Impactful SEO is rarely executed by a lone wolf.You need buy-in for resources. Often from someone higher up.Say, your CMO.Well speaking as a CMO, I’m sorry to tell you, that those detailed multi-page SEO documents where you lay out your objectives, target audiences, competitive landscapes, keyword research and that Gantt chart for the next six months of vaguely detailed optimization projects…I never read it in detail. And I never will. They don’t allow me to quickly sign off on a task or write a few line email to get you the resources you need.The fundamental problem with long SEO strategy documents is that as soon as you finish writing them, they’re out of date.Business objectives change. Competitive landscapes change. Algorithms change.SEO is executed in a constant state of flux. You need to be flexible on a monthly, if not weekly, basis.Focus on getting sh!t done. Not on writing long strategy docs.Why Agile SEO Strategies WorkAgile SEO involves incremental … [Read more...] about Agile SEO: Moving from Strategy to Action
Whether you’re the type of person to binge watch eight episodes of reality TV or the type to stand in line for eight hours for the new iPhone release, we all have strong personal interests that make us who we are. These interests and personality traits also manifest themselves through our online activity and digital footprint, creating a virtual persona of our real selves. Our digital doppelgangers are neatly classified in Google Analytics as Affinity Categories and In-Market Audiences, as well as in the various audience insights tools in the backend of social media channels. This data that we leave behind in the form of browser history and online behavior influences what ads we see and when we see them. Paid search and paid social specialists utilize this information every day to target ads, and in theory, cater to our personal interests and needs (even if we don’t really need that new pair of sneakers, per se). But this data isn’t just meant for … [Read more...] about Catering to Your Audience’s Interests Through Tangential Content
If growth is indeed everyone’s job within an organization, then everyone needs to understand the importance of search marketing. No other discipline has delivered growth in such a profitable and sustainable manner over the past decade.Google handles more than 1.3 trillion searches each year, 51 percent of all traffic to websites comes via organic search, and $72 billion will be spent on SEO services in 2018 in the U.S. alone.Search marketing has become an increasingly prominent discussion topic in the boardroom.Simply put: search delivers great numbers.However, search is also evolving into a more sophisticated, ubiquitous method of information discovery.Where once search marketing could exist in isolation and quietly get results, it is now converging with content marketing, customer experience, social media, and any number of other disciplines.That’s great news for search practitioners, but only if they have the tools at their disposal to take advantage.To thrive in … [Read more...] about Communicating Search to the C-Suite: From Rank to Revenue
Knowing what to believe in SEO can be challenging at best.You may hear two credible people stating two seemingly (or actually) contradictory things who are able to back their opinion with success stories or data.Very little is set in stone.Ad to make matters worse: things change.What is true one day may not be the next.In this article, we will explore some of the known and confirmed facts of Google’s 200 ranking factors, and what this tells us about search and our efforts.Before we dive in let’s begin with what I believe is the biggest myth.Myth: Google Has 200 Ranking FactorsOK, I can’t really prove without a doubt that there aren’t actually 200 ranking factors but let’s just consider one thing, an article.This article in fact, by Brian Dean written for Search Engine Journal way back in May 2013.The article is actually an infographic that claims to contain all of Google’s 200 ranking factors.Remember, this was written more than five years ago. … [Read more...] about 11 Things You Must Know About Google’s 200 Ranking Factors
Organic search engine optimization (SEO) has enough specialization and technical aspects that it can be overwhelming to the C-suite.Or, worse yet, over-simplified and thought to be something easy and that can be done quickly leading to unmet expectations.The mysterious nature of SEO can lead to misunderstanding and frustration for CEOs.Understanding the high-level principles and some of the important aspects of SEO success can set the right expectations with executives.Here are 13 key things that every CEO needs to understand about SEO.1. Layout of the SERPThe search engine results page (SERP) has evolved a lot over the past several years.It used to provide a standard layout with a few different variations that always included the “10 blue links” for the organic results and included ads above and to the side. Plus, news, map, or other content relevant to the search query.Now, we see varying layouts that are intended to provide an optimal experience on a mobile device and … [Read more...] about 13 Things Every CEO Needs to Understand About SEO
Google is famous for experimenting with new features in search, and just as famous for abruptly and unceremoniously killing them.The examples are legion. Remember the personalized vs. global search toggle? Or in-depth articles? (The latter still exists, but has become almost invisible in the SERPs.)One of the longest-lasting of those “Google giveth; Google taketh away” experiments was Google Authorship.I bring it up not out of a sense of nostalgia, but because in the latest update to Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines, “reputation of the creator of the content” is mentioned for the first time, and features prominently throughout the document.The Search Quality Rater Guidelines (SQRG) are the guiding principles used to train the human raters who help evaluate the effectiveness of Google’s search algorithms.That is, they provide a sort of benchmark against which Google engineers can ascertain how close their search results are to what real humans … [Read more...] about Why Author Reputation Matters More Than Ever for Search
There are so many fiddly bits going into the calculation of Google’s search ranking that it’s no surprise when business owners question another fiddly bit. “Does X influence SEO?” is one of the most common questions in marketing online.The question of whether WordPress has any inherent advantages or disadvantages is a common one as well, and it makes sense. WordPress is a site architecture, and sometimes those come with extra baggage – or extra advantages. The question is, does it this time?A Simple AnswerThe simple answer here is that no, WordPress sites do not have any inherent advantage or disadvantage over home-developed HTML/CSS websites. Google treats both kinds of sties the same, in broad strokes.If you want proof, just look at the web around you. If Google gave preference to WordPress over other CMSs or over custom code, 99% of the web would be using WordPress. Anything Google does give preference to is dominant on the web, so it should come as no … [Read more...] about Do WordPress Sites Rank Better Than HTML Sites?
If you’re familiar at all with Google’s ad system, you’ve almost definitely made use of the keyword planner. It’s one of a handful of tools Google provides to help you identify various pathways to advertising success.It makes sense, right? Google wants you to succeed with your advertising, because successful marketing means more investment in marketing, and more investment means more money for Google. Providing tools that give estimates of relevant data is just one minor value add for them.For those of us who have to rely on the data Google so casually hands over, there are some concerns. Most notably, if we’re basing our marketing strategies on the information Google provides via the keyword planner, we want assurances that the data is accurate.It’s even more important considering how many marketers use the keyword planner to guide not just their paid advertising, but their organic marketing as well. How often have you read advice on starting a blog … [Read more...] about How Accurate Are The Google Keyword Planner Estimates?
When I started doing SEO back in the day, rankings were the only thing that mattered.I’m ashamed to admit it, but in my very earliest days, my optimization practices constituted getting the keyword on the page as many times as possible without ruining the visitor’s on-page experience.It’s heartening to know that I, and the industry at large, have come a long, long way since then.In fact, one of the most significant evolutions that has happened over the years (and there have been many), is SEO professionals (a.k.a., digital marketers, web marketers, inbound marketers, etc.) growing up to be real marketers.We realized that helping businesses do a better job at reaching, attracting, and converting their target audience was even more important than search engine rankings.But we aren’t the only ones who have grown up.Search engines grew up as well.Spammers have always sought the lowest bar for entry (easiest way to achieve rankings) and brute force attacked the … [Read more...] about How to Make SEO & User Experience Work Together
With Google’s recent announcement of the August 1 core update, many SEO professionals were left a bit confused about exactly what changed (besides their rankings).If you missed the announcement, here’s Google’s official acknowledgement of the update:Of course, many SEO pros weren’t happy with this explanation.Here’s one example:So, What Exactly Is a Core Update?First, let me get the obligatory “Google makes hundreds of algorithm changes per year, often more than one per day” boilerplate out of the way.Many of the named algorithms we hear about (Penguin, Panda, Pigeon, Fred, etc.) are implemented to address specific faults or issues in Google’s algorithms.In the case of Penguin, it was link spam; in the case of Pigeon it was local SEO spam.They all had a specific purpose.In these cases, Google (sometimes reluctantly) informed us what they were trying to accomplish or prevent with the algorithm update, and we were able to go back and remedy … [Read more...] about What Is a Google Broad Core Algorithm Update?