Monthly Archives: January 2016

How to Assess Your Site’s Content?

By | Content Marketing | No Comments

Not all content is created equal, everyone involved in search engine optimization knows that. But how do you determine what kind of content is the most profitable for your website?

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We’ve provided you with our three most helpful tips to refer to when analyzing your SEO content and selecting the best kind of content to include on your site.

  1. Do your research.

You may think you have a good idea for content creation, but before you start creating said content it’s important you do a little research. Examine various search engines to see if your content idea has already been published and who is searching for it.

  1. Assess your current content.

The main goal of content creation is to not only attract customers to your site but also to persuade them into purchasing your goods or services. It’s very beneficial for webmasters to examine content they’ve already published to see what potential customers liked and didn’t like and how they interacted with the content. One way to do this is by utilizing the conversion funnel option found in Google Analytics.

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You can use this tool to see how users are navigating through your site and from what page they are exiting. If there is a particular page that is causing a large number of people to leave your site, you should analyze this page in order to determine the cause of so many exits.  Another helpful statistic to look at when determining the performance of certain content is the bounce rate. If a page on your website has a high bounce rate percentage, then some changes probably need to be made.

  1. Find out what your customers want.

The quickest way to figure out what kind of content will attract the most clients is by asking your customers themselves. There are plenty of ways to gather information from your customers without having to contact them individually. The simplest and possibly most effective way to do this is through a customer survey.

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You can use a tool such as SurveyMonkey to email past clients and provide them with a simple online survey. You could also put a survey up on your site, providing customers with a simple one click answer.

Assessing content is one of the best ways to determine the type of content that is the most valuable to your site. We hope you are able to use the advice provided above to better select the most lucrative content and improve your site’s SEO.

Google’s Core Algorithm and How it Effects SEO

By | Search Engine Watch | No Comments

A recent announcement stating that Panda is a part of Google’s core ranking algorithm has left many SEO’s wondering what the “core” system is and what else is part of it.

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An interview with Google’s Andrey Lipattsev provided some clarification on the matter. Lipattsev stated, “It is less about the functionality, which means it probably doesn’t change that much over time, and it is more about how we perceive it, in the context of the algorithm”. He also went on to say, “For a user or even a webmaster it should not matter at all which components live where, it’s really irrelevant, and that’s why I think people should focus on these ‘interesting’ things less”.

So even though it may be an interesting development, the point is that knowing what is in the core algorithm is seemingly irrelevant. Nothing major has changed for search engine optimization, so SEO workers should continue conducting their digital marketing as usual. Webmasters need to focus on putting informative and useful content on their site to help it climb Google rankings.

Also, utilizing outlets such as private blog networks and social media sites can do wonders for your SEO. If you are not already using social media to help boost your website’s ranking then you need to start soon. Facebook is obviously one of the most popular social media sites to use for many reasons.

A Facebook page allows you to put up informative content for your clients to see and also has a section for satisfied customers to leave their reviews. You can also put your location on the page and link it back directly to your business’ website. Making use of all of the tools and outlets available to you will help tremendously as you try to grow your site’s SEO.

 

Regardless of what outlets you choose to use, the most important aspect of SEO is staying on top of the latest news in search engine optimization and constantly updating your strategies to improve your site’s results. Consistently checking for shifts in Google’s algorithm will ultimately help you stay ahead of your competitors.

Increase Your SEO Success with the Help of Automation

By | SEO Strategies | No Comments

It’s the start of the new year and people everywhere are setting goals they wish to accomplish in the months ahead. Why not try rethinking your strategies and goals for your search engine optimization business as well? Far too many SEO workers waste time doing routine tasks when they could be developing new strategies and getting ahead in the SEO world. One way to save yourself time and money is through the use of automation.

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Utilize computers in the best way possible by allowing them to do some of the less pressing work for you. That way you have more time to focus your efforts on creating plans and strategies, which is something a computer can’t do for you. Below we’ve listed a few suggestions to help you get started as you brainstorm ideas while make the switch to a more automated system:

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Try taking advantage of software that creates reports for your site. One mistake that many SEO newbies make is they waste the majority of their time doing mundane tasks and end up hindering their profitability. Instead of spending your time creating reports, analyzing them and creating strategies in response to the information gathered, utilize a tool such as the Google Analytics Spreadsheet add-on. By using tools like this one, you’ll have more time to focus your energy on improving your digital marketing strategies and creating new ways to boost your SEO.

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Two other ways you can add more automation to your SEO and save time and energy are through either automating the data gathering or the ad populating. You can automate the data gathering pretty easily using import.io without having to worry about coding.

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You can also automate populating ads by avoiding having to manually update your AdWords account through the use of AdWords scripts.

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No matter what aspect of digital marketing you choose to automate, your main focus should be trying to free yourself from time-consuming tasks so that you can concentrate on the more important work regarding SEO. The world of search engine optimization is always changing, and successful digital marketers will constantly be updating their strategies in order to ensure success for their sites.

New to SEO? Make Sure You Read This List

By | SEO Strategies | No Comments

Just started your own SEO business? Navigating the world of search engine optimization can seem daunting at times but we’re here to help! The SEO wizards at our headquarters in Indianapolis, IN have complied a list of some of the best SEO advice to help you avoid making rookie mistakes:

  1. Do your research and never stop learning.

One assumption made by many SEO newcomers is that once they have mastered the basics of search engine optimization, there is nothing else for them to learn. However, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The fact is, Google’s ranking algorithm is constantly changing, which means that there is always new information to gather regarding the world of SEO. It is vital for SEO rookies to remember that they should never stop learning or researching new tactics to help their site climb Google rankings.

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  1. If you have bad numbers, be honest with yourself and your client.

Not getting the results you expected? It doesn’t do any good to try to hide the bad numbers or make excuses for the poor outcome. You need to find what caused the problem and address it with your client. Is it something on their site? Let them know so it can be fixed. Is it an error on your part? Be honest with them and create a plan to avoid future poor results. Ignoring the issues will only hurt you and your client.

  1. Consider your contract with the client more of a guideline.

The contract with your client will have a list of things you should and shouldn’t do. While you should strictly adhere to the list of  “don’t do’s,” use the list of expectations as more of a guideline. Your job is to provide your client with the best digital marketing results possible, which means you’ll probably have to deviate every now and then from your original agreement.

  1. Know when to ask for help.

While good SEO tactics do require time, you should be seeing some positive results within the first few months. If you don’t, you may need to consider asking for help from a more seasoned SEO expert. Knowing when to ask for help is very important, especially if you are not providing the results your client expected. Failing to reach out for assistance when you need it can result in your client terminating the agreement.

  1. Acknowledging the value of your clients.

A client is one of the most valuable components of your SEO business, so treat them as such. Putting in the extra time and effort now will pay off in the long run.

SEO Help for eCommerce Websites

By | SEO | No Comments

The majority of ecommerce sites do not properly utilize search engine optimization strategies to increase website traffic and as a result are not reaching as many potential customers as they could.

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Below we’ve listed 6 suggestions for ecommerce sites to help improve their digital marketing and increase website traffic:

  1. Focus your attention on creating good content.

It’s no secret that a lot of high quality content on your site does wonders for your SEO. However, most ecommerce sites neglect to add relevant content to their website and therefore miss out on the extra website traffic. Adding good content as often as possible will help your ecommerce site climb Google rankings faster and boost the number of visits from potential customers.

  1. Find the balance between quality and quantity.

Although a lot of good content is great for your website, try to avoid being to repetitive. It’s important to focus not only on the quantity of content being published but also the quality. If you find yourself being redundant, then maybe try consolidating some of your work.

  1. Remember the importance of a mobile-friendly site.

It’s obvious that an increasing number of people are opting to use their mobile device instead of a desktop computer. As a result, major search engines such as Google are giving mobile-friendly sites an extra boost and penalizing those that are not mobile user friendly. In short, if you don’t have a mobile site, get one. And if you do, make sure it is very user friendly and simple to navigate.

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  1. Gather backlinks and product reviews!

This should be an easy suggestion for most ecommerce sites, as the majority of bloggers are willing to do a product review in exchange for freebies. Utilizing strategies such as private blog networks can also help in this area.

  1. Don’t settle for boring product descriptions.

Having unique, interesting product descriptions can really help or hurt your ecommerce site. Don’t settle for the same boring, typical product descriptions that your competitors may use. Instead, make your website stand out to potential buyers by explaining to them why your product is better!

  1. Monitor your bounce rate

Google tracks the bounce rate of its search engine users from your website and so should you. If any of your pages have a high bounce rate, Google will consider them to be irrelevant which can cause a lot of problems for your site’s digital marketing. Monitor your bounce rate and take the appropriate steps to ensure it stays low.

Where to Search for the Winning Powerball Numbers

By | Search Engine Watch | No Comments

Last Saturday night the biggest lottery drawing in US history took place, and as a result millions of Americans went to Google to search for the winning lottery numbers before and after the drawing took place.

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However, hours after the drawing took place, when users searched for the term “powerball” the winning numbers were nowhere to be found.

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News headlines containing the winning numbers popped up at the top, but the news reports were cut off before the numbers were listed on the Google search page.

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Bing also showed similar search results, with the winning numbers missing from the top of the page. Again, they had a news story that did contain the numbers if you clicked to read it, but on Bing’s search page the article cut off before the numbers were listed.

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Surprisingly, the two search engines that are showing the winning powerball numbers are Yahoo and Ask.com. Yahoo had the best results, displaying the winning numbers at the top of the page as well as the current estimated jackpot.

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Ask.com also had the numbers listed at the top of their search results along with some other winning lottery numbers.

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However, the best place to find the winning powerball numbers Saturday night seemed to be social media. Both Facebook and Twitter had direct links to the winning numbers when searching for “powerball”. Now, of course, it would be more difficult to find the numbers on either of these social media outlets but when the search for “powerball” skyrocketed Saturday night these websites were the best at promoting the numbers.

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So what does that mean for search engine optimization? Not much honestly. But it is important for SEO workers to be aware of the varying results from each search engine and social media outlet. Digital marketers should use this little bit of news as a reminder not to focus all of their attention on Google alone. Other search engines can be valuable in promoting your site and, as most people already know, so can social media. A good SEO company should be promoting their website on all possible outlets in order to receive the most favorable results.

Improve Your Site’s SEO Strategies

By | SEO Strategies | No Comments

It’s the beginning of a new year, and with the new year comes another chance for you to rethink your SEO goals and tactics. Why not give your search engine optimization a fresh start by reevaluating how you approach social media, content, and keyword searches.

Properly understanding the demand distribution curve and how it affects your field of work is crucial in ensuring the success of your site’s search engine optimization. Revamping your tactics and approaching your keyword research in a fresh, new way will help solve some of the SEO issues your business may have experienced in 2015. Let me give you a list of things you can do to improve your keyword research and make the most of your company’s SEO potential:

  • First, make a list of all the keywords that bring valuable traffic to your site. This kind of traffic is made up of potential customers that are interested in the goods or services your site has to offer. These clients could also turn into repeat customers or refer your site to other potential customers. Once you have your list of keywords you can begin constructing your distribution curve, but not just yet.
  • Next, you need to gather data regarding the social following and traffic for both you and your competitors. This is a very important step in this process. You need to be aware of what kind of competition your business is up against so you can plan accordingly. Once you have collected all of the information on social following, content and traffic for you and your competitors, you can begin creating your distribution curve graph.
  • You can create your graph by relating the amount of demand to the quantity of unique sources. You can use this type of graph to compare keywords, social media outlets or even domains. The type of curves you may draw varies by the industry and category you are researching. For example, a dry cleaning business in Indianapolis will not have a long tail of keywords they are trying to target. People in Indianapolis who are trying to find a dry cleaners will most likely search for “Dry Cleaners Indianapolis”, that’s it. Because of this, its important for SEO’s to remember that every industry is different and so are the search tactics used to promote a website. Use the steps listed above to help your company refocus its digital marketing strategies and minimize the frustrations surrounding your site’s search engine optimization.

Apple and Google: Potential Changes in 2016

By | Search Engine Marketing | No Comments

It seems that everyone has some sort of Apple product in their home these days which gives Apple a lot of power in the world of SEO. Any changes made by their company would have a major effect on websites such as Google. There has been a lot of speculation as to what changes they may make in 2016 and below we’ve included some of the more popular theories.

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Apple has toyed with the possibility of Ad blocking for some time, as they introduced an ad blocking app for iOS 9 this past year. However, the app was short lived and now it has almost vanished completely.

One theory that has lived on these past few years but has yet come to fruition is the probability of Apple selecting a new default search provider and getting rid of Google. However, even if this were to happen, not much would change for Google long term. There would probably be a temporary drop in Google users once the change took place but soon after people would begin to manually switch their search engine back to Google.

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The one change that could take place in 2016 that would have a significant impact on Google and search engine optimization is if Apple decides to create their own search engine or if they choose to improve their Spotlight search device or the suggestions found in the Safari search engine. We believe that latter of the two options is more likely to happen and would have a huge effect on Google due to the large number of Apple users currently utilizing Google on a daily basis.

Right now when Apple users search for anything in Safari, two to three options pop up right underneath. Apple could potentially increase those options, making Google less of a necessity. That being said, even if Apple did try to take over the search engine world, the likelihood of them completely pushing Google out is low. One thing we’ve learned over the years is that Google is very good at what it does and it will take a lot more than some small change made by Apple to keep it from being the top search engine provider.

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However, all of this is simply speculation as we won’t know what changes Apple decides to make this year until they release iOS 10. No matter what changes they make it will affect SEO in some way and webmasters should take the appropriate steps to prepare. Staying up-to-date on the latest news and reports regarding search engine optimization and digital marketing will help website owners anticipate the SEO shifts and ensure the change has only a positive effect on their site.

Robots.txt File Issues and How to Fix Them

By | SEO | No Comments

Unfortunately, in the world of search engine optimization, there are a number of problems that can arise without you even noticing until it is too late. This is especially true with robots.txt files as they oftentimes will slowly eat away at your website traffic and rankings until your major webpages are no longer showing up in Google search results.

The gradual decline in traffic and rankings will usually go unnoticed by webmasters until it is too late and the damage is done. If you notice a drop in your website traffic or Google rankings, it may be worth your time to double check your robots.txt file using some of the suggestions listed below.

Robots.txt File Issues

First, you should go to your Google Search Console and use the robots.txt tester to see if any URLs are being blocked. You can also compile a list of URLs that were previously indexed by Google and crawl them to see if any additional URLs are being wrongfully blocked.

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Once you have identified any blocked URLs it is time to identify what the problem is and fix it. In most cases, it is usually one of two issues related to directives. First, you need to check the case of your directives, as they are case-sensitive and can cause problems if they are not in the appropriate case (lower case or upper case). Second, make sure your CMS provider is not adding directives without your knowledge.

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Again, even seemingly small alterations in your directives can cause big setbacks for your website. Either of these problems can cause your site to no longer be crawled by Google, resulting in a drop in rankings and website traffic. My best advice for site owners is to learn how to identify these potential issues before they cause any serious damage to your website.

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The most important thing you can do to prevent robots.txt issues is to frequently crawl and audit your site. This will allow you to identify any URLs that are being blocked. It is also equally important that you are regularly auditing your Google Search Console as doing so will help you find any problems before they start negatively affecting your website.

How to Locate and Clean Duplicate Listings

By | Local SEO | No Comments

Locating duplicate listings can seem difficult if you’re not sure how to begin or where to look. In the article below we’ve provided the steps you need to take in order to find duplicate listings and how to clean them up!

Locate and Clean Duplicate Listings

For this list we’ll use a bakery in Indianapolis, IN as an example.

  1. Go to Google Map Maker and search for Indianapolis, IN.
  2. Enter the bakery’s phone number in the search bar. This will provide you with every business in the Indianapolis area with that specific phone number.
  3. Open each business’ website in a new tab and write down the URL’s with the corresponding business name as well as phone number, street address, suite #, city and ZIP code.
  4. Be sure to highlight any information that does not match up so that you are aware of it.
  5. Now you must find the “CID”. You can do this by selecting “View Page Source” then pressing CTRL+F and searching for “CID”. You should find a long number. Replace the number we’ve bolded in the following url with the number you find: http://maps.google.com/maps?cid=389725787473153472. Record that as your maps url.
  6. To find out if there are any duplicates go to google.com and type in your information in the appropriate categories: “street number” “beginning of street name without prefixes” “city name” “contact” inurl:about site:plus.google.com. Also, be sure to include &filter=0 to ensure nothing is filtered out.

Using the steps provided above you should be able to successfully locate any duplicate listings. Once you are aware of the duplicate listings you must begin to clean up your listings. To do this you need to make sure that all of your information is consistent and your business name doesn’t contain any keyword stuffing. Also, check to see that you are not overlapping any categories or including categories that shouldn’t be included.

You must also look through the various listings and decide which ones you want to have indexed high on the Google rankings. The best listings should have the strongest url included in them so that they rank the highest on Google.

I hope that the information we’ve provided you with above will help you better locate any duplicate listings and ultimately help you improve your website’s SEO!