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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 [...]


11 Things To Ask Yourself When Optimizing Content

A client asked me the other day why we were optimizing his software for Los Angeles, when he’s located in Raleigh, NC. In explaining the reason to him, I realized that a basic guideline for optimizing pages is long overdue. I’ve developed the following flow chart and explanation in response. Theming Content The first question you need to ask yourself when optimizing a page is, What is the Page About? If you can’t answer this or your answer is a keyword, then maybe you shouldn’t be building the page. Seriously. You need the page to be about something in order for it to have value [...]


How To Leverage PPC To Discover High-Converting Keywords For SEO

When starting out with a new search effort or performing a keyword refresh for an existing website, the options for discovering new keywords are limited only by the SEO’s imagination. From the Google Adwords Keyword Tool, to digging through analytics, to leveraging sites like Soovle that discover ‘suggest’ keywords across multiple search engines, keyword discovery options abound. Building a pool of potential keywords to optimize for, however, is only half the battle. For those websites driving visitors to a ‘conversion event’ (e-commerce, asset download, form completion, etc [...]


SEO Basics: When Your Domain & Homepage Are Not The Same

Recently, I ran an audit on 56 music industry websites and received a startling result. Sixteen sites, 28.6%, forward people from their domain name to their homepage using 302 Temporary Redirects. These sites are tossing away valuable link authority! If your domain and homepage are different, determine how the domains forward visitors to the actual homepage. The correct way to forward visitors from one Web address to another is via a 301 Permanent Redirect. A permanent redirect tells search engines to take the authority from off-site links pointing at your domain and apply it to your rea [...]


The Difference In Keyword Research For SEO vs. PPC

keywords-featured Often when I complete a keyword research project for a client, they ask me about keywords I may not have included, or they want to know what the relative competition on the keywords looks like. This happens often enough that I thought I would remind everyone that while research for SEO and PPC can go hand in hand, they’re actually very different. First, think about what your goals are with each medium. What are you trying to do, and what constitutes success in that area? Next, think about how the keywords will be used. Where, when, how often? Finally, consider what your margin for erro [...]


Three Free Keyword Research Tools

One of the hardest things to do in keyword research is to uncover related keywords. With that in mind, the tools I’m reviewing today all help identify related keywords that you may want to search in more detail. These tools are not a substitute for detailed keyword research like I talked about in my first series of articles. Rather, they may help to either identify those keywords that are most important to your competitors, or help find obscure opportunities where there may be little search volume, but there is also little competition. All of the tools I reviewed for this article are [...]


Keyword Research Tool Review: Google AdWords

Keywords are important. I've heard from several potential clients recently who have talked to other "professionals" who told them keywords are no longer important for SEO, and that good content is all you really need. Here's the thing. Keywords are language. They'll always be important because words are how we communicate with each other. So until someone invents the microchip that can be implanted in your brain and read your thoughts without using words, you'll need to think about language in marketing. And I can only hope that those potential clients were told this by one seriously mis [...]


The Definitive Guide To Google Authorship Markup

google-plus-authorship-featured At SMX Advanced 2011, Matt Cutts announced the Google initiative to begin attributing content to original authors. Since that time, the process in which authors and websites attribute content to authors has evolved. A lot. Many times over, in fact. If you’ve heard about Google authorship markup, but have been confused as to how to get started with it, you are definitely not alone. I’ve been writing about this topic since August of 2011, and have worked to get this process up and running on three separate blog sites (Search Engine Land, Internet Marketing Ninjas, and The SEO Ace– all c [...]


Time To Reap What You’ve Sown From Keyword Seeds

If you’ve been following the series on Keyword Seeds and Keyword Research over the last couple of months, I’ve been writing about how to perform really good keyword research through a series of tactics that I call the "Keyword Seed Method". Don’t bother to go look that up in Google, as I think I’m the only one in the world who calls it that. But it helps me to think of keywords as "seeds" of information that will eventually grow into a "garden of possibilities", if you will allow me the artistic license. I’ve been reading a lot of classic literature lately. I received many ema [...]


7 Real Mobile Duplicate Content SEO Issues

mobile-seo-featured Ask someone who’s new to mobile SEO about it and they’re almost sure to tell you that mobile sites are duplicate content. The fear is that having the same content on two URLs will do the same thing it does in traditional SEO and split link equity and social shares, making it more difficult for either page to rank. In reality, with Google’s Old Possum/Skip Redirect update in December, user agent redirection is all that’s necessary for mobile sites to rank ahead of desktop sites in smartphone search, even if it’s the same content formatted differently. With canonical tags back to [...]


The SEO Breakdown: Bank Information Center Site Audit

SEO-Audits-Case-Studies-Site-Examples As part of a site audit special series, we're going to review an interesting website, Bank Information Center (BIC). BIC is a non-profit organization that does some very cool things but, like most non-profits, hasn’t updated their website for many years. Needless to say, they have almost no Internet marketing or SEO strategy which led them to ask for help by submitting their site for this series. In this post, I’m going to break down: Who the business is and what they do First Impressions: Overall analysis of website look, feel, targeting and usability Second Impressions: [...]


How To Develop A Keyword Plan

Since last time, you've been busy growing your keyword seeds into little seedlings, using those handy Excel tricks I wrote about. You've likely got thousands of keywords now, and may have no idea what to do next. If you’ll forgive me, I’ll continue the planting analogy for categorizing and mapping keywords. It seems appropriate, with spring upon us. You’ve found your seeds, planted them in little cups, and gotten seedlings from them. Now it’s time to plant them in the garden and watch them grow. But just as you shouldn’t drop a bunch of seedlings into the ground in no particula [...]


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