With Google’s continued focus on user experience and engagement metrics in recent algorithm updates, it’s become even more important for marketers to pay attention to how fast their sites are. Page speed has long been a ranking factor for desktop search results, and it may soon impact mobile rankings as well. The benefits of improved load times go well beyond their impact on SEO and your site’s organic rankings, however. Consider recent Google data, which shows that “53 percent of visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than three seconds to load,” or that “for every second delay in mobile page load, conversions can fall by up to 20 percent.” So, how do you actually go about speeding up your site? For many non-technical marketers, trying to figure out how to improve page speed can be a daunting task. Which levers should you actually be pulling to generate a result? And how do you get those changes implemented on your … [Read more...] about The non-developer’s guide to reducing WordPress load times up to 2 seconds (with data)
22Today, it’s easy to get caught up in the glitzy, glamorous SEO tricks and tactics that are flooding the web. SEOs and marketers everywhere are focused deeply on things like site audits and the latest and greatest in Google algorithm updates, and that’s all well and good, but sometimes it means that the simpler and, often, more critical fundamentals get overlooked. One of these overlooked SEO components is internal linking. If you think of SEO as a house, internal linking is the framework of that house. Internal linking provides the flow of traffic, allows you to navigate the space from room to room, and makes the space comfortable and intuitive. When you think of it this way, why would you build a blog without internal linking? Unfortunately, many people do. (And yes – if you look closely, you’ll notice I internal linked above!) In addition to making your web content harder to navigate, neglecting internal linking also cheats you out of essential traffic, … [Read more...] about Your Essential Guide to Internal Content Linking
In The Trenches is a weekly spotlight of tips, tricks, and news about the tools search engine marketing professionals use to give them a leg up on the competition. Today: News from the search engines and today’s in-depth look, The Ultimate Guide to Search Marketing Optimization Part 1, and To Broad Match or To Not Broad Match: That is the Question. News from the search engines Google AdWords: Pay Per Action beta phase out. A few weeks ago, you may have heard that Google was deleting its pay-per-action feature to create the Google Affiliate Network. This was the original announcement: “As part of Google’s recent acquisition of DoubleClick, the Performics affiliate network is now a part of Google. To consolidate our offerings, we will be phasing out the AdWords pay-per-action beta, and the product will be retired on during the last week of August. Pay-per-action campaigns and all related data will be removed from all AdWords accounts the last week of October.” So, … [Read more...] about SEM News, The Ultimate Guide To Search Marketing Optimization, & Broad Match Or Not?
There’s no going back for me now, I’ve made the compulsory switch to the new AdWords interface. While I have my gripes, there are also some useful new features which can help in-house search engine marketers save time and streamline account management tasks. The real question is, do the improvements outweigh the loss of some of the original functionality? Without a doubt, my favorite new feature is the ability to see Search Query Performance report data while viewing an AdGroup’s keywords in an account. If you click on the magical “See Search Terms” button on the Keywords tab of an AdGroup, the Search Query Performance report data appears, with flags on which keywords are in the AdGroup. There is also the ability select and add (en masse) good keyword matches or add matching queries as negative keywords. I like that Google is making this data more transparent and actionable, right there next to the keywords. As a corollary, content targeted campaigns now … [Read more...] about A Practical Guide To The New AdWords Interface
Last month, in A Search Marketer’s Guide to Google Display Advertising, I discussed recent changes to the Google Display Network (GDN) that are important to search marketers who use both search and display advertising to reach customers. This month, we’ll dig in and try to make some sense of GDN targeting options. Targeting Options On The GDN The ultimate goal of targeting your ad on Google’s Display network is quite simple, really. You want to find the websites and webpages across the length and breadth of the Internet where your ads attract visitors to your site who then become customers. I think of the display network sort of like a gigantic news stand with billions and billions of printed pages contained in millions and millions of magazines, newspapers, and books, with tens of thousands of perfectly wonderful places to display our ads to audiences as precise as nice, little old ladies on their way home from church. Like a favorite news stand, Google’s … [Read more...] about A Search Marketer’s Guide To Google Display Advertising, Part 2
Google Webmaster Tools can be a powerful ally. But, if you make a mistake or put this power in the wrong hands, it can mean trouble for your search engine optimization. In this post, I provide a basic SEO Guide to Webmaster Tools to help get you started if you aren’t taking full advantage of WMT yet. It is very important to point out that some of these things are more detrimental than others. Also, there could be multiple articles written about each of these tools and reports. This SEO guide to Webmaster Tools is a simple overview with a little insight. Messages: Spam Warnings & Other Notifications Priority: Medium / High Many of us know that Google sends an email to Webmaster Tools if there is an issue with your site. If you don’t check Webmaster Tools messages frequently, you could miss an important piece of information. An example of an important message would be an unnatural link notification. A message such as this could be indicator of a major issue, or it could … [Read more...] about The SEO Guide To Getting Started With Google Webmaster Tools
The biggest breakdown in website architecture is a navigation structure that prevents visitors from easily finding the information they need and blocks search engines from indexing your content. It doesn’t matter how perfectly your site is optimized if your site navigation fails to get searchers and search engines to your content. Ensuring your internal navigation structure and links are set up ensures proper search engine spidering and helps visitors find information they need quickly. Most people think of their website’s navigation is little more than the main navigation bar that displays at the top or right side of each web page. That’s a significant part of it, but in truth, there is a lot to know about how every link on your site should work in order to maintain a structurally sound, search engine friendly, and user-optimized website. But the main navigation is a good place to start… Build an Efficient Navigational Structure When it comes to navigation, … [Read more...] about The Complete Guide to Mastering Your Link and Navigation Structure
A search penalty is a fearsome thing. It's the grown-up equivalent of "come to the principal's office," but the consequences are far worse. Once you've been hit with a manual penalty from Google, what do you do? Here is your answer - the definitive guide to recovering from a manual search penalty. This is the give-it-to-me-like-it-is approach to doing one of the toughest tasks in the business - recovering from a penalty. The Tools You Need to Recover from a Manual Penalty The tools are simple and free. 15 minutes to read this article Google Webmaster Tools Google Drive, Spreadsheets A lot of time (Sorry, the truth hurts!) Where We're Headed in this Article Let's make sure we understand what we're talking about when we talk about penalties. There are two broad types of SEO penalties - "manual" and "algorithmic." The short of it is, if you have a manual penalty, you will know about it. I'll explain. Manual Penalty. A manual penalty occurs when a real live human at Google penalizes … [Read more...] about The Definitive Guide to Recovering From a Manual Search Penalty