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.

17 SEO Best Practices That Could Double Your E-Commerce Sales

Best Practices In E-Commerce SEO When I first tell clients that SEO can double online sales for consumer e-commerce retailers, they are skeptical. But not after I demonstrate how I've done it for Norwegian e-shops using 8 effective SEO tips. It sounds unrealistic -- but isn't. E-commerce SEO and conversion rate optimization can double your traffic and sales. When I show them proof, my prospective clients have many questions about generating more traffic, boosting conversions, increasing sales, engaging buyers and turning them into fans. Here are the most popular questions -- and my answers. Question #1: How Do I Deal [...]


Should Subject Experience Optimization Be The New Definition Of SEO?

The New SEO I recently put forward the concept that we should rename SEO to "Subject Experience Optimization," and I want to explain why I think all marketers should be on board with this. Google has made a lot of updates to their webmaster guidelines recently, and the common thread in most of these updates is to say that webmasters should focus on creating content that people can use and share. Crafting websites with the goal of being usable and shareable can ensure that you create the best possible content while developing a site that will stay within Google's guidelines. [caption id="attachment_ [...]


A Mature Digital Marketing Industry Provides SEO Opportunity For Small & Ambitious Businesses

Localisation Opportunities for Small Business & Large Alike

As we are approaching the end of the year, I thought it would be worth reviewing 2013 from the perspective of a UK based SEO with a diverse range of multinational clients and what opportunities lie ahead for all things SEO.


How To Overcome Your Client’s Expectations Of Impossible Results

expect results There isn't much I dislike about Web marketing, but dealing with clients whose expectations don't align with reality has to top the list. While many might gripe and complain that the client "just doesn't get it" (often a true statement), the client's absence of reality often has more to do with the marketing team than it does with the client themselves. Translation: It's you (the marketer/agency) not them (the client). There are three types of expectations that clients often have when they engage in Web marketing services: Rankings: "We'll be on the first page by [insert date here]." G [...]


Uncloaking Keyword-Specific Organic Traffic To Your Site In The Not Provided Era

no-keywords-not-provided-featured Google recently released news that it is now moving to encrypt all organic search activity. This means that analytics programs will no longer be able to report on keyword terms that drive organic traffic from Google, instead noting the data as being "not provided." This could be devastating to marketing managers and webmasters who rely heavily on this search data to determine ROI on their organic campaigns. With the data obfuscated from analytics programs, many feel that the organic search marketing channel has been stricken from the record as a legitimate marketing channel. This data o [...]


3 Ways Competitive Analysis Can Help You Boost Rankings & Get Great Content Ideas

site gallery bathroom I've noticed that many digital marketers tend to keep their heads down, laser-focused on their own site's position in the SERPs. Some do so more by necessity than by choice, because budgets and headcount are limited, and there is more than enough to do in moving their own websites up the search rankings. Others do so willingly because, as the thinking goes, the best bet is to focus on my own progress, and worrying about what my competitors are (or are not) doing serves only to distract. 3 Simple & Beneficial Competitive Analysis Strategies As an approach, focusing exclusively on one's [...]


Future SEO: Linked Open Data (LOD)

touchscreen As mentioned in my column on string entity optimization, the use of structured data allows search engines like Google to understand your page content so it can display better search results, or answers, to user queries. This month, I'll focus on Linked Open Data (LOD), which will allow you to publish structured data so it can be interlinked to establish relationships. This is important, as the relationship between words allows a clear understanding of site content by search bots. In my column about understanding entity search, I explained how semantic search uses an ontology (or l [...]


What Everybody Missed About Hummingbird: Social Signals

google-plusone-featured Danny Sullivan joined me for a live broadcast event via a Hangout on Air (HOA) this past Halloween, and this included a major revelation about Hummingbird and Social signals. Scott Scowcroft has done an awesome job of extracting this part of the broadcast into a short, 5-minute HOA Nugget video (aka "The Scott Treatment") for me, and you can watch it here: [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJZIg3WlL74[/youtube] To summarize, it appears that Google previously had major technical limitations with regard to the use of social signals as a ranking factor. With Hummingbird, Google now ha [...]


Infographic: How To Troubleshoot Google Authorship Issues, A Step-By-Step Flowchart

google-authorship-featured In October, I spoke at SMX East about some of the opportunities and challenges when implementing Google Authorship. At about the same time, a good friend of mine reached out to me with her authorship issue. While she appeared to have authorship markup set up correctly on her blog and linked correctly from Google+, her author image wasn't appearing in SERPs -- but did show for others writing on her blog. She's not the first person to reach out to me with an issue like this. Authorship setup can be confusing at best, and even when you think you have everything set up correctly, you still may [...]


5 Ways To Unlock The Benefits Of Semantic Search

Understanding is Key to leveraging Search Search is changing. It is now more personal, more engaging, more interactive and more predictive. SERPs no longer display just 10 blue links -- they have become more useful and more visually appealing across all device types. Semantic search is at the forefront of these changes, as evidenced most recently by the launch of Google's new Hummingbird algorithm. Beginning with user intent and interpretation of the query itself, semantic technology is used to refine the query, extract entities as answers, personalize search results, predict search queries and more -- providing a more interactive, [...]


2014 SEO Playbook: Google Hummingbird, Content & Authority

seo-plan-featured It's November, which means it's time for my annual SEO Playbook for the coming year. Thanks to Google's Hummingbird, Internet marketers and search engine optimization professionals are thinking a lot about content and authority, as well as what this new algorithm means for keyword relevance and link building. At the same time, SEOs seem to have a difficult time figuring out what works for Bing. This year, I'm making my playbook a three-parter. Today, I'll discuss Hummingbird and content strategy. Next month, I'll dive into on-page and off-page SEO ranking factors. Let's dig in. The Algo [...]


How To Leave Anonymous Business Reviews In Google+

CreateaPage For a long time, I've had some doctor friends complaining to me that once Google Places changed over to the new Google+ format, all their patients lost the ability to leave anonymous reviews (thus hurting their business and their rankings). They asked me what to do; and I, in turn, asked my fellow SEO friends what to do. No one really had a good answer, except to start leaving reviews on doctor-specific sites like healthgrades.com and vitals.com. That never seemed like a good answer to me, so I kept searching. Even answers from Google staff (in Google Groups) don't shed much light on th [...]


Google Hummingbird & The Keyword: What You Need To Know To Stay Ahead

hummingbirdGraphic.HIRES On September 26, Google told participants at its 15th anniversary event it had a new algorithm impacting more than 90 percent of searches worldwide. They called it "Hummingbird." Google's Amit Singhal later said it was perhaps the largest change to the algorithm since he joined the company back in 2001. This information made some marketers nervous, but at PubCon last week, Google's Matt Cutts reminded the audience that the algorithm had been up and running for more than a month before it was announced, and no one even noticed. Hummingbird allows the Google search engine to better do its [...]


SEO & Social Media Alignment

social-couldbe-disruptive-aspanda I recently presented at SMX East on how SEO and Social teams can no longer operate separately. Why? Because social media is playing an ever-more important role in SEO, and it has the potential to be disruptive to the status quo. Everywhere I turn, I find examples: personalized rank results, results with rel-author that display in Google search more prominently, and recently, # searches that incorporate G+ hashtag queries as part of the Google search experience. The Value Of Aligning Search & Social Traditionally, SEO has focused on content, website architecture and linking. The [...]


The New SEO — It’s About People, Intent, & Meaning

SEO Quote: "Trust is King. SEO is Queen. With them you can rule the kingdom of search". There are two ways to try and understand the future. One is to gaze into the misty depths of a magic crystal ball and guess what might happen. The other is to view facts from a coldly logical standpoint and draw verifiable conclusions from them. To make sense of rapid shifts in the SEO landscape, let's follow the famous detective of fiction lore, Hercule Poirot -- and begin with "the psychology of the individual," or, in our case, "the psychology of Google!" Knowing Google's Mind Why does Google do what it does? Lying hidden in plain sight are the keys to the mystery behind the shifting s [...]


Schema.org – 7 Things For SEOs To Consider Post Hummingbird

schema Schema.org was launched on June 2, 2011, providing a structured data markup supported by major search engines. Since then, we have seen schema.org markup implemented on many websites; however, you usually only see it on the tech-savvy and gung-ho webmasters' sites (or being generated by a CMS). This structured markup can be tedious to implement, and webmasters often don't take the time to capitalize on the real benefits. As we move forward into a new era of semantic search, I expect to see this markup added to many more websites. I believe that the Google Hummingbird update and greater depe [...]


9 Tips For Getting Free Clicks Through Google News

google-news-articles-featured "News is anything that's interesting, that relates to what's happening in the world, what's happening in areas of the culture that would be of interest to your audience." Kurt Loder, American journalist. Consider this: does the above quote describe the content of your website? Does your website publish a continuous flow of fresh content about current events? Perhaps you publish frequent reports of local activities, the goings-on within a niche industry or a specialized area of interest? Do you publish a regularly-updated blog with timely commentary? Developing high-quality news content i [...]


Gathering New Keyword Insights In A (Not Provided) World

ML-10-2013-2 Not Provided is all anyone is talking about these days -- with good reason. Holding data hostage and forcing users to buy ads to see it is pretty dirty pool, in my opinion. Most of my clients cannot lay out the money just to grab data, so we've had to come up with some creative ways to see information at a keyword level. I've shared previously how using a "Not Provided Filter" can give you insights into landing pages that are triggered by a keyword search. If you know the landing page, you can extrapolate and "guess" what the keywords might be. This is great if you have time to really loo [...]


Turn Domain Bias In Search Results To Your Advantage

thinking_thought-bubble_man_doubt_veer_3077149_M There's been valid debate over how influential keyword and exact match domains are in search engine optimization. Whether or not the latest Google or Bing algorithm takes the words in your domain name into consideration, the reality is that searchers -- those consumers actually choosing to click your link -- most likely do. The phenomenon has been dubbed "domain bias," defined as a user's propensity to believe that a page is more relevant just because it comes from a particular domain. While search engines generally reward good content with good rankings, there are certain qualities that ma [...]


Google Seeks Searcher Satisfaction: How Marketers Can Keep Up

google-hummingbird2-featured In late September, Google announced it had been gradually rolling out Hummingbird, a completely new search algorithm. The algorithm emphasizes semantic search and focuses on understanding the meaning behind the user query rather than simply trying to match instances of words in its Web index. Take a look at Danny Sullivan's great FAQ for more specifics on what's changed. Hummingbird Unprecedented In Scope This significant change in the core underpinnings of search has a lot of folks wondering about its impact on their business. (When combined with the recent spike in Not Provided, it make [...]


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