04- Apr2018
Posted By: DPadmin
15 Views

6 SEO Trends To Watch Out for in 2018 

The world of search engine optimization (SEO) is indeed ever-changing. From algorithm updates to new SERP features to more sophisticated search tools, we have seen a lot of developments and changes in the SEO field over the past recent years. These shifts in the industry have not only revolutionized the way people conduct search, but also changed the way companies optimize and improve their websites and related online sources.

As such, staying on top of the ever-changing SEO landscape is a strong must if a website needs maximum popularity and visibility. Not only an outdate SEO strategy can lead to poor-performing website, it can also lead to heavy penalties which can drag its listings down in the SERPs of Google. If the business heavily rely on its website to generate leads and sales, outdated SEO tactics can mean loss of business and brand recognition as well.

Keep up with the latest techniques and make sure that your strategy is in line with the ongoing trends in the SEO industry. Here are the key takeaways from the infographic below that you should consider if you want to make the most out of your SEO efforts this 2018:

  1. More SEO will need to optimize for digital assistants.
  2. Leveraging the potential of new SERP features.
  3. The impending debut of the mobile-first index.
  4. Site speed will become more critical as a ranking factor.
  5. More development in visual search.
  6. More SEO will try the effectiveness of ‘link-less’ backlinks.

As the competition to get on top of search engines gets tougher, the need to adapt to these shifts in SEO also increases. If you want to learn more, check this infographic from Digital Marketing Philippines, which discusses the top trends that you should know if you want to improve your SEO strategy this 2018.

image: https://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/SEO-Trends-in-2018.png

SEO Trends in 2018
Read more at https://www.business2community.com/infographics/6-seo-trends-watch-2018-infographic-01997984

Source: 6 SEO Trends To Watch Out for in 2018 [Infographic]

06- Mar2018
Posted By: DPadmin
27 Views

5 SEO Risks Worth Taking (Plus 3 You Must Avoid)

There are almost always risks involved when optimizing a website.

Say you’re planning on re-platforming your website with a new site design and URL structure change; you risk the rankings that you currently have. They could plummet, or maybe not — it’s a risk you have to weigh.

But the risk of decreasing the SEO value can be worth the opportunity of SEO gains, especially if you’re experiencing decreases in organic rankings across the board.

Below are five SEO tactics that are worth the risks – and three you must avoid at all costs.

When to Take SEO Risks

Before you undertake any risk that involves your SEO rankings, you must weigh the risks versus the rewards.

For example, if a webpage ranks for a bunch of keyword phrases in the top 5-10, what could you lose by making a change compared to what you would gain?

In SEMrush, you can see what pages rank for which keyword phrase. You can look at the entire site for site-wide changes or individual pages.

In the example below, this page currently already ranks for a ton of phrases in Google. Therefore, making substantial changes to it could severely decrease the rankings and drastically hurt your SEO efforts.

SEMRush Screenshot

However, on the flip side, the example below shows rankings in the top 4-6 range for its main keyword phrases. This could be a good opportunity to better optimize this page to try to gain higher rankings. The traffic you’ll get from positions 4-6 is much less than from positions 1-3.

SEMRush Screenshot 2

You can also go into Google Analytics (Acquisition > Channels > Organic Search > Landing Page) and compare year-on-year (YoY) data for the performance of all landing pages from post-click hits from Google.

If key metrics (e.g., traffic, revenue, conversion rate, bounce rate, time on site) are decreasing for pages, this could be a good opportunity to start optimizing those pages.

In the example below, I would want to look at the homepage and understand more about why the traffic, revenue, and other key metrics are decreasing to identify a plan to remedy the situation.

Google Analytics Screenshot

SEO Risks to Take 

Once you have identified and evaluated the risk and reward, it’s time to figure out different tactics that you could implement.

Here are some notable SEO risks that I have taken with different websites.

1. A/B Testing Meta Information

Some believe organic click-through rates impact rankings, which makes sense. Google wants the most relevant listings to come up when someone searches.

If no one is clicking on your listing, then Google might deem that page to be not relevant for that search phrase and will not list you moving forward. Also, they won’t list you if the keyword strategy/content on your meta titles and descriptions are poor.

This creates a good opportunity to A/B test different meta title and meta descriptioncombinations on various pages.

For instance, using the example above from SEMrush (screenshot with rankings 4-6), here is our meta information for the page:

<title>Ford Ranger Lift Kits | Company Name | Company Name</title>

<meta name=”description” content=”Lift kits for your Ford Ranger from Company Name. Shop today and find the right kit for your truck!”/>

These title tags and the meta description are incomplete and have room for improvement to optimize for CTR and a broader set of keywords outside of  “Ford Ranger Lift Kits.”

This would be a good opportunity to optimize this page, document when you optimized it, and then evaluate the results.

If this produces positive results, then you can do this for multiple pages.

2. Changing URL Structure

Many times, in the e-commerce SEO space, retailers use old e-commerce platforms with poor site structure navigation.

This comes from custom cart solutions or outdated cart solutions using inferior site architecture compared to keyword-rich URLs.

Optimizing your URLs and making them simpler and more keyword friendly can provide a lot of benefits from higher correlations of high rankings with having short keyword-friendly URLs in subfolders — i.e., example.com/benefits-10-teas compared to example.com/main-page-here-describing-the-best-health-benefits-of-10-teas.

This also makes it easier for users to know what a page is about in Google’s search results.

Below is the top Google search result for [10 best teas for health]:

SERP Ranking Screenshot

It has a clear URL structure.

If you decide to change your URL structure, I would recommend not doing it site-wide to begin with. Start by optimizing 20 or so pages, and then make incremental changes to the pages you have.

Always make sure that you measure the results after any changes you make to make sure that it’s having a positive impact.

Assuming you see a positive result, continue changing your URLs until they are all complete.

Also, it’s important to make sure that you 301 redirect old URLs to their new URL paths; otherwise, you could lose out on the link value the old pages used to have.

If you find yourself in a situation where you have to change all of your URLs, such as migrating to a new platform, I would still recommend changing 20 or so and analyzing your results.

Changing all of your URLs at once can hurt your organic rankings, and this is the least desirable option.

Always try to do a small experiment first, measure your results, and then make larger scale changes.

3. Improving User Experience

In my opinion, user experience just might be the most important Google ranking factor.

This study showed a small player was able to compete with much larger companies and rank higher with only a higher Alexa rating and Instagram pretense.

Optimizing for the user experience and looking at your metrics (e.g., time on page, bounce rate, site duration) will be paramount for winning in a competitive Google landscape moving forward.

Negative Google Analytics Screenshot

Using the example from Google Analytics above, I would audit the landing pages and identify any underperforming pages.

We want to optimize these pages to give a better user experience, which will, in turn, increase the usability metrics and, in theory, increase our Google rankings.

There is not an exact template out there on how to improve user experience, but some examples I have used in the past which have worked included:

  • Putting reviews on product pages.
  • Implementing video content on category and product pages.
  • Putting explanatory content on category pages.
  • Removing content from category pages.

As you might have noticed, improving user experience is a bit of a gray area. It’s not clearly defined, so the only way that you know if it improves your user experience is through an increase in usability metrics outlined from Google Analytics.

Again, just always make small changes, measure and analyze your results, and then make changes on a larger scale once you find success.

4. New Holistic Website Design

If you have limited resources for a website that is decreasing in usability metrics YoY (even compounding YoY), then it might be a good idea to look at a holistic website redesign compared to making incremental changes.

A good website design and strategy can build trust with consumers and make it more likely that they will interact with your content.

Creating a new website always carries a risk and, in a lot of situations, it can drop your conversion rates initially.

However, over time, with the right strategy and design, a new website design will improve upon the usability metrics; hopefully, improve your organic rankings; and help your business grow.

Just to note: you always want to think of external factor as well, such as new competitors, decreased market demand, and more before you decide if a new website design will correct any decreases in your usability metrics.

5. Acquiring High-Quality Backlinks

Unfortunately, I still find many websites that are scared of backlinks and Google penaltiesthat are associated with them.

You have to work very hard to achieve a manual Google penalty. I have only seen it a handful of times, and that was back in the 2012-2013 era when many online merchants were trying to spam backlinks.

Backlinks have a high correlation to ranking high in Google, and you should always look to acquire them when you can.

Google is more likely to reward than penalize you.

If your current backlink strategy isn’t working then, it may be because Google is not giving credit for those links.

Instead of writing off backlinks or giving up, look to improve the quality (not the quantity) of your efforts.

 SEO Risks to Avoid

While there are some SEO risks that are worth considering, there are also some that you want to avoid like the plague.

Please note, I understand that some of these are somewhat outlandish. Even though some would not be utilized for the vast majority of SEO professionals out there, I still hear of SEO practitioners who think that using these tactics will work in their favor.

1. Disallowing Neutral Backlinks

Finding a way to describe this is difficult, so I came up with the word “neutral” backlinks.

Many SEO professionals will disavow low-quality backlinks, even though Google has said disavowing links is not really needed unless Google has taken manual action on your website. I do this myself.

However, many professionals out there don’t understand how backlinks work and will disavow backlinks that I would refer to as neutral. They aren’t helping your site rank higher, but they aren’t hurting your rankings, either.

But why even risk disavowing them in the first place?

I don’t think it’s a risk worth taking, and I always recommend being very conservative with any disavow lists.

The Penguin 4.0 update removed site-wide penalties for bad backlinks and, honestly, it’s very difficult to achieve Google penalties for backlinks.

Google understands you cannot always control which websites link to yours, which is why they are ignoring backlinks instead of punishing.

Therefore, you don’t know what is helping, but you can infer they are not hurting you – so why disavow them in the first place?

I still recommend doing disavow files, but only disavowing links you wouldn’t want to show your mother. If they don’t provide any value, then just let them stay there, out in the interwebs, but keep it away from your disavow file.

2. Deleting or Consolidating Pages

I never understood the need to delete pages of content or URLs.

Nevertheless, if you need to delete pages, you risk your site not ranking for those keywords anymore. That might be fine, especially if they are categories of products you no longer wish to sell, but, if you want to keep those keyword rankings, then don’t delete the page.

If you are deleting product pages you no longer carry, then make the page say, “This product is no longer available, and here are some relevant products you may be interested in.”

This way, you are not deleting the URL, and you are still offering the searcher something when they get to your page.

If you are consolidating pages, then make sure the old URL 301 redirects to the new URL – and make sure the new page can cover the wide range of keyword phrases the old pages were ranking for.

3. Making Site Wide Changes First

This one cannot be avoided if you are limited on resources.

I always highly recommend making a small incremental change first, measuring the results, and then making larger incremental changes afterward based on the results you have achieved.

Conclusion

Hopefully, these SEO risks worth taking (and not taking) will help you in your SEO journey.

It’s also important to note that not doing anything when it comes to SEO is also a risk. Every day Google gets more advanced and competitors get better; therefore, you need to continuously optimize your website.

Source: 5 SEO Risks Worth Taking (Plus 3 You Must Avoid)

08- Nov2017
Posted By: DPadmin
168 Views

Top 10 SEO Mistakes Affiliates Make

Affiliate marketing is powerful when SEO and affiliate goals all push in the same direction. But you have to avoid these 10 SEO mistakes.

Affiliate marketing can be really powerful when SEO and affiliate goals all push in the same direction.

Yet it’s also painfully clear that many affiliate marketers are missing out on substantial, sustainable growth by ignoring SEO – or making mistakes that hurt the effectiveness of their affiliate campaigns.

To help you avoid these common blunders, I reached out to Adam Riemer, affiliate marketer and online marketing strategist, and Scott Polk, SEO strategist and CEO of Marketing Nomads.

With their help, I’ve compiled this list of the top 10 SEO mistakes affiliates make.

top seo mistakes affiliates make

Mistake #1: Focusing on Keywords Instead of Solutions

A lot of affiliate sites plug keywords onto their landing pages without pausing to think about how their products benefit their customers. Riemer said this is the number 1 faux pas most affiliates make.

“The biggest mistake I see SEO wise is that they focus on keywords and not providing solutions,” Riemer said. “Keywords are important because they are what have traffic, so use them as a base, but create solutions where your affiliate relationships will provide value and help solve a problem.”

Riemer illustrates with an example:

“If you have a hardware or home repair site, don’t optimize for sub-pumps and drywall. Instead, optimize for how to fix a hole in drywall and incorporate the products in. With the sub-pump, think about the tools and the parts you’ll need to successfully solve the issue and use affiliate links for them.”

Bottom line: Don’t just list your product’s bells and whistles or rely too much on keywords. Show your potential customers how much better their life is going to be after they buy your product.

Mistake #2: Relying on Affiliate Marketing as Your Only Revenue Stream

Another common mistake affiliates make is treating affiliate marketing as a business model instead of a revenue channel, according to Polk.

“There is nothing wrong with self-labeling yourself as an affiliate — just do not treat your business in this manner,” Polk said. “Affiliate marketing is a revenue channel, if it’s the only channel you are using to monetize your traffic, then you may be doing it wrong.”

Bottom line: Diversify your revenue channels and don’t put all your eggs in the “affiliate marketing” basket.

Mistake #3: Not Producing Original Content

Too many affiliate sites are little more than content-less shells with lists of products. You can spur traffic to these sites with PPC ads, but what happens when your advertising dollars run out? Your site will sink.

“A real site has real value and unique content for your visitors,” Polk said. “Why would a search engine want to rank your site over a vendor or the originator of the content? Answer: they generally do not. Yes, there are examples of sites that do rank, but the vast majority of sites that duplicate content do not rank well. You have to add value in order for the search engine to want to rank your site.”

Bottom line: Turn your affiliate site into a hub of useful information that will help it earn organic backlinks and keep customers coming back for more information as they conduct research.

Mistake #4: Forgetting to Delete Inactive Plugins and Themes

You need to be extra careful today about cybersecurity and customer privacy, which means one of the worst mistakes you could make is forgetting to delete inactive themes and plugins.

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t update inactive themes sitting idly on your site. You also might not bother to delete them. Unfortunately, this poses a significant threat to your cybersecurity.

Themes and plugins that sit idly on your site are easy targets for hackers. Regular updates help keep hackers at bay; when you forget or don’t bother to update, they often find ways to exploit old code and create a backdoor to your site by hiding malicious code inside them. Hackers can also hide malicious code in your uploads directory, wp-config.php file, and your wp-includes directory.

So make sure you’re regularly combing your website for suspicious code, updating everything you use to the latest versions, and removing any inactive themes and plugins ASAP.

Bottom line: Make sure all of your themes and plugins are always up to date, and if you’re not using certain themes and plugins, delete them and make sure they’re gone.

Mistake #5: Missing or Duplicating Meta Descriptions

Here’s a simple recommendation that a lot of affiliate sites are missing out on: ensure your listings’ titles and meta descriptions are relevant and unique. These appear as snippets in the SERPs and go a long way toward setting you apart from your competitors.

If you don’t have the resources to write unique descriptions for every one of your products, here’s a simple hack: upload the first paragraph of each page. It may not be perfect or optimized, but it’s better than nothing.

You can also use popular plugins like Yoast SEO (the best WordPress plugin for basic on-site SEO) to create custom templates for your meta descriptions, which makes the whole process a lot easier, or you can try out a plugin that automatically generates meta descriptions, such as SmartCrawl.

Bottom line: Differentiating your products with unique meta descriptions will help your affiliate pages rise through SERPs and sets you apart from your competitors.

Mistake #6: Ignoring Mobile Optimization

Most affiliate sites look awful on mobile devices. This is unfortunate because they’re missing out on a huge opportunity to possibly edge out big brands in mobile SERPs.

“As far as mobile and SEO go, the biggest issues are site speed, especially because of images, plugins that aren’t being used and also forgetting to include ways to get to your website or landing page from an AMP version,” Riemer explained. “If you’re an affiliate and you’re competing against huge brands, they often have red tape which prevents them from using proper image sizes, and they can have tons of excessive scripts weighing their sites down. By creating a faster experience that also provides value, you may be able to outrank them because of their red tape.”

Bottom line: Prioritize mobile optimization. This is especially true since Google is switching to mobile-first indexing.

Mistake #7: Using Free Web Hosting Solutions

Riemer and Polk are generally in favor of WPEngine as a hosting solution, but they warn against free solutions.

“Do not use Wix or Squarespace or any other free web hosting solutions – this is not how you build a real site or business,” Polk said. “These services can change their TOS or even go out of business. You do not own the site design or architecture, and you have less control over elements that will assist with rankings. Own your site, content, and data – always.”

Bottom line: Affiliates need to treat hosting solutions seriously. Cheaping out on a hosting solution could compromise your control over your site – or, worse, endanger your customers.

Mistake #8: Highly-Irrelevant Backlinks

Backlinks are the bread and butter of affiliate sites, but irrelevant backlinks are liable to get you in trouble with Google – they may even be considered link schemes, which will do more harm than good.

The best way to avoid this? Ensure that your affiliate pages all add significant value to anyone who lands on them.

Try to get your affiliate links hosted on sites with a modicum of authority. You can use SEO tools to judge the quality of your backlinks and identify those that might be devaluing your affiliate site.

Bottom line: When reaching out to sites to host affiliate links make sure they’re relevant to your niche.

Mistake #9: Undefined Canonicals

Using canonical URLs will help you improve link and ranking signals for your content. It also makes life easier for your customers by syndicating your content which makes navigation simple and intuitive.

My best-practice advice when it comes to URL structure is to organize your site into silos. Introduce categories into your site structure and then clearly communicate those categories to your customers through the URLs they land on when they follow your affiliate links.

Check out the Google Search Console page for more information on using canonical URLs.

Bottom line: Canonical URLs are key for good content management on your affiliate site and improve your ranking signals.

Mistake #10: Pretending SEO Best Practices Don’t Apply to Affiliate SEO

You don’t get to ignore common SEO mistakes on your affiliate site. Broken links, 404 errors, duplicate content, thin content, and too many redirects are all issues that need to be weeded out.

Download a comprehensive suite of SEO tools that can check your site health for you. This will help you find and eliminate errors that impact your crawlability such as broken links, while also identifying and problematic content you need to correct.

SEO is a lot of work, but the rewards are well worth it — not only will you clean up your site internally, but you’ll also improve your crawl budget, make navigation easier for your customers, and possibly improve your site speed in the process!

“SEO for affiliates is not different than for a merchant or any other site,” Polk reminds us. “The search engines do not care – your site is valued on what you provide your users.”

Bottom line: Affiliate sites need SEO just as badly as other websites, so don’t neglect regular site maintenance and clean-up.

Conclusion

Don’t underestimate the impact SEO will have on affiliate marketing in the long run.

PPC ads are a great way to attract early leads and get some attention to your affiliate site, but if you want to supercharge your conversions, grow your affiliate site over the long-term and cultivate strong organic links, then there’s really no beating SEO.

Source: Top 10 SEO Mistakes Affiliates Make

29- Jun2017
Posted By: DPadmin
134 Views

SEO Best Practices For Every Page On Your Site

 

teachers-blackboardIn terms of getting the best search rankings, you can broadly break your SEO efforts into two areas: site-wide optimisation and optimising individual pages. Today we’re going to focus on the second of these two subjects, looking at how to maximise the search ranking of every page you publish.

By following the steps in this guide, the individual pages on your site will earn more exposure, generate a higher volume of leads and contribute to better rankings across the rest of your site.

The challenge of creating ‘quality’ content

The phrase “quality content” is used so much these days that it’s lost all meaning. So, to be clear, for your content to be considered quality by search engines and people it must be two things: valuable and discoverable.

Valuable content provides information people actually need and discoverable content is easily accessible when people need it most. Hitting this sweet spot of providing the right information at the crucial moment is a real challenge but one we need to overcome in the age of micro-moment marketing.

image: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/m-m.png

Think with Google: micro moments best practices
Source: Think with Google

The key is to understand the consumer journey of your target audiences and the role each of your pages plays along the way. This tells you the kind of information users need from each page and the kind of conversion goal you should be targeting.

10 steps to follow

Your next big challenge is creating unique content on every page you publish, which can be particularly difficult for services pages. When you have five, ten or any number of services to promote, how do you make every page unique and valuable?

Follow these SEO best practices steps to get you started:

  1. Introduce the service
  2. Differentiate from similar services (eg: SEO vs PPC)
  3. Make the unique benefits and selling points of each service clear
  4. Identify questions users will have and provide answers
  5. Explain which kind of clients use this service and what you’ve done for them
  6. Consider testimonials, case studies and social proof specific to this service
  7. Use visual content to reinforce your message
  8. Have a prominent, compelling call-to-action
  9. Provide access to further information for users who aren’t ready to commit yet
  10. Direct users to another service page if this isn’t the one that meets their needs

Try to be as specific as possible with each of your service pages, otherwise you’ll find they all end up being very similar. You need to make it perfectly clear why this is the service your visitors need and, if it isn’t, make it obvious where they should go next.

Multimedia ranking factors

It’s widely accepted that Google and other search engines take multimedia content into consideration when ranking pages. Humans are visually stimulated creatures and search engines know images, video and other visuals are the perfect way to spice up a page full of text.

Strong visual content is also more engaging than text, which can reduce indirect ranking factors like bounce rate, time on page, number of pages visited, etc.

image: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/b2c-content-priorities.png

Top Priorities fir B2C Content Creators

Source: Content Marketing Institute

So visuals are important to people and search engines alike, but the same old issue of quality/value comes into play. A bunch of naff stock images aren’t going to engage people and reduce those indirect ranking factors.

Aside from this you also need to optimise your visual content so search engines can recognise them and also reduce the negative impact on performance. This starts by using the right format for images so make sure you understand the difference between JPEG, PNG and other images file types.

Hopefully, you’re well aware by now that Flash is a no-no and HTML5 video is the way to go. Here are some other things to consider:

  • Relevance is still important for videos
  • Engagement metrics like views, comments, shares, etc. have an impact
  • Metadata tells search engines what your video is about
  • Keywords are believed to also have an impact

With video content there’s always the question of hosting the video on your site or embedding via YouTube. While embedding YouTube videos can by boost engagement metrics (views, shares, etc.) you could be taking ranking points away from your page by hosting your video elsewhere. So, in the case of service pages, it’s probably best to create highly specific videos and host them on that service page only. This way all the SEO points go to that page and nowhere else.

In term of performance, speed is your biggest enemy with visual content. Optimise your images and videos to reduce file sizes as much as you can without hurting quality too much. Also think about content delivery networks (CDNs), web caching and optimise your code for the best possible speed.

Also, don’t underestimate the importance of your hosting provider/package when it comes to speed and performance.

Make your visual content discoverable

As mentioned earlier, even the best content is useless until search engines and people are able to find it at the key moment. This is more challenging with visual content because search engines can’t watch videos or see infographics, which means you need to give them a helping hand.

  • Avoid loading content with AJAX (Google still has trouble crawling this)
  • Create descriptive descriptions with relevant keywords
  • Optimise your titles and meta descriptions where possible (not every image can have a title, of course)
  • Consider transcriptions for your video content
  • Use descriptive captions
  • Avoid infographics with no written content (similar to transcriptions)

The key is to provide context with your visuals so search engines can understand the purpose they serve to users.

Write for users, optimise for search engines

We’ve already spoken about creating content that meets user needs, answers their questions and provides value. This is your priority for every page you publish. Write for users first and then optimise for search engines – once again, to make your pages discoverable and prove their relevance.

Here are the SEO essentials for on-page optimisation:

  • Descriptive titles in H1 tags, including your target keyword
  • Descriptive page URL with keyword included
  • Correct formatting with subheadings (in H2, H3 tags, etc.) including keywords if they’re relevant/useful
  • Meta data, Schema and rich snippets where relevant
  • Inbound and outbound links to/from other relevant pages on your site (internal linking)
  • Optimised visuals for performance and discoverability
  • Mobile optimisation
  • Fast loading times

There are a few things on that list that we haven’t covered in-depth yet so let’s go into some more detail about meta data, URLs and the remaining on-page essentials.

Writing effective meta data

Meta data is a subject that causes a lot of confusion because it has little-to-no impact on how search engines rank your pages. However, users still see much of this information on results pages, meaning it has a direct impact on how many people click-through to your site.

Optimising your title tags

The title tags determine what users see as the blue headline text of your search results. Here’s an example of what this looks like on a listing for Search Engine Watch:

image: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/title-tags-sew.jpg

Google search result with title tag highlightedFor this page the HTML title will look like this:

<title>Title Tags Guide | Good & Bad Examples | Search Engine Watch</title>

This is a common formula for optimising title tags: Keyword #1 | Keyword #2 | Brand name. However, this approach is outdated now because it doesn’t provide the most descriptive title for users trying to find the most relevant result to their query.

Here are some best practices to keep in mind:

  • Be descriptive: Your priority with title tags is to accurately describe the content users will see on the other side. You want the highest number of clicks vs the lowest possible bounce rate – and this means compelling but accurate title tags.
  • Aim for queries, not keywords: Placing keywords in your title tags won’t help you rank higher but matching a user’s search query will tell them your page has what they’re looking for.
  • Include your brand name: Users are more likely to click results from brands they recognise so it’s still good practice to include your brand name in title tags.
  • Be mindful of length: Search engines tend to give you 50-60 characters (or 512 pixels more specifically) and everything after this will be cut off. Ideally, you want your full title to be visible but don’t obsess over this. Be mindful of length but focus on creating titles that will generate the most clicks.

Meta descriptions

Once again, meta descriptions have no impact on where you rank but they give users vital information about what your page contains. Much like your page titles, these only appear in search results, not your actual pages. Their role is simply to give users more information about what they can expect to gain from clicking on your listing.

image: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/meta-desc-sew.jpg

Google search result with meta description highlightedIn the listing above, Search Engine Watch aims to get people clicking by matching the questions they have in mind within their meta description. It may not be the most readable of descriptions but it provides a lot of information about what users can expect to find on the page. They’ve also squeezed a number of potential queries into that description, which will show up in bold when users search for them.

This approach won’t be ideal for all meta descriptions but it’s a good example of the things you need to consider when creating your own:

  • Be descriptive
  • Include search queries
  • Make it readable
  • Get users excited about clicking through
  • Focus on the value your page has to offer
  • Aim for a maximum of 150-160 characters

Think of meta descriptions as a mini sales pitch about why people should click through to your site. Every page you create should have a clear, concise goal and this where you get to put this message across to searchers in a short sentence or two.

Create amazing URLs

The final key element in our trio of meta data essentials is your page URLs. The reason URLs were created in the first place was to provide users with a descriptive version of web addresses – otherwise we’d be typing in a bunch of IP addresses to access everything online.

image: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/meta-url-sew.jpg

Google search result with URL highlightedThis is important because it basically tells you everything you need to know about URLs. Like the rest of your meta data, they should be descriptive for users – and this is something many brands have forgotten over the years.

Generally speaking, the shorter and more descriptive your URLs are, the better experience they provide for users. Here are some things to consider:

  • Cut out unnecessary words: Stay true to your page titles and/or headings with URLs but feel free to cut out unnecessary words.
  • Forget punctuation: There’s no place for question marks, commas or any other punctuation in URLs.
  • Stop words can be ok: Stop words (the, and, or, when, how, etc.) are generally considered unnecessary but it’s fine to use them if you think they make your URL more meaningful.
  • Use hyphens: Separate words in your URLs with hyphens (“-”) as these are considered more readable. Avoid underscores (“_”), spaces and any other special characters to separate words.
  • Target search queries: This one keeps coming up with every piece of meta data we look at – and for good reason.
  • Avoid dynamic parameters: These make URLs incredibly long and unreadable.

That last point is a tricky one, because many brands want to use dynamic parameters to track user journeys across their websites. The problem is they make a real mess of URLs and it’s not only search engine results pages where this can cause problems. Users are also left with a mess when they try to bookmark your page or if they try to remember the URL of your site/specific page.

Bringing it all together

A few years ago, the idea that content marketing was the new SEO became popular in the industry. This was largely due to Google’s Hummingbird update that put less emphasis on keywords and more on matching context between search queries and content. And, while it’s true content is the most important part of your SEO strategy, ignoring the more technical side of optimising your pages is a mistake – especially with loading times and other performance factors becoming increasingly influential in search rankings.

As businesses invest more time and money into creating content it would be a shame if your efforts fall short because your pages aren’t as discoverable as they could be. So pay attention to the smaller aspects of on-page optimisation best practices and give your content the best opportunity to make things happen.

Source: SEO Best Practices For Every Page On Your Site

29- Jun2017
Posted By: DPadmin
161 Views

Dumbing Down SEO: Basic Tips For The Organic Search Beginner

SEO Dashboard

Pixabay

SEO Dashboard

SEO is a complex topic that sounds simple, so let’s clarify what it means before we get into the meat of the issue. SEO stands for search engine optimization. Search engine optimization refers to how search engines determine which links are shown first to users.

This determination centers around certain factors in the case of the results stemming from an organic search (non-paid). That’s not all. The benefits and profitability of SEO are even increasing with respect to mobile platforms. SEO refers to the set of factors that determine the search ranking of your landing page and other links in relation to many factors.

Framing the issue is important before getting into the question of why SEO is so important in the first place. Most people intuitively understand that the higher their site’s landing page shows at the top of a search engine’s results page, the more traffic they will receive. In reality, the influence that search engines have over the results you see and the frequency at which search engines are used may surprise you.

The fact of the matter is that search engines generally dictate what gets shown and what doesn’t get shown. Nowadays, search engines appear to have taken on a referencing role based on website relevance in addition to a simple search function. Interestingly, search sites like Google act as both gateways and gatekeepers to the rest of the Internet.

Google controls seven out of every ten searches. Because of this, Google is a gateway that most people use to find other sites that they need. On the other hand, Google is also a gatekeeper based on how it organizes and ranks the links of various websites.

This article will go over five ranking factors used by Google to shed insight into the details of that ranking process. In other words, by reviewing the features of the gatekeeping process, we can implement more robust and effective SEO measures.

1. Provide Useful Content

The more accurate, helpful, and reputable your content is, the better SEO results you’ll get. Simple, right? In theory, good content leads to higher rankings. The problem here is that machines are sorting through and making judgments on what’s good or bad. So you’re really trying to hit a number of things that mimic or approximate good content in your SEO quest. Making small, impactful, and targeted changes is key to creating the type of content attractive to search engines.

2. Write Suitable and Attractive Anchor Text

What’s anchor text? It’s basically the blue underlined stuff that you click on when you browse the Internet that takes you to another related site. Essentially, the HTML code specifies a section of text and associates it with a link to create the hyperlink that we are all familiar with.

So how do you add a bit of flair to your anchor text beyond its depressingly default color of blue? Moz gives a number of suggestions, but in general you just want to want your anchor texts to be pithy, unique, simple, and relevant to the linked page.

3. Backlinks

Backlines are exactly what they sound like, but like all important SEO features on your site there are both good and excellent ways to use backlinks. The concept behind a backlink is incredibly simple. It refers to the sites that link to your site, or any other site. Let’s say the Wall Street Journal made a link to your website. That’s a backlink.

There’s a number of key things to do when considering backlink quality. These tips relate to making your backlinks more useful to site visitors. You can accomplish this by evaluating a site’s link relevancy through a number of factors like content and online tools. Focusing on real websites, or websites that experience a lot of traffic along with using authority sites will also boost your rankings.

4. Make Your Site Easier to Navigate

This one’s pretty easy to grasp too. Just don’t fill your site up with a much of unnecessary clutter. Clean simplicity is one of the reasons that Google was so successful as a search engine in its earlier stages. You want your site to get to the point. You want to capture your users and have them understand the purpose of your site within seconds. Finally, you’ll need to arrange buttons and widgets around a theme or style that appeals to the visitors for maximum ranking results.

Even Google itself thinks organization and navigation clarity are important in its SEO guide. It emphasizes things like the relationship between clean navigation and search engines and makes suggestions like planning your site around your homepage in order to make visitor browsing more convenient.

5. Consider RankBrain’s Algorithms

The significance of technology appears to have subtly increased to a great degree over the years. Google’s RankBrain is an example of an algorithm has been making waves on the issue of search traffic and rankings.

So how does Google do it? The larger category of technology is called artificial intelligence, coding computer to perform tasks that only humans normally handle. But with the arrival of a type of artificial learning called machine learning, RankBrain has certain elements that are capable of rewriting their own software to get better at ranking the most relevant sites.

The real impact of RankBrain manifests in its ability to interpret human meaning (in searches) to an extent: “RankBrain is designed to better understand the meaning behind the words a person uses and types into his or her search engine because 15% of queries per day had never been seen by Google” (Broadbent, 2017).

With the powerful machine learning technologies guiding SEO and the calculations behind the rankings of site relevance, focusing and studying up on the latest SEO trends across popular platforms has never been more important.

Source: Dumbing Down SEO: Basic Tips For The Organic Search Beginner

27- Jun2017
Posted By: DPadmin
107 Views

10 Things Your Competitors Can Teach You About SEO

Photo credit: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

Original thinking in the business world can be of great help, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn from others. Remember the old saying, keep your friends close and your enemies closer? Well, this may sound sneaky, but learning how your competitors do their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can…

Original thinking in the business world can be of great help, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn from others. Remember the old saying, keep your friends close and your enemies closer? Well, this may sound sneaky, but learning how your competitors do their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can really teach you a lot on how you can structure your marketing strategy.

Your competition is one of the obstacles your business will have to face in order to be successful. Keep in mind that in the world of SEO and digital marketing, there’s ideally no one closer to you than your competitors. In this case, why would you overlook learning about them when developing your strategy? You can find a wealth of information and achieve a competitive advantage by simply researching and analyzing your competition.

1. Identify your Real Competitors

When finding your real competition, I recommend that you include any website or company that you compete with for web visibility and traffic, regardless of whether you are selling the same product or not. A comprehensive competitive analysis is not a small task, but it will be worth it. Aim at making a list of around five to 10 competitors in your geographical location and your industry. Here is how I went about finding my top competitors:

  1. Use industry keywords to look for businesses similar to your on the major search engines
  2. Set up a Google Alerts to ensure you receive all the necessary updates on your competing products/services, and even keep up with industry news
  3. Find more competitors in your niche via associations’ member directories

2. Determine the Keywords You Compete For

Once you have determine your competition, it’s now time to analyze the keywords, including the long-tail keywords that you are competing for. You can actually begin analyzing who ranks for the same terms. The Google Keyword Planner tool is what I used for this, where you just enter the competitors URL and the tool will show you the keywords related to the topics and content on their website. You can even identify the level of competition and keyword volume with this tool.

3. Explore their Content Marketing

To improve your rankings enhance your brand awareness, and increase your organic traffic, you have to produce high-quality content regularly and consistently. This is one of the most effective tools in Search Engine Optimization, and gaining more leads. You can learn from the pitfalls of your competition, as well as from their strengths. Check how often they post, the quality of their content, whether they share on social media, and assess the number of views.

4. Social Media Behavior

What social media platforms do your competitors use? What kind of content do they post there? Are there any links to videos, articles, or infographics? Do they use keywords on their social media posts? Have a look at the groups they interact with and how they do it.

5. Audience

Some of the best information about your competitors you will find in blog comments. Comb through the comments you find and find out what the audience is saying. Work with the information you find to improve your product, so that it has everything the audience really want.

6. Product Analysis

Do a comprehensive analysis on the products they offer and find loopholes in the development where possible, this way, you will find features you can include in the products you offer. Or you can combine you expertise in their product, put an effective spin on it, and sell it at a competitive price.

7. User Experience

With online marketing, we are transitioning into the responsive formats to provide a consistent experience on all devices and screen types. The insurgence of mobile marketing means that user experience will still be key in customer satisfaction. Find out what your competitors are doing, so that you can keep up as the technology advances.

8. Backlinks

Before you start on your link building strategies, it pays to scope out what the competition is doing. You can find some potential link opportunities for your website. Use your detective skills to find out more about their high-authority backlinks, distinguish between spam and quality links, and to identify potential backlink sources.

9. Conversion Techniques

Some businesses utilize lead magnets or provide their audience with free offers to entice them to sign into their mailing lists. The kind of enticements and lead magnets they are using can provide you with an insight on exactly what you can do to increase the value of your offering, and therefore gain more leads.

10. Local SEO

It’s important to note the Search Engine Optimization efforts of your competitors in your local landscape, especially if you operate from a physical location. Find out if your competition has updated their local profiles in the popular online directories. Look for consistency in the contact information on their profiles and on their website, how well they have utilized their profile features, and if they bother to interact with local reviewers. I actually Created an ebook on this late 2016 of last year titled: Master Guide: To Dominating Your Competition in Local SEO.

This ebook is free and packed with strategies that are still current with resources for local SEO, along with how to overtake your competition!

Now that you have gained some valuable information about the Search Engine Optimization strategies your competition, get started! You are now at a better position to enhance your online presence, and to outshine them all.

Source: 10 Things Your Competitors Can Teach You About SEO