Posts Tagged ‘Search engine optimisation’
Monday, March 10th, 2014
Thursday, March 6th, 2014
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If your business uses search engine optimisation campaigns, it is absolutely vital that you track your results. You need to know what is working and what isn’t so you can refine your strategies. But, when you look at your analytics dashboard or read your SEO report, do you know what all those terms mean?
It may seem like the SEO industry has its own language, but when you understand what some common terms mean, your reports will be much more helpful. This list is by no means exhaustive but it includes some of the most common terms used in SEO tracking and reporting.
SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
Search engine marketing is the process of promoting a business using SEO tactics to make the business’ website easier for users to find through search engines.
SERP (Search Engine Results Page)
This is the page displayed on a search engine after a user types in a word or phrase. The pages include both paid and organic search results. The goal of SEO campaigns and SEM is to achieve higher rankings.
PR (Page Rank)
Google uses several different factors to determine how important a website or page is and then assigns that page a number on a scale of zero to 10. The higher the number, the more important Google deems the page.
A page’s authority is determined by how high it ranks in search results. Pages with a higher authority are well optimised and therefore appear at the top of SERPs.
“Backlink” is the technical term for an inbound link, or a link on one site that leads to another. Building backlinks is one way to increase your website’s search rankings.
When a website links to another website, it passes SEO credit to the site or in a sense endorses it. You can choose to make some links nofollow links, so this credit is not passed to the site. In general, you shouldn’t use nofollow links when you link to other pages on your own site.
Organic keywords, as used on website reports, are the words that people type into search engines that lead them to your website. Ranking for organic keywords means that a website appears at the top of organic search results, below the ads on SERPs.
Paid keywords are the words that a business has purchased through a search engine. You can pay to have your website appear in the ad section of SERPs when specific words are typed into the search engine.
Pageviews are simply the number of times a page has been displayed on users’ browsers. This number shows you the number of times your page has loaded, not the number of people who have seen it.
This number tells you how many people have viewed a page. Your site may have 500 pageviews, but only 300 unique pageviews. This means 300 people have viewed the page and 200 of those pageviews were multiple visits by the same users.
A site’s bounce rate is the percentage of people who come to your website and then leave it from the same page, so they only view one page of your site. In general, you want to strive for lower bounce rates, which will tell you that your visitors are exploring your site and spending more time on it.
Understanding what these terms mean, and what these numbers and statistics mean for your website and business, will help you refine your SEO plans and make your site easier for your market to find.
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Monday, March 3rd, 2014
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As more and more people access the Internet from their smartphones using search engines, businesses need to make sure their sites are optimised for mobile use. To be successful, your mobile site should be user friendly and optimised, so that search engines can rank it and your market can find it.
There is a lot that goes into mobile SEO, but here are a few tips to help you start earning higher rankings.
Do Mobile-Specific Keyword Research
Your market may use different search terms when they use their smartphones. For example, they may be doing local searches or they may use shorter phrases. As you brainstorm keywords and do research, keep this in mind and make sure the words you decide to target are words a mobile audience would use.
Use Less Rich Content
Rich content like photos and videos don’t really help with SEO efforts because search engines can’t read their content. Another problem with these is that they often take more time to load, which can make your mobile site more clunky and less user friendly. If you do use rich content, use it sparingly and be sure to use content in conjunction with it to help your pages rank.
Don’t Condense, Just Reorganise
It can be tempting to remove content from mobile versions of your site, but this gives you fewer opportunities to use keywords to rank your site. Instead of getting rid of keyword-rich content, try reorganising it so it’s more readable on a small screen.
Grouping your content into smaller sections and using a navigation menu that organises everything so that it is more readable is a good way to make your site better for mobile users. A page full of content on a tiny screen can be overwhelming to visitors, so break the text up and organise it so it’s more user friendly.
Don’t Use an App to Replace a Mobile Site
Mobile apps have their benefits, and may have a place in your Internet marketing strategy, but they shouldn’t replace your mobile site. Search engines can’t read and index content in apps, so you are missing out on potential rankings if you rely on this content. Use mobile apps in addition to, not in place of, a mobile site.
Prioritise the User Experience
With all the optimisation strategies you implement, don’t forget to prioritise your users’ experience. Your site should be easy to read and navigate. Google encourages businesses to create user-friendly mobile sites and actually provides a list of common mistakes made on mobile sites. You can use the list to make sure your site is free of errors that could drive visitors away.
Mobile SEO is an important part of a successful Internet marketing strategy. Your site should be easy for people to use on their tablet or smartphone and should be fully optimised so search engines can read and index it, making it easier for your market to find.
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Friday, February 28th, 2014
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Internet marketing is a broad term that covers several different marketing channels. The channels, or means that you use to reach your market, are very important to your success.
A good Internet marketing strategy will leverage multiple channels that best help your business connect with your market so you can promote your brand and build your customer base. With so many channels and tactics out there, here are a few that are becoming increasingly important and that you should keep an eye on and consider using.
The first channel we think of when we think of Internet marketing is websites. If a business doesn’t have a website in today’s world, it will quickly become obsolete.
Start with your own site and make sure it is a place where you can tell your audience who you are and what you can do for your customers. Also be sure it is fully optimised so it will earn high search rankings. Many businesses use other channels to drive their market to their website, where they make a sale.
Using other websites, especially news sites, is a great way to build links to your site, raise awareness about your business and drive traffic to your site.
Blogging is another extremely common channel and for good reason, it’s a great way to reach a lot of people.
Blogging is an easy way to keep your audience up to date, provide value and create content that will attract people to your site. If you aren’t already blogging, now is the time to start.
Guest blogging, sponsored posts and blog coverage on others’ blogs can also help you promote your business. Link building, more traffic, the chance to reach a new audience and increased awareness are just a few benefits you can get when you use others’ blogs.
Search engine optimisation is a very valuable form of Internet marketing that can help you get more organic traffic to your site and make it easier for people to find you online. Organic traffic is valuable because in many cases, it consists of people who are already looking for your business or products, so they are potential customers.
Social media is a powerful way to connect with your market, give your customers a way to interact with your business online and promote your content, products and business. The social media sites you use will depend on your business and market.
Email marketing can help you deliver marketing messages and tactics to niche groups of people, including current customers, potential customers and blog readers. The key to success with email marketing is to craft strategic messages and calls to action.
Both traditional online ads and pay-per-click ads can be very effective. Consider your options and be sure you place ads on websites where your target market will see them.
Mobile Internet use is on the rise and smartphone apps are a powerful Internet marketing tool. If you can offer some kind of value through an app, consider designing one for your business.
There are several different Internet marketing channels and you’ll likely need to use a combination of them to promote your business and reach your markets. Choose the ones that will best match your needs and bring the biggest benefits, and then add them to your plans strategically so you will see the best results.
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Monday, February 24th, 2014
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Blogging is one of the most basic and most important things you can do for your website. Unfortunately, many businesses forgo blogging because they don’t think they have the time for it or they don’t fully understand all the benefits they can get when they do it.
If you’ve been neglecting your company blog, or haven’t started one yet, here are just a few of the many reasons why you should use it to its fullest potential.
Fresh Content Leads to Higher Search Rankings
You probably already know that updating your site frequently with new content will help your search engine optimisation efforts. Search engines continually crawl sites to find and rank new content, and when you constantly update your site, you can rank higher for specific search terms.
Using a blog is a great way to have an easy way to update your website. Blogging about your business, industry news, new products, how-to topics and other subjects your market will be interested in will also help you drive traffic to your site.
Keep Your Market Informed
Blogging is a powerful way to keep your market informed. It is a channel of communication you can use to update your audience about business news and tell your customers about new products and features.
When you use your blog in conjunction with social media sites, this approach becomes even more useful. Post detailed information, pictures and infographics on your blog, and then share the post through social media, making it more visible to your market.
Own Your Story
When other people blog about your business, or news sites cover a product or event, you don’t have complete control over your story. The blogger or reporter will write about you from their perspective. Of course, this kind of coverage is excellent public relations and can help you raise awareness and drive traffic to your website.
However, when you post to your blog you have complete control over your story. You can include the information you want your market to know and use the style, tone and messaging that will be most beneficial to your business.
Have Complete Control over the Platform
Social media sites are always changing. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other sites are always adding and taking away features that change the way you can use them. In fact, some social media sites disappear altogether, taking part of your social media marketing strategy, and maybe even part of your market, with them.
When you rely more strongly on your own blog, and not an outside platform, you have complete control over it. You can add and remove features whenever you want and you know it will always be there. You can also use your own blog however you want. Having your own blog where your market can get information and interact with your business is important and should be a major part of your Internet marketing plan.
Blogging has so many benefits and these are just a few of the reasons you can’t afford to pass on a company blog. If you haven’t used a blog as part of your Internet marketing plan, start today. You’ll see higher search rankings, more traffic and have control over your own messaging.
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Thursday, February 13th, 2014
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High-quality content is beneficial to your business in numerous ways, including its ability to help you get high search engine rankings. For some time now, Google has emphasised the importance of creating and publishing quality content. Now, Bing has taken this a step further by stating that content with typos and mistakes won’t rank as high as other content.
In a blog post, Duane Forrester, senior product manager at Bing, explains that the search engine is judged by the quality of results it shows users, so it will be looking specifically at the quality of content published on websites. He says that lower quality content, with errors, won’t rank as well as high-quality, error-free content.
High Quality Leads to Better Rankings
There’s no question that high-quality content will rank better in search results, from both Google and Bing. When your audience enters keywords that describe your business or what you do, you want your website to appear at the top of search engine results pages, and publishing high-quality content is the first step to achieving this.
How does high-quality content impact rankings? According to both Google and Bing, their algorithms identify strong, relevant content and rank it higher than other content. The best content also gets more social shares and traffic, which can help you boost your rankings.
What You Need for High-Quality Content
So, how do you go about creating the best content? There are a few things all good content has in common, and when you keep them in mind as you develop your Internet marketing plans and create content, you’ll see better search rankings and build a stronger brand reputation.
First, each piece of content you produce should help you reach some goal. Don’t just create content for the sake of creating content. In most cases, your goal should be to benefit your market in some way. You can do this by providing information, offering entertainment, providing a solution to a problem or teaching your market something.
Copy that is free of typos, grammatical errors and other mistakes is also essential. Proofread your content carefully and make sure it is something you want to use to represent your brand.
You need to give your market a reason to pay attention to your content by adding value to it. Provide people with information they need, are looking for or will benefit from.
Your content needs to match the needs and desires of your market and audience. Irrelevant content doesn’t rank very well, and it certainly won’t help you promote your business because it won’t help you appeal to your market and persuade people to take action.
High-quality content is produced with a market and purpose in mind and is well written and professional. As you publish this kind of content and create a strategic search engine optimisation plan, you will see better rankings. As an added benefit, top-quality content will also build your brand and help you create a positive reputation among your markets.
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Monday, February 10th, 2014
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According to Search Engine Watch, Google has updated its site layout algorithm. In essence, it is targeting sites that have large ads near the top of the page.
But, this isn’t the only thing Google doesn’t want to see on your website. If you want to achieve high search rankings, here are a few more things to avoid.
Large Ads Above the Fold
In October, Google announced that the update would target sites that have large ads above the fold, or on the top of the page in the space users see without having to scroll.
The announcement hints that the reason Google doesn’t like this technique is that the company feels it inhibits the user experience. If your site has big ads near the top, now is a good time to remove them.
Keyword stuffing, or the practice of using so many keywords in a piece of content that it becomes almost unreadable, is something else Google doesn’t want to see on your site. Keywords should be used throughout your content, but in natural ways.
The best way to accomplish this is to make sure you are writing with your market in mind and using keywords naturally as they are needed. This should be easy to accomplish if your content is relevant.
Google has started placing more and more emphasis on the fact that site owners need to provide high-quality content. Content that is relevant, adds value to a topic and is well written is extremely important.
One way you can make sure you are providing the best kind of content is to produce things with your readers in mind. Make sure you are meeting their needs and providing value to them.
Along with low-quality content, Google doesn’t want to see duplicated content on your website. Never copy and paste content from other sources onto your site or publish the same piece of content more than once.
It’s unethical, and in some cases illegal, to copy someone else’s content, and this shouldn’t ever be an issue. While it may be tempting to reuse that blog post by publishing it as an article on another website, don’t do it. Google views duplicate content as low quality, and duplicating blog posts and articles could cost you rankings.
A Lack of Meta Tags
Meta tags, such descriptions, titles and alt tags, should be used throughout your website. Using keywords wherever possible can help you improve your rankings, so choosing not to use them means you are missing out on a chance to optimise your site.
Tags tell search engines about your website, so when you use them, and include keywords, you are making it easier for search engines like Google to rank your website.
Google frequently updates its algorithms as it works to find the best ways to bring high-quality, informative content to the top of search results. Make sure your website is one of those top results by staying away from black-hat SEO practices and working to fully optimise your site.
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Wednesday, February 5th, 2014
Image courtesy of ddpavumba/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Even small changes can make a big difference in how your website looks and how effective it is at helping you meet your business goals. In fact, sometimes all you need to do to see more results is make a few simple changes. There are situations that call for an entire site makeover, but here are eight easy ways to update your website.
Change the Navigation Menu
Consider the titles and pages you include in your navigation menu and decide if the way you have it set up is helping you meet your goals. By adding specific products, information and other pages to the main menu, you can draw attention to them, which can help you meet goals like increasing sales or helping your market understand your business.
This is also a good way to make sure your site’s pages are organised and your site is easy to use, so your market will spend more time browsing your content and products.
Bring Buried Information to the Front
Bring information about products, how to contact you or details about events to the front of your website, on the homepage for example, to make it easier to find. If you haven’t updated your site in a while, important information could be burred and difficult for your market to find.
Make it Easier to Connect on Social Media
Make sure there are links to the social media networks you use in a visible place on your site. It’s a good idea to include these on your homepage and keep in mind that if they are one of the first things your market sees, people will likely click on them, leaving your site.
Of course, this can be a great thing if your goal is to build your social media following, but if you want people to spend more time on your site you may want to add them to the bottom of the homepage.
Add a Newsroom or Blog
If you don’t already have a blog, consider adding one. A blog is a great way to connect with your market and publish your own content, which you can share on social media to drive traffic to your site. A newsroom, where you post company updates, new products and newsworthy information, can also help you do this.
Both of these tools allow you to update your site regularly, which has great search engine optimisation benefits.
Clear the Clutter on Each Page
If you’ve been adding information to the pages on your site for some time, they could be cluttered with information that doesn’t need to be there anymore. Assess each page and remove outdated information, extra pictures and excessive copy.
Make it More Visual
Websites that are too text heavy can be less effective because they are overwhelming to readers, who often leave the page before they have read everything. Avoid this problem by breaking up text and using visual elements, like pictures, buttons, lines, arrows, and colours, to make your pages easier to read and information easier to digest.
Rewrite Your Homepage Content
When was the last time you updated the content on your homepage? This is a quick and easy way to make sure your site still reflects your brand and purpose and that it will effectively reach your market and encourage people to become your customers.
Refresh Your Calls to Action
Another simple way to update your website is to refresh your calls to action so that they are in line with your Internet marketing strategy. For example, if your strategy is to drive people to your website and then convert them to customers, making more sales, your calls to action should ask people to make a purchase.
If your website is in need of a change, use this list to find simple ways to update it and make it a more effective part of your Internet marketing plans.
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Thursday, January 30th, 2014
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You’ve probably heard the rumours that Google Plus isn’t gaining much traction, but that isn’t the case. Google says the site has 300 million monthly active users and search engine experts have found numerous benefits to using the site as part of SEO efforts.
If you don’t already have a Google Plus account set up for your business, now is the time to consider creating one. Google Plus can help you reach your market and boost your search rankings, among other Internet marketing strategies.
There are a few things you should do to make sure you are getting the most out of your Google Plus profile, whether you have been using it for some time or it is brand new.
Choose the Right Category for Your Business
When you set up a Google Plus profile page for your business, you’ll get to choose a category for it. Your choices are:
- Local Business or Place
- Product or Brand
- Company, Institution or Organisation
- Arts, Entertainment or Sports
Choosing the right category for your business will make it much easier for your market to find you on Google Plus.
Make Sure Your Profile is Complete
Make sure your profile includes a complete biography that tells people about your business and that you take advantage of the opportunity to add links to your website and social media sites. Google Plus lets you add a link to your website, which will help your market find you more easily, and links to other social media profiles, like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Include Links In Your Biography
Google Plus gives you an excellent opportunity to link to your website, blog or any page you want with keywords in your biography. Take advantage of this and add a few links that will benefit your SEO efforts and that make it easy for your followers to find out more about your business. This is also a good way to drive traffic to your website.
Set up Google Authorship
You’ve probably seen those Google search results that include a picture and sometimes even links to other content from the same person or business. This is possible through Google Authorship.
When you connect your website to your Google Plus account, and then add a small piece of code to your site, or use a plugin, content you author will appear in search results with your picture. This lends credibility to your content and can help you get more links on the first page of results as you tie all your content together.
Get Followers and Stay Active
Like you do with other social media accounts, you should work to gain followers by staying active, sharing content and interacting with other users. Creating and joining Google Plus communities can also help you build your following. A strong following will help you grow your online audience and drive traffic to your website. However, more Google Plus followers can actually help you get better search results.
When people who follow you are logged in to Google, your content will appear at the top of search results for words and terms that match your content. This will help you increase traffic to your site and make your content and business more visible.
Google Plus is a social media tool that can help you reach your market and share your content, but it also brings some valuable SEO benefits. If you haven’t optimised your profile, use these tips to get started and then share relevant content and build your following.
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Monday, January 20th, 2014
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
The practice of using article directories as a way to build links for search engine optimisation strategies is one that has been around for a long time, but now Google’s Matt Cutts has spoken out against this tactic. But, don’t worry; there are still legitimate ways to build links to help you get higher rankings.
The Problem with Article Directories
Article directories are sites where users can upload articles, which include a few links in the author biography, and other users can use the content on their own sites. The idea is that as more people use the content, more links will be built back to a company’s website, increasing search rankings.
Cutts explained that the content in these directories is usually low quality and then goes on to say, “I wouldn’t necessarily count on that being effective.” Google has also updated its search algorithm to put less of an emphasis on these links, so this strategy is not the best way to build links and earn rankings.
Better Ways to Build Links
But, when done the right way, link building can still be an effective SEO strategy. The key is to make sure the content you produce is of the highest quality and provides value to your market and that links are relevant.
Creating attractive infographics that are interesting and make your readers want to share them is a great way to build links. There are a few ways you can use this as a link-building strategy. First, you can post the infographic on your own website or blog and share it with your market, in an effort to encourage people to link back to your website. Secondly, you can provide your readers with a piece of code they can use to embed the infographic on their own site, which will automatically link back to your site.
Earned Media Coverage
Getting in the news can offer link-building opportunities. When your business or products are blogged about or mentioned in a news article, the writer will most likely link to your website. News websites and high-ranking industry blogs provide valuable links that will help your own site’s rankings.
You can get media coverage by simply being the best in your industry, launching innovative products, holding major events and becoming a resource bloggers want to reach out to. Another way to build these kinds of links is to write press releases about newsworthy happenings at your business and then distribute them to journalists and bloggers.
Social media can work hand-in-hand with SEO to help you get higher rankings. Promote your content on social media to drive traffic to you website, which can influence rankings. Another added benefit of using social media is that your content will get more exposure and if your readers like it, they will be more likely to link to it from their own websites or blogs.
When users are logged in to Google when they perform a search, content that their Google+ connections have written, and linked with Google Authorship, will appear higher in search results. While the audience you can reach with this strategy may not be as large as when you achieve regular Google rankings, it is one more way you can get your content in front of more people.
While using article directories to build links is an outdated practice, there are other ways your business can get links back to its website to earn higher search rankings. Your goal should always be to provide top-notch content and value for your market, and link-building opportunities and rankings will follow.
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There’s no question that YouTube is an excellent channel to use for video marketing. You can use the site to share your marketing videos, build a following, interact with your market and even broadcast live events. But, did you know you can also use it to bolster your search engine optimisation efforts?
When you use YouTube the right way, and take advantage of some features and options, you can actually increase your site’s rankings, making it easier for your market to find you through search engines.
Use YouTube’s Features
First, when you upload your video to YouTube, take full advantage of all the features on the site.
Add Links to the Description
Write a good description of your video and include keywords that link back to your website. Do this strategically, using the best keywords for your business and linking to the pages you want to rank.
Use YouTube Tags
YouTube tags are a great way to make your video more findable. If appropriate, use tags that are keywords, but if not, choose tags that make the most sense for your video and market.
You can add a location for your YouTube video, which can help with local SEO efforts. Keep in mind that this tactic may be best suited for small, local businesses or videos that are created for a specific location of a national business.
Leverage Other Social Media Networks
Once your video is uploaded and optimised on YouTube, the next step is to use other social media networks to promote it.
Connect Your Video to Your Google Places Page and Google+ Local Page
First, add your video to your Google Places page, which will also help with local SEO efforts. Then, add it to your Google+ Local page. Connecting all your content across Google’s services will help you create a stronger brand and bring SEO benefits.
Promote Your Video through Social Media
Now, use your other social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other sites, to promote your video. Of course, this will help you get the desired results from the video, but it will also help it rank higher as it gets more views.
Go Beyond the YouTube Post
Get the most out of your YouTube videos by taking things a step further, and going beyond the YouTube post and social media.
Create and Post a Transcript
Search engines can’t read the content of your video, so creating a transcript that you post online makes it more search-engine friendly. Where possible, use keywords and add links to your website. You can post the transcript on your website and on other sites to help you build links.
Embed Videos on Your Site
It’s best to host your videos on YouTube, but, embedding them on your site can help you rank for them. According to Search Engine Land, the number of times a video is embedded can also impact how well it ranks.
As you use marketing videos to promote your business, use these tips to make sure you don’t miss out on the SEO benefits you could also get from high-quality, targeted videos.
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