All Things SEO covers a variety of topics related to improving website visibility in the natural (free or unpaid) listings of search engine results pages by employing the best practices for organic search engine optimization (SEO). Columnists share technical expertise on how to build search engine friendly websites, how to use search engine tools and webmaster dashboards, how to avoid common SEO problems such as duplicate content and spam penalties, plus SEO advice from a marketing perspective, opinion and commentary about algorithmic shifts in the search engine industry.

Run Your Established SEO Like PPC & Maximise ROI Long-Term

Persistence Pays Off

The biggest SEO improvements available are often a more profound shift in strategy that continues to deliver improvement day after day for the entire duration of your SEO campaign. One such strategy is taking the same weekly approach to auditing your SEO strategy using search query reports as a PPC manager would.


It’s Time For Marketers To Attend To The Branding Benefits Of Search

chart Google recently released a study that concluded, "Search Ads Lift Brand Awareness." The study tested brand recall for searchers who had seen the target brand in paid search ads against a control group who had not been exposed to the brand. The study concluded that brand-exposed searchers had a 6.6% increase (80% lift) over the control group. In Search Engine Land's writeup, editor Ginny Marvin pointed out that the study only tested the top brand position; it did not determine the degree to which the lift carried through to other, less prominent search ad positions. And, any study that exami [...]


Assessing Hummingbird’s Impact On Search — 10 Months Later

google-hummingbird3-featured On September 26, 2013, Google let slip that it had updated its overall search platform, which they referred to as "Hummingbird." In this post, I am going to take a look back at the past year to see what impact Hummingbird may have had. One of my goals with this post is to help dispel the myth that Hummingbird is an algorithm, and to provide some clarity on the nature of the impact it may have. Hummingbird was revealed during Google's 15th birthday party, but no mention of it was included in their own post about the event. However, Search Engine Land Founding Editor Danny Sullivan was in [...]


Do Your Own 5-Minute SEO Audit

Image from Shutterstock, used under license If you've gone to SEO events, you may have attended one or more sessions where experts conduct live site reviews and make recommendations. For agencies and consultants, quickly assessing any website is a great skill to hone. Here is how you can do your own 5-minute SEO audits. Don't worry if this takes you 10 or 15 minutes. This is one of those "the more you do, the faster you get" things. The important piece is having a practical framework to delve through. If you want to do a full audit, here are three great guides to read: Lindsay Wassell (Moz) Sam McRobert's Template on [...]


The World’s Quickest (Authentic) SEO & Marketing Audit In 12+1 Steps

seo-600 I am, according to those who know me, a very structured person. In order to function, I have to live by spreadsheets, task lists and processes. Without them, I'm lost. It's just life. Isn't everyone like that? But despite my obsession with structure and process, I don't like giving clients a one-size-fits-all web marketing campaign. It just doesn't make sense. Every website is different and has different needs; therefore, the online marketing plan will have to be different as well. The problem is, you really can't know what any particular site's needs are until after you've gone through [...]


Three SEO Personas – Are You One Of Them?

lady_man_computer_office Organic search used to just be for the technophiles, the Excel-lovers, the self-proclaimed geeks, etc. Now, SEO is all grown up and has welcomed all types of people, each of whom have a hand in the channel's success. Let's go over three primary personas involved in organic search today, and then you can tell me -- which one are you? The Content Marketer Content marketers often come from a more traditional marketing background. They are strategists first, and understand each and every type of content asset inside and out -- be it white papers, eBooks, Web copy and more. They know how to cr [...]


Right To Be Forgotten: Do Users Even Care?

Right To Be Forgotten In the last few weeks, two monumental events related to Internet privacy caused the biggest uproar in discussions about personal privacy since Edward Snowden's revelations about the NSA. In May, the European Court of Justice ruled that Google must respect the "right to be forgotten" and at the request of private individuals remove "irrelevant" and "outdated" information. To comply with the ECJ's ruling, Google set up a form online for individuals to have their information removed from the web, and they have been deluged with requests. Last month, during its Worldwide Developer Conference [...]


Should You Gate Content? The SEO Implications

gates-shut--closed-shutterstock Content marketing is the hot topic these days, but lead generation marketers are faced with a conundrum: How do I get the visibility for my content via organic search while at the same time capturing leads? Are SEO and gated content mutually exclusive? There's no magic answer to this question, but there are some important considerations to address in order to decide your course of action. Search Robots ≠ Humans First and foremost, from an SEO perspective, it's important to understand that search engine robots and humans are not equal. Search robots navigate and read a site very differe [...]


Experiment Shows Up To 60% Of “Direct” Traffic Is Actually Organic Search

analytics-devices-mobile-desktop-600 Everyone knows that browsers don't always report where visitors came from when they arrive at a website. When they don't report where they were in the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) referrer header, often the traffic is considered "Direct" -- which really means, "we have no clue where they came from, maybe they typed the URL in or hit a bookmark." We've all lived through changes that have impacted Direct traffic as recorded by our analytics programs. Remember back in September 2012, when iOS 6 was released and suddenly lots of sites lost organic search traffic but gained an equal amoun [...]


How To Integrate SEO Ranking Tools With Analytics Tools

data_intregration_shutterstock Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tools and more general web analytics solutions are both critically important for site analysis, but they don't often work well together. This is a how-to guide for integrating SEO ranking tools with analytics tools. The main benefits of integrating SEO ranking tools with tools like Google Analytics and Adobe Marketing Cloud include: A single reporting platform by which to evaluate your SEO performance Continued visibility into SEO performance in the aftermath of the shift to 100% keyword not provided Ease of bid optimization or co-optimization of pai [...]


SEO Should Not Be Held To An ROI Target — Here’s Why

seo-target-dart-600 Anyone who invests dollars into a marketing channel is expecting to see a return on investment (ROI) from that marketing channel. Those who invest in SEO are probably expecting the same. But I challenge this thought and dare to say SEO should not be required to meet an ROI target. Why, you ask? It's because of two things: SEO is not a marketing channel SEO is not an investment; it's a requisite Let's dig deeper into each statement. SEO Is Not A Marketing Channel Dollars appropriated for SEO services tend to come out of the marketing budget. As a result, it's held to the same leve [...]


A Glimpse Into The Future Of Search With Futurist Ramez Naam

ramez-naam In the process of working on the upcoming third edition of The Art of SEO, I had the pleasure of discussing the Future of Search with Ramez Naam. Ramez is a futurist, a best-selling author (check out his science fiction novels Nexus and Crux and his newest nonfiction book, The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet), a startup founder, and a former search guy at Microsoft/Bing. Search, and computing in general, is going to evolve beyond our wildest dreams. Movies like Minority Report and Her are entertaining representations of the future of computing, but they only sc [...]


Breaking Down Page Speed Events For SEO Gain

PageSpeed Vs Time to First Byte

It’s important to get clear the value of changes in terms of SEO impact before allocating in-demand tech time to work on fixes. To throw up just one example: if your page returns in less than one second what impact will fixing render-blocking CSS have on absolute page load times?


Use These Tools To See What Entities Are On A Web Page

How to see your webpages like a search engine does Search engines leverage structured data to determine what entities are on your web page. They can also do this using other techniques such as natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning. This article will introduce you to various tools that will help you identify entities on a web page. These tools include: Interesting /Chrome plugins/extensions that enable you to see entities derived from structured data/markup as you surf any web page A fantastic visualization tool for entity graphs which can be run locally on your computer Tools that extract entities on a web page usin [...]


Google Removes Author Photos From Search: Why And What Does It Mean?

Google Removes Author Photos from Search: Why and What It Means The search world was rocked by yesterday's announcement by Google's Webmaster trends analyst John Mueller that Google will be removing all author photos and Google+ view counts from search results on both desktop and mobile. This change will roll out to all users over the next few days. The pressing question for most people is why would Google do this? The next question, if you've personally invested in implementing Google Authorship, is what this means for the future of the Authorship program and any possible "author rank." As someone who has intensely followed, studied, and made use of [...]


Competitive Analysis: The Most Valuable SEO Tactic You Ignore [Data]

competitive-analysis-shutterstock When it comes to getting ahead in search, experts agree that competitive analysis is critical. International search engine optimization (SEO) consultant Aleyda Solis observes: One of the most important activities for any SEO process is the initial competitive analysis. In a nod to how important she thinks it is, she created a sophisticated workflow to guide SEOs through the competitive analysis process. Loren Baker, Founder of Search Engine Journal, agrees that competitive analysis is an essential tactic in the SEO repertoire, and makes several observations about the benefits that [...]


How Content Quality Analysis Works With SEO

Keyword Relevance Test Results The Periodic Table of SEO Ranking Factors panel at the recent SMX Advanced show stimulated some fresh thinking for me on the role of content analysis and SEO. In particular, Marcus Tober of Searchmetrics shared some interesting data from one of their latest studies. What I'd like to discuss here is the notion of co-occurrence analysis (which is available in Searchmetrics Suite as Content Optimization). What Is Co-Occurrence Analysis? In the world of keywords, this refers to an analysis of what words appear most commonly on a page. Imagine you create a page on women's shoes. You can the [...]


Want To Future-Proof Your SEO? 6 Ethical Guidelines To Consider

SEO_Ethical Ethical SEO is a popular selling point for agencies and consultants, but what truly constitutes ethical SEO? Following are some guidelines for performing ethical SEO. By sticking to these guidelines, you'll keep your reputation, your clients, and the search engines happy! 1. Follow The Search Engines' Guidelines First, the obvious. Search engines have rules of the road. Learn them. Google Webmaster Guidelines Bing Webmaster Guidelines Yahoo Content Quality Guidelines Webmaster guidelines include: Descriptions of the types of content search engines want to serve in their res [...]


SEO Plus PPC Equals SERP Real Estate, Content Glue & ROI

hairy_ideas Most marketers would agree that to be competitive, we do not operate in an either/or environment. It’s not a choice between either SEO or social, or SEO and PPC. It’s a requirement that we understand how these channels work together to impact one another, and a website’s ability to stay afloat in the growing search results. The surge in content marketing, including the focus on organic content and social media as a pair has perhaps taken some focus away from the synergy that SEO and PPC have together. The numbers don’t lie. Brands are still heavily investing in PPC – and man [...]


Once Were Vikings: Search Marketing In The Nordics

Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Denmark @aznos And the winner of this year's European Search Personality award is… Kristjan Mar Hauksson! With Kristjan being from Iceland, it seems the time is due for a focus on the Nordics. Those who know the region may be thinking fjords, mountains, forests, lakes, volcanoes, kings and castles. Or perhaps you're thinking about small search volumes, higher than average CPCs (compared to other European markets), and high conversion rates? Ever since I expatriated to France, I have been observing with interest the search marketing landscape in my home country of Denmark and its Nordic neighbours. An [...]


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