Do you remember those old “Choose Your Own Adventure” books? Yeah, that was before Al Gore created the internet and Wikipedia became the ultimate “choose your own adventure” in useless facts. But for us kids back in the 80’s, being able to read a book and actually be part of the story was pretty dang cool. Each chapter let you choose between one or more options. Based on your selection, you would skip to the correct page and continue on until a new choice was presented. This was the ultimate in being able to control the story. You weren’t just a bystander, you were a participant. How the book ended was up to you and the decisions you made. But be careful…sometimes a bad decision resulted in your ultimate demise! Today, we don’t need choose your own adventure books; we have a choose your own adventure web. But far too often, websites are built like traditional novels. Instead of giving visitors options, the website tries to force visitors … [Read more...] about Website Navigation for Better Visitor Conversion
Badly made websites
Negative SEO is something of a boogeyman. Some will say it doesn’t exist. Some say it exists, but it’s largely ineffective. Some are in awe of its power, claiming it’s capable of taking down even top ranked sites. Still others claimed to have personal experience with it, either as a victim or as part of a history with black hat SEO. On black hat forums, it’s regarded with reverence, just another tool in the toolbox. The way negative SEO works is by simulating unnatural link building activity against other sites. By showing Google that thousands of junk links are being built in an attempt to manipulate your website’s rankings, it’s possible that Google can penalize and/or deindex your site completely – when you have done nothing wrong. Whether or not it’s a threat, and whether or not it’s effective at trashing a young site, it’s worth taking steps to immunize your site against it. Why? Simple: the techniques used to protect … [Read more...] about How to Immunize a New Website Against Negative SEO
Recently, I had a client come to me with a very interesting Google penalty. They had made a few changes to their site, nothing major, mostly tweaks to usability and layout. After these changes, their site dropped in rank. Curious, I went through each of their changes, a short list. Moving a button? Not an issue. Condensing a couple pages, properly redirected? All fine. The only possible issue I could see was, as it turned out, their contact page. This client of mine had decided to be a little fancy with their contact page and put the information in a modal window. As you know, a modal window is hidden most of the time, and contact information contains links and keywords like their business name. The client thought, logically enough, that the presence of links and keywords in otherwise hidden content might earn them a penalty. To avoid that penalty, the client added a noindex entry for the page in their robots.txt. This, as it turns out, earned them a penalty anyway. It cleared up when … [Read more...] about Is Google Penalizing Websites With Disallowed Pages?
Naturally, business owners look for justification when investing their money in marketing. Clients who are not familiar with web marketing at a basic level can be hard, if not even impossible to please. I always ask my clients for the short and long-term goals to set realistic expectations. I use this as an opportunity to explain the right way of measuring marketing success. Progress Signals & Conversion Goals I think of progress signals as the bright light illuminating from a lighthouse at a distance. When your signals illustrate a positive trend, you know that you are in the right direction. Otherwise, you steer left/right to realign to your destination. Impressions, CTR, traffic, and of course keyword rankings are all examples of progress signals. I cover this and why keyword ranking is only a progress signal and not a success metric further in this post. Conversion goals are a success metric. Different from progress signals, success metrics are actual proof for return – … [Read more...] about How to Set Website Progress & Success Signals
Orbit Media Studios recently shared findings from a 2015 in-depth survey completed by 1,000+ bloggers to find useful data and patterns. Among many other useful tidbits, this survey found that blog posts take anywhere from one hour to more than six hours to complete. The average blog post takes 1-2 hours from start to publish. This measurement represents a formidable investment of time. As most bloggers and digital marketers know, the time investment doesn’t stop when the blog post is published—it’s just the beginning. There are many additional steps that must be taken to successfully promote a blog post to a relevant audience to make it worth writing in the first place! As such, reposting blog content on platforms like LinkedIn Pulse or Medium is tempting to help achieve additional views and reach. The problem most people worry about when reposting content is whether or not it will be considered duplicate content to a search engine. What is Duplicate Content? The most … [Read more...] about Is Duplicate Content on Medium and LinkedIn Bad?