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.

Losing Organic Traffic After A Redesign? Four Things to Check

301-redirect While web designers and developers are often strong at designing and programming websites, not all are as well prepared to handle SEO issues, especially when relaunching websites. Just this week, I've worked with three separate web design firms who contacted me after a recent site relaunch caused a substantial loss of organic website traffic. So, if you just relaunched your website and you're losing organic traffic, how can you know where to start? Here's my basic list of the most common issues I see that are often overlooked in a relaunch. While there can be many reasons for traffic lo [...]


5 SEO Tips To Boost Page Speed

Image used with permission of Shutterstock.com Got 10 seconds? Probably. But I bet you won't spend it waiting for a web page to spin, sputter and load. I hate that. You hate that. And search engines hate that, too. But if your site is lightning fast, everyone will love you. Why Page Speed Matters Not too worried about your slow site? Maybe you should be. Sweet Brown (video autoplay) said it best: "Ain't nobody got time for that!" And research findings agree. As SEL news reporter Amy Gesenhues noted in her post last March, average page-load speed for top retail sites was over seven seconds -- well above the ideal load time of thre [...]


A Complete Guide To The Essentials Of Post-Hummingbird SEO

Google-Wall Google has made stark changes over the past couple years in the way it ranks websites. When one of its most recent algorithm incarnations, Hummingbird, was released in August of 2013, it created a whirlwind in the search landscape and has since continued to have far reaching impact. In its wake, businesses have been forced to modify their web marketing strategies and SEO efforts to regain favor with Google to reclaim their former search rankings. Read on for the insights we've gained and what you need to do to thrive in this new environment. What We’ve Learned So Far In keeping pace [...]


Secrets Of Successful Enterprise SEO Part III: Build A Business Case

SEL-2 A decade ago, I had an incredible opportunity to work at an amazing organization called The Bradford Exchange. Most people have never heard of it, but it is the world’s leading direct marketer of limited-edition collectibles and jewelry. What made my experience at Bradford so incredible was their meticulous attention to detail and single-minded focus on driving their business by numbers -- something that has been ingrained into me ever since my time there. The part that wasn't so fun at Bradford was being the only search marketer in a half-billion-dollar organization trying to build up [...]


4 Revealing Facts About How Consumers Search And Buy Online

shopping-search-online-featured A recently released study by retail engagement firm Parago examined how consumers research and buy across several product categories. The research is chock full of insight about how people buy, with broad implications for digital marketers. I want to focus on one aspect of the research: insight into consumer behavior when the buyer is in purchase mode. Analysis of the single graphic below, which shows the sources consumers turn to when researching a purchase, will produce several insights for digital marketers. [caption id="attachment_187918" align="aligncenter" width="600"] How Consumers [...]


Long-Term SEO: Sustainable Tactics, Strategies & Solutions

Sustainable SEO Last month, I attended the Long-Term SEO: How To Win For Years, Not Days session at SMX West. I have worked in the search industry since 1995. I have seen search engine optimization (SEO) trends and tactics come and go... and I've also seen fundamental, universal concepts get stronger and stronger over time. So what I wanted to learn was: what are flavor-of-the-month strategies, and what strategies are going to stand the test of time? Would I hear anything about information scent and the aboutness of digital documents? Should you invest in link development, a sustainable SEO strategy, or ha [...]


Climbing The Ladder To Guest Posting On Tier 1 Sites

Climbing the Latter to Tier 1 Sites Content marketing is all the rage these days and, if you are pursuing guest posts as part of your link-building strategy, it is critical to target the highest authority sites possible. You want to find the sites where your presence builds your visibility and reputation (regardless of SEO) and where the links might get clicked and bring you traffic. In addition, you are not looking to get one article published there -- you are looking to become a regular or even to get a column. Getting into these sites may be hard, but we are not going to simply hope we can. We are going to commit oursel [...]


The Benefits Of Participating In Our Professional Search Community

SEO Community As a search and internet marketer, it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day work with our employers and clients, as well as the task of keeping up with the latest developments from search engines, social media platforms and industry tools. Today, I'd like to step back from this and discuss search and social marketing as a community -- and what that sense of community means for us as professionals and as an industry. From the earliest days, search marketers have enjoyed an ecosystem that values sharing knowledge and friendship among search professionals, businesses and search engines. [...]


Content & SEO Alignment: 3 Steps To Create The Perfect Win-Win

Left Right Brain According to new research, brands invest $44 billion in content every year. As online content marketing budgets rise, it is essential that modern day marketers align their content and SEO efforts to maximize ROI. Have you ever been in a situation where: You create some killer content, but no one finds it online? Your SERP position slides as Google thinks your content sucks? Your technical SEO is awesome, but techs do not understand the human and behavioral element to content production? Left Brain Meets Right Brain For many organizations, SEOs and content marketers have long occ [...]


How To Tell Search Engines What “Entities” Are On Your Web Pages

Under the Hood of Semantic Search Search engines have increasingly been incorporating elements of semantic search to improve some aspect of the search experience -- for example, using schema.org markup to create enhanced displays in SERPs (as in Google's rich snippets). Elements of semantic search are now present at almost all stages of the search process, and the Semantic Web has played a key role. Read on for more detail and to learn how to take advantage of this opportunity to make your web pages more visible in this evolution of search. [caption id="attachment_186756" align="aligncenter" width="540"] Under the Hood o [...]


The Knowledge Graph: Should Your Content & Business Strategy Change?

google-knowledge-graph-featured Many articles have been written on the Google Knowledge Graph and its impact on SEO, but have you given thought to how the Knowledge Graph potentially impacts your content strategy -- or even your entire revenue model? For many publishers, it's time to take stock of how to work with the Knowledge Graph and how content strategy and revenue models may need to adjust with this shift in organic search. The Knowledge Graph was designed to provide information about people, places and things (i.e., entities). Google gathers information to supply answers via the Knowledge Graph from a variety [...]


Is Search Marketing No Longer Sexy?

I started writing this article about the sexiness of search from the "green room" at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA -- so in case you don’t already know me, you can probably surmise that I might be a geek. Why was I at the Museum? That’s where the LiveRamp 2014 conference was held. Amid the annual event put on by the data technology company, I was inspired to step away from the noise and reflect. After a fireside chat with 30+ year CMO veteran Patrick Connolly, currently of Williams-Sonoma, I couldn’t get one particular idea out of my head: Is search still sexy? T [...]


Manual Spam Action Revoked! A Case Study

road-to-recovery-featured Checklists of how to get out of a Google penalty abound. Five things you should do, five things you shouldn't do, etc. But the number one thing you shouldn't do is ignore it. I want to tell you the story of a two-year long penalty, the steps we took and how something we never thought would work… finally did. No Impact On Organic Traffic The client was a purveyor of a highly competitive retail product -- one of the top in the world, with over 10 million visits per month. Back in July 2012, the client received the first notice that there were "unnatural links pointing to the site." But the c [...]


Why You Shouldn’t Worry About SEO Costs But Focus On What It Earns

money-trap-mistake-featured You're at Victoria Park in Ontario, preparing to swing from an 80-foot cliff and fly 200 feet across Elora Gorge before rappelling down to the river like a human spider. Your guide asks you to pick a rope. Would you ask for the cheapest rope -- or the strongest? Will you look for the shortest length -- or one long enough to reach the ground? Obvious, right? Yet, business owners rarely apply the same logic when it comes to making business decisions. They look for the cheapest SEO solutions, wanting to pay the lowest hourly rate, for the fewest hours just to save a few dollars. [...]


How 90s HTML Coding Will Save The SEO World In 2014

Sprite sheets are a cutting edge technique for mobile SEO strategies.

A surprising blast from the coding past has been making a comeback via SEO, and is frequently making its way into the core of advanced responsive design thinking: the humble sprite.


Is Chasing AuthorRank A Waste Of Time For SEOs?

author On June 7, 2011, Google announced support for a new type of markup called the Authorship Tag. This was the rel="author" tag. It did not take long before the speculation started -- when would Google start using data from this new tag to impact rankings? The industry took to referring to this concept as AuthorRank. Note that Google never uses this term, and they continue to talk only about "Authorship." However, Google has continued to fan the flames with periodic comments on this topic, the most famous of which came from Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt in his book The New Digital A [...]


6 Essentials Of E-Commerce SEO You’re Probably Still Missing

Online Shopping Shopping cart SEO can range from the simple to seemingly impossible. In a competitive landscape, how do you separate your store from the competition? How do you balance SEO and usability? Here are six things I look at early in any shopping cart SEO project. 1. Maintain A Simple Site Structure Make it easy for customers to get right into the site and find products. For most online stores, I recommend three levels of primary menu navigation: The home page Department pages Product pages http://shopname.com/department/product/ http://shopname.com/shirts/polo-shirts/ Some shops ma [...]


The Secret To Staying Relevant With Authorship

author At PubCon last year, Google's Matt Cutts discussed big changes to the search results, many of which we've seen played out over the past several months. In his talk, he mentioned upcoming improvements to authorship results. A couple months later in December, Google confirmed it had started tightening the belt when it came to authorship results after many had experienced a drop. The authorship update, which has been called a "shake up," "authorshipocalypse" and other endearing terms, focuses on the quality of content and the authority of the author, where higher quality in both areas [...]


How To Rebrand Without Losing Your Hard-Earned Rankings

rebranding_new_old As an SEO, I've worked with many clients during rebranding initiatives to ensure that their sites retain rankings -- and, over the past few months, my own firm has been undergoing a brand transition. Thus, I thought I'd use my column this month to share some advice on how to handle a rebrand from an SEO perspective. What Is Spurring The Rebrand? To adequately address the rebrand, it's important to understand the reason the rebrand is occurring. Is there a merger of two companies, creating an altogether new brand? Is one company (brand) being acquired and absorbed into another company (brand) [...]


Can Bing Be More Competitive In Search?

bing-satori-knowledge2-featured Recently, Nathan Safran wrote a piece titled, "The Bing Dilemma: What To Do With The Little Search Engine That Can't." In it, he posits that everything Bing has done in the past to grab market share is not working, partly because people are so used to using Google that any hope of capturing market share from the #1 player is an impossible dream. He suggests that, since the online division has been "bleeding rivers of cash with little to show for it" for many years, it might be time for Bing to give up altogether. I would grant Bing a little more gravitas and a little more time. With new [...]


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