Category Archives: SEO

The Best Off-Page SEO Strategies for Building a Reputation Online

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When people decide to go off-page with their SEO, they have to do so with some caution. This process is used for optimizing a brand’s footprint both online and offline. This tool can look at content, relationships, and links in order to make the best experience for prospecting customers in what they do in relation to search engine’s crawl bots. This process generally leads to an increase in brand mentions that are positive, and search rankings improve, which also makes the site gain more traffic.

It is important to note that this situation can be a little confusing. Most people believe taking care of online data is enough, so they do not see the point of doing the extra work to include offline data, too. However, it is like owning a great house that is well protected in a gated community that does not allow people to come in and visit. There is essentially a great part to just one, but having the best of both worlds makes SEO situations all the better.

What is Off-Page SEO?

Off-page SEO does not reserve as much recognition that it deserves. It is important to note that people talk about websites without being attached to them physically. People come to brands with comments from friends and family members that cannot be gathered without going off-page. At the same time, it cannot be done through link building. While this feature is important, it cannot act alone as the answer to SEO on its own. These links are a benefit, but they are not an end goal.

There are two things to think about this situation. First of all, the goal of off-page SEO is only to accumulate positive signals and interactions people might have with a given brand. The hope is to net a positive outcome instead of a negative one. On the other hand, the benefits are to garner more brand mentions, positive reviews, links, and so much more. Therefore, these links need to be viewed from a standpoint of context and they also need to be given priority over what factors do lead to SEO off-page in order to provide the best boost for a brand.

Three Prisms to Pick From

There are three methods through which these SEO options can be tightened for off-page to work properly. First and foremost, people need to look at the brand and how it is viewed in the eyes of others. Sometimes, a brand that does not stand well on its own will not benefit from SEO, even the off-page variety, for long. Therefore, the products that sell 10,000 or more of items will perform the best. At the same time, the other feature to work on is Customer service with this aspect because it can either put a positive experience in people’s minds, or it can put a sour taste in people’s mouths.

Audience is the next important thing to be concerned with because it pinpoints specific people who are likely to have had a negative experience with the brand. The best way to counteract these people, especially with things they may post on social media, is to have a response to their statements or concerns right away. The goal is to be cordial with them while offering to find solutions to what they are concerned about.

Conclusion

There are many things to consider when going off-page. It is only half of the equation to making the best out of SEO optimization. It should not be forgotten no more than on-page SEO needs to work by itself.

Implementing SEO Changes with Google’s Tag Manager

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It is important to know what type of SEO changes can and cannot be made to a website. Some changes cannot happen for a few reasons, and rigid CMSs are one of them. At the same time, development queues that are really long also do not help – some of them can be months or even years long. It is important to know that some implementations can be made, though, and some of them can be done through Google’s Tag Manager.

One of the ways to use this tactic is to make it one third of the solution to websites that cannot run through meta-CMS. The most commonly used Tag Manager is produced by Google. It accounts for 72.6 percent of the market share in its field. Some people only use things like Google Analytics or Facebook tracking, but there are other things that work with HTML snippets based on rules that can be defined.

It is important to note that tag managers make use of JavaScript to implement these tags, so it has not been a reliable way to make SEO changes in the past. There are ways to execute JavaScript in a way that does not crash the site or search engine, though. Google’s Tag Manager does not have any of these problems in and of itself, making it one of the best choices for this task.

Making Changes to HTML Using Google’s Tag Manager

There are plenty of changes that can make to a website with Google’s Tag Manager. Sometimes, it is easy as adding new elements to a page, amending content or features of the elements already in place, or removing elements from the page completely. Each of these situations means that people need to know about CSS selectors and HTML to know which elements on the page to change or to pull data from. JavaScript’s jQuery is especially needed for this task.

There are some things that can be added with ease. One of these things is a structured data feature on e-commerce sites. These features require some work, though, as they have to be told specifically what data to pull from the site. People who do not want to be as technical, though, do not have to worry about their lack of ability. There are plenty of instructions and tutorials available throughout the internet, and Google provides many of them directly.

How to Insert an Element

To start with, custom HTML tags in Google’s Tag Manager exist already for use. This tag can be copied and pasted over into an HTML prompt to indicate where the element belongs. This feature can be done either with or without jQuery. It can be amended as needed with different elements, too, so doing this task does not need a lot of technical knowhow.

Data can be extracted from pages just as they can be installed into pages. JQuery is needed for this process to happen, so the person inserting the tag needs to be familiar with this section of JavaScript. Everything from the products being sought to the number of people viewing a page can be monitored.

Conclusion

When it comes to using a tag manager for a website, the best choice is to go with Google’s Tag Manager. It is the best option for its field, and it is preferred by many companies over other options on the market.

Launching a New Website? Don’t Neglect These SEO Basics

By | Search Engine Watch, SEO, SEO Strategies | No Comments
You’re excited about building a new website and can’t wait to share it with the world, but how will people even know it’s there once you launch? Nobody will unless you plan a solid SEO strategy right from the start. Take a look at these essential steps for making your site stand out to visitors and search engines the moment it goes live.

Map Out Keywords
You should know by now keyword stuffing will only get your site ignored, but smart planning does just the opposite. Make a list of site pages, and choose one or two keywords to target for each. Use these phrases in the URLs, page titles, meta descriptions, and image ALT tags. Be natural when including keywords in content to maintain a consistent voice across the site.

Make Smart Connections
Users and search engines need to be able to move between the pages of your site in a logical manner. Create a link structure in which every connection is relevant and works to point visitors on the most direct route to the pages they want to visit. Use a tool like Google Search Console to perform a crawl before the site is live and confirm the links actually point where they should.

Ensure a Universal Experience
Choose a mobile-friendly responsive layout for your site, and test every page in all major browsers. Users on smartphones and tablets should have the same smooth experience as those on PCs, and visitors using Chrome, Firefox and Edge should see all pages without any errors in layout. Run your site through Google Speed Test to identify pages with sluggish load times so that you can improve the overall user experience.

Expand and Track Your Online Presence
If you don’t already have social profiles set up, create them using handles representative of your new site. Update existing profiles to include the new URL and reflect any rebranding associated with the site’s launch. Now is also the time to set up an SEO tracker, such as Moz or SEMRush, to monitor keyword performance and sign up for webmaster tools from Google and Bing to start collecting analytics data.

Enrich Content
If you can enhance any page with schema markup, star ratings or reviews, do so. These elements improve visibility by identifying page elements for search engines and highlighting popular content. Do everything you can to make your site easy to share, such as including OpenGraph information or creating Pinterest-friendly images.

Generate Buzz
Create a robust promotional campaign to let the world know your site is about to go live. Use your social profiles to talk up the impending launch. Reach out to friends, family members, clients, brand ambassadors and anyone else you know who might be willing to give you a shout-out. Influencers and bloggers in your niche may also be up to making a little noise on your behalf if you’ve developed connections through other projects.

Don’t wait until your site has languished for weeks without visitors to implement an SEO strategy. Build keywords, links and a stellar user experience into the design as the site comes together to create a final product with appeal for both people and search engines. Make every tactic work toward increasing visibility, and watch performance begin to increase.

3 Questions You Need to Be Asking About Your SEO Link Strategy

By | SEO, SEO Strategies | No Comments

Links have long been key players in SEO strategies. A strong network of inbound links is considered a vote for authority, quality and relevancy, three factors search engines take into account when determining page rank.

The importance of building a link network is based on the assumption this metric is a big part of their algorithms used by Google and other search engines. However, a closer look at the patterns of click-through rates and visibility in search results suggests there may be more going on.

What Does Google Think About Links?
All search engines use formulas to determine where sites appear in organic results, but Google is often considered to be the most influential. As of 2016, the search giant still considered links to be “valuable” sources for determining authority. Their Senior Search Quality Strategist placed links in the number two spot on their list of “greatest ranking factors.”

Inbound links drive organic traffic, and more traffic is a signal of increased popularity. A large number of authoritative links can also signal trustworthiness. The more links a site has, the more popular it’s considered to be, at least in theory. However, it’s always been difficult to tell exactly how search engines, including Google, calculate page rank, and some models show click-through rates may be influenced by rank independent of the number of inbound links.

Are Links Still Relevant for SEO?
In the past, link directories, link exchanges and link “farms” were reliable ways of getting your site noticed by users and search engines. However, these outdated forms of link building have been replaced by more natural, organic strategies:

• Contributing high-quality content to authority sites
• Leaving valuable comments on blogs or forums
• Maintaining an active presence on social media

These approaches not only create inbound links but also build brand awareness, and this can generate a greater number of links without additional effort. Google may also consider high search volume to be a signal of a site’s importance, so don’t neglect keyword research when working on SEO.

What Does a Real Link Strategy Look Like?
You don’t have to understand the hidden metrics of page ranking to execute a successful link strategy. Follow these best practices to increase placement in search results and make your site stand out:

• Create a strong internal link structure with a logical progression for easy navigation and indexing
• Include outbound links to relevant, authoritative sites
• Avoid linking to low-quality sites
• Use keywords sparingly in anchor text
• Focus on the user experience first

The goal of any link building tactic should be to make your site easy for users and search engines to navigate while setting yourself up as an authoritative source of the information visitors expect when clicking through from search results.

Whether links influence page ranking or the other way around, this aspect of SEO is still important to the visibility of your site. Continue to build a network of internal and external links as part of your search marketing strategy. Focus on both inbound and outbound quality, and monitor which sites bring in the most traffic. Don’t get discouraged if your page rank shifts when search engines change their algorithms. Consistency will help keep your site prominent in organic search and contribute to a steady stream of traffic.

How Faceted Navigation can Impact SEO

By | SEO, SEO Strategies | No Comments
If you want to give your prospects the best possible experience, then you likely use a faceted navigation system to allow your visitors to navigate your website with ease. The problem, however, is that using this layout can harm your search engine optimization rank more than you would think. Unless you take steps to address the issue, you will get less organic traffic than before, impacting your bottom line in a negative way. The good news is that you can make your website easy to navigate without harming your position in the search engines.

Faceted Navigation Overview

Before you do anything else, let’s review what a faceted navigation system looks like so that we can get an even better understanding of the issue at hand. The layout allows your visitors to find the exact product they want by filtering their search results. It’s important to remember that each combination has a link pointing to it, and this can trigger Google to flag your website for having duplicate content. Also, a faceted navigation system will spread your domain authority to pages that you don’t need to index, wasting your SEO potential.

Noindex Tags

Those who want to reduce the harm of a faceted navigation system often turn to noindex tags to get the job done. At the surface, this solution seems to make a lot of sense, but you will need to take a close look if you want to get a clear picture. Although using noindex tags will prevent Google from flagging you for using duplicate content, it won’t stop your extra links from consuming your crawl budget. If the search engines spend too much time crawling links that don’t matter, your SEO efforts might not draw any attention.

Nofollow Tags

Nofollow tags are another option that you can try when your goal is to maintain your SEO rank. These tags will tell the search engines not to crawl your faceted pages and prevent you from wasting your crawl budget. But this solution is not without its setbacks. If you opt to take this path, it won’t stop Google from picking up duplicate content on your site, which will put you at risk for a penalty.

JavaScript

If you are building a new website, you can implement your faceted system with JavaScript to avoid common pitfalls. Doing so will allow you to get the same benefits without putting your SEO rank in harm’s way. With JavaScript, you can use the same link for different filters, and you won’t need to worry about wasting your crawl budget or domain authority on pages that don’t matter. When you use this method, you will need to manually ensure that Google and the other search engines can index key pages if you don’t want to be overlooked.

Final Thoughts

Using a faceted system without running into problems with SEO is not impossible, but you will need to weigh your options and consider what is important to you. Taking one path will force you to give up benefits from other areas, and making the wrong choice can hurt your progress. If you are not sure what solution makes the most sense for you, review your website and ask yourself if you prefer to save your crawl budget, domain authority or time, and the correct answer will become apparent. When you don’t get the outcome for which you had hoped, you can always try new approaches until you find one that meets your needs.

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Link Building And Analysis

By | SEO, SEO Strategies | No Comments

Every business that is operating online must be sure that they have taken steps to ensure they are using the proper links or link-building program. The program itself is quite easy too use, and it may be deployed to ensure that anyone who is attempting to widen their Internet presence may do so. This article explains how someone can take the necessary steps to change their overall brand image, and takes a look at how links will help.

#1: Links Are Built Slowly

Links must be built slowly with a number of different partners, and each of them must be given the opportunity to carry links for the company for some time. There are many people who think they may start a link program today that will show instant results, but that is not the case. Links take time, and link research shows that everyone who has a longstanding link program has better results.

#2: Links Must Have Variety

Any link will be flagged as spam if it does not have any variety. Posting the same thing time and again will alert the search engines that there may be something amiss. There is nothing wrong with the links, but they appear to be untoward, and that is a problem that is difficult to solve. Everyone who is using a link program must insert as much variety as possible into the program, and they will see better results with fewer red flags.

#3: The Overall Partnership

There are many partnerships that may be started with a link program, and they all look back to simple linking techniques that may share information. A link partner may have their links with another site, and the two are sharing link space. They are sending customers back and forth between one another as a way of offering good graces to everyone around them, and it may build a partnership wherein the two companies are thought of as one.

#4: SEO Content

Links must be written into SEO articles that have been produced in a proper manner. Someone who does not know the writing style of SEO must learn how to write with keywords that will be helpful, and they must track the success of all the work they have done. The writer may change their articles often to reflect which keywords should be listed, and they may do so many times during the year as trends change.

#5: Links Must Be Subtle

Links must be as subtle as possible when they are placed online, and they will be much easier to manage when they are dropped into articles without much fanfare. The links should catch the eye of the reader, but not be so heavy handed that the customer does not believe they should click on it. Every new link that has been placed subtly in a proper location will be more than effective.

Link building programs are helpful to a number of people who are operating online. They may start a new link program today that will be quite helpful, and it will show businesses how best to use their resources. They may partner with other companies that host their links, or they may choose to place their links all over the Internet where a reader may find them interesting.

From Shifting Rules To Managing Expectations: Common SEO Challenges

By | SEO, SEO Strategies | No Comments

Change is the norm in the SEO business. The digital landscape is constantly evolving, and any marketing strategy needs flexibility ingrained in its very DNA to remain viable, let alone be successful. From the old days of the early internet when content didn’t matter, and spam was king, SEO has come a long way in the past 10-15 years. But is still faces considerable challenges at all levels, from managing daily operations to managing budgets and the expectations of clients.

Amidst constant change, one thing has remained a near constant: the challenges faced by SEO professionals. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about in-house SEO activities at an organization or SEO as a digital marketing agency service for hire. They all face the same kind of hurdles.

The central issue pertains to search engines, especially Google, and their near constant updates on search engine algorithms. And it is not just the major ones like Panda or Penguin which they roll out every year or so, but those innumerable unnamed updates, major and minor, implemented almost on a daily basis. SEO is one tough game where rules can change overnight, without warning too. Something that was previously considered a legitimate white-hat tactic can turn into spam, literally overnight. Rare are the days when SEO professionals don’t have to spend more than 15 minutes in the morning just to stay abreast of all the changes that happened in that past 24 hours!

And all this constant activity and changes bring out the next big challenge, of resource scarcity. Be it the financial backing or total staff hours required; almost every SEO campaign struggles to cover all the bases. The online marketing process alone can involve multiple platforms, from email to social media and Websites. Combine that with the fact that SEO has to sync with the organization’s other ad and PR initiatives, and you reach a stage where it seems like you are playing whack-a-mole with ever-shifting objectives on multiple fronts!

Talking about being in sync with the organizational activities, budgets, and goals opens up the next big can of worms: managing expectations of your client/boss, and showing tangible ROI for the money and labor expended in a campaign. SEO is different from traditional marketing efforts. It’s the new kid on the block, it is online, and everything online is supposed to be fast. So this creates a lot of misconceptions about what the process involves and how fast results can be achieved. Impatience from senior management and or clients is a real issue for SEO professionals. It can take months of constant effort before any tangible benefits start manifesting in SERPs.

Things have come to a point where even Google has decided take the initiative to caution SEO clients against unrealistic expectations. Calculating ROI in the meantime to keep those holding the purse-strings happy is another major challenge. Benefits, if any, often show up in revenue streams and transactional data. But it is uncommon for SEO teams to have direct access this data. The only viable recourse is to try and gain access to said information from the relevant CRM platform/accounting system of the organization.

In SEO, the challenges are many and constant. An effective SEO strategy should involve regular updates, as well as audits, analytics, and tracking of multiple datasets across the organization. Keeping on top of all these can take a lot of effort and resources, but that is the only way to make life easy in this business. All else are but shortcuts to even more pain and failure!

 

 

 

 

Disavowing and Penguin 4.0

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Google has released a new version of Penguin known as Penguin 4.0 and, according to some SEO practitioners, it is fairer than the previous versions. Being part of Google’s core algorithm, Penguin is now able to penalize websites that use several black-hat link schemes to manipulate search rankings. Unlike the other versions that would affect the whole site when the algorithm suspected any engagement in manipulative link building, Penguin 4.0 devalues spam by making adjustments to the ranking of the page in the wrong. Previously, even cleaning up would save the site until Google re-ran the Penguin algorithm and recognized the clean-up efforts. Suppression of sites is no longer a common thing, unlike before when many businesses were put on suppression. It is impressive how Google was able to come up with this method to find and devalue spam.

Many have and still wonder if there is any reason to disavow links anymore if Penguin can devalue spam. The disavow tool can still be used if you realize that your site’s ranking is being affected by low-quality links that you cannot control. You can ask Google not to take them into account when assessing your site by uploading a disavow file to them containing a list of the domains. The disavowing is still highly recommended by the Google employees despite the fact that they can just devalue spam links and save people the struggle to deny them.

As much as disavowing is recommended, with the launch of the new Penguin, it is not used as much. However, the following are some reasons why disavowing is still recommended:

The existence of manual actions– Leaving all the task to Penguin to devalue your links instead of disavowing may pose risks of getting a manual action. This may attract a penalty that could have been avoided if you had taken action by removing the bad links.

Other algorithms use links– Penguin is just one way to fight against link spam. When making calculations, Google looks into all links apart from those that have been exempted. Another algorithm that is said to be using links is the Payday Loans algorithm that makes an impact on sites in several high-competition verticals.

It is not guaranteed that Penguin will devalue all the spam– Although it is clear that Penguin 4.0 devalues spam and doesn’t penalize, many don’t understand how algorithm ignores the unnatural links pointing the site. According to the statements given by Google employees, there are no clear indications whether people should stop worrying about any links or just need to worry less than before.

The disavow tool can be used when an SEO company makes low-quality links like articles, directories or bookmark sites and they need to be cleaned up. If you are not sure whether the link is spam or not, they can be passed through the disavow blacklist. Another situation is when a site has a past of manual action for unnatural links or is under apparent negative SEO attacks. However, disavowing should not be conducted for any link just because they are strange because Google takes action against a site that has been continually manipulating Google rankings. Links that are there for mostly SEO reasons are supposed to be disavowed so as to avoid getting a manual action.

Pros and Cons of Single Page Websites for SEO

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An increasing number of companies are utilizing single page sites rather than multi-page websites to serve their needs. You may be curious if a single page site has any effect on your Google ranking. Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of single page websites and how the format may affect your SEO.

Advantages of Single Page Websites

1. Enhanced Mobile Experience

Single page websites generally offer a better mobile experience (easier to navigate, easier conversion). This is important considering the vast majority of people perform their web searches from mobile devices.

They also load at a much faster rate than multi-page websites. Additionally, single page sites eliminate the hassle of clicking on additional pages found on multi-sites.

2. Increased Ability to Target a Specific Audience

If you are looking to reach a certain audience or provide a specific user experience, single page websites are an excellent option. These sites make it easy to steer users in a particular direction.

A single page site features all your necessary information on one page that suits the needs of your company. In terms of SEO, this is helpful if you are only focused on a handful of keywords.

Keep in mind that too much information to scroll through may turn users away. Try to keep everything on your site valuable and purposeful.

3. Lead to Higher Page Authority

Links are one of the strongest factors that determine how high a website will rank. Single pages possess a huge advantage since each link acquired will lead directly to the main URL – this equates to a 1:1 ratio of links to pages.

Drawbacks of Single Page Websites

1. Limited Keyword Targeting

Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to single page websites, especially keyword rankings. Since single page websites are meant to be centered around one main concept, it limits your chances of ranking for a wide range of keywords.

If you rely heavily on Google to reach new clients, a multi-page site that features different keywords might allow you to reach a wider audience. If Google search is not a high priority for your business, limited keywords should not pose a problem.

2. Content May Lack Detail

Another downfall of single page sites is the lack of content specificity compared to multi-page sites. It is next to impossible to feature the same amount of content on a single page compared to multiple pages. This creates a problem for users that are searching for thorough, relevant content on certain topics.

This makes it especially important to pay close attention to layout and organization when setting up your page. Try creating a new section for every new topic you cover.

3. Certain Advanced SEO Strategies are Not Allowed

Some SEO strategies, such as “siloing” – organizing your site into separate categories – will not work on single page sites.

Final Thoughts

Generally, single page sites are not as good as multi-page sites in terms of SEO. However, people interested in single page sites may not be as focused on SEO to begin with.

Consider the specific goals of your company and the aim of your website to help you determine if a single or multi-page site would be the best option. Also, remember to consider your target audience and build a site that will provide them with an enjoyable web experience.

 

Ranking Zero with Link Building, and How to Fix It?

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Open Site Explorer provides services as an SEO software company, and it can help to monitor SEO linking in many ways to improve SEO research from the customers’ points of view. Being made aware of how this software can work to a company’s benefit is the first step on the road to link building without ranking zero.

How to Search URL Data in Open Site

Open Site Explorer works rather easily. Simply plugging in a link to their URL search engine populates information about the links this site can reach, unlinked mentions, and link intersections under the Link Opportunities section of the research. Unlinked Mentions is a great option to find out what people are saying about a particular website, but this information is not yet linked back to the website itself proper. This information is solid because it means conversations are already being held, but they need to be included in the conversation over time. Refining the search can mean narrowing down links that have new keywords that have not yet been utilized in SEO.

Link Building with Open Site

Link building with Open Site can be rather easy. It hosts an Inbound Link section that points to people who are linking back to a given website. Targets can be applied with to look at link types and most recent domain searches. Domain authority allows checking the most influential links.

As far as a specific content research goes, these can be searched as well instead of a specific URL. The Web Mentions section will then plot out a graph showing how often that content phrase has been searched over a given period. This period can be changed from week to month, and so on. It looks at all of the content about that phrase below the graph. An alert can even be made to receive notifications through email about new content to that given content phrase.

Ranking Zero in SERP Features

Ranking in Zero is essential for websites, and it relies on SERP features. SERP features are results on a Google Search Engine Results Paige that is not part of a traditional or organic result. These features look at Rich Snippets, Paid Results, Universal Results, and Knowledge Graphing Data.

Achieving a zero ranking can happen by looking at a total of sixteen of the most popular SERP features in MozPro, a service that works with Open Site. These include adwords, in-depth articles, local teaser packs, knowledge panels, image packs, reviews, and related questions or news boxes.

These features can be found under rankings in MozPro. Blue highlights where a company already appears in the ranking for that particular feature. Keywords that are not achieving a high rank mean getting closer to higher ranks in those SERP features. These features relate to tips to finding a way to rank in other keywords over others for site mentions. Also, SERP features can be targeted and looked at for trends over time. This feature is essential to finding out how trends come and go about certain keyword searches for the sake of maintaining higher trends that can be tracked.

Conclusion

While these are a few steps on the road to ranking zero, there are plenty more ways to go about doing so with Open Site and MozPro. These services offer valuable information that cannot be found anywhere else to help with ranking zero in the long run.