The HTTP/2 protocol was published in 2015 with the aim of creating a faster, more secure Internet. Adoption has been gradual and is ongoing, but there are clear benefits for marketers who make the upgrade. So what exactly is HTTP/2 and how does it affect SEO? The variety and quantities of information transferred on the Internet have changed dramatically in the past decade. Content formats are larger and more complex, mobile usage has increased significantly, and there is a growing global population of Internet users on a daily basis. It is within this ever-changing landscape that a group of developers built SPDY (pronounced ‘speedy’, aptly enough), to build on the syntax of the original Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP). As the name suggests, SPDY was developed with the core aim of finding faster ways to transport content on the Internet that would reduce page load speeds. SPDY was primarily developed by a group of Google engineers and it provided the platform for … [Read more...] about What is HTTP/2 and how does it benefit SEO?
Content marketing is a highly viable digital marketing strategy, designed to attract and drive traffic to your website or specific landing pages. But you could be the best writer and still not attract qualified readers (or worse, any at all). The importance of an effective, attractive headline cannot be overstated. Think of your audiences as hunters and gatherers. They’re constantly scanning and searching online for what they need. And most of the time they don’t find it. A good headline that catches their attention and entices them to click through to read the rest solves their problem – and creates coveted lead generation opportunities for you. Make headline writing (and perfection) a key component of your content marketing strategy. Follow these simple rules and you’ll appeal to audiences as well as search engines. 1. Use keywords But just one. Including keywords in your headlines is important, as major search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing will … [Read more...] about How to write blog headlines that drive search traffic
SEO can help a growing startup establish its presence and meet business goals. Here’s how to get started with search engine optimization and which areas to focus on. It’s a common challenge for early-stage and growing startups to find the resources and the time to focus on many different activities that can take their business to the next level. It’s also easy to feel lost among all the tasks, being unable to decide where to start. SEO is sometimes ignored as an activity when it comes to setting priorities, but it can be very useful in: establishing your startup’s authority reaching a wider audience building traffic and brand awareness improving engagement generating interest in your business This is an overview of how startups or new businesses can get started with SEO by following a series of steps that can help them improve their online presence and find a new audience. Set your goals One of the most important steps when starting with SEO … [Read more...] about Ten steps to successful SEO for startups
A lot of people still rely on guest blogging as an ongoing part of their link-building strategy. If you think about it, getting links through guest blogging is much easier than getting links through some other channel. So it’s no wonder that a lot of bloggers and SEO experts still favor this method. The main question is, are these guest post links still safe and viable? The answer is yes. It is still possible to build our link portfolio by contributing on authoritative websites. However, there are certain rules that we need to follow in order to avoid any issues with Google. Guest blogging 101 One of the beautiful things about guest blogging is that it gives us the opportunity to score some great links from high-tier websites. To be honest, we probably couldn’t have gotten those links with any other method. This is why guest blogging is always worth bearing in mind as a link-building strategy. But, we need to be very selective when choosing the … [Read more...] about Still doing guest blogging? Keep these 4 tips in mind
Search marketers rely on tools to make sense of what it is a very complex, fluid environment. With the increasing importance of mobile, the list of tools grows even longer. Which platforms should search marketers use to devise a mobile-first SEO strategy? While we await the launch of Google’s mobile-first index, search marketers are aiming to capitalize on the growing quantity of searches made on smartphones. We spent a long time anticipating the ‘mobile era’, but for many businesses it has been a reality for some time now. The numbers certainly tell their own story. Mobile searches now outnumber desktop queries, and mobile advertising spend is projected to exceed $100 billion worldwide this year. (Source: Statista) Of course, this means that the ranking signals for mobile are different to those used for desktop results. That stands to reason; smartphones are used for different purposes and they provide Google with different data sets to calculate its … [Read more...] about The 5 best tools to develop a mobile-first SEO strategy
Websites are like cars: they need maintenance. That may come in the form of updating the CMS, security or plugins. The same goes for SEO. A great SEO strategy will always need reviewing and constant scrutiny of analytics, in order to ensure that you remain on the intended path. To garner the most success from search engine traffic, a fully-fledged campaign is the best bet, where an individual or team can dedicate the correct amount of time to deliver results. SEO audits are a slightly different beast. Audit. A word associated with redundancies or the tax man knocking at your door. It’s a word devoid of happy connotations. But don’t be afraid, they can be very helpful. So where do they fit into the SEO ecosystem, and how can you tell if your website needs one? What’s involved in an SEO audit? Carrying on with the car metaphor, not all cars are the same. The fundamentals might be the same: cylinders, internal combustion, suspension, gears, wheels. But a … [Read more...] about Does your website need an SEO audit?
The full power of the digital marketplace was realized less than a decade ago. Suddenly, customers had seemingly limitless access to engage with brands –– to voice their criticisms and critiques, or to become super fans. The importance of a website presence, blogging, social media posts and the other aspects of building an online brand seemed to sound the death toll for traditional communications and marketing strategies, like public relations. However, we are nearing the second decade of the 21st century, and public relations continues to prove itself as an essential element of marketing communications. Like other aspects of marketing, it’s a discipline that has morphed and evolved to fit into the changing digital ecosystem, in which the value of appearing at the top of the search engine results page is arguably equitable with yesteryear’s goal of a front page headline. Brands attuned to these changes and the importance of integrated, hybrid marketing will find … [Read more...] about The collision between PR, content, and SEO: How to make it work for you
Google remains the dominant player in search marketing, but the industry is changing very rapidly and the old certainties may erode. Does voice search provide a platform for Microsoft to compete? A study earlier this year revealed that Microsoft’s speech recognition technology demonstrated only a 5.1 percent word error rate in Switchboard, a conversational speech recognition task. This shows impressive development and shows that Microsoft is more than competitive in this domain, but it is only part of the picture. Speech recognition and voice recognition are significantly different. The former extracts words and comprehends what is said; the latter also understand who said it. We could frame this as content and context. Context will be the defining factor in who becomes the dominant player in voice search, with an increasing amount of internet-enabled devices providing the opportunity for a seamless, conversational experience. No doubt, search is at the very heart of this … [Read more...] about How does Bing’s voice search compare to Google’s?
Link-building is a tried and tested SEO tactic, and although there are a number of dubious ways to go about it, at base developing a strong link-building strategy is a smart and very necessary way to get your site ranked above your competitors. This is particularly true of local SEO, where a few savvy tactics for building links and relationships with other local businesses can give you a huge visibility boost in local search. According to the 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors, inbound links are the most important ranking signal. But if you’ve run through all the usual methods of getting inbound links, what can you do to give your site – or your client’s site – a leg up in search? At Brighton SEO last Friday, master of local SEO Greg Grifford shared some “righteous” tips for a kickass link-building strategy, in his signature flurry of slides and movie references – this time to 80s movies. How link-building differs in local SEO With local small … [Read more...] about How to create a kickass link-building strategy for local SEO
If you are coming to this article as a novice, I know what you are thinking. “Not another damned 3 letter acronym! Don’t we have enough?” Well, apparently not, and unfortunately there isn’t all that much we can do to stop the ever growing database of aforementioned acronyms. We must therefore get accustomed to not only knowing what they stand for (Search Engine Marketing, in case you were wondering) but also what they actually mean. The first one is pretty easy. You now know what SEM means in its most basic form – “search engine marketing”. However, the issue is that even those in the SEM industry will disagree on what the component parts of search engine marketing are or what the main focus of SEM is. At Search Engine Watch we have covered this topic back in 2014, but much has changed since then. We’re going to take a slightly different tack with this one. Instead of looking at what major organisations and websites define as SEM … [Read more...] about What is SEM?