How To Conduct A Winning Local Search Audit

shutterstock_141227494-winning-audit Every week, our support team at BrightLocal fields numerous questions from our customers about how best to conduct a local search audit. The questions range from the type and quantity of data to include, to what processes and tools can be used to speed up the audit. This topic is well covered on many blogs, but I want to share my thoughts on the why, how and what of conducting a winning audit. Why Do You Want To Do An Audit? SEO is a journey, and any seasoned traveler knows that all successful journeys start with detailed planning. Conducting a search audit tells you where you are tod [...]


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 [...]


How Press Requests Can Be A Link Building Gold Mine

Press Request Link Building Building genuinely powerful and authoritative links isn't easy. Sure, there are tons of ways to build links, but how many of these techniques actually enable you to gain real editorial mentions from top tier websites? The answer: not many. Getting a link from a leading publication within your industry can't even be compared to something like a link from a directory, even if that directory is DMOZ. That's because editorial links from industry-relevant publications hold so much more value than just the link equity. Such benefits include social media exposure, brand awareness, targeted [...]


How To Improve Shopping Ad Performance & Quality Score In AdWords

Google Shopping Ads By late August, Product Listing campaigns in AdWords will be retired in favor of Shopping campaigns, so if you haven’t started migrating, don’t delay much longer. You can run both campaign types start tweaking Shopping campaigns now so that they’ll be performing great by the time PLAs go away later this summer. [caption id="attachment_195905" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Screenshot from Google.com showing Shopping ads generated from Merchant Center feed data.[/caption] In my last two columns, I covered targeting Shopping ads (which is extremely different from keyword targeting) [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


Why AdWords Dynamic Search Ads Work Better Than You Think

google-adwords-600 I have a confession: I used to hate Dynamic Search Ads. I'm sure some of you still do. For my part, I had used them unsuccessfully in a couple of accounts and decided they were no good. It wasn't until a few months ago, when I saw this awesome presentation from Matt Umbro at SMX West, that I decided to give them another shot. Let me say this: Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs) are not only a lot better than they used to be, they can also perform extremely well when optimized properly. Let's take a look at how to run a successful DSA campaign. What Are Dynamic Search Ads? Think of DSAs as [...]


Top 10 Tips For Local Search Success

shutterstock_183277097-options-choices Many local businesses today are overwhelmed by the variety of local marketing choices available. Unlike the old days when a small handful of advertising outlets would cover the majority of your audience, the sheer volume of marketing options has seemingly flattened the reach of each advertising channel. Business owners see all the different ways that consumers are seeking out, discovering and considering local businesses, and they don't know where to start. The key to getting started is building a strong foundation for local search success by checking off the basics. From there, you can [...]


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 [...]


How To Promote An E-Book Launch With A Be Everywhere Day

bullriding_shutterstock_42476785 It's no secret e-book launches are usually boring, and oftentimes dreadfully so. [caption id="attachment_193593" align="alignright" width="300"] The Be Everywhere Day: Be everywhere your market is.[/caption] This is because, well, it’s hard to be creative with yet another PDF launch -- especially if you’re in a saturated market. How can you create an e-book launch that generates some real attention? The Be Everywhere Day concept might be worth a shot -- but know that you will need plenty of planning and prep time to execute it successfully. The idea behind a Be Everywhere Da [...]


A Step-By-Step Guide To Link Building For Boring Industries Or Products

innocent-drinks Within the current search landscape, most search engine optimisation campaigns have become increasingly content-led. The majority of the campaigns that I work on revolve largely around the production and placement of high quality content on top-tier sites. This approach to search engine optimisation is more akin to a typical PR campaign than a traditional SEO campaign -- and the former, in my opinion, is the way that most digital agencies should be positioning themselves. Yes, I'm gonna say it: content marketing is the way forward. Now that I've got that buzzword out of my system, we [...]


10 Questions To Ask When Creating A Link Building Campaign

link-building-student-chalkboard-featured One of the most common questions I hear related to link building is, "Where do I start?" Whether in a blog post or a conference presentation, link building experts often focus on specific tactics when giving advice. The message can sometimes come across as, "Here are some things -- go do them, and you'll be set." But that's not the case. It's important to realize that while these individual tactics are great, they are really part of a much bigger picture: a link building campaign. That's where we must start. When setting up a link building campaign, here are a few questions to ask. [...]


How A PPC Fraud Ring Impersonated 300+ Advertisers In May 2014

ppc-featured Did you know that your paid search ads are susceptible to the same type of fraud that affects other forms of digital advertising? And we're not just talking about click fraud here.  The fraudulent tactic affecting PPC the most dramatically these days is a fairly insidious one that can be hard to detect. It's called PPC ad impersonation and occurs when an impostor advertiser takes a known URL, like JossAndMain.com, and uses it as the Display URL of their own advertisement. When you first hear about PPC fraud rings, you tend to think of click fraud where an automated system, not a real pe [...]


A Marketer’s Guide To Using Regular Expressions In SEO

HTTP_shutterstock Regular expressions (regex) are one of the most powerful tools we have in our SEO arsenal,  but they're incredibly intimidating! Here are some tips and tricks from one SEO to another that I hope will help you dip your toes into the powerful world of regex. I must begin with a disclaimer: I'm not a coder, a developer or a network admin. My use of regex is very entry-level, but what I'm about to share has worked well for me across a variety of platforms. I want to share three of these with you: Google Analytics, Screaming Frog and htaccess. Fundamentals Of Regular Expressions (Regex) Let's [...]


Discover Who’s Eating Your SEO Lunch… And How To Beat Them

dog-stealing-eating-food-600

The combination of web analytics and a thoughtful SEO strategy is a winner. Here’s one of my favourite strategies to ensure you’re beating your competition at SEO linkbuilding.


How To Run Single-Device Only Enhanced Campaigns. It Can Be Done!

shutterstock_122145442-single-device-campaign When I speak about Enhanced Campaigns, I invariably get an audience question like this: "How can I create single-device campaigns? I know it's possible somehow, tell me how!" I recently figured out the answer. Why The Need For Single-Device Campaigns? I am not usually a proponent of AdWords workarounds. I typically encourage businesses to work with the system and concentrate their efforts on making their landing pages and funnel work well within the AdWords targeting criteria limits. However, the device targeting limits of Enhanced Campaigns just inherently don't work for some business [...]


On MetaFilter Being Penalized By Google: An Explainer

Google Cop Big MetaFilter is a news and discussion site dating back to the early years of the web. Founded in 1999, it's attracting attention this week after coming forward about how a Google penalty has severely harmed its business, to the degree of having to let staff go. It serves as a poster child of problems with Google's penalty process, despite all the advances Google has made over the years. Google Hits Sites Large & Small If you just can't wait to get to the specifics of what happened to MetaFilter, scroll further down in this story now. But I'd encourage you to go through the background e [...]


Scaling & Systematizing Your Link Building

links-featured I'm all about systems and processes. That's the only way to scale. You could be the best link builder in the world, but how are you going to scale that? Until you remove the bottleneck -- namely yourself -- from the system, you can't achieve true scale. (At least until human cloning becomes a reality.) Low quality link building is easy to scale (e.g., mindless robotic scripts that send out email spam to webmasters, or huge offshore link building firms), but that's the path to destruction in the form of Google penalties. Building high quality links -- editorial links that are earned by me [...]


How To Amp Up Your User Engagement (And Get More Links)

shutterstock_105475358-chain-links People like to link to content that shows signs of life. If you have an active community, people are more likely to return often -- and that increases the chances that when they need to link to something, it might be to you. In this era where we're all terrified about who's linking to us, having relevant users who are your true audience linking to you seems like it would be a good thing, doesn't it? We talk a lot about creating good, useful content. We talk about socializing it. What we don't talk about as much is user engagement with that content. So, let's dive into that and see how it [...]


How To Gain Additional Reach In AdWords With Similar Audiences

clones-duplicates-copies-600 The "similar audiences" feature has been around for some time now, but this type of audience list is still heavily underused. So, what are similar audiences? Google uses your existing remarketing lists to characterise the types of users within them and then makes its own audience lists based on users that have the same interests and characteristics. This list is made up only of people who have been browsing the Google Display Network (GDN) within the last 30 days. You can then use these lists to show both text and image ads to these audiences across the GDN. How Can You Find Them? You ne [...]


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