Directory Maximizer

7 SEO Experts to Follow on Twitter in 2015

Leave a Comment  

When optimizing your site for SEO, doesn’t it make sense to understand- from the get go, the tactile and immediately actionable incremental improvements you can make to parts of your website to improve rankings, performance and traffic? One of the most practical ways to stay on top of the advanced SEO techniques that exist today is to follow the right people on the social media networks, in particular Twitter. Comparing the findings of Klout, Wefollow and Followerwonk, below is a list of 7 influential and prominent SEO experts to follow on Twitter in 2015 for valuable insights about everything- from schema.org to the significance of site speed.

seo-experts-twitter

But first let’s quickly talk about Matt Cutts! After all, up until recently, he would have, no doubt, topped this list.

About Matt Cutts (@mattcutts)

Matt Cutts joined Google as a software engineer in January 2000. He later became the head of Google’s Webspam team and an official spokesperson for publisher and webmaster issues until July 2014 when he took a leave to spend more time with his family. This makes Matt Cutts a 14-year veteran of Google and an SEO expert although he has now extended his leave and it is unsure whether or not he will ever come back. You can still follow him on Twitter but he is no longer communicating much about search topics or new things in search.

7 SEO experts to follow on Twitter in 2015

1. Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan)

Founding Editor of Search Engine Land and Marketing Land, with Matt Cutts out of the picture, it makes sense that Danny Sullivan is the #1 SEO expert you should be following on Twitter for SEO news, techniques and tips to be insanely successful and prosperous on the web. He is also the Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media and produces Search Marketing Expo, the world’s largest search marketing conference series aimed at educating internet marketers about search.

2. Rand Fishkin (@randfish)

Rand Fishkin, also known by his ludicrous job title “Wizard of Moz” is the co-founder and former CEO of Moz. He loves to speak about the world of marketing and technology including content, search and social from his blogs (note the “s” annexed to “blog”) to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and a shared Instagram account. He is also a co-founder of Inbound.org and the co-author of The Art of SEO. Read more

3 Examples of Local Search by Businesses that are Doing it Right

Leave a Comment  

In 2015, if you want to have a successful local SEO strategy, there are some things you need to know. For example:

1. Your Goals Inform your Campaign

Search engine optimization encompasses technical and creative elements to improve your rankings up the SERPs, drive traffic and increase awareness in the search engines. Therefore, to have a successful campaign, you should have a good idea of what your objectives for SEO are and how it will fit into your marketing mix.

For example, are you interested in traffic or are you interested in conversions you could track. Maybe you want to know how your content pieces are improving your ROI. The truth is: You can have all the traffic in the world but if it is not meeting one of your goals of SEO (conversion or education) then the traffic is not helping any purpose.

2. Tunnel Vision is Not Necessarily Advisable

In a post published on December 3, 2014, Mike Ramsey from Nifty Marketing talked about a click study test he ran through Usability Hub. The first study- “Salt Lake City Hotel” gave the following results of what people clicked on following a Google search for “Salt Lake City Hotel”.

Local-seo

The takeaway: Users click all over the place and while it is desirable to be number one on the SERPs, you also want to get clicks from your paid ad, local result and barnacle SEO efforts.

3. Don’t Spam

And finally, while Google is getting smarter and better everyday, some spammy tactics still work. Take the example below for instance.

local-seo-results

Don’t do it. Instead, you want to rise above it and do things the right way. If you take shortcuts, sooner or later you will get penalized and it’s not worth the heartache.

3 Examples of Good Local Search

Bricco

If you Google “best Harrisburg restaurants”, you would see that the upscale Mediterranean and Italian restaurant Bricco is the top result.

local-search-results

Is the food really good there? Sure! Going by the reviews and ratings of the place, Bricco offers a really great dining experience. But that’s not all. It is also listed on trusted and top-ranked sites such as TripAdvisor and Urbanspoon. In SEO, there is a marketing tactic referred to as “Barnacle SEO”.

In essence, just like the way barnacles attach themselves to whales’ skins, in Barnacle SEO, by attaching your name to top-ranked and trusted sites in your industry, you benefit from top rankings in the SERPs as well. This makes it very different for your competition to drown you out SEO-wise.

The takeaway: Do not underestimate the power of good “Barnacle SEO”. Get listed and maintain a good presence on review sites that are trusted in your industry. Read more

Planning Your Content Strategy for a Whole Year

Leave a Comment  

There are a variety of different factors that can help to make a website successful. A highly innovative SEO campaign is essential and that will be impossible without an effective content strategy. As the old saying goes, content is king and without it, your website will be bare and barely noticeable. With this in mind, it is vital to plan out a long-term content strategy that can be followed for the entire year.

content-strategyIn basic terms, your content strategy is the management and creation of the content for your website. It is possible to incorporate written content, as well as videos. As long as something is being added to the site, your site will remain active and thrive. How many posts should you add in a week? How long should they be? Below, you will learn everything you need to know to plan an entire year’s worth of content.

Is it necessary?

First and foremost, a lot of businesses will question the overall necessity of the content strategy. It has been proven repetitively that a good, solid content strategy can drive a business to success. Those that have already taken the time to implement one are more effective and able to manage their time more efficiently. Following a specific plan will ensure that your content’s effectiveness expands and covers your blog and social media channels. Suffice to say, a thoroughly planned content strategy is crucial for all businesses!

What to Include

There are a few integral aspects that should be included in your strategy. First and foremost, you need to layout your specific needs! What is the overall purpose of your strategy? What are you attempting to succeed and what are your goals? All of this information will prove to be beneficial and will help to keep you on the right track at all times.

Next, you’re going to include your overall plan. How are you going to be able to deliver your information? What steps must be taken to get the content that you need? You should also keep track of the difficulties that you will face. This information will ensure that you’re able to get the content needed and deliver it in the most effective manner.

Details about your specific audience should be added. It is vital to know as much about your customers as possible. What type of content is best for these individuals and what exactly are they looking for? By knowing these individuals thoroughly, you will be able to deliver the exact content and information that these individuals desire. By doing this, your strategy will prove to be much more fruitful. Read more

A Tool for Every Webmaster: Schema.org

Leave a Comment  

Throughout the years, the practices of SEO have changed significantly. As Google continues to churn out new updates, the practices are slightly altered further and further. This can make it difficult for webmasters and SEO technicians to keep up with the latest standards. Now, there is an entirely new system, which is proving to be quite effective. Now, it is highly recommended to incorporate schemas into your HTML coding for more structure and easier understanding. Within this guide, Schema.org will be explored in depth.

Schema-org

What is Schema.org?

In actuality, Schema.org isn’t an idea or technique. Instead, it is a collaborative effort from some of technology’s most substantial individuals. The group, which runs the site and is pushing for schemas, consists of experienced and highly intelligent individuals. Some hail from Yandex, while others have worked with Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. With this type of backing, there is no doubt that the group is onto something big! These massive Internet corporations encourage the use of schemas and actually sponsor Schema.org.

Introduction to Schemas

Every website owner, Webmaster and SEO enthusiast needs to know a great deal about HTML coding and other similar languages. However, they likely know very little, if anything, about schemas. The schemas actually take the process a little bit further and help to define the HTML tag in a much deeper sense. When organizing your information with header tags, such as <h1>, you’re typically helping viewers differentiate the importance of your content.

By incorporating the use of schemas, it is possible to do the same for the various search engines. When these extra tidbits of information are added, the search engines have a much easier time determining the overall purpose of the tag. This allows them to provide more relevant content to users.

By relying on Schema.org, the webmaster will be able to access a comprehensive database of information and terminology, which can be used to properly mark up their pages. By using the vocabularies, which have been shared on the website, the webmaster can enable the search engines to better understand their websites. Read more

8 Tools to Help You Evaluate Your Website Content against Your Competitors

Leave a Comment  

Whether you want to build trust among your customers, drive sales, or become recognized as a thought leader in your industry, content marketing is essential to building a successful online presence.

Recruiting_Tools-_10_Candidate_Sourcing_Tools_You_May_Not_be_Using__1433995703_103.16.200.222

A big part of producing and publishing information that builds authority and a community around your brand is watching your competition. After all, you’ve been doing it from the time you were in school or on a sports team. The value of watching your competition is twofold.

  1. You want to keep up
  2. You want to know where the marker is set so you can outperform your competition

In the world of online marketing, the same principles apply. Competitor analysis is essential to finding opportunities and setting goals based on thought leaders and competitors you aspire to beat.

Keeping an Eye on Your Competitors

As a content marketer, it is valuable to keep a finger on the pulse of your audience. One of the ways to do this is to keep an eye on your competitors. In particular, you want to analyze the types of content they are producing because competitive marketing strategies are strongest when:

  1. They position your strengths against your competitors’ weaknesses
  2. Or when you choose positions that pose no threat to competitors so that you are no longer competing for the same

This, in turn, can help you write opinion pieces. You also gain valuable insights into reader expectations.

4 Ways to Evaluate your Content Marketing Strategy against That of Your Competitors

  1. Set up an Alert to Get Notified Whenever your Competitors are Mentioned Over the Web

While knowing when your competitors are mentioned over the web does not directly help you compare your content marketing strategy vs. your competitors’, it can help you keep a tab on what’s happening on and off their website. This can help you identify the keywords and types of content that are likely to increase any return on your investment (ROI). Read more

The Why & the How of Performing an SEO Audit

Leave a Comment  

By definition, an SEO audit is a thorough analysis of your website to check the overall health of your search engine optimization, encompassing both technical and creative elements. These optimizations improve rankings, drive traffic and increase awareness in the search engines. Determining their performance can help you identify SEO problems and in turn, determine what is holding back the organic performance of your site.

seo-audit

So if you’re wondering if should you perform an SEO audit, the answer is yes. Not only should you perform an audit, you should perform a thorough one so that nothing slips through the cracks. An SEO audit can help you:

  1. Analyze and evaluate the quality of your inbound links. This can help you detect if you’re attracting poisonous links from low quality sources such as link farms.
  1. Analyze what your competitors are doing and get an inside look at their backlinks with tools like Open Site Explorer (OSE) & Mondovo.
  1. Check your content and make sure your homepage content and landing pages are optimized.
  1. Check your keyword targeting, keyword cannibalization, content formatting and headlines.
  1. Evaluate your on-page optimization including title tags, meta descriptions, URL structure and images’ file names as well as alt text.
  1. Analyze and evaluate your website’s accessibility and indexation so your content performs better in the search engine listings, including checking the robots.txt.
  1. Check your site’s architecture and internal linking.
  1. Review your website’s mobile experience.
  1. Review page load time for key pages.
  1. Avoid duplicate content by making sure there is one URL for each piece of content and the content does not show up elsewhere on the domain.

These are all small changes that can be made to parts of a website but when implemented combined with other optimizations, they can have a noticeable impact on your site’s performance up the SERPs.

How to Perform a Comprehensive SEO Audit

A comprehensive SEO audit can be broken down into 5 sections:

  1. Accessibility
  2. Indexability
  3. On-page optimization
  4. Off-page optimization
  5. And competitive analysis

Accessibility

Here is the deal: You may have the most beautifully crafted website with the most premium content that you paid the bucks for but if the search engines and users can’t access it, it might as well not exist. Under this section of your SEO audit, you investigate things such as:

  1. Your robots.txt file
  2. URLs that return errors
  3. Your site’s XML Sitemap
  4. Your site architecture
  5. Your site’s usage of Flash and JavaScript navigation
  6. Your website’s performance with tools such as Google Page Speed and YSlow to makes sure your site doesn’t take too long to load.

Read more

Semantic Search and its Impact on SEO

Leave a Comment  

Keyword-based search engine optimization, as traditionally practiced, is dead as we witness the rise of long-tail keywords and semantic web technologies. These are now intrinsic to almost every operation performed by the major search engines including Google and Bing. As a result, if you are a search engine marketer and you are serious about maximizing the visibility of your website in the SERPs, you need to have a sound knowledge of how the semantic web works and the incorporated technologies.

semantic-search

But do not take this to mean that keywords are no longer relevant to SEO in 2015. After all, the search engines do require some text to make sense of what it is your company actually does. But what they take great pains to understand (and subsequently store) are other information including places and concepts that ultimately gives the pages on a website their meaning.

In short, semantic search is this creepy functionality within Google and adopted by a few other search engines whereby the engines derive meaning from the words on your website rather than focusing on the words themselves. This was introduced as part of the Hummingbird update released in the summer of 2013.

The Value of Semantic Search

Search begins when words are typed into a search box. This makes ranking for the right keywords one of the most important activities in search marketing. But most people don’t search with one keyword. For example, someone is very unlikely to type “laptop” in Google’s search bar. They would type additional words to give additional clues. For example, they could be looking to:

  1. Buy a new laptop
  2. Buy a used laptop
  3. Have a laptop repaired
  4. Upgrade a laptop
  5. Buy laptop accessories
  6. Or do research for a paper due at school about the evolution of laptops

In turn, the search engines explore the semantics of those additional words and understand the meaning behind them to guess what the user might really be looking for. This has an application in SEO because by incorporating semantic technologies in your SEO campaigns, you can help Google deliver your website pages as the best results possible to user queries. This means you have to determine the right keywords based upon user intent and then create content based on those terms.

Semantic keyword research has many advantages:

  1. Semantic keywords inform high-converting blog posts.
  2. It can improve your click-through rate when the elements of your conversion funnel are aligned semantically, including your landing pages and emails.
  3. It can improve your quality score, which in turn leads to better rankings.

Some Tools You Can Use for Semantic Keyword Research

1. Google’s Advanced Search

Google’s advanced search results is a quick and effective way to generate semantic keywords. Using the example above, say you’re an online laptop store and you are currently having a 30% off promotion. To find keywords that visitors actually type into the search engines, type “laptop discount codes” in Google’s search bar. Scroll to the bottom, and ignore everything in between; at the bottom is a harvest of keywords. Read more