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Losing Organic Traffic After A Redesign? Four Things to Check

301-redirect While web designers and developers are often strong at designing and programming websites, not all are as well prepared to handle SEO issues, especially when relaunching websites. Just this week, I've worked with three separate web design firms who contacted me after a recent site relaunch caused a substantial loss of organic website traffic. So, if you just relaunched your website and you're losing organic traffic, how can you know where to start? Here's my basic list of the most common issues I see that are often overlooked in a relaunch. While there can be many reasons for traffic lo [...]


The War On Links

shutterstock_104739881-fear-of-links In case you didn't notice, we are waging a war over links. Some would say that SEOs are at war with search engines, but I disagree. Search engines and SEOs have a symbiotic relationship; and without meaning to, we've killed the value of the link. The link, once a simple connector from one site to another, has become the subject of intense scrutiny by SEOs, Google, and even the US Copyright Office.  Do you remember what it was like to really "surf" the Internet? The way you could bounce from site to site simply by following blogrolls and webrings? The rush of energy and excitement that [...]


5 SEO Tips To Boost Page Speed

Image used with permission of Shutterstock.com Got 10 seconds? Probably. But I bet you won't spend it waiting for a web page to spin, sputter and load. I hate that. You hate that. And search engines hate that, too. But if your site is lightning fast, everyone will love you. Why Page Speed Matters Not too worried about your slow site? Maybe you should be. Sweet Brown (video autoplay) said it best: "Ain't nobody got time for that!" And research findings agree. As SEL news reporter Amy Gesenhues noted in her post last March, average page-load speed for top retail sites was over seven seconds -- well above the ideal load time of thre [...]


How Long Can RetailMeNot’s “SEO Empire” Survive?

credit: Priceonomics RetailMeNot is having remarkable SEO success. According to an analysis by Priceonomics, RetailMeNot is first for numerous coupon-related and "promo code" searches -- an amazing 71 percent of the time. This is what the company said based on an analysis of nearly 300 coupon-related keywords: RetailMeNot ranks first in Google search results for an astounding 187 out of the 263 keywords we track. Dealcatcher.com, the next closest company, only ranks first for 7 keywords. Coupons.com, another recent IPO in this space, only has the number one spot in the Google rankings a single time. RetailMeN [...]


The Knowledge Graph: Should Your Content & Business Strategy Change?

google-knowledge-graph-featured Many articles have been written on the Google Knowledge Graph and its impact on SEO, but have you given thought to how the Knowledge Graph potentially impacts your content strategy -- or even your entire revenue model? For many publishers, it's time to take stock of how to work with the Knowledge Graph and how content strategy and revenue models may need to adjust with this shift in organic search. The Knowledge Graph was designed to provide information about people, places and things (i.e., entities). Google gathers information to supply answers via the Knowledge Graph from a variety [...]


GetListed Tool Relaunches As Moz Local

Moz Local Last year, David Mihm's GetListed service was acquired by then SEO Moz (now Moz). Today, it relaunched as Moz Local. It's a similar service with a number of enhanced capabilities, the most important of which is local listings submission. Agencies and business owners can use the tool to research where their listings appear online, manage claiming and verification and listings submission. Moz Local has also mapped Google Places categories to headings or categories at other directory sites (this tool is free). The back end of GetListed has been upgraded to manage submissions to a range of d [...]


How To Rebrand Without Losing Your Hard-Earned Rankings

rebranding_new_old As an SEO, I've worked with many clients during rebranding initiatives to ensure that their sites retain rankings -- and, over the past few months, my own firm has been undergoing a brand transition. Thus, I thought I'd use my column this month to share some advice on how to handle a rebrand from an SEO perspective. What Is Spurring The Rebrand? To adequately address the rebrand, it's important to understand the reason the rebrand is occurring. Is there a merger of two companies, creating an altogether new brand? Is one company (brand) being acquired and absorbed into another company (brand) [...]


Single Page Websites & SEO

One Page Website SEO Single page websites are quite popular right now; I see more and more each week on sites like The Latest and Product Hunt. No doubt they look cool when filled with great fonts, graphics and transitions. But can you SEO a single-page site and rank? Google's Matt Cutts had this to say: (video autoplay) It's going to depend on what your particular area is, what the topic is, and what kind of layout you come out with. But if it works for you and for users to have that all on one page, for the most part, it should work for Google as well. I took a look at what others have to say about SEO opti [...]


The B2B Marketer’s Guide to Baidu SEO

Chinese search engine market share diagram Baidu is the most popular search engine in China, which makes it a very powerful channel for B2B marketers in the global market. As of November 2013, Baidu held 63.55% of the search engine market share in China. The other two big players in the market are 360 with 21.84% of the market and Sogou at 10.53%. For any B2B company with a Chinese website, optimizing for Baidu is a necessity. While it's important to keep 360 and Sogou in mind as well, both are very new search engines that only recently emerged in the China market, so there's not much documentation out yet on SEO guidelines. [captio [...]


The Intersection Of SEO & Web Design

SEO Web Design Javascript As technology advances and web usage evolves, so do SEO best practices. Web designers now have more choices and technologies available than ever before. As we enter 2014, I expect we will continue to see advances in web design that bring even more options. I thought it would be helpful to revisit the top SEO considerations relating to some of the latest website design trends, which include parallax, responsive, and HTML5 design. Although I am a huge fan of incorporating all three design choices when appropriate; in all cases, site architecture and accessibility remain the primary SEO con [...]


5 Increasingly Commodified SEO Solutions That Confuse B2B Marketers

Conveyor Systems While discussing the changes in the search industry with a B2B marketing colleague earlier this month, he mentioned that many marketing professionals may be confused about SEO, particularly when it comes to advising clients on search initiatives. Jargon, conflicting "expert" opinion, and technological changes (like search algorithm updates) all add to the confusion. B2B marketers know how important organic search can be to their online marketing initiatives, but often get confused as to what they truly need. All they know is that they "need SEO." The commoditization of various SEO servi [...]


Secrets Of Successful Enterprise SEO Part 1: Operational Planning For SEO

pie chart 2 Believe it or not, one of the most challenging aspects of taking on the responsibility of an enterprise site is not determining what needs to be done. There is usually no dearth of opportunities to improve things and no end to the long list of tasks that need to get done -- yes, even at those "hallowed" sites that you may think completely dominate SEO and can do no wrong! Rather, the challenge is to identify, prioritize and execute on these tasks, all the while ensuring that you are prepared and able to get the internal buy-in from all the stakeholders -- from the bosses to the development [...]


4 Recent Changes To SEO That Are Vital To Holiday Retail Strategy

holiday-shopping-featured It's the holiday season again, and while certain sectors may be winding down for a relaxing month of festivities, online sellers are revving up their retail strategy. It's a crucial, make-or-break time of year for retailers to excel in customer service, gift-wrapping services, and, of course, search. A lot has happened in digital marketing in the last year, and if retailers go about business as usual this holiday season, they may miss out on revenue and customer retention opportunities. To help online retailers navigate SEO challenges and spot new opportunities, this post lists four signifi [...]


2014 SEO Playbook: On-Page Factors

2014 SEO Playbook Welcome to part 2 of my annual SEO playbook. (Click here for part 1.) I have to thank Danny Sullivan and the Search Engine Land team for giving me the perfect outline for the 2014 playbook, the Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors. Part 2 will cover on-page factors, including content, HTML and architecture. You'll find more than enough food for thought and some very actionable steps. This is not a step-by-step SEO guide, and it's pretty informal. Before embarking on a search engine optimization campaign, do your research or consult with an expert. Content: Quality Quality was a big d [...]


How Paid Search Can Aid Your SEO Efforts

Don't you feel smarter? PPC and SEO have always been complementary marketing channels -- but have you been using this combination to its full potential? With keyword data now largely gone and Hummingbird making quality content vital to your SEO strategy, it has never been more important to invest in SEO -- but you may not have the time or the resources to wait and see how your SEO strategy shakes out. This is where PPC can help. Paid search provides immediate, measurable feedback into which keywords and content are performing well, so we can use PPC as a testing environment for SEO strategies. In today's colum [...]


2014 SEO Roadmap: Adopting Semantic Markup

Semantic Search & Knowledge Graph: Information Architecture & Website Structure In Google's relentless pursuit of organizing the world's information, the most exciting shift we've seen over the last year is about its ability to understand the "meaning" behind content (via the Knowledge Graph) and queries (via its Hummingbird algorithm update). In the past, Google had to rely on the words on the page, matching them to the words that someone searched on. Now, the revolution that is upon us is matching the intent of the query to the suitability of a page that matches that intent. This has significant implications for SEOs; and, as I speak with some of the smartest SEOs [...]


In Quality Raters’ Handbook, Google Adds Higher Standards For “Your Money Or Your Life” Websites

google-search-quality-featured Google's continuing push toward identifying expertise and authority on the web takes another step in the form of a new type of website/landing page classification: "Your Money or Your Life." It's explained in detail in a new version of Google's "Search Quality Ratings Guidelines" -- the document that's used by the company's cadre of human Search Quality Raters. Version 4.2 (dated June 7, 2013) of that private document recently leaked online via a private SEO community and a Search Engine Land reader shared it with us. A Google spokesperson has confirmed for us that the document is legitima [...]


Uncloaking Keyword-Specific Organic Traffic To Your Site In The Not Provided Era

no-keywords-not-provided-featured Google recently released news that it is now moving to encrypt all organic search activity. This means that analytics programs will no longer be able to report on keyword terms that drive organic traffic from Google, instead noting the data as being "not provided." This could be devastating to marketing managers and webmasters who rely heavily on this search data to determine ROI on their organic campaigns. With the data obfuscated from analytics programs, many feel that the organic search marketing channel has been stricken from the record as a legitimate marketing channel. This data o [...]


Future SEO: Linked Open Data (LOD)

touchscreen As mentioned in my column on string entity optimization, the use of structured data allows search engines like Google to understand your page content so it can display better search results, or answers, to user queries. This month, I'll focus on Linked Open Data (LOD), which will allow you to publish structured data so it can be interlinked to establish relationships. This is important, as the relationship between words allows a clear understanding of site content by search bots. In my column about understanding entity search, I explained how semantic search uses an ontology (or l [...]


Eating My (Key)Words: Changing The Way We Think About SEO

trees I have glimpsed the future of search, and it is not keyword-driven. While I have long been an advocate of using keywords as an indicator of a searcher’s intent, I am about to eat my words. The truth is that search is heading in a direction that most of us could not have foreseen… a technically complex and varied amalgamation of platforms, devices, and inputs. What I mean by this is that as the search engines become more focused on discovering user intent based on various elements that can be measured before a user even types anything -- location, search history, mobility, circles, et [...]


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