Directory Maximizer

How to Work With Google Webmaster Tools

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It’s amazing how people always want to know more about ranking higher and better in the SERPs, and yet ignore the very service that Google itself put together for webmasters, business owners, and SEO enthusiasts: Google Webmaster Tools.

Google-Webmaster-Tools

If I had to describe this free tool in 1 line, here is how I would do it:

“Google Webmaster Tools is a free service that allows you to see your website just like Google sees it”

For example, in the following video, Matt Cutts talks about the biggest SEO mistakes webmasters tend to make. The mistake most commonly made is “Not making your site crawlable”. Guess what? Google Webmaster Tools shows you which pages Google is unable to crawl!

For me, that would be a good reason enough to sign up right now. But I know many of you need more than that…so read on!

Signing Up

google-webmaster-tools-create-account

Some people are not willing to sign up because it looks like it might be complicated to somehow link a website to the account.

However, it’s really not!

After signing up to Webmaster Tools (or signing in if you already have a Google Account), you can verify ownership of your website within a few easy steps. You can do it through –

  • Your domain name provider
  • The use of an HTML file
  • A simple META tag
  • Google Analytics

google-webmaster-tools-verify-ownership

how-to-verify-your-site-for-google-webmaster-tools-step1

Thorough and detailed instructions can be found on this page: http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35179#35179

Links

If you go to the Traffic section, there are quite a few interesting stats that you’ll see.

traffic-google-webmaster-tools

Total number of links – This includes a breakdown of where the links come from, the anchor texts used, as well as the pages that have the most links.

It also shows what pages are visited most often.

Knowing about this information is useful in the sense that you get the idea of what topics perform well on your website; you can post more stuff about that topic for example, or if it’s a product page that’s popular, you can list it on your homepage as “Our Most Popular Product”.

Google Webmaster Tools allows you to export all those details as a CSV file or Google Docs file, so you can analyze these data at a later (offline) time.

Keywords Breakdown

Sometimes you rank for keywords you’ve never meant to rank for and obtain most of your traffic through them. Wouldn’t it be nice knowing which keywords these are? Well now you can, with the Search Queries section of the Traffic section. You’ll see keywords, number of clicks, click-through rate and more.

google-webmaster-tools-search-queries-report

Knowing the “money keywords” may help you better serve your visitors by providing more relevant content, products or services to them.

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Interview with our CEO on Reputation.com

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Popular online reputation management service www.reputation.com recently interviewed our CEO Mr. Sameer Panjwani under their ‘Expert Interview’ series. ‘ Expert interview’ is is series of interview based blog posts where they identify and interview selected individuals from various online marketing verticals. In this interview, Sameer talks about the early days of his career,  how and why he started Directory Maximizer, the future of directory submissions and SEO and more. Read the complete interview here.

Interview with Directory Maximizer CEO

Reputation.com® is a popular online reputation products and services provider. Using their patented technology, they help you understand your online reputation and give you the tools to monitor, manage and secure your information on the Internet. They have been featured in leading global publications like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Economist. Their services include online reputation management tools for individuals, small businesses as well as large enterprises.

Where to Submit Your Site to Improve Your Local SEO?

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Did you know?

  • 20% of the searches performed on Google are for a local business
  • That percentage sky-rockets to 40% when we’re talking mobile

Gone are the days when only 10 plain listings are obtained on the results page. Now you see the authors’ pictures, videos, rich snippets, and…LOCAL LISTINGS.

local-search-engine-optimization

As a local business, this is what you should be concerned with (the local listings). Why? Because these are where most of the eyeballs go, and where they tend to spend some time at.

Obtaining a good ranking in the local listings is a slightly different “game”, when compared to getting a good ranking in the organic results. Instead of ‘links’, your business will need ‘citations’. The more citations and mentions your business has, the higher it is going to rank in the local listings. Oh and yeah, your business needs a Google Places page as well (else it won’t show up there).

Once you create a Google Places page for your business, spend some time to make it look good; Fill up all necessary information, upload pictures and videos etc. That’s the easy and fun part. When you are done, it’s time to spread your business’ info around.

The Big Question: Where? Where Can We Obtain Those Citations?

Directories. They are the answer. People look for businesses in directories too. So go ahead and get your business listed in directories (or use a service that can do it for you for cheap!).

If you are in the united State of America, here is a list of 20 local directories  where you can start your submissions:

Stalk Your Competitors

Find out where your competitors are getting listed. You can do this by simply searching for their business names or phone numbers (using quotation marks will help most of the time).

Be creative. Sometimes add the area code to see what comes up. Use a mix of address and phone number, or street name and zip code, etc. Different queries will bring different results. And don’t forget to check out “Page 2” of the results as well to see stuff that are less specific to the actual business.

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Site Speed and How it Matters for SEO

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It all happened back in April 2010 when an official post on the Google Webmaster Central Blog announced that site speed is going to be, from then onward, a new signal in web search ranking.

page-load-time-seo

The blog post addresses and highlights the following points:

  • Google is obsessed with speed and if your website is fast enough, it could improve your SEO.
  • Faster sites have better user experience and this plays a role in conversion rate.
  • There are free tools that website owners can use to assess their site speed including Page Speed, YSlow and WebPagetest.
  • Site speed, while being a signal in Google’s search ranking algorithms does not carry the same weight as relevance of a page.

The important message here: site speed is a ranking factor in Google’s web search ranking but relevance is more important. In practice, site speed matters most significantly in queries for which the competing pages are both highly relevant and have close link metrics. In such an instance, site speed might come into play. Alternatively, page load time might also harm your SEO efforts if your site is excruciatingly slow.

Site speed and SEO

Page load time became a signal in Google’s search ranking algorithms as of April 2010. Back then and even now, site speed is not a very significant ranking factor. Mostly it means that Google takes into account usability metrics to rank pages on the web. In a way, this Google search algorithm update was a blessing in disguise. Slow websites do deliver a poor user experience and poor customer satisfaction. A good site speed can go a long way in increasing a site’s conversion rate.

According to a post on The Moz Blog, from data collected for 100 different sites, Google uses an equation close to the following to rank websites based on site speed:

y = 122.32e-0.31x

where y is the percentage of pages on the web that are slower than a particular page and x is the time that the page takes to load in seconds.

From the Google Webmaster Tools, a website owner can easily evaluate a page’s load time. This equation can then be used to assess how the page compares with the rest of the web.

As a general rule, if a webpage loads in 0.8 seconds, it is faster than approximately 94% of pages on the web, If the page loads in 5 seconds, it is faster than approximately 25% of pages the web.

How to Improve Your Site Speed

Google’s search ranking algorithms depend on over 200 different signals and even though site speed is one of them, if you really want to improve your website’s search engine optimization, you would do better to focus on things such as relevance and link building. Don’t make the mistake of overestimating the significance of page speed as a ranking factor. Quality should be your primary concern.

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5 SEO Rules for Startups

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If you’ve just created a website for your business then from this moment on, SEO is your new “frenemy”. It’s going to be your new best friend and your new worst enemy. SEO stands for search engine optimization. The aim of any SEO effort is to get your webpages to rank in the SERPs (search engine results page) when a person enters a certain query in a search engine’s search box.

For example, say you run an online shop specializing in weight loss supplements and at the same time, you give away weight loss tips. When a person types “weight loss tips” in Google’s search bar, you want your website to show in Google’s first page of results. Achieving top rankings in the SERPs means that your website is exposed to the maximum number of people and potential customers.

Search-engine-optimization

Unfortunately, search engine optimization is not as easy as many new website owners assume. It’s not as simple as setting up a good looking website and investing in quality content. Online, you are competing with thousands of website owners for the top rankings in the search engines. In addition to that, there is the issue of keeping the search engines happy and checking all the boxes when it comes to the maze of increasingly complicated ranking signals that determine whether or not your pages get ranked in the SERPs.

The Basic 5 Rules of SEO for New Website Owners

1. Make your Website Crawlable

google-crawlThis is the first rule of search engine optimization. To understand the significance of making a website crawlable, you will need to go into the details of how the ranking and evaluation process of the search engines works, how websites are crawled and analyzed and how indexing works. Basically, the search engines including Google have automated programs called bots that visit and keep copies of the content on different websites in the search engine’s index.

Given the volume of information shared and published over the web, these indexes are huge databases from which the search engines pull up specific pages when a particular query is entered in the search engine’s search bar. The process of bots travelling through websites indexing information is called crawling.

If your website is crawlable, all your pages will be indexed. If your website is complicated to explore due to broken links or hidden content then some content cannot be copied and stored and will not show up in the SERPs for the simple reason that this content does not exist in the search engine’s database and cannot be retrieved.

2. Research Both Industry and Branded Keywords for SEO keywords-research

The next thing on the menu: keywords. SEO relies heavily on the use of “keywords” by website owners in the information published on websites. In the world of SEO, keywords are specific search queries that you want your website to rank for in the organic search results.

Again we refer back to the indexing methodology of Google and the other search engines. To determine whether a specific webpage is relevant to a certain query, the search engine uses a number of arbitrary signals to assess relevance. One of these signals is the presence of certain keywords on a webpage.

Using the same example as above, say you want your website to rank for the keyword phrase “weight loss tips for women”. To increase the chances of that happening, you need to place that keyword in certain key areas of your website including the body of a specific blog post and in your title and headline tag. It is also important to remember that excessive use of these keywords are also not recommended.

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How to Make Your Content Titles Stand Out Among Your Competitors’

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In 2013, we are all aware of the significance of quality and authentic content in search engine optimization. Good content is one of the most important factors underlying the success of online businesses. Over the web, online business owners are competing with thousands of other businesses for top rankings in the SERPs, sometimes for the same keywords. Good content is what distinguishes valuable sources of information from marketing noise and the search engines, especially Google, are putting a premium on that.

content-title

However, because of the volume of information available over the web and the volume of content published every day, good content alone is not enough for business websites or blogs to compete for top rankings in the SERPs. There are some other factors that also come into play and one of these factors is title.

In any content marketing strategy, title is of key importance because it is the first thing that people read and can therefore determine whether or not the reader will progress to the rest of the content or click “Back”. The title you use to describe your content is therefore determining.

How to Choose a Competitive Title for Your Content

1. Remember that You are Trying to Increase your Business Reach and Impact

epand-your-reachAt the end of the day, the goal of any content you publish, written or otherwise is to increase your business reach and impact. To that end, when you are writing a blog post or you are sharing an infographic, the title of your content should reflect the uniqueness of your business and stand out from what the other people in your industry normally use. Generate a title that cannot be duplicated and if appropriate, claim your ownership of the title.

  • The first thing to remember when you are deciding on a title for your content is to be creative. Think outside the box, something your readers have not come across before. Generic titles are likely to be duplicated by your competitors.
  • If you can’t decide on a good title, draw up a list of possible titles and choose the best one by the process of elimination.  The best title will be the one that’s most relevant, creative and unique.

 2. Be Suggestive give-suggestions

The single most important requirement for a title is for it to be eye-catching. When people enter a query in the search bar of say Google, many websites come up in the SERPs. A brilliant title will make your content stand out from the crowd and potentially lure visitors to your site and compel them to read your content in its entirety. The key to coming up with a great title is to be suggestive, like you are about to reveal a secret. People love secrets.

  • To attract people to your site, make some of your titles narrative. If people think you are about to reveal something big as suggested by the title of your content, they are most likely to click-through and read the content. Your title should describe what your content is all about and provide a sort of supportive evidence that the content is worth reading.
  • In addition to titles of the narrative nature, distinctive titles can work equally well for certain types of content. Remember to keep your distinctive titles..well..distinctive, that is, unique and captivating. The ultimate goal is to make the content stand out and the title exclusive enough to be able to compete with the content titles used by your competitors.

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