Friday, May 25, 2018

11 Key Parts of SEO You Need to Execute Correctly

The 11 Most Important Parts of SEO You Need to Get Right

SEO does not work in a vacuum. It requires many moving parts working in the right context in order to create a holistic, effective marketing strategy that gets results for your business.
From audience, to the user, to final conversions, SEO involves executing the right moving parts in the correct context and in the correct order to win clients, conversions, and sales for your company.
In this post, I’ll detail the 11 most important parts of SEO you need to get right in order to facilitate an effective SEO process.

1. Your Audience & Industry

Your primary industry and its audience should be the number one consideration behind any viable SEO strategy.
  • What industry are you in?
  • Who are its top competitors?
  • Where do your competitors primarily do business?
  • How are your competitors primarily executing their SEO strategy?
  • What competition is the fiercest?
These questions and more will determine your next steps in forming your SEO strategy and these various moving parts will soon come into full focus as you nail down what to do next.

2. Keyword Research

As you nail down your audience and industry norms for SEO, keyword research is necessary to pinpoint the best possible user intent to go after and find what your audience is searching for.
But, not only that, what your audience searches for is just as important as how they search for it. Subtle shifts in keyword research can make or break an SEO strategy.
And you better have a firm grasp of the norms in terms of industry market shifts, as well as buyer personas and how they impact the overall SEO strategy.

3. User Intent

SEO Factor - User Intent

User intent behind keywords is the next thing that is absolutely vital to the success of any SEO campaign.
For example, let’s say that your audience normally searches for “widgets that I want to put together” as a primary starting point.
But, throughout your keyword research, you find variations for “widgets for sale,” “DIY Widgets,” and “widgets that get things done”. Each of these variations results in at least a ten-fold increase in searches leading back to your landing page.
It would be a good idea to integrate these into the overall SEO process, now, wouldn’t it?
If you hadn’t done this keyword research and made adjustments based on market shifts in audience search behavior, you likely would not have found these deeper keywords that were worth targeting.
It’s all in how you approach how deep you want to go in keyword research. The deeper you go, the better opportunities you may end up eventually uncovering.

4. Analytics and Reporting

Let’s get real . Nothing is more important to an SEO campaign than accurate reporting.
If you can’t report on results that the campaign achieves accurately, then how can you expect to make the accurate adjustments that an SEO campaign requires?
Let’s also get real about something else. Some industries don’t require by the day or even by the week adjustments to keyword strategy. Most industries don’t even require adjustments every six months.
But, if you’re in a rapidly changing industry where the market shifts quickly, it may be important to integrate a quarterly or even bi-monthly keyword research task into your SEO process so that you know exactly what audiences are searching for next.
How does this fit into analytics reporting? When you attribute keywords and landing pages, it is easy to see exactly what keywords and landing pages are primary drivers of your SEO process execution and your overall SEO strategy.
By doing this effectively, it is possible to make adjustments properly and eventually find the next big thing in your market industry shift.
This is why it is so important to get analytics reporting correct. If your analytics reports that you get approximately 6,000 visits a month in bot traffic, have you really been successful at all?

5. Mobile SEO

The next big thing that is on everyone’s mouths right now is Google’s mobile-first index. The mobile-first index is Google’s new de facto standard for search, with a focus on mobile websites.
It is important to note that this does not exclude desktop – desktop sites will still perform in search results if they are the best result for the query. But, Google’s move to mobile-first signifies the beginning of a new era – an era of dumbed-down search results for the masses.
Just a warning and it is this author’s opinion: you may be shocked that I said that. Dumbed-down? But aren’t they supposed to be going smarter? Well, unfortunately, mobile is part of the lowest common denominator in search now.
No longer will web designers have great canvases to create amazing website designs. Everything will pretty much lean towards one standard – iPhone or Android, and you’d better make sure that everything works fine on both, or else.
Aside from my rant on the evils of mobile SEO (I do apologize), while it is unfortunate that Google has chosen to go in this direction, forsaking all that is beautiful for a few measly increases in visits, this is an important aspect of SEO to get right.
As Google’s mobile index grows beyond the first several waves, we can expect to see algorithm shifts and updates just as we did with the normal index.
Now, m-dot ( mobile websites are not recommended and should go the way of the dodo. Aside from major issues with duplicate content, these types of mobile sites can also introduce canonical URL issues with indexation, and many other issues.
It is recommended by this author that all sites adopt a best-practice of mobile-friendly, responsive designs moving forward.
The reasoning behind this is that it gives all versions of your site equal opportunity to get indexed, and remain competitive in the coming mobile-first index.

6. Crawling

Crawling and Indexing

Crawling is the process by which search engine spiders discover your site.
If your website architecture is out-of-whack, or your internal linking is off, or if you don’t even have a sitemap.xml file (shame on you), it will be difficult for search engines to crawl your site.
In addition, major issues with 404 errors on the site can hurt crawling and indexing as well.
Other issues include technical implementations that prevent spiders from crawling the site. One obvious solution for most SEO pros is making sure the following line is removed from robots.txt:
Disallow: /
This is entirely different from the “disallow: ” directive. While the difference is subtle, the meaning behind both can mean the difference between successful crawling and indexing of your site.
The first directive tells your server to disallow all search engines from crawling your site.
The second will allow all robots complete access.
Very different, right?
This is why it is so important to make sure that your site is 100 percent functional, and crawlable from the start.
Don’t wait until an audit reveals that you missed a step during the setup of your new site. That will make you look silly.

7. Indexing

Indexing is completely different from crawling. While these two actions are related, they are not mutually exclusive.
Doing things like noindex,nofollow ineffectively will impact indexing in a negative way. This is just like doing something silly like not including a sitemap.
While you can get around not having a sitemap by using Fetch as Google in Google Search Console, it is simply much easier and more efficient to create a sitemap and submit that to Fetch as Google.
One more massively bad situation includes canonicalizing your pages, but not identifying trailing slash issues. These types of issues can lead to indexing double or triple the amount of pages that your site actually has, which interferes with Google’s ranking algorithms.
When you don’t get indexing right, you can leave entire sections of your site not being taken into account when it’s crawled. This can also lead to major ranking performance issues as a result.
This is why it’s so important to perform an in-depth website audit that takes into account these things. Because when doing so, you can uncover issues that may not have otherwise been taken into consideration. And these issues can make a big difference in your website’s performance.

8. Technical SEO

Technical SEO

Site speed. Coding. JavaScript. Schema markup. Schema JSON-LD. Canonicalization.
Technical SEO almost always brings to mind these and other related terms.
When something on the technical side of SEO is out of whack, your entire website can suffer. Here are a few examples.
Say that you have created a website that has everything right, but you have left out a small detail in a canonicalization plug-in.
Or, you have created a large homepage slider that takes 3 seconds to download just for the slider.
Or, you have created a Schema implementation where one letter was off in the business name on certain Schema markup.
This is where mistakes in an SEO implementation can get dicey, and why things are not always cut-and-dry when it comes to effective SEO projects.
As a site gets larger and infinitely more complex, one mistake in one part of the implementation really can affect another part of the SEO project.

9. Content

Content continues to be one of the de facto standards by which SEO pros acquire links to help increase rankings to help create streams of traffic to a website. It is another example where, if it is not executed properly, content can end up being the bane of a website’s (or author’s) existence.
Not all content is created equal. There’s spammy content, and non-spammy authoritative content. In general, if you manually write your content, you’re in the clear.
You don’t have to pay attention to weird things like reading levels, complexity in sentence structure, or other things to create content that ranks well. But, and this is a big but: ‘just create good content’ is a lie.
It is this author’s opinion that good content should be created in such a way that it also goes viral, that it resonates with your audience, and that it creates a lasting impact on people so much so, that they will want to buy from you.
Is it always possible to get content right from the beginning? No.
You can have all the process bits created properly. The content is executed properly, it is written well, the keyword research is solid and shows promise. But, for whatever reason, the content utterly, despicably flops. Hard.
There are things you can get right when it comes to content. Keyword targeting, on-page optimizations, meta optimizations, no typos, no grammatical errors, optimized images. But, for whatever reason, the audience dislikes the content.
In these cases, it isn’t always a cut-and-dry answer as to why the content flopped.
You can’t say that content was awful or bad when the content is written well. You can’t say that the content flopped because of arbitrary measures that are hard to quantify.
For whatever reason, the content flopped. And it’s not always you. Or your audience. Or the fact it wasn’t the right time.
It can be frustrating when this happens because your next piece could blow things out of the ballpark. The important thing is to continue to get that content correct regardless. And then other things may fall into place.

Link Building10. Links

Again? You’re going to talk about links. Again!
Yes, I am.
Links continue to be a major ranking, factor, whether you like it or not.
Google’s John Mueller has recently continued to reinforce the point that “a link is a link.”
Not exactly.
There are links that are bad for Google, according to their Google Webmaster Guidelines. Links that are spammy by nature are bad.
You should not acquire a link if it is going to leave a spammy footprint on your site’s link profile.
Links should come from non-spammy, high-quality authority sites in your niche. Again, the key word here is quality.
Getting a bad link every once in awhile is not a huge deal. Where it becomes a huge deal is when you do something like this over and over, and you saturate your link profile with bad links. This can come back to haunt you.
The key to a good link profile implementation is to ensure that you vary your profile a bit, that you don’t always go after one type of link, and that you keep a healthy ratio of types of links that you do go after.
I know, it’s not a prescription-based situation that you can easily say “this link is black-and-white, de facto going to help your site get to number one on Google”. Not going to happen. But these are some general guidelines that should help point you in the right direction toward best practices to follow when you do build your next link profile.

11. The Most Important SEO Factor to Get Right: Taking Action

You can have the best-laid plans in the world. You can have the best, most awesome website idea out there. But, without taking action to make that website a reality, you are just another loser in internet land that wishes they could get rich quick and live the American dream.
Once you take action, however, and you have that project – then get the rest of these SEO factors right.
Then you will be raking in that cold, hard cash. Maybe. I can’t make any guarantees on that.
But, enjoy the thrill of the chase anyway.


Thursday, May 24, 2018

10 Facts You Think You Know About SEO That Are Actually Myths

10 Facts You Think You Know About SEO That Are Actually Myths

SEO is renowned for misinformation, misunderstandings, and misconceptions. This is in no small part due to Google being somewhat of a black box in order to try and limit gaming of SERPs.
However, in recent times, Google has taken noticeable steps to become more transparent through increased activity in the SEO community.
Whether it’s regular Webmaster Hangouts, speaking engagements at conferences, or insightful metaphors on Twitter, the likes of John Mueller, Gary Illyes, and Danny Sullivan at Google are helping to dispel the myths of SEO with facts.
To further banish these myths, I’ve put together a list of 10 common misunderstandings about Google and SEO and why they’re wrong.

Myth 1: Google Penalizes Duplicate Content

The duplicate content penalty doesn’t exist. Google doesn’t penalize sites for having duplicate content.
Google understands that duplicate content is a natural part of the web and aims to index the highest quality and most relevant page so that searchers aren’t repeatedly presented with the same content in the search results.
Unless a site is trying to manipulate rankings and is entirely made up of duplicate content, the worst case scenario resulting from duplicate content is that similar pages are folded together in the index and an alternative version of the page is shown instead.
SEO professionals can provide search engines with a number of signals as to which page they want indexed, including correct use of canonicals, sitemap inclusion, and internal links pointing to the preferred page.

Myth 2: Google Respects the Canonical URL as the Preferred Version for Indexing

Just because you set a URL as the preferred version for indexing via a canonical tag, it doesn’t mean that this page is the one that Google will select for indexing.
The rel canonical is treated as a signal by Google for the preferred page and isn’t always respected.
Such instances can be found in the new version of Google Search Console in the Index Coverage report under the flag ‘Submitted URL not selected as canonical’.
Google may choose a page other than the one you have selected as the canonical when they judge another page in a set of duplicates to be a better candidate to show in search.
In such cases, it would be advised to consider whether the canonical page that you have selected is actually the one you want indexed. If it is, then you will need to look at the signals discussed previously (sitemaps, internal linking etc.) to check that they are pointing to your preferred version.
The key is to ensure you’re sending Google consistent signals as to the preferred version of the page.

Myth 3: Quality Updates Result in Algorithmic Penalties

In a recent interview, former Google engineer Fili Wiese spoke about the myth of algorithmic penalties:
“One misconception that often exists is around things like Google Panda or Phantom as the industry called it, or Fred. Quality updates basically. But people think those are penalties or algorithmic penalties (when they’re not).
The thing is there is no such thing as an algorithmic penalty, it’s actually a recalculation. It’s like a big black box with the formula inside, you put something in, something comes out, and what comes out is the rankings and what goes in is your website.
The algorithm changes are just basically changes within the black box, which means that what comes out on the other side is slightly different now. Does that mean you’ve been penalized? No. it may feel like it, but you’re not penalized.”
This is a subtle difference that Wiese raises, but an important one in understanding how Google’s search algorithms operate.

Myth 4: Google Has 3 Top Ranking Factors

This was big news in March 2016 when Andrei Lipattsev announced that links, content, and RankBrain made up the top 3 Google ranking factors.
However, Mueller has since dismissed this statement in a Webmaster Hangout, saying that it isn’t possible to determine the most important ranking factors because this changes from query-to-query and from day-to-day.
It isn’t helpful to focus on individual ranking signals because search engine algorithms are too sophisticated for this to be a useful way of conceptualizing algorithms.
Instead, SEO pros should focus on optimizing their sites to improve user experience, match user intent and, more broadly, improve site quality while keeping up to date with Google’s latest developments.

Myth 5: Google’s Sandbox Applies a Filter When Indexing New Sites

A further misconception comes in the form of how Google treats new sites in the index. There is a long-held belief among some in the SEO community that Google applies a filter to new websites in order to stop spammy sites from ranking soon after launch.
Mueller put the Google sandbox to bed in a Webmaster Hangout, when he said that there was no such filter being applied to new sites.
He did, however, say that there may be a set of algorithms that might look similar to a sandbox but that they attempt to understand how the website fits in with others trying to rank for the same queries.
This, in some cases, may mean pages rank higher or lower for a period of time while Google’s algorithms work out how they fit in with competing pages.

Myth 6: Use the Disavow File to Maintain a Site’s Link Profile

One staple of an SEO’s responsibilities has historically been pruning a site’s backlink profile by disavowing low-quality or spammy links.
Over the years Google’s algorithms have gotten better at understanding these types of low-quality backlinks and knowing when they should be ignored. As a result, the need for SEO pros to maintain and update a disavow file has diminished significantly.
At BrightonSEO in September 2017, Illyes stated that if backlinks are coming in organically to a site, it’s extremely unlikely that the site will receive a manual action. Illyes went on to say that he doesn’t have a disavow file for his own personal site.
Now it is only recommended to make use of the disavow file when a site has received a manual action, in order to remove the offending links.

Myth 7: Google Values Backlinks from All High Authority Domains

Successful link building should be judged by the authority and relevance of the backlinks pointing to the target site. Still, backlinks from high authority domains are highly sought after regardless of how relevant they are to the target site.
However, another insight gleaned from Illyes’ BrightonSEO Q&A revealed that Google takes into account the context of backlinks, meaning that SEO pros should perhaps give more importance to link relevance when going after links.
Illyes thinks there is value in fixing internal and external links, but it is important to keep context in mind. If a poor quality article (which has nothing to do with your site) links to your site, Google will ignore it because the context doesn’t match.

Myth 8: Google Uses Page Speed as a Major Ranking Signal

Google has used site speed as a ranking signal since 2010 and intuitively you would think they have a clever way of incorporating it as a key part of their algorithms, especially as it has become such an important topic in SEO.
However, Mueller has explained that, while there are plans to introduce a speed update later in 2018, Google only uses speed to differentiate between slow pages and those in the normal range. In fact, DeepCrawl (disclosure: I work for DeepCrawl) found that Googlebot will crawl and index pages that take up to three minutes to respond.
Speed may also indirectly influence rankings through feedback from user experience, like visitors bouncing from a page that takes too long to load, but as it stands Google’s use of speed in their algorithms is rudimentary for the time being.

Myth 9: Fred Was an Algorithm Update Related to Link Quality

Google continuously update their search algorithms at an average rate of 2-3 per day. The Fred algorithm update in March 2017 was thought to be an update related to link quality.
However, Illyes has made it clear that there was no specific algorithm update like Panda or Penguin – in fact, he called the ranking fluctuations Fred as a joke.
Illyes went on to say that 95-98 percent of these ongoing updates are not actionable for webmasters. Fluctuations always happen but you should focus on having a high-quality site with lots of people talking about your brand via links, social networks, etc.

Myth 10: Crawl Budget Isn’t an Issue

Crawl budget is a complex and much-debated topic, but it is overlooked by some who overestimate Google’s ability to crawl all the pages on a given site.
Google can crawl all of the pages on a given site at once for small to medium sites (up to around 200,000 pages). However, crawl budget is a pressing issue for those managing large enterprise sites because they need to ensure important pages are being crawled and on a regular basis.
One way to check if Google has crawled the vast majority of your site is by looking to see if Googlebot is crawling lots of 404 pages, as this indicates most of the important pages have already been crawled.


I hope this post has helped to kill off some of the long-held sacred cows of SEO. When it comes to SEO, there are facts and myths. Make sure you’re focusing on facts, not fairy tales!


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

A Complete Guide to Facebook Page Optimization

How to Completely Optimize Your Facebook Page

Facebook is the most popular social media platform used by businesses.
Facebook Pages help your brand or business promote and share its value-add and to assist in customer support.
Facebook remains the primary platform for most Americans. Two-thirds of U.S. adults now report that they are Facebook users and 74 percent of Facebook users say they visit the site daily.
Despite the recent criticism of Facebook’s data privacy practices, both daily and monthly users are up 13 percent year-over-year.
What does this mean? Facebook isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
You should continue to make Facebook a part of your overall marketing mix – to reach your existing and future customers.
Features like location Pages, Messenger, Featured Images, and Boost are only a few of the many things you can do to optimize your Facebook page.
Use this guide to make sure you’ve set up your Facebook page correctly, and optimized all possible areas of the platform to get the best results for your business.

Facebook Marketing Basics

Yes, Facebook is free, but your Facebook Page is by no means a substitute for your own website. A website is the only place online you can truly control your message.
Your Facebook Page serves as a micro-site within the platform that complements and perhaps highlights glimpses of your brand.
Capturing your brand name in Facebook and other social media platforms will definitely help get your name out there digitally, as social media profiles are often the top rankings in the search engine result pages (SERPs).
When doing a search for “Sanitas Medical Centers Tampa” I am presented with a bunch of results on the first page. Apart from the domain and search directories popping up on the first page, their Facebook location Page for their Tampa location shows up.
optimize facebook page for search
It’s also important for you to keep search engine optimization (SEO) methodologies in mind when developing and optimizing your Facebook page.
Adding important brand and non-brand long-tail keywords should also be sprinkled throughout your Facebook page, as well as your post updates.

Creating Your Facebook Page

When creating a Facebook page, it’s important to pick the right type of Facebook page right off the bat. You can choose from:
  • Local Business or Place: Only choose if you have one location. That said, don’t freak out if you have one location now, but will have more in the future. Keep on reading to find out more about Facebook location Pages.
  • Company
  • Brand or Product
  • Public Figure
  • Entertainment
  • Cause or Community
create a facebook page
Setting it up properly the first go-round will enhance the way you communicate the message you wish to show.
When you’ve picked the type of page you wish to create, simply visit and begin the process.

Location Pages

If you have a business with one location, you can start off with a location page. However, if you expand your locations, there are various things you need to do in order to make that happen.
The good news: you don’t need to ask Facebook to request Facebook location Pages anymore. If you’re doing this for the first time, and your main page has an address, you will encounter a “warning” message.
The reason? You will have multiple business locations.
Your main Facebook Page should be the main or “parent” page for your brand. The child’s pages are your location pages.
facebook location pages layout
After you’ve gained access to your location pages tab, fill each location out with their proper:
  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Username
  • Category
  • Website address
  • Email
  • About
As stated before, make sure to use keywords you’re trying to rank for in search. If you’re an urgent care facility, use words like “urgent care” or “medical center” throughout your copy.
Another great benefit of location pages is that you can implement ratings and reviews. You have the option to hide these, but it’s best to show these because reviews play a huge part of digital marketing, local marketing, and SEO.
Just make sure you have the sufficient process in place to best triage and respond to reviews. If you’re ready to implement, head to Facebook and follow these steps.

Keep Business Operating Hours Accurate

It’s essential to enter your business hours, but it’s equally important to update them whenever they change.
When adding new location pages, make sure that the correct hours of operation and days open are correct, as some may vary.
Unlike Google My Business, Facebook does not let you customize hours for holidays or other special events. If you have custom hours for holidays and special events, then take advantage of utilizing Facebook posts or advertising to convey this message.
For example, if you’re experiencing inclement weather or have a special event, promoting a new product you now sell, create visually appealing posts and pin them to the top of your Facebook page, so it’s seen by those visiting your page.

Custom Username

Having a custom username (or short, user-friendly URL) for your page makes it more convenient for users to find your Facebook Page in search when it has a unique username.
When you start out your Facebook domain will have various numbers after it and look something like:
Not very friendly or memorable.
You should keep your brand’s name at top of mind. If you’re optimizing a Facebook location page, then I highly recommend using the brand name plus the location in the username.
Facebook Pages with usernames are also allowed to create custom URLs that enable people to quickly visit and message them.
As you can see in the example below, if you search for “@LLBeanLynnhavenStore” you will be able to message or visit that custom location page.
custom facebook page url
Some other things to keep in mind when creating a username:
  • You need to be an admin to create a username.
  • You can’t use any spaces or underscores but you can have periods separating words.
  • Capitalize the words to enhance readability and won’t affect if people type in lower case letters.
  • Usernames can be a maximum of 50 characters.
  • At least 5 characters long.
Want a custom username for your Facebook page? Follow these steps.

Profile & Featured Image

Facebook Pages give you a great opportunity to reflect your brand.
One way of customizing your Facebook page is using not only the profile/avatar feature but taking full advantage of the featured image section.
You can now not only just upload a photo in the featured image/banner section, but now you can be creative and utilize video or create a slideshow.
cover photo facebook example
This is a great place to promote testimonials or your team that serves your customers.
According to Facebook, “Cover photos can’t be deceptive, misleading or infringe on anyone’s copyright.”
Read through Facebook’s guidelines to get a better idea of what you should abide by.

Call to Action Button

Right under the cover photo, you can also add a call to action (CTA) to encourage your users to interact either on the page or help learn more about your business.
What your brand does will determine the best CTA.
For example, if you’re an urgent care facility and have the opportunity to have facility leaders communicate with your patients, and then add the “Call Now” feature versus a “Sign Up.”
  • Go to your Facebook Page.
  • To the bottom right of your featured post, you will see the CTA button in blue.
  • Click on that button and then you will be able to pick which CTA you prefer.
call to action button facebook page

Managing Customer Reviews & Comments

Engaging and interacting with your customers is an integral part of social media.
Facebook is a great platform where you can provide great service (responding and assisting customers) and also discover new ways to improve your business.
You need a strategy around triaging and managing comments and reviews, so don’t take this section lightly.
If you are prepared to not only respond to your comments on posts and ads, you can implement reviews on your page. To do this, simply:
  • Go to your Facebook page.
  • Click on Settings.
  • Under General > Reviews.
  • You then can Allow visitors to review this page or if you’re not quite ready for this, then simply click on Disable Reviews.
Reviews are a great way to show off how well your business is doing.
If you get a less-than-great review, be sure to respond. This shows consumers that your brand is engaged and cares about making them happy.


Facebook Messenger, like reviews, is another great way to show off how well your business willing to provide great service and support in various mediums. Messenger is just another way your consumers can connect with you.
Again, you need to know your bandwidth. If you’re willing to implement this step, it requires a strategy. You must consider how quickly you can respond to your messages.
Your responsiveness rate will appear on your page. It shows how efficient you are at responding to customer inquiries.
If you’re ready to implement this step, go to:
  1. Go to your Facebook page.
  2. Click on Settings.
  3. Under General > Messages.
  4. Then click the button that says Allow people to contact my Page privately by showing the Message button.

Organizing Your Page Tabs

While this is kind of obvious, if you end up implementing Facebook location pages over and over, this step has to be repeated. Not only can you arrange these tabs, but there are some you can even turn off and on.
The reason why you want to take a look at this section is that some tabs may be more of a priority for your business, depending on what you do.
You can also utilize the templates that Facebook provides, which can also take the guesswork out of how to organize your tabs.
  • Go to your Facebook page.
  • Click on Settings.
  • The on left, click on Edit Page.
  • Once in the Edit Page area, you will be able to see the various templates, and also place various tabs in order by dragging the three-lined icon to the left of the tabs and moving them around.

arrange facebook tabs

Claiming Unofficial Pages

Have you ever searched for your brand’s name and found other pages with the brand name (along with a map, reviews, and ratings) – yet you don’t have access or control of the page?
Well, this is an annoying, yet solvable issue.
Facebook creates these pages, which are designed to act as a placeholder. This gives a visitor an area to check-in and leave reviews and comments about the location.
Unfortunately, sometimes Facebook is a little too eager to do this as some businesses already exist for that specific location.
So what do you do?
The best way to solve this issue is to claim and merge (if needed) these unofficial Facebook pages. Doing so can give you complete control over your brand on Facebook.
Note: Just because you implement the following steps once, does not mean you’re done. Checking for unofficial pages should be a regular part of your overall social media maintenance.
If one of these pages appear when you search for your brand name, you will need to claim it before you merge the page with your verified Facebook page.
Here are some ways you can claim the unofficial page:
  • Verify via phone call
  • Email
  • Utility bill/Phone bill
  • Business license
  • Business tax file
  • Certificate of formation
  • Articles of incorporation
The fastest way to gain access is with a utility bill, especially if you work for an agency and you aren’t physically in the place of business.
Once you verify the page (which takes up to 24 hours), you’re ready to move onto the next steps:
  • Go to your unofficial duplicate page on Facebook that you just claimed.
  • Select Is this your business? from the drop-down menu.
  • Choose the option Merge into a verified page you manage.
  • Select your page from the drop-down and submit.
Note: If you have multiple location pages, make sure you merge with the correct page.
Even if you don’t have location pages, you can still use the above process to merge an unofficial Facebook page with the one you are managing.


Friday, May 18, 2018

6 Easy Ways to Attract More Website Traffic

Optimizing for mobile and customized email marketing are just two of them.

6 Easy Ways to Attract More Website Traffic

Traffic is the lifeblood of any online business. And success is difficult to achieve without it. No matter how much time, effort and money you've put into building your website, if you're not getting traffic, the value of your site drops because of all those potential customers who never see it. And that's just bad for business.
Related: 3 Super Simple Pinterest Strategies to Quickly Grow Your Website's Traffic
So, given that driving more traffic to your site will increase your online business's odds of success, you jhave to figure out: How do you do it?
Based on my time building and growing numerous websites, here are six tried and tested techniques I've found work in driving traffic to your website.

1. Recognize that content is king.

You may not see the results overnight, but a robust content marketing strategy is one of the best ways to increase traffic to your website in the long term.
In the past, this may have meant stuffing your page with keywords in an effort to artificially boost your search engine result page (SERP) ranking. But Google now explicitly advises against this. While it's still important to create SEO-friendly content (Wordstream has a helpful guide on how to do this here), Google's increasingly sophisticated search algorithms do a better job all the time of "sniffing out" quality.
Shortcuts, like keyword stuffing to outsmart Google's algorithm and increase a page's ranking, have not only become ineffective, but Kissmetrics warns that they may actually lead to your site being penalized by Google. Additionally, quality content is far more likely to be shared, resulting in more back links to your website. Back links not only drive more organic traffic, they also improve SERP rankings.
According to SearchEngineWatch, results on the first page of Google receive 92 percent of all traffic. Organic traffic tapers off precipitously from there. Improving your organic search results by creating quality content is one of the best ways to drive more traffic to your site.
Related: 50 Easy Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Website

2. Get social.

Being active on social media is one of the best ways to stay engaged with your audience and drive traffic back to your website. Hosting giant GoDaddy found that 61 percent of its high-traffic sites had an attached Facebook page. While having a Facebook page and a Twitter account is more or less considered a requirement for online businesses today, don't neglect the less-established platforms.
Let's say, for instance, that your business is primarily B2B. In that case, LinkedIn can be a gold mine for leads. Does your business sell products with a strong visual identity? Instagram lets your pictures tell a thousand words. Digiday notes that organic reach on Facebook is becoming ever harder to achieve, so expanding your social media footprint is one of the best and most cost-effective ways to reach your customers.

3. Optimize for mobile.

In May 2015, Google announced that the volume of searches on mobile devices had surpassed those on desktops for the first time. This trend has continued, and with mobile devices getting faster and more sophisticated, there's no reason to think it will abate any time soon. Not surprisingly, Google now factors into its SERP rating how mobile-friendly a website is. It even offers a free tool that can tell you how mobile-friendly your website is.
In addition to the effect mobile-friendliness has on your website's SERP ranking, it can also influence consumer trust in your business and the likelihood that people will recommend it. Google found that 89 percent of people are likely to recommend a brand after having a positive brand experience on mobile. Even in this digital age, word of mouth is a powerful tool for driving traffic to your website.

4. Optimize for speed.

Another factor that not only affects SERP ranking but greatly impacts usability is page speed. Nobody likes to sit around waiting for a page to load. According to Kissmetrics, 40 percent of people abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load. One of the most common culprits when it comes to slow page-load times is image size.
Free tools such as ImageOptim make it easy to compress your images before you publish them on your website. Depending on what platform your website is built on, plug-ins like Smush for WordPress can optimize all your images retroactively. If your website is image-heavy, this can substantially improve its performance.
Once again, Google offers a free tool that gives you insight into how the speed of your website measures up.

5. Email marketing.

Virtually as long as there's been email, there's been email marketing. It's become so ubiquitous that on occasion observers have predicted its demise. While cold-emailing may be on life support due to the efficiency of spam filters and regulations like GDPR, marketing to a list of engaged subscribers remains one of the most efficient means of driving traffic to your website.
What better way to communicate about new products and services or content then by sending timely, relevant and personalized emails to your subscribers?
If you're in the business of ecommerce, automated email marketing tools like MageMail can help significantly boost your sales. These solutions allow you to retarget customers who have browsed your site or added items to a cart without completing a purchase. Abandoned-cart emails have an astonishing average open-rate of 40 percent if sent within three hours of abandonment, according to Business Insider.

6. Pay-per-click and social media advertising.

While organic search may provide better ROI for your business in the long term, paid search can potentially deliver results more quickly. A well-thought-out and executed pay-per-click (PPC) campaign through Google Adwords can lead to dramatically increased traffic.
Be sure to do your research, though. PPC campaigns can quickly become expensive if insufficiently planned and targeted. Keyword Planner, from Google once again, is an invaluable tool, but don't stop there. Ahrefs can help pinpoint exactly what your competitors are doing with their paid search campaigns. SEMrush can show you competitor budgets, best keywords and their most profitable ad copy. Armed with this knowledge, you can adjust and improve your PPC campaigns accordingly.
I've already discussed the importance of having a robust social media strategy to drive more traffic to your website. Increasingly, though, creating and sharing quality content on your social media channels is no longer sufficient in itself.
This is particularly true of Facebook, where recent changes to the newsfeed, dubbed "Facebook Zero," have made it even harder to reach followers organically. Enter Facebook ads. Utilizing its vast stores of customer data, Facebook allows you to really drill down on your target audience, serving ads only to the demographic you define.
Related: How to Make More Online Sales With a Low-Traffic Website

Final thoughts

It's difficult to argue that it's never been easier to launch an online business. One consequence of this is that it's never been harder to stand out from the crowd. Put the six tried-and-true traffic-building strategies outlined above to work for your online business today. The search-engine results will speak for themselves.


Thursday, May 17, 2018

9 Essential Tips to Make Better PPC Reports

9 Essentials to Make Perfect PPC Reports for Your Clients

PPC reporting can get complicated and cumbersome in a hurry. The gap between what a client wants to know and what a PPC analyst wants to provide is often wide and hard to span.
The weekly, monthly, and quarterly report cycles can become routine, automated processes that get stale over time.
We often know or feel that we need to improve our reporting systems, templates, and methods, it can be hard to take that step.
Successful client relationships are built on trust, and trust is often built on how success is defined, measured and communicated.
A lot goes into a strong client relationship. Much of the communication happens through reporting.
Being a good (and truthful) storyteller goes a long way toward effectively communicating and ensuring that you and the client are on the same page.
With search marketing being a mature industry, it is hard to get away with using confusing metrics and acronyms as we can typically tie PPC activities directly to conversion and business goals.

1. Be Transparent & Consistent

Numbers don’t lie, but they can be used to tell a different story than what is actually happening.
Having an honest and open approach to sharing performance – whether or not it is going well – is the first essential for the perfect report.
When you share the same stats and details each reporting period, you build trust and can have an honest conversation about what is working, what isn’t, and how the strategy is evolving.
When you have a consistent reporting format, it becomes familiar and easy to follow for your client.
Plus, when you report on performance on a consistent basis whether weekly, monthly, or quarterly, expectations are set as to what to expect and when to expect it.
This makes the report more powerful as you can use it as a tool rather than having to scramble to pull details together when the client asks or have to send over smaller updates that lack context and remove your control of the process.

2. Organize the Report from General to Specific

Keep high-level content up front and ease into the fine details. Putting summary info and high-level stats ahead of ad groups, ads, and keywords will keep your client engaged.
You likely have some clients who don’t go beyond the first page or two of your report while others want to consume every detail.
By starting with general and high-level content and working down into details stats and components of the campaigns, you’ll ensure you keep all types of clients engaged.

3. Start with Goals

While we often want to start with our core PPC metrics (e.g., impressions, clicks, conversions, click-through rate), our clients often prioritize ROI and ROAS.
Know what your client cares about the most and how they are reporting to their stakeholders. Make that the first thing you report on.
PPC stats matter, but not as much as our client’s definition in the bigger business context as to whether our efforts are working.

4. Have a Dashboard or Executive Summary

Always assume that your report is going to be forwarded or passed along to people who don’t normally meet with you.
If you have never met with the C-suite, run your report by a filter of whether someone you have never met and who doesn’t know PPC metrics can understand what you are doing and if it is working. That is best done in an executive summary or dashboard at the beginning of the report.
If you have the report tailored to start with client goal reporting (versus PPC metrics) and start with high-level content, then this naturally will fit into the first page or two.
Use all information at your disposal to answer the question of whether we’re hitting client goals, what the strategy is, any highlights from the previous reporting period, and what you’re doing during the next reporting period.
If you write this in a way that someone who has no idea what PPC is and has never met you can understand it in basic terms, then you have succeeded.

5. Provide Definitions

Remember that your client may not necessarily have every acronym memorized or remember how each stat is calculated.
Include a key under each table or figure or include a standard definitions section that is helpful for the client to reference, but not insulting or in the way if they are well-versed.
By consistently including definitions you can make the stats and subject matter more approachable for your client and over time you can get deeper into specifics.

6. Segment Performance Data by Intent

Not all keywords are intended to directly drive a conversion. Don’t forget about attribution modeling and the customer journey in your report.
If you focus on conversions, but not all campaigns, ad groups, or keywords are focused on last-click attributed conversions, then be sure to segment your report accordingly.
You can inadvertently make your performance look bad if you’re highlighting conversions throughout the report as a goal, but not all campaign activities are actually expected to drive a conversion directly.
Consider including reporting based on steps in the customer journey, separation of brand versus generic terms, including assisted conversions and revenue data, geographic targeting, and other features that allow for fair judgment of performance per segment based on intent or expectation.

7. Aggregate Everything Possible

Google AdWords does a great job of rolling up stats for you.
However, if you’re running ads in Bing and/or additional advertising platforms, it can be helpful to aggregate stats to show what PPC is doing across all networks. This can be done using reporting software or your own manual methods.
One area that is often lost that Google and Bing don’t see is any third-party call tracking data that you have. You don’t want to miss phone conversions and have them left out of your PPC reporting.
By aggregating data in your report, you can paint the bigger picture at a high-level as well as remove the need for your client to have to do the math and their own stats based on the report you provide.

8. Get Detailed (With Permission)

Often we use our reports in a meeting or conversation about our strategy and efforts.
My team uses the report as the agenda for monthly calls and it is a great time to go over details and get feedback. Some clients love to see every keyword while others just want the executive summary.
Even for those that only want the executive summary, we often need their feedback on items that are more granular like ad copy or keyword targeting. When that’s the case, it is necessary to include what might be dozens of pages of additional granular detail to reference.
When you want to or need to include granular detail, do it at the end in an appendix or in a separate supporting document.
Don’t put pages of keywords into the middle of a report as that damaged the general to specific flow and hurts the impact of the overall story you’re trying to tell of strategy and performance in your report.

9. Integrate Data Beyond the PPC Conversion

In many client relationships, the PPC conversion is a lead, engagement, or something short of a completed sale producing trackable revenue.
When that’s the case, if you can work with the sales team, get CRM access, or find a way to get feedback on the leads PPC is driving or the activity it is generating, you can do more to show the true impact of your efforts.
At the very least, you can get valuable feedback that will influence your decisions while managing the campaign in real time versus waiting for anecdotal feedback from the client after the fact.
Getting this data as quickly as possible helps avoid a situation where you’re driving what looks like good PPC leads, but learn later that none of the leads qualified or closed.


Including the nine essentials in your PPC reports help you to make the reporting process a meaningful one and much more than just a routine activity.


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Why You Should Think of New Ways to Approach SEO

New Ways to Approach Technical SEO: A Necessity, Not an Option

The practice of SEO has changed more than any other marketing channel over the last decade.
Through a succession of algorithmic evolutions, SEO has also remained the foundation of a successful digital strategy – 51 percent of online traffic arrives at websites via organic search, after all.
SEO has gone mainstream.
Still, we must take stock of the fact that SEO in 2018 requires new skills and approaches to succeed in an increasingly competitive world.
With more than 5,000 devices integrated with Google Assistant and voice search on the rise, the focal points of search have become decentralized.
The SERP as we knew it is long gone; search is dynamic, visual, and everywhere now.
This has a very significant impact on organizations, as SEO is a collaborative discipline that requires a synthesis of multiple specialisms to achieve optimal results. At the heart of this lies the domain of technical SEO, which has remained the foundation upon which any successful strategy is built.

A Brief History of Technical SEO

All roads lead back to technical – it’s how you now use your skills that has changed.
technical seo history from early 2000s to 2018
SEO has always entailed driving high-quality traffic through organic search.
The means of achieving this goal have altered significantly since the early days of SEO, when technical skills were dominant.
Crawlability was then – as it is now – a foremost consideration when setting up an SEO strategy.
Content was secondary – a vehicle to include keywords and improve rankings. This evolved over time to encompass link building, based on Google’s key early innovation of using links to evaluate and rank content.
The goal of marketers remained constant: to attract organic search traffic that converted on their website.
As a result, we endured a cat and mouse game with some marketers doing whatever it took to gain high search rankings.
As soon as Google caught up with keyword cloaking, black hat SEO practitioners moved on to link buying in an attempt to manipulate their rankings. The Panda and Penguin algorithm updates put paid to a lot of those murky tactics and even (briefly) raised the discussion of whether SEO was dead.
This question missed one key point.
As long as people are using search as a means to discover information, SEO will continue in rude health. Those discussions are a distant memory as we embrace modern SEO, especially its convergence with content marketing.
The industry has gone from strength to strength and the best strategies are now justly rewarded with increased search presence.
In the process, SEO has moved from an entirely rational discipline to something more rounded, including the typically “right-brained” domain of creative content. This has changed the shape of SEO departments and demanded collaboration with other digital marketing departments.
Technical SEO, for its part, now encompasses all search engine best practices and allows no room for manipulation. This specialism never went away, but it has seen a recent renaissance as senior marketers realize that it drives performance as well as crawler compliance.
There are four key areas to this:
  • Site Content: Ensuring that content can be crawled and indexed by all major search engines, in particular making use of log file analysis to interpret their access patterns and structured data to enable efficient access to content elements.
  • Structure: Creating a site hierarchy and URL structure that allow both search engines and users to navigate to the most relevant content. This should also facilitate the flow of internal link equity through the site.
  • Conversion: Identifying and resolving any blockages that prevent users from navigating through the site.
  • Performance: A key development has been the evolution of technical SEO into a performance-related specialism. This has always been the case, but marketers of all stripes have realized that technical SEO is about a lot more than just “housekeeping.” Getting the three areas above in order will lead to better site performance through search and other channels, too.
Within this context, it is worth questioning whether “SEO” is even an adequate categorization for what we do anymore.

A New Approach: Site, Search & Content Optimization

The term “search engine optimization” is arguably no longer fit for purpose, as we extend our remit to include content marketing, conversion rate optimization, and user experience.
Our work includes:
  • Optimizing the site for users.
  • Ensuring accessibility of content for all major search engines and social networks.
  • Creating content that engages the right audience across multiple marketing channels.
According to research from BrightEdge, only 3 percent of 250 marketers surveyed believe SEO and content are separate disciplines.

We should therefore be looking at this set of skills as site, search, and content optimization – especially as the role of a search engine continues to evolve beyond the 10 blue links of old.
Our responsibility is to get in front of consumers wherever they are searching, which is an ever-changing set of contexts. This would be a more fitting depiction of a marketing channel that plays an increasingly pivotal role in digital and business strategy.
After all, when major technological trends develop, technical SEO pros are often at the forefront of innovation. This looks set to be further entrenched by recent industry developments.
Now that Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are center stage, brands must ensure that their web presence meets the highest standards to keep pace with the modern consumer.
Being “mobile-first” has big implications for how we engage our audiences, but it is also a technological consideration. PWAs will soon be coming to Google Chrome on desktop, which is a further manifestation of the “mobile-first” approach to site experiences that we all need to adopt.
It would be hard to argue that these fit uniquely under the remit of ‘Search Engine Optimization’, and yet it is likely SEO pros that will lead to change within their respective organizations.
Brands need to think beyond search engines and imagine the new ways their content could – and should – be discovered by customers.
A different approach to SEO is required if we are to tap into the full potential of emerging consumer trends. That approach should expand to include site experience optimization, as well as traditional SEO techniques.
There are plentiful new opportunities for those who adapt; a process that can be accelerated by creating a collaborative working environment.

6 Thinking Hats & SEO

However we choose to label it, it should be clear that SEO has never existed in a vacuum. From its early symbiosis with web development to its latter-day convergence with content, SEO has always been about collaboration.
It is therefore helpful to consider frameworks that can bring this idea to life and bring together the specialist skills required for a modern organic search campaign.
We typically talk only about black hat and white hat in SEO (with the occasional mention of gray), but Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats approach can add structure to collaboration.
Each hat reflects a way of thinking and separates out the different functions required to achieve successful outcomes. These could be entirely different departments, different individuals, or even different mindsets for one person.
The objective is to improve the collaborative process, but also to erode the fallibility of subjectivity by approaching every challenge from all angles before progressing.

1. White Hat

A well-known term for most SEO pros, White Hat thinking in this context depends purely on facts, statistics, and data points. This is the most objective way of approaching a situation.

Who Should Wear This Hat?

Data analysts and analytics specialists are typically naturals at adopting this approach.

Why Is It Needed for SEO?

Looking purely at the data is a perfect starting point for discussion. It keeps everyone focused on the objective truths of cross-channel performance. Data without context is meaningless, of course, so this approach in isolation lacks the color needed to understand consumers.

2. Yellow Hat

The Yellow Hat approach brings optimism to the table, focusing on the potential benefits a strategy may bring for brands and the consumer.

Who Should Wear This Hat?

Anyone can be an optimist, so this could be a mindset that all parties take on for a period of time. Equally, this could be handed to one person as a responsibility; the key thing is to maintain some structure.

Why Is It Needed for SEO?

We tend to have a lot of ideas, so it is easy to jettison some of them before their full potential has been explored. Taking an alternative view allows for full exploration of an idea, even if only to retain some of its components.

3. Black Hat

The Black Hat is anathema to advanced SEO pros, but the concept does have value in this particular context. We can use this interchangeably with the “devil’s advocate” approach, where someone purposefully points out obstacles and dangers for the project.

Who Should Wear This Hat?

No one really, but be aware of the dangers of people offering SEO solutions and little transparency into the how. Keep an eye out for negative SEO attacks.

4. Red Hat

The Red Hat approach relates to feelings and emotions, often based on the gut reaction to an idea. This can be very beneficial for a digital project, as we can sometimes be overly rational in our data-driven approach.

Who Should Wear This Hat?

It can be helpful to assign this role to someone who works closely with the target audience, or who analyzes and interprets a lot of audience data.

Why Is It Needed for SEO?

When fighting for vital – and dwindling – consumer attention, first impressions matter. Content marketing campaigns can depend on getting this right, so it’s worth listening to gut instinct sometimes.

5. Green Hat

The Green Hat brings creativity and spontaneity to the process, tackling challenges from a new perspective when possible. Where others see obstacles, this approach will see new opportunities.

Who Should Wear This Hat?

Anyone can be creative. However, it may be best to assign this role to someone who feels comfortable sharing their ideas with a group and is not easily disheartened if they don’t take off!

Why Is It Needed for SEO?

There are best practices, but those only take us so far. They are a leveling force; new ideas are what really make the difference. In an industry, as nascent as ours, there are plenty of trails yet to be explored. The Green Hat brings that element of innovation to a discussion.

6. Blue Hat

The Blue Hat organized the thinking process and takes ultimate responsibility for bringing together the different strands into a cohesive whole.

Who Should Wear This Hat?

The project lead or the person closest to the brand’s objectives can help keep things focused. Project managers also have a natural affinity for this role.

Why Is It Needed for SEO?

SEO is an increasingly diverse set of disciplines, which makes this role indispensable. To maximize the organic search opportunity, various departments need to be working in tandem on an ongoing basis. The Blue Hat keeps this collaboration going.
Actual hats are optional, but may help the adoption of this approach.
Regardless, these ways of thinking have a range of benefits across any organization:
  • Opportunities to integrate more digital functions into the SEO process.
  • Ways to learn new skills, both by doing and by observing.
  • Integration of SEO best practices across more digital channels.
  • A central role for SEO, without reducing the importance of other specialists.


SEO has evolved to be part of something bigger and technical skills must be applied in a different manner.
If anything, it has expanded into a much more sophisticated and nuanced digital channel that has outgrown the “Search Engine Optimization” category. The core tenets of organic search remain firmly in place, with technical SEO given overdue prominence as a driver of web, mobile and device performance.
SEO professionals are often at the forefront of technological innovations and this looks unlikely to change in a world of voice search, digital assistants, and Progressive Web Apps.
New approaches are required if we are to maximize this opportunity, however. That begins with the definition of what exactly SEO entails and extends to the ways we lead collaboration within our organizations.
The level of technical acumen needed for success has changed back to the levels it once was. However, where and how you apply that knowledge is key to technical success. Focus your skills on optimizing:
  • Your site.
  • Mobile and desktop devices.
  • Mobile apps.
  • Voice search.
  • VR.
  • Agents.
  • Vertical search engines (it’s not just Google anymore – think Amazon for example).
The AI revolution is begging for more help from technical SEO professionals and data scientists to help drive it forward.
If you act now and take a slightly different viewpoint on your role, organic search can assume a central role in both business strategy and cross-channel digital marketing.


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Google: Search Snippets Are Now Shorter on Average

Google: Search Snippets Are Now Shorter on Average

Google has confirmed there is still no fixed length for search snippets, though snippets have been shorter on average compared to recent weeks.
This topic was addressed by Google’s Danny Sullivan in response to a number of SEOs who have been noticing shorter snippets in search results as of late.
”Our search snippets are now shorter on average than in recent weeks, though slightly longer than before a change we made last December. There is no fixed length for snippets. Length varies based on what our systems deem to be most useful.”
Google extended the potential length of search snippets back in December, though never once stated there is either a maximum length, a fixed length, or even a recommended length.
The length of search snippets are dynamic, and may be shorter or longer depending on the query.
Some SEOs are upset after having invested time into writing longer meta descriptions. Sullivan reiterates that Google was clear from the beginning there was no need to change meta description tags.
When it comes to writing meta descriptions, ask yourself: If I was a searcher, would I be compelled to click on this search result?
Don’t get caught up on character counts. All you can do is aim for being as useful and concise as possible. Google will ultimately display what it wants as a meta description.

Reference :

Monday, May 14, 2018

How to Do Guest Blogging for Natural Looking Link Building

How to Do Guest Blogging for Natural Looking Link Building

Guest blogging is still huge.
And I have every reason to believe that it’s going to make even more of my mystical creature dreams come true.
Larry Kim is what happens when you blend a 🦄 with high-quality content and an authoritative publication. Kim, the founder of WordStream, is a winning example of how to swirl content into a distribution funnel.
Just look at his post on Inc. 40 Amazing Places To Learn Something New Every Day, which received 40 backlinks.
Guest blogging can, as you’ve seen before, look scary.
But, enhancing your online visibility or backlink profile doesn’t have to be frightening — or require the writing skills of Shakespeare. You just need the proper arsenal to get that natural-looking link building.

Think Beyond the Links

It’s time we think beyond the links.
There’s been an onslaught of guest blogging for links on the market.
To make sense of it all, Moz surveyed agencies and freelancers to see if they still use guest posting, and 90 percent of respondents said yes, they still use a form of guest posting.
There are a lot of winning entrepreneurs using guest blogging in their link building toolkit: Even the aspiring Julie Joyces will find something to fall in love with.
Just take a look at how other entrepreneurs have used this strategy in the past.
  • Neil Patel publishes an average of 100 guest posts per year.
  • Mark Traphagen shared his thoughts on how Eric Enge built his reputation by writing guest posts.
  • Leo Widrich wrote 150 guest blog posts in 2 months to help build Buffer.
  • Julia McCoy at Express Writers gained $5,000 from one guest blog post on SitePro.

Your Guest Blogging Strategy

Here’s a quick snapshot of my guest blogging strategy:

1. Set Qualifying Factors Needed to Work with a Blog

Here’s a look at my qualifying factors I review for every guest blogging opportunity.
Guest blog qualifying factors

2. Check the Bio Section

Researching the bio section is key because it leaves opportunity for you to not only add a link, but add a link for users to sign-up to your newsletter.

3. Engage Before You Pitch

Before I send my pitch email, I connect with the website on every social platform by engaging in replies to tweets and signing up for their newsletter.


Timeframe: Ongoing starting Month 3
Results detected: 4-12 months
Average blogs posted per month: 4
  • BuzzStream
  • BuzzSumo
  • Alexa
Benefits of guest blogging:
  • Guest blogging improves your brand awareness and SEO authority. If you have a solid strategy of posting to multiple websites within a similar timeframe, it gives the illusion that you’re everywhere.
  • Guest blogging increases your website traffic and leads. By adding a link in your bio to a landing page to sign-up for your newsletter, you’re increasing traffic and gaining leads.
  • Read more in Search Engine Journal’s The Top 11 Benefits of Guest Blogging.
More Guest Blogging Resources:

Friday, May 11, 2018

Google Publishes Image Search SEO Tips

Google Publishes Image Search SEO Tips

Google has updated their Image Publishing Guidelines and it’s a vast improvement.
The new version offers actionable information that could make your images rank better, position them to appear in rich results, make them voice assistant friendly, and bring more traffic to your website.
This updated support page has a lot to offer.

Image Search SEO Tips

Google has provided useful image search SEO tips. Here are the actionable takeaways:
  1. Provide good context: Make sure images are contextually relevant because the text of the content is going to influence how Google interprets what the image is about.
  2. Optimize Image Placement: This means to place images so that text that is relevant to the image is nearby. The surrounding text will be picked up by Google to help it understand what the image is about. Adding a caption is an additional good way to do this. Adding an important image close to the top of the page is another tip.
  3. Create informative and High Quality Sites: Google considers the quality of the content as part of the image ranking process. The content is also used to generate a meaningful snippet for the content. So it helps for the page content to relate with the image content.
  4. Create Device-Friendly Sites: Google revealed that users search for images on mobile more than they do on desktop. This means it’s important to be mobile friendly in order to rank better and capitalize on the traffic.
  5. Create Good URL Structure for Your Images: This is an interesting SEO tip. Google revealed that they use the file path and the file name in order to better understand and rank images. This is an actual ranking factor Google is sharing. This is a very useful tip for ranking images. For example, if your images are of different kinds of products, instead of dumping them all into a generic “/assets/” or “/images/” folder, you could in theory create a more organized structure to organize the images into something more meaningful like, /mens/ and /womens/ in order to organize images of men’s and women’s clothing.

Technical SEO Tips for Image Search

The Google support page goes on and offers technical advice for achieving better ranking web pages and images. Here are further insights:

Check Your Page Title & Description

Google confirms that it uses the title element and the meta description as part of their image search algorithm.  This does not mean that they are ranking factors. The role is limited to generating a snippet which then can help users decide to click through or not.
While it was previously understood that title tags were important, it’s an interesting revelation that the meta description tag plays a role.  Here is what the new Google Image Search Support page says:
“Google Images automatically generates a title and snippet to best explain each result and how it relates to the user query… We use a number of different sources for this information, including descriptive information in the title, and meta tags “

Add Structured Data

This is a very interesting addition to the new support page. Structured data plays a role in rich results and although it’s not mentioned in this support page, we also know that structured data plays a role in voice assisted search, which is an important area of search. Google’s Voice Assistant is now embedded in over 5,000 devices including in automobiles.

Here is what Google’s support page states:
If you include structured data, Google Images can display your images as rich results, including a prominent badge, which gives users relevant information about your page and can drive better targeted traffic to your site.
From the Google Support Page about Badges:
“If you’re publishing recipes, add Recipe markup on your page, for products, add Product markup, and for videos, add Video markup.”

More SEO Advice for Image Search

Google ends the support page by highlighting the following SEO tips for image search:
  • Optimize image size for speed
  • Optimize photos for sharpness
  • Use descriptive titles, captions, descriptive alt text, file names, and surrounding text.
  • Use an XML Image Site Map
  • Safe Search SEO: Segregate adult content into it’s own image folder
The Google support pages Danny Sullivan is credited with feature a similar usefulness as this support page. The previous Image Publishing Guidelines didn’t have as many actionable SEO tips.
I don’t know if Sullivan had a hand in crafting this new image publishing guideline, but it needs to be noted that this is an excellent and useful page.  Read: Google’s new Image Publishing Guidelines.