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Tips For Growing Keyword Seeds With Excel Formulas

Have your seeds germinated yet? Last time, we talked about keywords as "seeds" of ideas; a single keyword to represent an entire keyword cluster. Now it’s time to make our seeds grow. [caption id="attachment_114848" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Germinating your Keyword Seeds"][/caption] Using the example of Artisan Construction Services again (thanks!), we’ll walk through the process that I use to grow a single seed. In this case, let’s use "deck". To begin with, I want to think of the types of decks my client might build: Composite Wood PVC Hardwood Ceda [...]


Nine Best Practices For Optimized < title > Tags

When I do an SEO audit on a webpage, one of the first things I check is the <title> tag. Why? Well, I have several reasons. [caption id="attachment_112710" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Best Practices for Title Tags in SEO"][/caption] In my book, the <title> tag possesses all of the following: It has the most SEO power of any tag on the page for establishing keyword relevance Its contents are the source for the blue-link text shown in the search engine results pages (SERPs) It’s the best place to get a concise description of the content on the page (well, th [...]


The Keyword Research Rabbit Hole

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how to use your first meeting with a client to understand their business and collect information that could later inform your keyword research. Now, you’re back at your desk and wondering what to do with all that information. To begin with, you should have three lists of keyword-types (I call them seeds): [caption id="attachment_110492" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Elements to include in keyword research"][/caption] Seeds most important to your clients (note that these may include jargon and industry-specific terms that need further researc [...]


12 Steps To Optimize A Webpage For Organic Keywords

In this article, I’ll outline the steps I take to optimize a webpage to try to improve organic search results;  both increase rankings and improve click-throughs from the search listings. If you’ve been following along in this series, we covered the first steps in the previous two articles. 1. Choose The Keywords To Focus On In Organic Keywords: The First Step In Search Engine Optimization, I covered how to use Google analytics to choose the organic keyword phrases to focus on first in your optimization efforts; those keywords already contributing to the business goals. We then looke [...]


5 Questions To Streamline Your Keyword Research

It’s time for the first meeting with the customer. You may be a seasoned search marketer, but you’re still a little nervous. How do you achieve that perfect balance of getting the information you need while still exuding an aura of consummate professionalism, knowledge, and generally make yourself seem like the search Dalai Lama? [caption id="attachment_106867" align="alignright" width="133" caption="Dalai Lama (of keyword research?)"][/caption] First, realize that the real Dalai Lama feels no need to prove himself, he just *is*. Project an aura of confidence, and realize the most el [...]


How To Improve Site Credibility Through Search & Social Media

Anyone—anyone—can make a website. Anyone can create a Twitter account, start a blog, or launch a Facebook fan page. And anyone—from 13-year-old girls to 45-year-old men—can pretend to be an attractive 20-year-old woman on the Internet. In the world of Internet spam, scams, and shams, we’ve learned to be wary of what we find online. Search engines are no different. Too often we forget that search engines aren’t just a tool to help us find news articles or guacamole recipes. Search engines are running a business—a business whose success relies on providing you legitimate, rel [...]


Where To Get Citations For Local SEO

If you haven’t heard, local SEO is taking over. More than 20 percent of Google searches are for a local business. That number doubles on mobile devices, and it’s starting to show in the SERPs. When was the last time you searched and got only the traditional 10 organic listings? SERPs are being inundated with images, videos, rich snippets and above all, local listings, and these are exactly where consumers are navigating to. Recently captured eye-tracking data for Google searches found that users are gravitating toward the Google Places listings over the organic listings, whether it’s [...]


How To Prioritize Keywords For Optimization Based On Organic Competition

Previously in Organic Keywords: The First Step In Search Engine Optimization, I covered how to use Google Analytics to choose the organic keyword phrases to focus on first in your optimization efforts: those keywords already contributing to the business goals. We then looked at how to use Google analytics to help "map" those keywords to existing pages on the site for optimization. In this article, I’ll continue on to the next step and show you how I prioritize the keywords by evaluating the difficulty of reaching top results. Check Keyword Rankings The next step I take before beginnin [...]


SEO Best Practices For HTML5: Truths, Half-Truths & Outright Lies

HTML5 for SEO During a panel at SMX Advanced 2011 in Seattle, I remember hearing a question about Schema.org tags. More specifically, I remember Greg Boser remarking about how search engines have come full circle. First, they gave us meta data. Then they took it away (as a ranking factor). Now, search engines are once again asking us for meta data. His tone did not indicate any type of excitement about the Schema.org announcement or the use of the tags as an SEO strategy. Other panelists commented on how the Schema.org tags could lead to additional code bloat, and in the end, none of the panelists re [...]


How To Devise A Psychology Based SEO Strategy

SEO Strategy & Keyword Research SEO consultants like me usually get called in at an advanced stage of website development. Design elements are already in place, graphics created, page structure determined, even selling and lead generation processes finalized before the owner or manager invites us over to "slap SEO on" to their creation! Is that because to many of our prospective clients, SEO is a purely technical issue unconnected to marketing? Personally, I don't think that's correct. At all. True, there is a technological side to any SEO plan. But the strategy setting and business analysis components that draw upo [...]


What Is Search Engine Optimization? The 3 Minute SEO Video!

seo-featured Don't know SEO? Know someone who needs a short, easy to understand overview of search engine optimization and how it works? Grab some popcorn and watch our new SEO video, which in just three minutes covers the basics of search engine optimization: What is SEO? New to SEO? Start with this quick and easy to understand video about search engine optimization. We worked with Common Craft to produce this SEO video, and they have many more great videos like this in their Common Craft video library, so check that out! You'll find our v [...]


A Guide To Geocoding Images For Local SEO

One way to kick up your local search optimization game is through beefing up the local signal through images. There are a few techniques for doing this -- read on for details. Incorporating images as part of your overall content mix is a good idea for search optimization in and of itself. Images can provide additional opportunities for keyword signals on a page, and they represent good opportunities for ranking in search results under Universal Search. But, if they're also associated with places properly, they can convey additional location signals, helping a business and/or its website [...]


How To Improve Crawl Efficiency With Cache Control Headers

Way back at the end of the last century, I worked for a company called Inktomi. Most people remember Inktomi as a search engine, but it had several other divisions. One of these divisions (the one I worked for) sold networking software, including a proxy-cache called Traffic Server. It seems weird now, but Inktomi made more money from Traffic Server than it did from the search engine. Such were the economics of the pre-Google Internet. It was a great business until 1) bandwidth got really, really cheap and 2) almost all of the customers went out of business in late 2000/early 2001. (Most of [...]


A Step By Step Guide To Effective Online Article Marketing – Part II

Effective article marketing is not about submitting articles to article submission sites. Effective article marketing is about writing quality articles that are useful or interesting to your market, using some on your own website and getting some published on other related websites. Previously in A Step By Step Guide To Effective Online Article Marketing, I covered the first step in effective article marketing; writing quality, useful articles for your own website. I also talked about how to find article ideas and how to get articles written if you don’t have the time or can’t write. [...]


A Step By Step Guide To Effective Online Article Marketing

Online article marketing can effectively improve organic search results in a number of ways: Improve visibility for your target keyword phrases Obtain traffic for additional (long tail) keyword searches Assist in building awareness and reputation Increase targeted traffic from other quality related websites Helps attract more incoming links to your site Helps make your website more unique and useful Google’s Panda update showed once again, that it’s important to have high quality, unique content. We recently evaluated a large ecommerce website that was stung by the Panda [...]


How To Increase Organic Keyword Conversions – Part II

Previously in How To Increase Organic Keyword Conversions, we covered how to use Google Analytics to determine the entrance pages people are landing on after clicking through from organic keyword listings in search engines. We showed you how to look for typical issues with entrance pages that hurt conversions such as files with no navigation, old webpages still live with broken images and links, pages that have been moved or deleted resulting in Page Not Found errors, and entrance pages that are not the best place for people to enter a site after searching on a specific keyword. Here, w [...]


DIY SEO: How To Check On-Page Ranking Factors Using Google Docs

My kids and I really enjoy watching the MAKE Magazine video podcasts together. It's one of those rare and happy things that a ten-year-old girl, an eight-year-old boy, and an adult can watch together and find interesting. Inspired by these podcasts, I thought it would be a good idea to create a do-it-yourself SEO project. So today, we'll make a Google Spreadsheet that checks a web page for various on-page factors that can affect SEO. Getting Started What you need: A Google Account for logging into Google Spreadsheets A URL that you want to check. In this article, I'll be chec [...]


How To Avoid SEO Pitfalls With Timely Alerts

In the world of SEO, there are big updates like Panda, Mayday, Vincent, Florida, but there are also smaller internal issues that can creep up on you leading to traffic and revenue loss. The ability to identify and prevent self inflicted nicks and cuts along the way is key to a successful SEO program for online retailers. When dealing with large, product-driven sites, automation and templates, things are bound to fray and break over time. Getting alerted and identifying the issue is half the battle. Dashboards are a great way of staying on top of internal issues, as well as competitor and [...]


How To Use Effective Navigation Labels for Search Engine Optimization

Is your website’s URL structure based on the perceived logic of your boss’ teenage son? Or even worse, a software engineer? Search-engine friendly labeling systems are critical for long-term search engine visibility.


How To Increase Conversions For Organic Keywords

Once your website starts getting at least some traffic from organic search queries, you can help increase conversions (inquiries, signups, purchases, phone calls etc) by investigating what happens once people reach your website from the search results. You can use Google Analytics to choose what keywords to focus on and to check the entrance pages (landing pages) for issues hurting conversions. How To Choose Which Organic Keywords To Focus On Most websites have hundreds or thousands of keywords bringing visitors to their website so it’s ideal to have an easy way to select which keywords [...]


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