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Building An Enterprise-Level Search Marketing Team: Part 1

[caption id="attachment_166535" align="alignright" width="277"] Image via Shutterstock[/caption] Several years ago, I was tasked with building an enterprise-level search marketing team for a top online retailer. Because of the lessons learned and results achieved, I want to pass this intel on to those tasked with creating a search marketing team from scratch. Your Foundation: The Search Guru My first recommendation is to start out with an organic search guru, an experienced person specializing in organic search. Search gurus are those with a long-standing history of getting results and [...]


How To Evaluate A Potential Website Acquisition

There are a number of things to take into consideration when buying a website. For purposes of this article, I don't mean the usual business considerations such as price, terms, etc. Let's dig into how you need to look at this from an SEO perspective. You can also use this thinking to evaluate whether or not to keep a site you already own. What's Different? There are a few things that are different from a normal SEO audit. Some of the key ones are: You are not committed to the site. Make sure to stay dispassionate about the way you look at the site. Obviously, you are interested in the s [...]


Maps & Metros: Surviving And Thriving In Local Search

Last week I attended the SMX Advanced session, "Maps & Metros: Surviving And Thriving In Local Search," moderated by Matt McGee with speakers Mike Blumenthal, Mary Bowling and Mike Ramsey. It's extremely challenging right now to recommend new "advanced" SEO methods for local search within Google (this is my take, prior to going into this session). Things in Google have been in flux, transitioning from the old Google Places to Google+ Local pages, and changes have been unpredictable and frequent. Also, the local algorithms haven't seemed to have had a whole lot of additions, necessar [...]


From Microdata & Schema To Rich Snippets: Markup For The Advanced SEO

Last week, I attended the SMX Advanced session, "From Microdata & Schema To Rich Snippets: Markup For The Advanced SEO," moderated by Elisabeth Osmeloski with speakers Marcus Tober, founder of Searchmetrics Inc., Julia Gause, Director of SEM for Scripps Network and Stephan Spencer, CEO of Koshkonong LLC. Just prior to the session starting, Bruce Clay, the session's sponsor, told Stephan Spencer and I that he had some pages where he'd used multiple schema/markup types on the same page along with the data highlighter—simultaneously—with the result that Google is displaying different [...]


Removing URLs From The Index In Bulk

Need to remove URLs from the index? For a small number of URLs, this can be a relatively straightforward process -- when you are dealing with thousands or tens of thousands, it can be a lot more complex, especially if you feel a great deal of urgency about the matter. This is what I am going to focus on today: situations where the amount of content is massive and the urgency is high. It turns out that you have several options -- so let's explore what they are! Why Remove Content In The First Place? There are many possible reasons, but here are some of the most common: You published co [...]


8 Keys To A Successful Local Business Website

A company website is the core of most local businesses’ online presence. In fact, more than half of all SMB online marketing service dollars are spent on the Web presence category, including Web design and hosting, according to a Borrell Associates study released late last year. Yet, despite its central role, the vast majority of SMBs continue to struggle in developing a site that can be easily found in search and that provides the information, engagement and trust that consumers are looking for. A recent vSplash audit of the presence of 3.9 million U.S. SMB websites found deficiencies [...]


Programming Data Collection For SEO Research

Last month, I showed you three tricks I use when gathering data on websites. I used these techniques to download webpages into a local folder. In and of themselves, these procedures are not SEO; however, a search engine optimization professional working on a large or enterprise website ought to know how to do this. In this article, I'll show you how to: Make a list of pages inside a folder Set up a development environment Open webpages from a script and extract data If you learn these procedures, I am certain you will find legitimate opportunities to use each, together or alone [...]


Optimizing Your Digital Assets To Boost Rankings & Branding

Let’s say you’re responsible for developing revenues from both traditional and non-traditional advertising. You work with a digital staff of talented people to create lead-generating Web-based content, or perhaps you are in e-commerce and sell products. Maybe you’re a brick and mortar with a website, or perhaps a pure-play Internet business with no physical storefronts. Regardless of whether you are a newspaper (publisher), e-commerce (products) or franchise (services) site, performing well within the SERPs will always lead to new customer acquisition. By identifying and optimizing al [...]


The Informational Content Advantage

You may have heard that content is king, but the truth is that informational content is king. It's estimated that approximately 50-80% of search queries are informational in nature (pdf). Most websites have very little informational content on them, preferring instead to focus on driving a conversion. These websites are missing an excellent opportunity to capture search market share. Ratios of Informational Content In previous articles, I've written about the importance of theming content -- developing a strategy that truly plays to your customers' search intent. But usually, very little [...]


The Holy Grail Of Internet Marketing: Owning The Whole SERP

[caption id="attachment_155242" align="alignright" width="250"] Photo from drp.Used under Creative Commons license.[/caption] In many ways, taking charge of your search engine results page is like answering the age-old philosophical question, “Who am I” -- but for your business. You may still be in the dark about what motivates some of your personal actions, but if you’re a business owner, I’m pretty certain you know exactly what your business is all about. That’s the first step. Now you need to translate that into Google results. Sound easy? Didn’t think so. It’s a bit [...]


A Data-Centric Approach To Identifying 404 Pages Worth Saving

A critical part of doing a site or link audit is checking to see how many 404 (page not found) pages there are in a site. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen an audit that lists the total number of 404 pages and advises developers to find appropriate pages to redirect these 404 pages to. That’s no big deal if we’re talking about just 20 to 30 pages. But, when a site has 404 pages in the thousands, and you tell the developers to fix these pages, you’re going to look more than a little ridiculous. So, how can you find out which of those 404 pages are actually important? Two [...]


The SEO Guide To Getting Started With Google Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster Tools can be a powerful ally. But, if you make a mistake or put this power in the wrong hands, it can mean trouble for your search engine optimization. In this post, I provide a basic SEO Guide to Webmaster Tools to help get you started if you aren't taking full advantage of WMT yet. It is very important to point out that some of these things are more detrimental than others. Also, there could be multiple articles written about each of these tools and reports. This SEO guide to Webmaster Tools is a simple overview with a little insight. [caption id="attachment_153210" al [...]


Spring Into A New Content Strategy

It’s officially Spring! The time when we all start thinking about websites. No, I’m lying, you’re probably thinking about getting outside instead of reading this article. But, on the subject of website redesign, we’re leading several of our clients through this right now. As they’re all at various stages and have various requirements for the finished project, I thought it might be beneficial to write up a content strategy process you can use when you do redesign your website. Hire The Right People You need: A Website Developer: one who is open to a variety of platforms and c [...]


How To Do Mobile Keyword Research In 2013

As promised last month, I’ll be sharing more information about how to do mobile SEO specifically and less about why to do mobile SEO. This month, I’m going to go through how to do mobile keyword research. First, though, a brief explanation of why to do mobile keyword research. Mobile Keyword Research Then & Now One of the primary reasons for doing mobile keyword research is that you could be missing out on keywords that your audience uses on mobile that they don’t use on desktop (e.g., [keyword + “nearby”]). There are some categories, such as restaurants, where upwards of 30 [...]


How To Create Your Local SEO Roadmap Through Research, Benchmarking & Tracking

During the regular online training sessions which I deliver to our customers, I inevitably get asked the same question. Actually this question comes in a few guises. What should I focus on more - citations or links? Are reviews an important factor for local ranking? How many citations should I build for my client? How do I know the best categories for my client to be listed in? But, they are all asking the same basic question: What do I need to focus on to improve my client’s rankings? Unfortunately, I don’t have a silver-bullet answer because there isn’t one. Every clien [...]


Back To Basics: Getting Started With Keyword Research & Content Creation

Sometimes, the best path to success in SEO is going back to the basics of good old fashioned keyword research and content creation with the end goal in mind: the customer and the conversion. In this article, I’ll look at a website that was submitted for review from a “Keywords and Content” focus. The site is Restoration Parts Source (RPS), an e-commerce website supplying restoration car parts and accessories for new, vintage and classic U.S. makes and models. 1.  Don’t Focus Only On Broad Keywords In his submission, Michael, RPS’s Web consultant, listed some keywords that [...]


5 SEO Audit Considerations For Publishers & News Sites

SEO site audits should all be at least a bit unique. Everyone has their own process for pricing and conducting SEO audits, but one of the important things to keep in mind is the different needs of different types of sites. The core issues and focuses in auditing a twenty page B2B lead gen site will be very, very different than the key things you want to think about and address in auditing a large e-commerce site. The same is true of conducting an SEO audit on a publishing or news oriented site, and as a result I wanted to call out five key considerations that you’ll need to account for [...]


Examining Real World Uses Of Rich Snippets & Markup

Semantic markup is becoming more and more popular in conjunction with large scale SEO. Adding rich snippets to send rich signals to alert search engines as to the relevancy of your content − whatever vertical they may appear in − is not only a wise move, but an SEO best practice. Included below is an illustrative guide highlighting currently available Chrome extensions, which you can leverage to both test on-site markup as well as expose any information regarding your competitors. An example is illustrated below, and what follows is a guide to getting the information.   Installi [...]


60 Minutes To Global Search Greatness Through Keyword Analysis

What if you could only spend one hour each week identifying some of your biggest opportunities and problems? What would you spend the time doing? That was a question - well, more of a “challenge” given to me by a few attendees of a recent Advanced Keyword Modeling presentation. While the many possible analysis were great, they were limited by time and wanted to know of all of them, which I personally would do first. First, the 60 minutes does not include gathering the data and building the reports. Since the challenge was to me and I would obviously use the keyword management tool I [...]


Have Keywords Stopped Being A Proxy To The Customer?

keywords-fog-featured It’s said that keywords are a proxy for a customer, right? So let’s talk about the customer. Schema this, canonical that, and black and white zoo animals… if you don’t have a search expert on payroll, you’re already behind the Joneses. I get emails like the one below all the time, this one being from the talented owner of Castleview 3D Architectural Renderings: “I need your help.  I realy don't get the whole keywords/SEO/web marketing thing -- but I know enough to know that I shouldn't and don't want to tackle it myself. I'm a small business (small = just me) and maybe I can't [...]


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