How to Create a 'Perfectly Optimized' Webpage for Search

Just what is search engine optimization, anyway? 
It's the practice of creating a digital piece of content or web page that is Google-friendly. If a page is SEO friendly, it's findable when you search for it. It's easier said than done, though. But a new infographic from Moz makes it a bit easier. 
"The perfectly optimized page" gives an example of a bakery that has a splendidly findable chocolate donut recipe. 
It's keyword-targeted, bot-accessible and incorporates relevant metadata that helps the bots browsers use to crawl websites place pages in searches. 
For more on how to create your own perfectly SEO friendly page

Continue Reading

5 SEO Trends Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know for 2014

"Is SEO dead?" It's a common question within the online marketing world today.
If you're an entrepreneur relying on a strong online presence to connect with customers, you're right to pay attention. It's undeniable that the SEO landscape is changing.
For instance, Google is taking a hardline approach. Shady link-building tactics (think Rap Genius), poor quality content and bad design are just a few of the factors causing websites to get penalized. So what's worked for your business in the past may no longer work, and in fact, could actually hurt your business now.
Today, successful SEO strategies have to incorporate diverse components including brand building, mobile optimization, content marketing and social media integration. It's time to adapt your strategy to address these realities. Here's a closer look at five trends that will shape your SEO success in the year ahead.
1. Effective SEO has three pillars. A strong SEO strategy has three core components: links, content and social media. What's become more pronounced in the last year is the relationship between these elements. Content must be laser focused on your audience's needs and honed to drive specific profit-generating actions. Social media amplifies your reach, signaling to search engines that users find your content valuable. Links from high quality sites also reinforce that you're a solid, trustworthy site. A virtuous cycle is starting to emerge that all begins with writing great content.
2. The rise of content marketing moves toward digital maturity. Content marketing was the top marketing buzzword of 2013, and it's a trend that's here to stay. Brands need to become savvy about telling their own stories and creating content that resonates with audiences. As the initial fascination with content marketing wears off, marketers are now demanding more return on investment, or ROI. Content marketing is maturing, and as a result we're better able to effectively target content, measure performance and correct course to improve results.
3. Mobile optimization is no longer optional. With the release of Google's Hummingbird updates, it's getting harder for sites without a mobile strategy to rank well. This includes both a responsive design and a mobile content strategy. Realistically, it's time to invest in this anyway from a business perspective: Half of Americans own smartphones and more than a third own tablets according to Pew Internet. Responsive design ensures that your site looks great across a range of mobile devices. A mobile content strategy targets your content to the context, needs and behaviors of mobile users. To learn more about post-Hummingbird mobile optimization, readThe Key Ingredients to a Winning Mobile Content-Marketing Strategy.
4. Building your brand is more important than building links. A strong brand is playing an increasingly important role in SEO. One tangible example is Google's introduction and emphasis of Google Authorship, a program that connects content to your author profile with recognized authors' content performing better in search engine results. Building your brand and thought leadership in your space are critical steps to ranking well over time. For help building and implement a branding strategy, see this collection of resources.
5. Social media, especially Google Plus, plays an integrated role with SEO. Google is relying more than ever on human signals in the form of shares and mentions on social media to help vet sites. If you don't have a strong social media marketing presence and a strategy that makes it easy for people to share your content, it's time to implement one (for help with that, I recommend "How to Determine Which Social Media Network Fits Your Business."
Social media has matured to the point where it's intersecting with SEO to help determine search rankings. Two easy places to start are building your Google Plus presence and ensuring that your website and blog have content sharing modules built in.
As you're developing your company's SEO plan, remember that all these trends add up to two things: integration and balance. Invest in all the key areas -- from writing good content, to building links and developing your social platforms -- with the understanding that they mutually support each other. Customize your plan by identifying your company's gaps and opportunity, and focus on the channels that bring you closer to your audience. Good search engines rankings will follow.


Continue Reading

SEO Trends: 7 Trends You’d be foolish to ignore

If you’re not tracking and taking advantage of the major changes that Google is making to their search algorithm you are missing out on some really valuable opportunities to help you rank for content now or in the future.
Are you aware of the changes that are happening now and likely to happen?
What plans have you put in place to deal with these?
Here are 7 SEO Trends that you should really consider for your business.

1.  Indepth Articles Expands

Google recently started displaying a new section on the first page of search results to promote indepth articles.  Typically you will find that they are articles that are at least 2,000 words but generally a lot more (e.g. some articles more than 5,000 words).
The articles are generally from well known publishers although the Google blog did state that less known publishers will also be featured.
“I’m happy to see people continue to invest in thoughtful in-depth content that will remain relevant for months or even years after publication. This is exactly what you’ll find in the new feature. In addition to well-known publishers, you’ll also find some great articles from lesser-known publications and blogs”  - Pandu Nayak (Google blog)
The articles displayed at the moment are typically for broad topics.  For example – SEO, Pinterest, Facebook.  Here is an example:

Google indepth articles
These articles are displayed at the bottom of page 1 of search results

Expect to see this expand and for these indepth articles to get more prominent position in search results.

2. Microdata becomes essential

When Google reads content we need to provide it help to understand what the content is about.  In the case of Google Authorship we use tags such as ‘rel=author’ to tell Google who wrote the post.
You can also include microdata for products, reviews, businesses and organizations, recipes, events and music.
This is set to further expand.
With the increasing use of microdata we’ll see the following:
a).  A new breed of SEO people will figure out how to optimize the microdata to appear high in search results.
b). More tools will come available that will help add the necessary microdata.  For example, Mark Traphagen in Virante just released a WordPress plugin that adds the necessary microdata to support indepth articles.  See here.
c). The search results will continue to evolve and over time there’s bound to be microdata associated with every entry.  This means more images, reviews, indicators showing length of content etc.  Already the top 3 positions in search results is not as important as it used to be.
People are starting to scan through the first page and pick out what stands out.  Having microdata will help you stand out.

3.  Author rank finally gets launched

Google authorship is linking the content that is written to the author that wrote it.
When you set up Google authorship the content you write on your blog or anyone else’s should display your picture alongside the article in search results (once you set it up correctly).
This can be displayed on content you write on your own blog or guest posts on other blogs.

Google Authorship
Your content is linked to you even if you write it on another site

Google is not setting this facility up to ignore it.  It’s going to start taking authors of content into account when it is ranking content.
For example, if you get a highly ranked author writing on your blog the article may rank highly just because the author has a high rank.     A well established author could set up a new website and rank very quickly for the content because of their ranking.
Really interesting to see where Google brings this!

4. Search becomes more distributed

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have some really interesting data and these platforms are growing and becoming more popular.
So search will become more distributed.  Facebook recently released Knowledge Graph.  This is like the launch of a mini Google.  It will take Facebook a few years to get it right but you will end up going to Google for some searches and Facebook for others.
If I want to find out where my friends went on holidays, where did they stay and what did they eat I’m more likely to find results on Facebook.
You’ll also see Twitter making a very big announcement about Twitter search.  They have a basic search but they could build a new search platform for twitter and make a ton of money on advertising.  There’s no way they will miss out on this opportunity.

5. Increased Personalization of search results

Over time everyone that uses any of Google’s products or services (including search) will have a Google + account.  With a Google search Google only knows where you are searching from and what you are searching.
With a Google + account Google starts tracking what you do on all their Google products.  It tracks who you are interacting with, what communities you are part of, what websites you write articles on and much more.
If you follow someone in Google + that is an expert on SEO and you respond a lot to their interactions on Google + it makes sense that their results appear higher for relevant searches than someone else that you don’t interact with.
So Google is building up your profile and will be rolling out more personalisation.

6. SEO Companies close up!

There are a lot of SEO companies that will not have the relationship building and content skills that are required in this new world of SEO.
There are far too many SEO companies that that are still stuck in link building campaigns and writing poor quality articles. They may still survive in the short term but they will not longer term.
Link building will increasingly be about building your profile as an author, delivering high quality content, building relationships and socialising with the right people.
Mark Schaefer recently mentioned on Facebook about getting more and more emails from SEO companies.  The same is happening for me.  They are desperate, so expect to see a lot them go out of business.

7. Mobile Ranking of Content

Google never wants to give a user a poor experience.  But imagine if you built a mobile version of your website for your Hotel that was perfect for a mobile device.
But then a user searched for content that was on your website but not on your mobile website. Google has no choice but to return your non mobile optimized version of your website.
If you have a responsive design then the content on your website will automatically be adjusted to suit a mobile user.
If you have a responsive design then your content will be displayed correctly.
If you have a mobile website I believe that you will still need a responsive design to cater for content that is on your website but not available on your mobile website.
Invest in mobile!!

Continue Reading

Latest SEO Trends Check List – Google Penguin & Panda 2013

Search Engine Optimization is the most magical yet a mystical science in the ever-growing phenomenon of the World Wide Web. Providing results to the human and machine oriented queries plays a key role in business strategies all around the globe. In order to stand the competition posed by both the opponents and the updates accommodated by the search engine companies, we really have to follow several critical reforms to stay up in search engine rankings.
In the past year the search engine giant Google implemented two significant updates Panda and Penguin, to ameliorate its powerful searching and indexing algorithms. This made a tumbling drop of many sites which did not suit the new conventions.
That pointed towards the seo ranking of meagre quality sites like content mills, link farms to the bottom and gives more preferences to websites containing superior quality of content.
Google’s spiders were altered in the way that they reviewed a site, providing them with better rankings based only on the superiority, accuracy and standard of the content with social media engagement. The static sites which were actually well written and developed witnessed a rapid fall in the rankings though they are filled with suitable seo links and seo keywords.
The two upgrades so called Penguin and Panda depended on a newer set of regulatory ideals specially formulated to rank a site by a variety of ingredients.
They Feature the following:
Content: Substance of the message, by the poor standard in the art of writing, spelling bugs, grammatical misplays, overflow of ads and bad bunch of links are those that help the Google’s spiders to pull-down the sites down to make room for really quality sites at the upper deck in the search results that provide appropriate aid for the searchers and seo agencies.
Freshness: The newness or re-creation of the content proved to be an effective means to improve search engine rankings than the classically practiced inbound links. It makes us well aware that in order to race over seo companies, it is mandatory to append newer contents much frequently. The freshness focus on three key areas,
  • Trending topics such as Soccer-World Cup
  • Recurring famous Events like Super bowl
  • Frequency of throwing out new contents similar to a Score-board.
Uniqueness: If in the past you have considered just a copy and paste option to reduce your cost of content development, this would surely suck your site’s rank down. Originality in the substance is a major criterion in ranking process. In seo link building, uncommon links would be considered really bad hence they must be very abstracted and essential to the content. The importance of this concept is going to be hiked up when Google’s Author Rank is implemented.
Social: A recent and very powerful tool in marketing strategy and for Search Engine Optimization is the Social Platforms. Searches use social in the query results to find the usefulness of the site in the general discussions board. It has become inevitably important to include social in the work of online marketers and seo professionals, ensuring the icons and brand representations are same and similar in all the channels of social. Management of such socials are also critical in this since unfit or bot-managed socials would be sliced with their ranks by seo companies.
Technical Correctness: Technical errors may bury your ranks among the seo technology professionals; particularly the blogs may have to lose its previous reputations because of the error in the content. A standardly constructed websites would do really better than those that are built apart from the general template patterns, flash and even if they are more than 24 months old. The basic decent styles based on valid CSS tags and a clean Meta data embedded into the codes should do what we exactly need out of them. These can be done by a good seo agency only.
Continue Reading