexed. typically, an excessive number of thin pages comes from blogging for the sake of blogging, rather than providing value and answering searchers' queries.</p> <p dir='ltr'><strong>10. not prioritizing high-value non-branded keywords </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>like with many other practices, success in seo starts with the fundamentals. and the reality is, many firms, including prominent ones, do not include valuable non-branded keywords in their title tags, especially on their most important pages. simply put: if you aren't taking the effort to use the keywords your target market is, they are going to have a harder time finding you.</p> <p dir='ltr'><strong>11. too broad optimization goals </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>trying to attract everyone. optimizing for broader, more generic keywords is an easy and understandable trap to fall into. but here are the pitfalls: 1) there’s a lot of competition when optimizing for generic keywords, and 2) you may be drawing traffic to your site that will never convert. instead, be as specific as possible with your keywords. you may get fewer visitors, but you’ll get more buyers.</p> <p dir='ltr'><strong>12. title tags not describing the page/business </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>one of the most common seo errors is incorrect assumptions about how to label title tags. a lot of companies make their homepage or sub-page title tags the title of their company. instead, this should be a short description of the product or service the company provides.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>forbes</strong></a>.</p> SEO Tactics Mon, 25 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 6 SEO Trends That Will Influence Your Content Marketing <p>in the world of marketing, there are plenty of trends for leaders to stay on top of. from <a href='' rel='noopener noreferrer' target='_blank'>pr trends</a> that affect their branding on a larger scale to the content marketing and <a href='' rel='noopener noreferrer' target='_blank'>social media tools</a> that affect their day-to-day communication, leaders have a lot on their plates.</p> <p>i hate to be the guy who adds to your list, but if seo isn’t also on your radar, you could be missing out on serious opportunities. thankfully, moz ceo sarah bird shared lots of valuable insights on the future of seo at this year’s mozcon. my team rounded up a few of the biggest trends she highlighted and spoke with other experts in attendance to learn more about how seo and content will affect brands’ marketing; here are six trends in seo you need to know about:</p> <p><strong>1. search is taking on new and different formats.</strong></p> <p>most marketers tend to think of search as it relates to audiences typing queries into search engines, but that’s changing. you can now speak  directly to alexa or google home and search using your own voice in your own words. not only is this exciting for us as humans, but it ’s also pushing the industry to learn more about its consumers and exactly what they want.</p> <p>people are searching more than ever, probably because they have more ways to perform those searches. it’s your job as a leader and marketer to figure out how to influence search results on these different platforms and formats.that comes down to getting into your audience members’ heads, understanding who they are, and delivering what they want — only then can you start to unlock the analytical and creative processes of optimizing for search.</p> <p><strong>2. new formats mean new opportunities — but not all will translate into dollars for your brand right away.</strong></p> <p>this increase in search — and ways to search — doesn ’ t necessarily mean you ’ re going to be able to capitalize on it commercially. think of recipes, for example:  people could be using alexa to search certain recipes as they prepare dinner, but showing up as a result there probably won ’ t translate into dollars for your brand every time.  some formats and types of searches reveal purchase intent, and others don ’ t; this change in search trends just reinforces how important it is for marketers to understand those differences and create and optimize accordingly.</p> <p><strong>3. </strong><strong>paid search is seo</strong><strong>’s</strong><strong> biggest competitor for marketing dollars.</strong></p> <p>despite the fact that people tend to scroll straight to organic results on search engine results pages, the paid ads industry is still huge, making pay-per-click one of the biggest competitors for would-be seo dollars. sure, ppc can be a great way to test your organic strategy or boost your high-performing organic efforts, but building out your organic seo efforts is a more effective long-term strategy. eventually, we’ll see more and more dollars funneled into marketers’ organic search efforts, but a lack of patience is keeping this from happening sooner.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>4. marketers have to remember the long-term benefits of their search strategies.</strong></p> <p>when marketers start making search a priority, it’s not uncommon to see them focus on short-term wins — early signs that things are going well — before they spend a lot of money on tactics that aren’t getting them much closer to their goals. the thing about search is that the biggest benefits typically aren’t visible right away. </p> <p>paying to play in the short term is fine to get started, but you have to build your long-term <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank' title=''>content marketing strategy</a> to create a foundation for your brand and your audience over time. seo is more of a brand-building and authority-boosting tool than a strict transaction. it doesn’t help that many times, marketers are incentivized to think in the short term, like through monthly or quarterly goals, instead of one to three years down the road. if you put in the time and budget to do it right, it should land you future sales calls, not just sales calls today. marketers and content creators would do well to remember the big picture as they execute individual search tactics.</p> <p><strong>5. content marketing is in a great spot for the future of search.</strong></p> <p>according to matthew edgar, co-owner of <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank' title=''>elementive</a>, one of the classic functions of seo is shifting. in the past, marketers relied on search engines to drive traffic to their sites — but with google now displaying content on serps instead of directing users away from the page and to new sites, this is starting to change.</p> <p>google wants to give users as much information and content as possible on serps directly instead of forcing them to navigate to and from different sites. this is a powerful reminder for marketers that <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank' title=''>content marketing</a> must be truly valuable, educational, and engaging to readers, not simply designed to get people to a specific site.</p> <p>and when people <em>do</em> land on your site — whether they’re coming from a google search or elsewhere — you’ve got to make sure you’re delivering a meaningful experience with high-quality content. that’s how search engines will know your content is worth ranking or displaying in the first place.</p> <p><strong>6. the fundamentals behind search will guide marketers through these trends.</strong></p> <p>heather physioc, director of organic search at <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank' title=''>vml</a>, noted that while the formats of the content we create and how we optimize that content will continue to evolve, the fundamentals will remain the same. some of the biggest changes we’ve seen have come in how people perform searches, from searches on ask jeeves from a desktop computer to mobile and voice searches today. there are dozens of places to search for and consume content, but at the heart of it all is exceptional content.</p> <p>i get it — keeping up with trends in seo and actually executing a strategy that generates the kind of results you’re after is challenging. but it’s well worth the effort. it helps you build your brand, attract and engage your audience, and generate leads, sales, and opportunities. start with these trends, and make seo a priority for your team. if you don’t, i promise your competitors will.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>forbes</strong></a>.</p> SEO Tactics Fri, 8 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 A Beginner’s Quick Guide to Using Google Search Console for SEO <p>if you want a better website with better content, google search console should be one of your first stops. it's a powerful set of tools that can give you valuable information on errors you may have in your code, usability, search traffic and so on. and yes, there can be a slight learning curve if you're new to it.</p> <p>in the <a href='' target='_blank'>pr news guidebook: google for communicators</a>, chris hornak, owner of blog hands, argues that fluency with these tools is well worth the afternoon or two it might cost you to learn how to use them. he provides a thorough guide to using search console to maximize your search engine optimization and save yourself time and money. but to distill this advice into its briefest form, excerpted below are hornak's five simple steps to follow for your first foray into search console:</p> <ol> <li>add your site and verify it: this is step one. create or log on to your search console account, add property (your site), and follow the steps to verify that you are someone with access to the site. take your time and get this right. it gets a lot more interesting very quickly afterward.</li> <li>link <a href='' target='_blank'>google analytics</a>: an optional step, but one that will give you the best information between both sets of tools.</li> <li>make a sitemap: this is an ideal way to ensure that google crawls all of your website.</li> <li>test your robots.txt file: <a href='' target='_blank'>google’s tester tool</a> ensures that your robots.txt file is error-free. it’s a good thing to do.</li> <li><a href='' target='_blank'>crawl for errors</a>: this section of the search console lets you know what, if any, errors are present on your site. armed with this information, you can fix the problems before they impact your page rank.</li> </ol> <p>if you are looking for additional help with specifics in the google search console, visiting the <a href=''>google search console help center</a> will not disappoint. it gives you valuable information about the console, how it works and what steps you can take to implement best practices for your site.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>pr news</strong></a>.</p> SEO Tactics Fri, 8 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Visual Search: Looking Beyond Image SEO Marketing <p>i want to tell you a story about a young google algorithm.</p> <p>he was born blind, in a world where a picture is worth a thousand searches. this little algorithm had one dream. to be able to see. so he got his friends to describe him images, but still he couldn’t see.</p> <p>he built magical google goggles, but these didn’t work. then one day, he built a learning machine and finally, after years of struggle, he could recognize images.</p> <p>that little algorithm who could is named <strong><em>visual search</em></strong> and has taken on a job as the world’s personal shopper.</p> <h2>image searches are now commonplace</h2> <p>look at the two options below, which is more useful if you wanted to buy a handbag?</p> <p><img alt='google web vs image search results' src='' style='height:400px; width:760px' /></p> <p><a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>slyce</a> asked that question to consumers. 74 percent of them replied that text-based keyword searches are inefficient in helping to find the right product online.</p> <p>a 2017 report by <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>jumpshot & moz </a>further supports that discovery through pictures is alive and well, with around 27 percent of all searches being for images. mozcast reports image blocks in around 11 percent of google results. while jumpshots’ data shows images earn 3 percent of all google search clicks.</p> <p><img alt='moz & jumpshot image serach' src='' style='height:392px; width:380px' /></p> <h2>image seo: the early years</h2> <p>let’s be honest, image optimization is the dinosaur of the seo world. sure you <em>say</em> you implement image seo for additional ranking opportunities in google image search, but in most cases, you don’t truly believe this will have a significant impact on your kpis.</p> <p>when is the last time you looked at the sessions from image search in google analytics? did you even notice years ago the change from the referral path /imgres under referral to a fully fledged source medium as</p> <p>most of the image seo best practices are more for user experience than search engines rankings. take a critical look at common <a href=''>image optimization tips</a>:</p> <p><strong>primary reason behind common image optimization tips</strong></p> <p><em>user experience</em></p> <ul> <li>rankings othershy away from stock to use original, high-quality images</li> <li>shy away from stock to use original, high-quality images</li> <li>context is key, be relevant to surrounding text</li> <li>appropriate file format so images are crisp</li> <li>optimize image file size for web page load times</li> <li>use standard image ratios</li> <li>use image dimensions large enough to be clearly visible on any device</li> <li>add descriptive captions for users who scan</li> </ul> <p><em>rankings</em></p> <ul> <li>descriptive image file names</li> <li>descriptive alt text</li> <li>descriptive image titles</li> <li>submit an image sitemap</li> <li>schema markup</li> </ul> <p><em>other</em></p> <ul> <li>open graph tags</li> <li>twitter cards</li> <li>beware of copyright</li> </ul> <p>and one can argue descriptive image file names, alt text, and image titles are used as an opportunity to add a keyword in order to rank the page, not necessarily the image itself.</p> <p>not to say the image optimization tips above are not valuable. you should still do these things.</p> <p>the hard truth is seo professionals often neglect image optimization as an afterthought to page-level optimization, if it’s considered at all. and this level of image optimization alone is not going to be enough to win users.</p> <p>so why are you reading about it…</p> <h2>the rise of visual search</h2> <p>in the past there was image search, where search engines took a text-based query and tried to find the best visual match.</p> <p>in the present there is visual search, where search engines, social networks, ecommerce powerhouses, startups and many companies in between take an image as the query.</p> <p>a change in consumer behavior is happening. in the words of jeffrey gitomer “people don’t like to be sold to, but they love to buy.”</p> <p>when you see something you’re interested in, whether it’s online or offline, you want a fast an easy way to get more information.</p> <p>for example, you see a pair of shoes in a magazine. with image recognition, you can take a photo and find similar item for sale online.</p> <p>this see-snap-buy behavior is becoming commonplace and has opened up opportunities for companies to enter the purchase cycle with the photo as the search query. this places them higher in the conversion funnel than a text-based search query.</p> <p>visual search is fast becoming a staple of shopping apps. and with the impact on kpis, it’s no surprise why.</p> <p><a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>bloomreach</a> found that visual search is associated with 48 percent more product views. consumers are 57 percent more likely to make a return visits and spend on average 9 percent more on mobile than those who do not use it.</p> <p>amazon, pinterest, and many more have launched visual search capabilities on mobile. there is a battle of the brands to be your snap and shop app of choice.</p> <p><img alt='visual search timeline of brand entry' src='' style='height:394px; width:985px' /></p> <p>at present, early adopters amazon (turning the world into a hyperlink) and pinterest (promoting on online discovery) are leading the pack. but google isn’t taking this lying down.</p> <p><img alt='pinterest visual search' src='' style='height:540px; width:301px' /></p> <h2>visual search & google</h2> <p>google has been quietly adding <a href=''>machine learning</a> and image recognition capabilities to mobile image search over the last years. plotting the updates, you can see clear stepping stone technologies building on the theme of visual search.</p> <ul> <li><strong><a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>related images</a> (april 2013)</strong>: click on a result to view visually similar images.</li> <li><a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'><strong>collections</strong></a><strong> (november 2015)</strong>: allows users to save images directly from google’s mobile image search into folders. google’s answer to a pinterest board.</li> <li><strong><a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>product images in web results</a> (october 2016)</strong>: product images begin to display next to website links in mobile search.</li> <li><a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'><strong>product details on images</strong></a><strong> (december 2016)</strong>: click on an image result to display product price, availability, ratings, and other key information directly in the image search results.</li> <li><strong><a href='' target='_blank'>similar items</a> (10th april 2017)</strong>: google can identify products, even within lifestyle images, and showcases similar items you can buy online.</li> <li><strong><a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>style ideas</a> (april 17, 2017)</strong>: the flip side to similar items. when browsing fashion product images on mobile, google shows you outfit montages and inspirational lifestyle photos to highlight how the product can be worn in real life.</li> <li><strong><a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>image badges</a> (august 1, 2017)</strong>: label on the image indicate what other details are available, encouraging more users to click. for example, badges such as “recipe” or a timestamp for pages featuring videos. but the most significant badge is “product” – shown if the item is available for purchase online.</li> </ul> <p>these developments highlight that google is making a play to turn image search into shoppable product discovery. it’s easier to show than tell.</p> <p><img alt='google image search mobile functionality' src='' style='height:623px; width:360px' /></p> <p>the new visual search capabilities are all algorithmically selected based on a combination of schema and image recognition. google told <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>techcrunch</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>“the images that appear in both the style ideas and similar items grids are also algorithmically ranked, and will prioritize those that focus on a particular product type or that appear as a complete look and are from authoritative sites.”</p> </blockquote> <h2>how to get your brand’s images featured</h2> <h3>1. implement <a href='' target='_blank'>schema markup</a></h3> <p>badges are simple enough to win:</p> <ul> <li>for the recipe badge, use recipe markup.</li> <li>for the video badge, use video markup.</li> <li>for the product badge, use product markup.</li> </ul> <p>getting into the similar items and related items sections are a touch more challenging. to do this, ensure you have product markup on the host page with the meta-data minimum requirement:</p> <ul> <li>name</li> <li>image</li> <li>price</li> <li>currency</li> <li>availability</li> </ul> <p>but the more quality detail, the better, as it will make your results more robust. how product markup elements are populated into google image search is shown below.</p> <p><img alt='product markup for google image search' src='' style='height:639px; width:858px' /></p> <h3>2. validate your implementation</h3> <p>run a few urls through google’s <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>structured data testing tool</a>. don’t simply scan if there are no errors and move on. be sure to look at the information itself to ensure it’s user-friendly.</p> <h3>3. wait</h3> <p>it can take up to one week for your site’s images to be crawled. like all schema markup, how items display in search results is at google’s discretion and not guaranteed. however, quality markup will “increase the chance” of your images showing up.</p> <h3>4. do a query</h3> <p>why your own site? to confirm your images have been indexed. be sure to do this image search on mobile web or in the android search app. it is a mobile-first world. not all image search functionality is visible on desktop.</p> <p>if you see no image results badges, you likely have an implementation issue. go back to step two.</p> <p>if you see badges, click a couple to ensure they show your ideal markup in the details. once you confirm all is well, then you can begin to search for your targeted keywords to see how you rank and if you are eligible for similar items or related items.</p> <p><strong>note</strong>: while badges and related items are common, similar items only cover a limited number of products in fashion. google says it will expand in the coming months.</p> <h2>the next steps for visual search</h2> <p>the future is “<a href='' target='_blank'>lens</a>” – using your smartphone to translate real world input to digital action. no more qr codes or snap tags.</p> <p>markerless image recognition is coming. a world where nothing needs to be done to an image or object to turn it into a visual trigger to cue digital content. the static world becomes digitally connected simply by pointing your phone at it.</p> <p>both pinterest and google have the functionality, but i’ll let google ceo sundar pichai explain in more detail:</p> <p>i can envision:</p> <ul> <li>product packaging coming to life. you point your phone at the product and it displays recipe possibilities, maps to nearby stores with the item in stock or coupon for an online order.</li> <li>billboards of celebrities endorsing products will naturally connect you to the store to buy the product, but may also provide the latest gossip on that celebrity.</li> <li>stranger’s outfits become walking ads when i can snap a pic and literally buy the shirt off their back. this will be a world where you can spontaneously buy most items you can see.</li> </ul> <p>that is the power of visual search.</p> <p>so, what are you doing to make your brand more visually appealing?</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>search engine journal</strong></a>.</p> SEO Tactics Fri, 8 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Are You Misreading Your SEO Data? 7 Common Mistakes <p>search engine optimization (seo) relies on many factors to be successful, but one of the most important is the marketer’s ability to measure and interpret seo data. there are a few qualities of seo that make it depend on this period of analysis to be successful:</p> <ul> <li><strong>long-term development. </strong>seo is a strategy that takes months, if not years, to fully develop. it’s hard to see the changes unless you look for them on a consistent basis.</li> <li><strong>lack of precision. </strong>google doesn’t publish its ranking algorithm; we only have case studies and general information to guide us. we know that certain tactics are effective, but we don’t have an objective measure of how they all interact with one another.</li> <li><strong>unique circumstances. </strong>every brand is unique, facing different levels of competition, with different target audiences and thousands of unique ranking factors. data is the only way to filter out the noise.</li> </ul> <p>looking at your data, including your inbound traffic, search rankings, and user behavior, is the only way you can know if your campaign is working, how it’s working, and most importantly, how it can be improved. if you aren’t reading that data properly, however, you could end up changing your campaign in the wrong direction.</p> <p>but isn’t data supposed to be objective? how can you possibly misread it?</p> <p><strong>common misreading errors</strong></p> <p>these are some of the most common data interpretation errors i’ve seen:</p> <p><strong>1. focusing too closely on one metric.</strong></p> <p>it’s tempting to tie your progress back to one key metric, such as keyword ranking or inbound traffic, but this is a common mistake. seo depends on dozens of interacting factors, and you could see value from any combination of them. moreover, just because your rankings are high doesn’t mean your traffic is high and vice versa; only by examining the full picture will you come to a clear understanding of your performance.</p> <p><strong>2. falling victim to confirmation bias.</strong></p> <p>confirmation bias is a natural human tendency to disproportionately favor information that already aligns with our intrinsic beliefs and assumptions, and disfavor information that disagrees with those beliefs and assumptions. in the realm of seo, that means if you already believe your campaign is successful, you might unwittingly cherry-pick statistics that imply that your campaign is doing well, and ignore bits of information that imply your campaign needs work. if you want to avoid confirmation bias, refrain from making assumptions until you see the numbers, and review as much data as possible before coming to a conclusion.</p> <p><strong>3. neglecting to segment traffic streams.</strong></p> <p>the main traffic path you’ll target in seo is your “organic traffic,” or the people finding your content from search engines. however, there are other modes of traffic your seo tactics can influence, including your traffic from social media and traffic generated by links you built in your offsite content. segmenting these different traffic streams helps you understand and measure the differences in their onsite behavior, and helps you rebalance your strategy accordingly. treating them all as one lump will prevent you from gaining these insights.</p> <p><strong>4. only looking at target keywords.</strong></p> <p>at the start of your campaign, you probably outlined a few dozen target keywords and phrases to serve as ranking goals for your campaign. this is common practice, and a good one at that. however, these aren’t the only keywords you should be examining. google search is semantically complex, and will rank search results based on context, rather than specific keyword inclusion. therefore, if you want a true measure of how your site’s visibility is improving, you’ll need to look at semantically related keywords and phrases you may not have originally considered.</p> <p><strong>5. confusing similar terms.</strong></p> <p>google analytics and other analytics platforms usually have hundreds to thousands of different variables you can examine to evaluate your performance. some of these terms are easy to understand intuitively because they measure exactly what they sound like they measure. some terms, however, are more difficult to discern. for example, do you know the difference between a bounce rate and an exit rate? for the record, bounce rates only apply when the page in question is the first one a user has visited, while an exist rate could apply to any user. make sure you understand the definition of each metric you’re measuring.</p> <p><strong>6. failing to tie results to roi.</strong></p> <p>the whole point of seo is to earn your company more revenue—enough to cover the expenses of the campaign, at the very least. your results should be about more than just how many visitors you received or how many ranks you climbed—you need to calculate and understand how those numbers translate into value for your company. whether you’re reporting to a supervisor or a client, money speaks louder than any other metric you can conjure.</p> <p><strong>7. using results for the past, not the future.</strong></p> <p>it’s tempting to use all your new insights as a measure of what worked in the past, evaluating how your performance has been and seeing the data as a kind of “grade” for your tactics. this can be helpful, but it shouldn’t be your main focus. instead, you should be using your data to decide what you need to do in the future. is a tactic working? good—keep it. are you missing something in a particular area? brainstorm strategies that could potentially address it.</p> <p>if you’ve made these mistakes, don’t worry. even experienced search optimizers fall victim to them on an occasional basis. as a beginner, learn to recognize them proactively, and work to avoid them wherever possible.</p> <p>data analysis is meant to be objective, but as human beings, we’re prone to mistakes; all we can do is compensate the best we can and keep moving forward.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>forbes entrepreneurs</strong></a>.</p> SEO Tactics Fri, 25 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 SEO Techniques For Businesses Working With Limited Budgets <p>one of the biggest attractions of search engine optimization is the opportunity to build a business without paying for ads. paid advertising offers instant traffic and plenty of testing opportunities, but the risk of blowing your budget on a losing campaign understandably puts many marketers off. </p> <p>seo can have its own hidden costs, though, with quality content and software coming at a premium. while your time should also be considered a cost, if you are willing to spend some of it on an seo campaign, it is possible to get results on a limited budget. let's take a look at some of the best seo techniques that won't break the bank.</p> <p><strong>step one: on-page seo</strong></p> <p>on-page seo offers many opportunities for quick improvements. when working with a low budget, focusing on the factors within your direct control is the easiest way to optimize for search engines. you can easily optimize your website with a low budget. if you put real effort into implementing these suggestions, you will notice a boost in your overall traffic and rankings.</p> <ul> <li><strong>site optimization. </strong>site optimization covers many areas, but there are some specific elements you must get right. your title and description tags should be built to target specific keywords and also to increase click-through rate. above the fold content must be relevant and helpful, avoiding obtrusive advertising or large headers that distract searchers. the site hierarchy should make sense, grouping articles into relevant categories. any other issues can usually be found inside the <a href='' target='_blank'>google search console</a>.</li> <li><strong>mobile and site speed. </strong>run your site through <a href='' target='_blank'>pagespeed insights</a> and <a href='' target='_blank'>mobile-friendly test</a>, looking for issues that are damaging the speed and compatibility score. slow servers can be a problem, but you don't necessarily need to invest in an expensive server solution immediately. <a href='' target='_blank'>cloudflare</a> offers a free version of its content-delivery network, while various cache plug-ins can optimize your site for fast loading.</li> <li><strong>keyword research. </strong>when operating with a small budget, targeting high-volume search terms might be best suited as a long-term goal. you can get far quicker results by focusing on long-tail keywords, reducing the competition levels and increasing the relevance. there are various premium seo tools that make keyword research and analysis far simpler, with <a href='' target='_blank'>semrush</a>,<a href='' target='_blank'> moz</a> and <a href='' target='_blank'>ahrefs</a> among the best. however, you can also take the free approach by building a large keyword list using the <a href='' target='_blank'>google keyword planner</a> and installing the <a href='' target='_blank'>seoquake plugin</a> in your browser.</li> <li><strong>content development. </strong>when targeting a specific keyword, the main goal should be to provide the searcher with the exact content they wanted. if a large enough group of people think your content doesn't offer a precise answer, your search results will suffer. aim to create content that meets the searchers’ needs, while also being superior to the other pages on the first result page. look at the top-ranking pages for your target keyword, analyze the common themes in the type of content ranking, and think of ways you can offer something better.</li> </ul> <p><strong>step two: off-page seo</strong></p> <p>off-page seo is usually the area where you spend the bulk of your budget. there are, however, various ways to optimize at a reasonable cost.</p> <ul> <li><strong>backlinks. </strong>there is often a temptation to gain as many backlinks as possible. low-quality backlinks will provide little seo benefit, though, and could even harm your rankings. instead, focus your time on authority backlinks that will give the biggest boost. backlink research can again be simplified with seo tools, but the free services like seoquake provide plenty of information. the best type of backlinks will be relevant to your niche, have a high domain authority, and preferably a high page authority too.</li> <li><strong>outreach. </strong>a number of strategic relationships can make all the difference to your seo efforts. bloggers, business owners and influencers all have the potential to offer backlinks, traffic and a higher status among a niche audience. while relationship building can take time, the results will last long into the future. look to be as helpful as possible, writing thoughtful blog comments, communicating over social media and offering quality guest posts for their site.</li> <li><strong>local seo.</strong> <a href='' target='_blank'>google maps marketing</a> falls under the local seo umbrella which (for some reason) not many people are aware of. when you are a local business owner with a low budget, google maps gives a serious boost to your immediate traffic, and it's also free!</li> <li><strong>social media. </strong>social media can be time-intensive, but it is possible to build backlinks, traffic and relationships for a low cost. ideally, you will maintain profiles across the popular platforms, using a tool like hootsuite as your dashboard. you could, however, focus on the social sites that will resonate most with your audience, creating content that suits the platform. for example, pinterest is designed primarily for images, so a niche with a strong visual element could build the most interest on a site like this. as content starts to get shared regularly, you should benefit from the increase in backlinks and promotion.</li> <li><strong>infographics. </strong>a well-researched infographic, in combination with email outreach, can produce high-powered links. creating infographics used to be fairly expensive, but there are now many services offering an affordable solution. canva, piktochart, and fiverr can all be used to create stylish graphics that get shared widely.</li> </ul> <p>in most cases, the lower your seo budget, the more time you will need to invest. while this can be acceptable initially, you will probably want to reinvest some income as your work comes to fruition. consider investing in high-quality seo tools and paying for content. a larger budget doesn't guarantee better results, but it does present opportunities to scale your business. it is worth considering that among the various marketing strategies available to online businesses, seo is still one of the most affordable, targeted and effective. a top ranking for a valuable keyword can transform the fortunes of a business, so start implementing these seo techniques today.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong></strong></a>.</p> SEO Tactics Thu, 24 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Three Easy SEO Tips Every Business Owner Can Use Right <h3>try some simple tweaks to boost company search ratings. </h3> <p><a href=''>search engine optimization</a>. it puts fear into the hearts of business owners and executives who believe that getting their websites to place high on google search rankings is akin to answering an obscure riddle of an evil troll guarding the secrets of successful digital marketing.</p> <p>it’s true that advanced seo strategies can be complex and a specialty unto itself but, that said, there are a few easy steps any executive can take to help speak directly to their targeted online audience and raise search rankings at the same time.</p> <p><strong>create an online newsroom and keep it updated with relevant content.</strong> <br /> not too long ago, the pr mantra was to distribute news releases only when you had actual news to announce, so as not to cry wolf too often, resulting in editors and reporters ignoring your “real news” announcements when you needed the coverage. that thinking is outdated. now, not only do reporters visit your website’s online newsroom looking for news, but customers also will check out the newsroom to decide, or confirm, if buying what you have to offer is a good idea.</p> <p>and here’s the seo payoff for newsrooms: search engines, such as google, are always looking for fresh content to determine whether a website is relevant. thus, posting news releases consistently on your site—with links relating back to similar content on the site—is a great way to demonstrate that your site is active. make sure your online newsroom has a downloadable press kit for journalists and bloggers writing company profiles, as well as consumer-slanted product and services announcements to interest your customers.</p> <p><strong>write and publish a blog with relevant content and internal and external links.</strong><br /> become a publisher and push content out for the search engines to find you, which means writing blogs. avoid writing general-information posts; you want to create targeted content aimed at a group of readers who will find your posts relevant and useful.</p> <p>long content, at least 2,500 words with at least two or three links to authoritative sites, works best to help create back links to your site. as for topics, think back on what your customers and clients ask you in meetings or what their pain points are and what problems they need to solve. you also can write about your solution for a common industry challenge.</p> <p>here is where quality outweighs quantity. write fewer, but longer, blog posts. everyone knows about franklin roosevelt’s famous fireside chats, but in 12 years as president he made only 30 radio addresses, which made the broadcasts special. it’s not how often you post, but rather making sure each post is packed with useful, relevant content for a successful seo strategy.</p> <p>your job is not over once you publish your blog. remember to cross-promote your post on all your social media networks to drive followers to your website. be sure to customize each caption to fit the audience on each network.</p> <p><strong>encourage customers to post reviews online.</strong> <br /> google loves seeing positive testimonials because that indicates your business is active and, as mentioned before, fresh content is king for search engines. customer feedback, ratings and reviews provide the insider information google needs to rank your business as trustworthy, and will help you generate more business, which will lead to even more customer testimonials.</p> <p>to get the ball rolling, ask loyal, long-time customers and trusted colleagues to post positive reviews and ratings, and be sure to reply to comments to encourage others to share the benefits of doing business with you. remember, people like to be heard, and put simply, google “rewards” businesses that have strong reviews and ratings with high rankings. posting and reviews on facebook, yelp and other social media sites where reviews appear will also increase your search results.</p> <p>finally, to keep abreast of what people are looking for, in a google search field type your keywords, and scroll to the bottom of all the search results and check out searches related to... often you’ll find new keywords to include organically in your website text describing your company.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>columbus ceo</strong></a>.</p> SEO Tactics Tue, 22 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 5 Quick and Helpful Tips to Small Business SEO <p>search engine optimization (seo) may sound like rocket science for those who are not familiar with it. it may be complicated at some level, but it really doesn’t have to be that way, especially when it comes to the basic steps. there are seo techniques that anyone can easily do, even for those who are not highly technically savvy. you can also find a small business seo company that can help you improve your online presence and help you develop an effective seo strategy for a successful online campaign. </p> <p>among the many steps and strategies used in seo, there are some that you can easily do to start your online presence campaigns, here are some of them: </p> <ol> <li><strong>setup a google my business account</strong></li> </ol> <p>by creating a google my business account, your register your presence to the biggest search engine in the online world.  this is the first step to be recognized by google and have bots crawl on your site, make sure to provide complete and accurate information. this is how people will reach and find you. so ensure that you provide full information on your business operating hours, exact location, and other relevant information that will help people find you easily. </p> <ol start='2'> <li><strong>ensure your site works for mobile</strong></li> </ol> <p>the number of people using their smartphones is increasing over time so there are higher chances that people will search for you through mobile. additionally, google favors sites that are easily accessible and works well on different devices; so make sure that your site is also fit for mobile use. use website development templates that are also fit for mobile, as there are already a lot of them available. </p> <ol start='3'> <li><strong>create a social media presence</strong></li> </ol> <p>social media is a great way to reach different people, as the number of social media users is already reaching billions, especially on big platforms like facebook and twitter. social media is already a proven effective channel to drive traffic towards your site. they are also great platforms to make announcements, announce events, and interact with you customers. </p> <ol start='4'> <li><strong>create good content</strong></li> </ol> <p>content is king. it has always been and will always be for quite some time, especially now that search engines favor good content. by doing content that adds value for your readers, you can easily make it on top of search engines. as well, the use of keywords is very important and you need to incorporate them into your content so they become searchable. </p> <ol start='5'> <li><strong>optimize your content</strong></li> </ol> <p>optimizing content means using the right titles, headers, and meta descriptions on your content. these make it easy for search engines to index your site and feature its contents on search results. this must be consistent across your pages for better ranking. </p> <p>there are much more seo techniques that you need to learn and apply for your business to flourish in the online world. to save time and effort, hire an seo company that will deliver good results for you and you will enjoy a lot of benefits from it.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>techniblogic</strong></a>.</p> SEO Tactics Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 SEO Tips to Increase your Google Ranking <p>if customers can’t find your business then you’ve got a problem. invariably, that means reaching out to them online. after all, the vast majority of people conduct research online before making a purchase decision, even if they go on to make their eventual purchase offline.</p> <p>when customers look for products and services online, they’ll type a query into google and, mostly, plump for one of the first couple of results thrown up by the search engine. it’s a simple fact and it proves just why google has become so important. if you don’t rank well, you’ll lose a lot of business.</p> <p>search engine optimisation (seo) is the way in which people use ‘best practice’ to perform better on google and get themselves in the lucrative ranking spots for the products and services they sell. it might be tempting, from the outside, to think this is a complicated and confusing ‘dark art’ that is beyond the knowledge of people without technical expertise. but, while there is much that you can do with seo if you have this knowledge – there’s also plenty of tips that any business can harness and use to get themselves recognised.</p> <h3>use keywords</h3> <p>keyword research sits right at the heart of the seo work needed for any business. essentially this involves looking at the words people type into google to find you – and the ones they use to find people who shop for your products and services elsewhere. this <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>excellent post from neil patel shows</a> how to get these words from google keyword planner. once you have these words, you know what terms you need to be using in your content. it pays to be focused with this. trying to target every possible keyword – and ones that are hotly contested – won’t be a plausible strategy. pick a handful of main keywords and build your content with these front and centre in your thoughts.</p> <h3>assess the market</h3> <p>what do others do well? there’s a lot to learn from content that is performing well for your competitors. <a href=''>use buzzsumo</a>to see what’s getting clicks and shares in your field. clearly you shouldn’t outright copy what others are doing, but you can bottle a successful formula and apply it to the words on your website to get a better ranking.</p> <h3>mobile friendly</h3> <p>your customers might well be looking for a product or service online but chances are that they are doing this on a mobile device. smartphones are wielded by a huge chunk of the population and google has reflected this by factoring in whether or not a site is mobile friendly when deciding on its rankings. not only that, but a site that isn’t responsive also delivers a poor user experience.</p> <h3>quality matters</h3> <p>here’s the good news – quality does matter. endless pages of poorly written spammy text that serves no value to the reader will not work. people who try to ‘game’ the system and stuff every sentence they write full of keywords will stand out like a sore thumb and suffer as a result. well-written, natural copy that builds in appropriate keywords (this’ll come if you’ve identified the right ones anyway) is the way forward. unique data, well designed infographics and engaging video are also a factor in building a well-performing website that ranks well.</p> <h3>call on the experts</h3> <p>there’s no shame in calling on expert support if you’re struggling. get the basics sorted and then either hire an expert or look for a product such as <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>westhost’s seo guru</a> to help to take you onto the next level. they’ll certainly be able to help ensure that your site is structured well and that you are monitoring the right metrics to measure your performance, two more things to watch out for.</p> <p>originally article in <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>your financial news feed</strong></a>.</p> SEO Tactics Tue, 15 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 3 Reasons SEO Is Incredibly Valuable to Your Company <p>need to explain the value of seo to potential clients, business partners, or stakeholders?</p> <p>this post focuses on just three key ways that seo offers immense value to any organization.</p> <p>seo:</p> <ul> <li>makes the user experience better.</li> <li>helps build a stronger brand.</li> <li>contributes to the bottom line over a long period of time.</li> </ul> <h3>1. seo improves user experience</h3> <h3>being a successful seo professional requires knowing more than ever before.</h3> <p>people who choose to work in the search industry are constantly adjusting their strategies to changes google makes on a daily basis.</p> <p>we don’t always know or completely understand every change google makes to its algorithm. but we use the information google shares with us to better position our websites to perform in organic search.</p> <p>we understand that google’s algorithm has many <a href=''>r</a>anking signals. they have made noticeable efforts the past few years to emphasize the signals related to engagement.</p> <p>metrics like dwell time, time on site, pages viewed per session, and page load speed all been emphasized as having greater importance for google to rank websites.</p> <p>seo is more than just looking for high volume keywords and link building. seo professionals must understand and dive deeper into internal discussions about how to improve the overall user experience using new technologies that google wants webmasters to adapt.</p> <p>what are some of these new technologies?</p> <ul> <li>the push toward mobile responsive design, with the impending mobile-first index.</li> <li>the creation and introduction of accelerated mobile pages (amp).</li> <li>the introduction of progressive web apps (pwa).</li> <li>the creation of schema and rich snippet enhancements.</li> </ul> <p>google is constantly evolving to align better with user behavior. as google changes their approach, it forces those of us who work in this space to also change and adapt.</p> <p>this is where seo offers immense value to any organization. seo professionals are always aware of the latest technologies and trends.</p> <p>seos offer insights and ideas on how to take advantage and implement these new technologies to rank better in search results. having an seo means you have a person who is always thinking about how to improve the user experience of the site to meet the expectations of today’s consumers.</p> <p>technical seo also helps support your ux, development, and engineering teams.</p> <p>seos understand that in order to have sustainable success in organic search they must work with developers, designers, and engineers to create a solid foundation for the website before they can even think about creating content. this means putting more emphasis on site performance in page speed, advocating for a mobile responsive experience, and figuring out how to structure all the data on their web pages.</p> <h3>2. seo helps build a stronger brand</h3> <p>in addition to helping with the technical side, seo is also a marketing channel. most of our efforts are focused on building authority for our domains.</p> <p>having success in the organic search channel requires a strong understanding of how google’s algorithms work to understand the content on a website.</p> <p>seos must both understand their target audience and create content that helps distinguish them from every other brand. this is actually a tall order considering that every website right now produces content, and only a handful of websites will get traffic for any query.</p> <p>having someone on your team who knows how to pull in visitors from the most visited site in the world – google – is a valuable asset. seo professionals understand what content is being searched for and – with the right tools – knows exactly where to focus their effort based on keyword research.</p> <p>creating a content strategy based on keywords focused on a businesses’ specific vertical allows the business to appear as an industry expert. when a business appears enough times in person’s search results it will be seen as a trustworthy source of information and that enhances the brand image creating loyal customers.</p> <p>searchers are looking for answers to their queries, and many of these searchers will be people who are getting introduced to a new vertical (new users). the importance of being the first point of exposure, getting the first opportunity to answer a potential customer’s questions is incredibly valuable.</p> <p>if the searcher enjoyed the experience of your website and enjoyed the content you were able to deliver from the first interaction, it is more likely they will look to your website again to consume more content. the repeat visits will also affect the user’s personalized search results.</p> <h3>3. seo offers long-term success</h3> <h3>seos understand the difficulty and the joy of ranking number 1 for any query.</h3> <p>ranking high for any keyword with known search volume will generate consistent traffic for as long as it can retain that position.</p> <p>actually ranking for these keywords is hard, however. it requires a lot of work.</p> <p>that’s why it’s important to focus on long-tail keywords. you can find opportunities others have missed to deliver a steady stream of traffic to your clients for a longer period of time while dealing with less competition.</p> <p>targeting long-tail keywords require a solid understanding of how to create engaging content.</p> <p>organic search is an interesting channel because the search results are based on an algorithm’s interpretation of the most relevant results.</p> <p>you can’t pay google to rank your page higher in organic search, so success isn’t based on the amount of money you put in. also, people tend to trust the organic results more than paid ad results.</p> <p>so, being able to have success requires a person who possesses a lot of skill and understanding on how to communicate with google’s algorithm. there is a big learning curve for seo and as google changes it seems that whoever is first to adapt will also be the person who will help their business gain new customers before anyone else.</p> <h3>closing thoughts</h3> <p>seo offers every organization immense value because it requires a complete understanding of that organization’s business vertical, their customers, and the organization’s internal teams. seo professionals can attach roi to new technology initiatives proposed by development teams.</p> <p>organic search can be the first point of contact for a customer and a brand. this first point of contact can ignite further engagement for other channels such as following a social media channel or signing up for an email newsletter.</p> <p>a channel that is constantly changing means a channel that is also constantly offering new opportunities to succeed before anyone else. this constant influx of change requires constant attention and a knowledgeable person to retain and to grow the existing organic search channel.</p> <p>original article in <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>search engine journal</strong></a>.</p> SEO Tactics Mon, 14 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Five Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Should Consider SEO As An Investment <p>entrepreneurs who are new to online marketing strategies may have read somewhere that search engine optimization is dead. while most people may believe that the era of the seo is long gone, trond lyngbo of search engine land wrote a list of reasons a few years ago about why entrepreneurs should be optimistic with their investment in seo.</p> <p>contrary to popular belief, the so-called "death" of seo is just a rumor. according to lyngbo, "the digital marketing strategy is not a cost but an investment." rumors become irrelevant if entrepreneurs look at what top google placement can do for business growth over the coming years.</p> <p>with over a decade of experience and knowledge in the online marketing field, i agree with his reasoning on the importance of investing in seo as an entrepreneur and how impactful the results can be. therefore, i have five reasons for entrepreneurs to consider search engine optimization as a long-term investment instead of a cost:</p> <h3>it's cost-effective. </h3> <p>the no. 1 reason why i find seo to be a smart investment for entrepreneurs is the cost effectiveness. almost any business can hire a specialist to help grow their business by shifting around unnecessary expenses or cutting advertising mediums that aren't producing. with proper optimization, businesses can expect long-term results and benefits. unfortunately, we should also consider how much we spend for the service. <em>forbes</em> contributor jayson demers recently wrote about the dangers of "cheap" seo services. you can expect low-quality content, black hat techniques, and inexperienced optimizers usinga cheap seo. look for a reliable professional with a track record and a knowledge that surpasses textbook answers. overall, your investment in a sound digital marketing strategy is crucial to your business growth and success.</p> <h3>it levels the competition.</h3> <p>i often encourage my clients to dream big because i know we can dominate their competition online. with the help of proper optimization, you can reach your target audience with efficiency. rebecca stickler, a content marketing specialist, wrote, "with a strong seo strategy, your small business can compete with even the biggest business organizations.</p> <p>the biggest advantage of online marketing is that it levels the playing field for small businesses. the highest rank doesn't go to the company with the most money, but instead goes to the business that understands and deploys effective seo techniques.</p> <h3>it can yield attractive long-term results.</h3> <p>rhea drysdale, ceo of outspoken media, told a search engine land writer that "website owners should invest in long-term goals rather than the short-term goals." she also pointed out that short-term goals will do more harm than good to the business. although instant reward from a pay-per-click campaign might be enticing, it is better to invest in slow yet effective long-term seo results that can yield a much higher roi over time. google pays attention to how fast links are built to a site. because of this, entrepreneurs should focus on building their business toward the top with a slow-yet-consistent pace.</p> <p>in an interview, lane ginsberg of freedom retirement advisors told me that, "investing in your business is a lot like investing in stocks: the short-term stuff can be exciting and can bring some results, however, the long-term investment is where you really see the payoff, but it requires patience and confidence."</p> <h3>it helps people find your business.</h3> <p>in our modern, digital world, information is just a few clicks away for anyone at any moment. "times have changed," jason hennessey wrote a few years ago in a business insider article: "seo marketing campaigns ensure businesses make a unique impression to connect with customers."</p> <p>with the accessibility of the internet, most people turn to search engines for anything and everything. a well-optimized website can reach new audiences across the globe. with quality content, proper keyword research, the right use of social media platforms and other marketing techniques, your business will be visible to potential consumers across the internet.</p> <p><strong>original article:</strong> <a href='' target='_blank'>forbes</a></p> SEO Tactics Mon, 7 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 3 Ways a Cohesive Social Media Strategy Can Help Your SEO Efforts <p>there has been a ton of back and forth about how social media marketing impacts seo and whether social profiles and posts can positively affect organic search rankings and visibility.</p> <p>despite <a href='' target='_blank'>matt cutt’s famous 2014 video</a>, in which google’s former distinguished engineer refuted the idea that social signals were part of the ranking algorithm, the debate regarding the importance of social media to seo has only continued in our industry. google, more than bing, denies that facebook and twitter posts and popularity are direct search ranking factors.</p> <p>while we’ll respect what these top search engines have to say on this subject, it’s still undeniable that a proper social media strategy – both paid and organic – is critical to help increase your rankings and overall search visibility over time.</p> <p>let’s look at three ways you can include social media into your seo campaigns to drive better results.</p> <h3>1. social media marketing = brand building</h3> <p>the buying process is often a lengthy one, especially when buyers are making decisions on service-based offerings or high-ticket item products like luxury goods.</p> <p>these types of consumers and business customers do their research online and do it well. in fact, many times they might start searching right in a social network, whether it’s facebook, twitter, youtube, pinterest, instagram, or linkedin.</p> <p>the brand equity and strength behind what the company is selling is what ultimately converts consumers. after all, people buy for two simple reasons: <em>trust</em> and <em>likeness</em> of a person or a brand.</p> <p>making your social brand stand out involves several factors in a social media campaign. enhancing your strategy will likely support your seo efforts.</p> <p>here are a few things you can improve:</p> <ul> <li>design of the identity and the brand that supports the brand intent.</li> <li>messaging around the brand to support the brand promise and target language.</li> <li>making an ongoing commitment of original brand content creation and delivery.</li> <li>creating a community of advocates by engaging them with branded content and contests.</li> </ul> <p>social media marketing, when developed and managed correctly, can create such brand trust. this means that companies must consider the creation and nurturing of their social brands as something critical to how their target finds them and buys from them.</p> <p>when a target customer engages with a brand well in social they will inevitably either go to the company site multiple times, refer other people to the company social profiles and pages, or both.</p> <p>because people know you from social, they will also search for your brand from search engines – essentially that means you’re generating demand. the more demand you generate, the more important your brand will appear to search engines and the better you will rank over time.</p> <p>the brand building in social is an important piece of a long term of seo strategy.</p> <h3>2. social profiles show up in organic search results</h3> <p>there are instances when people look up other people’s names instead of companies on google.</p> <p>this is how we know to do business with someone. this can be anyone from a salesperson to a ceo.</p> <p>does your linkedin profile pop up first? if so, most searchers will click on your profile.</p> <p>if the user sees that your profile is unused with no information, they might go back to google or even stay on linkedin and find your competitor to give their business.</p> <p>this is also the case, of course, for businesses. meaning that your company social pages, both corporate as well as those for local stores, are that important.</p> <p>this is where having a solid social strategy, along with active and appropriate management of those profiles and pages, come in.</p> <p>what can you do?</p> <ul> <li>have a full, completed, current profile for each social channel where your brand lives. this means updated imagery, photos, videos, contact information, calls to action, and ongoing varied content.</li> <li>understand that the reputation of you and your company in social media can be traced back to search queries (or not). meaning if you do a great job managing comments and positively interacting with your (or your company’s ) fans and followers, you get to build a good reputation in social. this can then help grow the shares of your content, gain new followers, and generate click backs to your site, consequently benefitting seo. never mind that facebook posts and twitter profiles aren’t direct google ranking factors. the sites themselves <em>are</em> ranked – and that traffic to a well-designed site for user experience can boost site stickiness and repeat visits.</li> <li>have your social profile settings set for success and understand how each channel works.</li> <li>you want to make sure if you allow others to write on your timeline, for example, that the message will be monitored and managed.</li> <li>if you’re a retailer with many locations, make sure that you are using the location function on facebook or on youtube. on pinterest, make sure you have the appropriate boards or playlists that complement your seo strategy.</li> </ul> <h3>3. social networks have search engines, too</h3> <p>people search within the social networks.</p> <p>since many of you are business professionals, let’s talk linkedin. have you reviewed your stats to see how linkedin members discovered your profile? over 50 percent of views, on average, come in from linkedin’s search tool.</p> <p>how well have you optimized your linkedin profile?  did you know that your skills, and those related keywords, drive the visibility of your profile in linkedin search?</p> <p>here’s one simple thing you can do this week: go review your linkedin profile. assess your skills and related keywords across each section – your headline, summary, experience, and so forth.</p> <p>optimize your profile for targeted linkedin searches. when people view your social profile or your company profile time and again, inevitably they will visit your website.</p> <p>of course, if you have done a great job with on-site seo they will return or share your site pages, helping your overall seo rank.</p> <p><strong>original article:</strong> <a href='' target='_blank'>search engine journal</a> by jasmine sandler</p> SEO Tactics Mon, 7 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 How Long Will Links Be The Gold Standard For SEO? <p style='text-align:start'>after search engines became a thing, there came search engine optimization (seo), and for the entirety of its history, the “gold standard”—the most reliable strategy—for seo success has been link building.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>link building has changed significantly<a href='' style='box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant-caps: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 56, 145);' target='_blank'> </a>since its original inception as an seo tactic, but the fundamental need for links still remains; any seo strategy without some way to, directly or indirectly, attract links to your domain simply won’t be successful.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>over the years, google has gone through numerous updates, overhauling the way it evaluates things like relevance and authority, and it’s poised to make even more significant updates in the future. so will links one day become obsolete? and if so, what could replace them?</p> <p style='text-align:start'><strong>how pagerank works</strong></p> <p style='text-align:start'>first, we need a quick primer on pagerank. to understand why links are so important, you need to understand <a href='' style='box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant-caps: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 56, 145);' target='_blank'>how pagerank works</a>. pagerank is the first, and continues to be the most important algorithm for determining a website’s authority.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>it’s gone through many changes, but the concept is still the same. when determining which website to rank for a given query, google considers the relevance of a given entry (i.e., how appropriately it serves the query) and its subjective authority.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>google measures authority by determining the quantity and quality of links pointing to a given page and domain. for example, let’s say we’re comparing site a and site b. site a has 50 links from high-quality sources, and site b has 30 links from mixed-quality sources. site a is determined to be more authoritative, and will rank higher, because all those links served as third-party indicators or “votes” of its authoritativeness.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>that’s an oversimplification, of course, but it’s the system that makes link building so valuable.</p> <p style='text-align:start'><strong>why penguin didn't stop link building</strong></p> <p style='text-align:start'>when it was first released back in 2012, <a href='' style='box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant-caps: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 56, 145);' target='_blank'>the google penguin algorithm update</a> was briefly thought to have the potential to stop link building as a viable tactic for improving rank. the goal was to weed out “bad” links that were built for the sole purpose of improving a site’s rank, and reward “good” links that were built naturally. over time, penguin’s gotten even more sophisticated, but link building, as an industry and an seo tactic, is alive and well.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>why? because search optimizers have updated their tactics. rather than making it a game of quantity, spamming links wherever they could get them, optimizers turned it into a game of quality, investing time in building and nurturing relationships with offsite publishers and producing audience-focused content that truly adds value.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>these links aren’t flagged as spam; they pass authority, and add value to the web. accordingly, links remain one of the most important factors for a successful seo campaign—but the way they need to be built to provide value without risk from penguin has changed.</p> <p style='text-align:start'><strong>potential threats</strong></p> <p style='text-align:start'>if penguin couldn’t stop link building, what could? there are a handful of potential threats here, each coming from a different angle, and how they connect with each other could gradually chip away at link building’s strategic value.</p> <ul> <li><strong>iot and voice search. </strong>first up is the rise of the iot, and with it, voice search. home consoles like google home (not to mention voice-based assistants on mobile devices) are transforming the average user’s web experience. users are increasingly relying on conversational queries, and expecting immediate answers. rather than browsing through websites, users may soon expect these search engines to conjure one singular answer; and at that point, relevance may become more important than authority, reducing the value of links.</li> <li><strong>apps.</strong> it’s also possible that apps may replace traditional websites someday soon. google and other search engines have begun <a href='' style='box-sizing: border-box; background-color: transparent; -webkit-text-decoration-skip: objects; text-decoration: none; cursor: auto; color: rgb(0, 56, 145);' target='_blank'>incorporating more app-friendly features</a>, and users find it more convenient to rely on app functionality, rather than relying on typical web browsers. this, too, could transform the online user experience, and might diminish the power of link building—and the power of traditional websites alongside it.</li> <li><strong>social feedback. </strong>search engines, including those found on app stores, are also doing more to incorporate social feedback into their rankings. rather than looking at what other sites have linked to a product (a kind of quantitative score), they’re looking at the number and quality of reviews submitted by users (a kind of qualitative score). ultimately, ratings and reviews could eventually eclipse links in importance.</li> <li><strong>yet-undiscovered tech. </strong>we’re still in the early stages of search engine development, so there are countless possibilities that could emerge, changing the growth of technology from here.</li> </ul> <p style='text-align:start'><strong>the gradual evolution</strong></p> <p style='text-align:start'>if any of these technologies have the power to individually or collectively replace link building as the gold standard for seo success, they won’t be able to do it for a long time. as fast as it seems to move at times, people rely on search engines on a daily basis, and would be significantly disrupted if everything was overhauled overnight.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>in my opinion, it’s more likely that we’ll see a very gradual evolution roll out over the course of, perhaps, 5-10 years.</p> <p style='text-align:start'><strong>a practical view</strong></p> <p style='text-align:start'>right now, link building – as an seo tactic and as an industry – seems to be stronger than ever. links are still consistently shown to be among the top 2 or 3 ranking factors in correlation studies, and the benefits they bring beyond simply seo rankings elevates their value even further.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>new technologies like iot and apps aren’t revolutionizing search—they’re just introducing new elements to consider and are gradually shaping our standards (no faster than they’ve been shaped before). if links ever significantly drop in importance, it won’t be for several years—and by that time, we’ll all be adapted to whatever’s come to replace them.</p> <p><strong>original article:</strong> <a href='' target='_blank'>forbes</a></p> SEO Tactics Fri, 4 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800