Basic SEO Techniques Cranbrook :
A few basic SEO techniques:
- View Google’s cache to see your page the way a search engine sees it. If you can’t see an element of the page in the cache, the search engines can’t see it either! This means that content isn’t gaining you any search traffic.
- Be sure your page is reachable. Crawlers don’t perform searches, they travel by links. This means your page has to be viewable by clicking on a link on another page or crawlers won’t see it and it won’t be searchable.
- Be sure you don’t have metaframes preventing your page from being crawled. Many Cranbrook webmasters use metaframes to prevent rogue bots from crawling their page and don’t realize that these metaframes will also prevent search bots from crawling their pages!
- Don’t let your links get lost in a sea of links. Pages with hundreds or thousands of links may not get crawled thoroughly in order to prevent spam and skewed rankings.
- Use specific keywords. General keywords will have lots of competition. By using more specific keywords, a webmaster can reduce competition and increase rankings.
- Don’t abuse keywords. Use your keywords in natural speech. Optimize your page for one or two specific keywords that searchers might use when looking for information available on your page. Be sure your keywords are relevant to your content.
- Don’t use keywords in link anchor text pointing to other pages on your site. (This is known as commiting keyword cannibalization.)
- Be sure your keywords are plain text HTML. Add ALT text for images, transcripts for videos and audio clips, and put captions with java or flash plugins or images. Although crawlers are improving, many are unable to process anything besides plain text.
Be Aware of User Experience
Increasing the usability, accuracy, and visual design of the website will also increase your search metrics. Search engines use search metrics and backlinks to determine the popularity and user-friendliness of your page. These factors play an important role in SEO. Always seek to create content that is pleasing for your reader.
Search Engines use Engagement Metrics to determine user satisfaction. Time spent on a search result means the user found the result much more helpful than a user who immediately hits the back button to look for another search.
The Panda update allows google to use machine learning to rank websites on quality and user friendliness. In 2011, human evaluators ranked thousands of websites based on quality and then implemented machine learning that mimicked those evaluators. This update changed more than 20% of search results.
Things to consider when selecting keywords:
- The Keyword’s relevance to your page. Will the people using that keyword in searches be satisfied with the content on your page?
- The Keyword’s specificity. Would a narrower keyword or keyphrase attract an audience that is more interested in your content than the audience of the broader term? On the other hand, is your keyword so specific it won’t be searched?
- The Competition on that keyword. Can you compete with the current top ranked websites for your keyword?
Where to Put Keywords:
- In the Title: as close to the beginning as you can put it
- At the Top of the Page
- Several times throughout the body of the page
- At least once in the ALT text
- In the URL
- In the Summary or Meta description tag
Optimizing Title Tags:
- Titles should be between 45 and 55 characters long. Titles that exceed 55 characters in length may not show properly in google searches.
- Keywords should be placed near the beginning of the title
- Consider putting your brandname at the end of the title
- Don’t sacrifice readability and emotional impact for keyword optimization
Visit https://moz.com/learn/seo/title-tag to see how the title and summary of your page would show up in a google search.
- Keep them short
- Be sure your reader has an idea of what he will find on the page when reads the URL
- Use plain text links
- Use hyphens to separate words
- Use keywords
How Links to your Page Effect your SEO
- Are a wide variety of websites created by a wide variety of webmasters on a wide variety of topics linking to your site?
- Are many sites on similar topics linking to your site?
- Are the ranking sites for your keywords linking to your site?
- Are sites linking to your page using your keywords in anchor text to link to your site? (Anchor text is the blue text that shows on a webpage instead of the URL to the link)
- Are you getting links from trusted sources?
- Have you refrained from linking to spammy or poor quality websites and websites that link to your page?
- Have you been accruing new links?
- Is your page being shared on social media?
If you can answer yes to the eight questions above, links to your content are doing their job and helping increase your rankings. If you can’t answer yes to each question, devise strategies to remedy your answer.
Creating good, quality content that related pages will naturally link to is one of the best ways to get links. Another great way, is through Manual Outreach. Don’t under estimate the traffic that a well placed link can generate itself. Target specific websites who cater to similar audiences, preferably websites with few links, high credibility and high rankings for your keywords, and invite them to link to your page. Be sure to explain how linking to your page is a benefit for them, and not just an act of charity for you. You may also use this tool to see your competitors’ backlinks. Finding sites who have linked to the top ranked sites for your keyword gives you a list of sites that whose links would be of value to you. Avoid self-created links on lower quality websites. While they may help rankings a little bit, they may also hurt your rankings. If you pursue this option, proceed with caution.
Search Engine Webmaster SEO advice
SEO advice from the major search engine webmasters includes:
- Be sure all pages can be reached by static, plain-text links. (Links of the form: , as opposed to links buried in images, java or flash.) These links are easier for crawlers to find.
- Don’t “cloak” your work, or try to present different content to the search engine than you present to the user. Make sure your page is optimized to be found by a search engine when a user searches a relevant query. Don’t try to cheat the crawler’s and their index.
- Use accurate, descriptive, clear language with appropriate keywords in your titles, subtitles and ALT text. (ALT text is text that appears when an image cannot be displayed.) On hubpages, photo captions are ALT text and are therefore an extremely important part of search engine optimization.
- Create content filled with relevant keywords.
Check for Errors
To check for crawl errors see Google’s Webmaster Tools.
What is The Future of Search
Whether your brand offers a product or a service, you'll always be looking to increase the amount of visitors to your website. You don't necessarily need to put out the next viral marketing video or hire an expensive marketing agency (although both would probably help) to achieve a high rate of traffic. All you need is a bit of elbow grease, a few tricks up your sleeve, and a commitment to making your site a quality destination for visitors.
How to Drive More Traffic to Your Website: Twitter
For many companies, Twitter has quickly become an indispensable part of their business plan. The goal of Twitter isn't necessarily to spend all of your time trying to get followers. Certainly, that's important, but the quality-;and consistency-;of your tweets will have a long-term impact on how much traffic will be driven to your site.
For example, consider your tweet lengths. "If the end of the tweet is a link, as it often is, then your link will be lost," says Tim Frick, author of Return on Engagement: Content Strategy and Design Techniques for Digital Marketing. This happens especially when your tweet is retweeted by someone else. To avoid the truncated tweet, make sure you're keeping tweets short enough - under 120 characters if you can.
If you're building your business or you're launching a start-up, you'll need to target potential customers who may have never heard of you in order to draw attention to your brand. "The biggest unused Twitter resource for small business owners is the search.twitter.com function," says Alexis Wolfer, founder and editor-in-chief of TheBeautyBean.com. "You can search for what people are talking about in real time, which is very powerful. I can search for 'drugstore mascara' and see the people doing anything using those words. So if someone is at a drugstore wondering what mascara to buy, I can say, 'Hey, did you see this article we wrote on the best drugstore mascaras?'"
Getting retweeted is the goal of any good social media manager. Even if you only have a couple hundred (or even fewer) Twitter followers, you can face great exposure by crafting pitch-perfect tweets that are picked up by your followers. In other words, try to find something new, interesting, or funny to say. It doesn't have to be about your product or service in particular, but it should be well thought out and carefully planned. A tweet with typos or factual errors will make people think twice about clicking to your site.
Dig Deeper: 5 Secrets of Highly Effective Twitter Users
How to Drive More Traffic to Your Website: Facebook
If your business doesn't have a Facebook page, it's time to make the leap. With about 500 million users, there's really no better platform to drive traffic to your site. Consider that even if you get just a tiny percentage of Facebook users to look at your page, you have a good chance in driving a fair amount of traffic.
In addition to the page details that list your company's address and website address, you need to utilize the Like and Feed tools to get as much traffic to your site as possible.
If you have your web designer program a Like button onto various pages of your site, it gives your current audience a way to tell their friends about something they saw - and liked - on your site. Once they click the like button, a link to your site appears in their Facebook feed, and depending on how many friends they have, it could means thousands of eyeballs on your product or service.
To get people to interact with your Facebook page, you need to create a virtual conversation that involves as many people as possible. Questions are a great source of interactivity. Jeff Widman, CEO of Brand Glue, a consulting company based in Mountain View, California, offers the advice to 'Put the question first, rather than last' and to 'ask a question where people don't need to click through a link to give you an answer.' In other words, you need to make sure your questions are direct and relatable to your customers. Also, make sure you don't confuse your followers with jargon or words your readers won't understand. It's best to keep it simple.
Dig Deeper: How to Optimize Your Facebook News Feed Presence
How to Drive More Traffic to Your Website: Blogging
No matter what service or product you offer, a blog will help drive traffic to your site. Blogs are especially helpful to get traffic from returning customers because you should have new content to offer, even if your product or service hasn't changed at all. Inc.com blogger and award-winning Internet veteran Maisha Walker says, 'The purpose of blogging in general is usually to establish and/or support an existing brand with an understanding of how that brand generates revenue.'
Here are few ways that blogging helps drive traffic to your site:
- Intimacy - Blogging can make your relationship with your customers far more intimate, and will help increase the amount of returning customers.
- Building Community - When you blog, you define your areas of expertise, but you also attract the relevant customers to your company or brand.
- Customer Research - Readers will inevitably leave feedback in the form of comments and e-mails. It's a great way to understand who is reading your blog and what they're interested in.
Dig Deeper: Blogging's 11 Big Payoffs
How to Drive More Traffic to Your Website: SEO
All efforts to drive traffic to your site culminate with the idea of Search Engine Optimization. Everything that you do online, whether its social media, blogging, uploading photos, or naming products, contributes to your organic search ranking. Experts say that most, if not all, of your marketing energy should be directed at landing the top search engine rank for your keywords. Here are three tips to improve your Google SEO.
- Google places a lot of emphasis on links, says Chris Dawkins, CEO of Trace Media Marketing, a New York City-based SEO and Internet marketing firm. When someone searches on Google for a particular keyword, Google has analyzed how many other sites have your link on their sites, which increases credibility, and therefore heightens your ranking.
- Use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. This tool offers you keyword suggestions for your site, as well as providing stats on each keyword, like how many people search that per month, and which websites you'll be competing with.
- When Google crawls your site, it's going to want to know what - and who - you are. Creating meta tags and posting keyword-rich content to your site are essential. Don't forget to name all of your photos with keywords, either.
Dig Deeper: 5 Secrets to Selecting Highly-Effective SEO Keywords
How to Drive More Traffic to Your Website: Link Building
This term is becoming less specific as more and more marketing techniques are evolving to generate clicks to your site. But essentially, the term refers to generating inbound links to your site from other sites on the Internet. The two major benefits of building your link-presence online are a) to introduce another site's followers to your site and b) help your search engine optimization in terms of ranking.
There are a few ways to link-build. First, and perhaps the most common way, is to comment on an article, blog post, or message board and include your link. Beware, though. If you merely post a link to your site instead of a comment, you may be flagged as spam, which could result in your being banned permanently from posting on that site. The best way to include your link is to find articles that are germane to the product or service you are offering, or at least those that you feel confident in responding to intelligently, and write a meaningful post. At the bottom on the post, include your link with your signature. By doing this, the hope is that audiences will end up at your site after reading an article you've commented on.
Dig Deeper: Link Building - What not to do
How to Drive More Traffic to Your Website: Content Aggregators
Content aggregators are similar to link building in that they both help drive traffic to your site. They differ in the sense that you log onto these sites for the sole reason of sharing links to your site with the world. The most common examples of a directory or content aggregator are Digg and StumbleUpon. The best way to drive traffic to your site using these services is to have a popular third party post on your behalf, because they will have a devoted core of followers. Make sure your site is content aggregator friendly, too. For example, if someone visits your site and likes what they see, they should be able to 'Digg' you, which will send a link of your site to their feed.
Here, are some of the other content aggregators you should know about:
Driving traffic to your site is an organic process that takes time and one that never really ends. You'll always want to be working on your strategy in order to achieve a growing number of visitors to your site, because more often than not, that's where you'll be getting the bulk of your customers.
Dig Deeper: Top 13 Ways to Drive Blog Readership
5 Ways to Handle SEO
In 2014, the new Top Level Domains (TLDs) were introduced to much fanfare from the press and tech bloggers. New web address endings were touted as a land rush on the internet and a game changer for marketing strategies. Despite such pronouncements, new TLDs were largely ignored in 2014, leaving some to expect an explosion in activity in 2015. However, before business owners run off to build new sites with fancy new names, it's important to separate fact from fiction regarding TLDs and to ask the question, "Will the new TLDs matter to marketers and consumers in 2015?".
As a brief primer, Top Level Domains are the endings to websites such as .com, .edu, .gov, etc. In the past, these were all handled by the ICANN, but in 2014, the door was opened for entrepreneurs to create their own TLDs that they can control on their own. So now, there are essentially an endless amount of TLDs. Business owners could pay to can have their site end with things like .xyz, .toys, .soy, .wed, and more. Nearly 4 million web sites around the world use one of the newly created TLD.
There have been many different Top Level Domains for website owners to choose from before the introduction of the new TLDs and research has shown that they work in a general sense. People know that the various country TLDs can be used to find information from a certain region of the world. Consumers generally know that .fr is for pages in France and that .ca is for Canada. However, it's not perfect, a study from Moz suggests that nearly 25 percent of Americans can be tricked into thinking that .ca is for California; so they knew that the TLD was for a region, but guessed the wrong region.
Similarly, people know that a .tv site will be about a television show, .edu is for schools, that .org pages tend to be for non-profits. The .edu and .org are the two TLDs that carry the most meaning for consumers. Searchers know that .edu resources will be more reliable since they are from schools and not from businesses. And people associate .org with organizations, groups or non profits with goals other than profit. Many people don't realize that .com itself is short for "commercial" which was chosen in the early days of the internet to identify the sites that weren't the traditional school or government based web pages that first populated the nascent world wide web.
The challenge for these new TLDs is that though people can use them to quickly understand the purpose of a site, consumers don't inherently trust sites with unusual TLDs more than ones with more traditional endings. In fact, having a vanity TLD immediately indicates that this a new site which puts the site at a disadvantage when compared to sites that have been serving customers from a .com web address for years. This is why older alternative TLDs like .biz or .info never really took off.
When NPR followed up with some of the creators of the new TLDs at the end of 2014, they found that adoption has been incredibly slow. The TLD that is doing the best so far is .xyz and even that is based on a large buy from a third party that gave a free year of .xyz registration to their clients or from people who bought .xyz domains to squat on them. A better indicator will come at the end of 2015 when we see how many people who squatted or received their new TLD domain for free decide its worth it to continue paying for it.
The international study from Moz asked users if, based solely on the domain name, they were more likely to trust an insurance quote from a website ending in .insurance. 62 percent of Americans, 53 percent of Australians, and 67 percent of marketers said they were unlikely to trust the quote based on the domain alone.
And despite what people who are trying to sell TLDs may say, when it comes to TLDs and SEO, TLDs offer no intrinsic value to improve SEO. The algorithms for search engines don't include these new TLDs as a ranking factor. These domains will show up in a generic search for a keyword and people can search by TLD extension if they want to. If TLDs become more popular, they may become ranking factors in the future (though Google says they doubt it), but for now, they are treated no differently.
Google's John Mueller recently reposted comments the company made earlier in 2014 to reiterate their position on TLD and search.
"It feels like it's time to reshare this again. There still is no inherent ranking advantage to using the new TLDs," Mueller wrote on Google+ before sharing a postfrom Matt Cutts on the subject. "They can perform well in search, just like any other TLD can perform well in search. They give you an opportunity to pick a name that better matches your web-presence. If you see posts claiming that early data suggests they're doing well, keep in mind that this is not due to any artificial advantage in search: you can make a fantastic website that performs well in search on any TLD."
The sheer amount of TLDs available also undermines one of the reasons some thought they would be so popular. When there so many TLDs to choose from, it's not as effective for squatters to try and wrap of domains with the intent of selling them later. It's not the same as in the early days of the internet. Back then, if someone had the .com you wanted, there was nothing you can do but pay them or get a different name. Now, marketers can just move to a different TLD. The introduction of these new TLDs have created so much internet real estate, it's impractical for one person to try to lock up domains they don't intend to use.
There are a lot of good reasons why business owners may want to create a site using one of the new TLDs, but it's important to be clear about what the benefits are and what is just hype. It's undeniable that business can get domain names using the new TLDs that are unavailable for older extensions. Some states are introducing TLDs for businesses in their state. So BillsGarage.com may be taken, but BillsGarage.NYC may be up for grabs.
However, other than the benefit of giving marketers more options when deciding on domain names, TLDs don't offer any intrinsic benefit to business. As the research from Moz and comments from experts at Google have shown, TLDs have no advantage over .com when it comes to customer trust and SEO visibility.
Given the challenges facing TLD adoption, it's unlikely that TLDs will make a huge marketing impact in 2015 unless there is some sort of game changing development. If you want to use one of the new TLDs to build a site with an easy-to-remember name, you won't be disappointed, but don't expect new domain endings to perform some kind of marketing magic in the coming year.