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Got SEO Basics? 5 Tips To Boost Your Organic CTR

Building_Blocks There's no shortage of new digital marketing channels these days -- and while they are innovative, exciting, and fun to experiment with, they can also distract you from SEO basics that can deliver performance gains. Your organic click-through rate (CTR) is a great example. A simple page title tweak could take you from driving 2% of consumers to your landing page, to driving 20%! But today, your organic CTR can be affected by several different elements. Below we'll take a look at five factors in your control: 1.  Search Engine Results Page (SERP) Ranking Marketers everywhere are chasing [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


Driving PPC And SEO Synergy In Large Enterprises

I recently had a prospect ask me whether it's ideal to have one team handle both the SEO and PPC efforts for an enterprise. To a large degree, that depends on the capabilities of your in-house group or external agency -- world-class PPC and SEO advice seldom coincide with each other, and often one can be better off engaging a firm with deep expertise in a particular channel in order to "move the dial" for that channel. There are some areas where SEO and PPC efforts dovetail nicely; however, this doesn't mean the same person or the same team needs to manage both in order for an enterprise [...]


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.


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 [...]


Advanced SEO Analysis – Part 1: SEO Research & Wisdom Of The Crowd

Wisdom_of_the_Crowd A couple of years ago, I was invited to speak at the SMX Advanced conference in Seattle on the topic of SEO and competitive intelligence. It is an area of SEO I'm passionate about, not only because it is one of the most difficult things in SEO to scale and do right,  but also because it is one of the foundations of a good SEO program. Before I dive into outlining one of the advanced approaches to SEO analysis that I shared at the conference, it's important to understand the genesis of the approach. Before I was building the machine-learning algorithms behind our Enterprise SEO platform, [...]


How To Optimize Database-Driven B2B Websites

global business network traffic Database-driven websites are very common in the B2B sector. This is because many companies want to have a catalog of products available on their site for distributors, but it would not be cost-effective to manually build out those pages as they are meant to generate leads, not revenue. Optimizing database-driven B2B sites follows the same basic SEO principles as any other site, but the execution is much different. Below is a simple guide on how to optimize dynamic content for product catalogs or similar content. How Database-Driven Sites Work If you aren't familiar with how a database- [...]


5 Not-So-Common Reconsideration Request Errors

SEO I've been struggling with a particularly difficult link cleanup project lately. On the occasion of my 100th reconsideration request (4th for this particular client), I thought it might be helpful to share five not-so-common problems that you might run into during your own link cleanup project. [Editor's note: Since this post was originally published, it's received praise from two Googlers: webmaster trends analyst John Mueller and webspam head Matt Cutts! Which just goes to show how important it is that you continue reading!] 1. Don't Block Your Pages With Robots.txt One good solution to [...]


Three Steps for Crushing Multi-Location Local Search

local-search-featured Research firm BIA/Kelsey reports that 97% of consumers use online media to shop locally. If you're a multi-location business, this means it's more important than ever to be visible to Web users in all your business locations. This column tells you how to crush it. Based on my own daily searches, it's clear to me that many local businesses (especially brick-and-mortar multi-location businesses) are not optimized for local search marketing. If you're a business with multiple store locations, with a dealership network, or with multiple state or national branch offices, there's a good chance [...]


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 [...]


Future SEO: Understanding Entity Search

data_humans_machines Last month, I asked you to imagine the future of SEO with a focus on Entity Optimization as I interviewed veteran semantic strategist Barbara Starr. We discussed an "answer engine" that uses relevant, machine-recognizable "entities" on Web pages to answer specific, well-refined queries. The Hummingbird Update On September 26, Google took another step toward becoming that answer engine with its Hummingbird update. In Danny Sullivan's live blog about the Hummingbird algorithm, he explains how Google is rapidly adopting semantic Web technology while still retaining parts of its old algorithm. T [...]


How Search Engines Work — Really!

how-search-engines-work For those of us in SEO (or aspiring to be), there are a lot of little details that fill our days. Server architecture, 301 redirects, 404 errors, title tags, and various other things. Sometimes, we forget to sit back and figure out what it all means. Add to that the fact that most SEOs were never trained, but just picked things up "on the job," and it's no surprise that most SEOs don't really know how search engines work. When's the last time you sat down and considered how search engines (like Google) really work? For me, it was last month, while writing the post about a recent Google W [...]


8 SEO Cleanse & Recharge Ideas For Fall 2013

cms-updates Whether you mark it by Labor Day or the Autumnal (Fall) Equinox, summer is coming to an end -- which makes this a great time to give your website an SEO cleanse and recharge the old batteries. Here are 8 things you can do to strengthen quality. 1. Fix Errors Listed In Webmaster Tools Both Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools provide diagnostic reports listing errors on your website. Both search engines alert you to technical issues that they monitor which might diminish visibility. [caption id="attachment_171382" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Google Webmaster Tools provides [...]


SEO Checklist For Startup Websites

Focus Your SEO on Revenue and Profit Startups have a lot going on. Staffing, outreach, overhead, paperwork, development, testing, financing -- and that's just before lunch. Regardless of the industry, startups are by their nature volatile businesses that are stuck bootstrapping much of the heavy lifting early on in their lifecycle. [caption id="attachment_141624" align="alignright" width="200"] Image via Shutterstock[/caption] While entrepreneurs are experts in their given fields and may even know quite a bit about conducting business online, it's unlikely that they are worried about SEO considerations. However, you don't n [...]


Building An Enterprise-Level Search Marketing Team: Part 2

Image via Shutterstock [caption id="attachment_169230" align="alignright" width="300"] Image via Shutterstock[/caption] In July, I began my two-part series on building an enterprise-level search marketing team. We left off with a review of the essentials for SEO, including all the technical and editorial factors that can hinder your website's rankings in the search engines. If you've followed my recommendations thus far, you'll have hired a reputable search guru, your hierarchy of team members is in place, reporting is approved and the Search Department is in sync with all the other internal departments compa [...]


Building The B2B Organic CRO Machine

target roi Over the last few years, I've watched the search marketing industry grow from being traffic-growth focused to being conversion- and usability-oriented. In the coming years, I expect to see an even stronger focus on usability and conversion. One thing that makes the B2B sector different from B2C is the fact that users rarely convert on the first visit due to longer sales cycles. Building a powerful B2B organic conversion machine requires a strong focus on intelligence, usability analysis and conversion optimization. A user who lands on a site the first time through search may not convert dur [...]


5 Critical SEO Mistakes Leaders Must Avoid

Seth Godin Quote It isn't easy being a leader in today's digital economy. The rapid shifts in technology and the way customers adapt to it has transformed business. Barriers between online and offline business have broken down. Capital alone is no longer decisive in determining success. Google's various offerings are a huge growth opportunity for B2B and B2C businesses alike. Even offline companies and neighborhood stores are dependent on Google because customers flock there. SEO is no longer optional -- it is mandatory. Hiring an experienced SEO consultant can be your most valuable business investment in 2 [...]


Long Tail Content For SEO — 2013 & Beyond

Buy or Leave Web Site There was the old way of doing SEO for the long tail. It worked for a long time, and lots of people made lots of money doing it. But those days are gone. What was the old way, you ask? In a nutshell: Research a long list of long-tail keywords Create a page for each long-tail term Give each page a title tag with the key phrase at the very start of the title tag Implement a header tag with the same key phrase at the start of it Write some simple blather type text that repeats the key phrase once or twice and arguably adds some additional value Focus the page on conversion Oft [...]


Five Steps To Clean Up Your Links Like A Techie

An Unnatural Link Warning from Google Webmaster Tools You've been in business for many years. You may have done it all on your own, or you may have enlisted the aid of unscrupulous SEO "services" to built links for you. Either way, you may be wondering whether you need to conduct a link clean up. This column contains a five-step process outlining how to determine if you have a problem, how to analyze it, and then how to clean it up. But first: Unnatural Links Warning = Problem If you get this message, you have a problem. Skip to step two. [caption id="attachment_166889" align="aligncenter" width="505"] An Unnatural Link Warning from Googl [...]


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