I am in disbelief. Less than 40 minutes ago the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog announced that Google can now fill out web forms and spider the resulting content. Previously this was not only not done by search engines but it was well known that such content would be useless since it wouldn’t ‘necessarily’ be formatted for the eyes of searchers. Apparently Google is now throwing this concept to the wind. Read more…
In this article two important marketing strategies are reviewed: search engine optimization and social media.
Just as the spokes of a wheel are held together and strengthened by its hub so too is the planning for a successful marketing campaign. The greater the integrity and quality of the hub, the better are the chances that the spokes will stay true and provide far reaching performance.
In this series we have looked at several ‘spokes’ that contribute to a winning web marketing strategy. Part 1 looked at several of these building blocks: marketing budget and timelines, market research, and competitor analysis while Part 2 discussed the importance of keyword research, focus on achievable phrases, creating relevant textual content and search friendly website design. A future article will deal with the remaining spokes: link building, blogs, newsletters, and website analytics. Read more…
Yesterday I had the good fortune to be invited to speak on the Webcology Webmasterradio.FM radio show with Jim Hedger and Dave Davies about my experience with competitor analysis. The show was a part of a 10 part SEO series where experts in their select field of SEO are invited to discuss their artform. In my case I discussed some of the most interesting tactics involved in competitor analysis and some of the other tactics I didn’t have space to cover in the companion article on competitor analysis in the WebProNews Expert’s column.
(my interview starts about 15 minutes into the program)
Near the end of the interview, as a final touch, I asked a website analytics analyst by the name of Andres Galdames to come onto the show to discuss the other side of improving website visibility; using website analytics to improve performance of your site instead of focusing on a competitor. In addition, Andres and I touched on how analytics plays a major role in tracking the success of web promotion strategies implemented on a website as a result of a competitor analysis. We had more to discuss at this point but unfortunately Andres lost his connection to the radio show and Jim and Dave wrapped up the show.
All-in-all it was an exciting experience and I look forward to being invited again onto Webcology. A big thanks goes out to Jim Hedger and Dave Davies for the opportunity to discuss competitor analysis – a field I am so passionate about.
The following was the second interview I did with Dr. Ralph Wilson of Web Marketing Today while I was at PubCon Las Vegas. In this interview we discussed the horror stories I have seen over my 10 years of SEO. The focus was on how important it is to involve an SEO in the initial planning of a new website because you never know if you are going to use a technology that may hamper or completely block search engines. A SEO consultant doesn’t need much time to tell you if you are on the right track and it will save you a lot of headache down the line.
Without further adieu, here is my interview:
The following were questions sent to us by readers of the StepForth SEO Newsletter and the StepForth SEO Blog. If you have a question of your own we would love to hear from you; email us your SEO question.
Question from Steve:
Information about the why’s & how-to’s of the BLOGosphere have made for a plethora of copy all over the SEO world, yet my constantly recurring question never seems to come up! And this first question always leads me to second one. (1) If your business is NOT in any way concerned with… let’s call it “journalism” (it seems that the business of StepForth would have a sizable reliance on journalistic talent), how would a company go about deploying a blog initiative and still have time to sleep more than one or two nights a week? (…there’s this business we gotta keep running!) And (2) if one were to hire one of many firms offering such a BLOG service, how would it come off as more than a thinly veiled SERP ranking initiative, when your business is not of the type where there is really any “news” to report — AND further, where the BLOG service cannot possibly be expected to have the specific knowledge needed to write usefully pertinent journalistic copy? Read more…
These days, as more and more companies come to the conclusion that their 1990′s built websites with the animated gifs, static backgrounds, and auto-playing midi files have seen their prime, they begin to enter into a world of redesign. While creating these new websites with the sleeker look, and cleaner file structure is a smart move for the future, the risk and complications caused by changing URL’s and the impact this has on search engine rankings is very real.
This is where redirects come in. Using the correct redirect, in most cases a permanent 301, is key to helping maintain your existing rankings, whether your site is undergoing a complete face lift, or if you simply want to move a few pages around.
While Permanent 301 Redirects are the most common there are valid situations where either 301′s or 302′s may be the most appropriate. This article will discuss what these redirects do, common and less common uses, implementation, and how to check that you have set them up correctly Read more…
Susan Moskwa and Trever Voucher from Google’s Webmaster Tools Team published a synopsis of the questions they received at Chicago’s recent Search Engine Strategies Conference. If you have ever had a question about Google Sitemaps and the effect they may or may not have on your site, this is a helpful read.
Get the answers to the following questions:
- I submitted a Sitemap, but my URLs haven’t been [crawled/indexed] yet. Isn’t that what a Sitemap is for?
- If it doesn’t get me automatically crawled and indexed, what does a Sitemap do?
- Will a Sitemap help me rank better?
- If I set all of my pages to have priority 1.0, will that make them rank higher (or get crawled faster) than someone else’s pages that have priority 0.8?
- Is there any point in submitting a Sitemap if all the metadata (, , etc.) is the same for each URL, or if I’m not sure it’s accurate?
- I’ve heard about people who submitted a Sitemap and got penalized shortly afterward. Can a Sitemap hurt you?
- Where can I put my Sitemap? Does it have to be at the root of my site?
- Can I just submit the site map that my webmaster made of my site? I don’t get this whole XML thing.
- Which Sitemap format is the best?
- If I have multiple URLs that point to the same content, can I use my Sitemap to indicate my preferred URL for that content?
- Does the placement of a URL within a Sitemap file matter? Will the URLs at the beginning of the file get better treatment than the URLs near the end?
- If my site has multiple sections (e.g. a blog, a forum, and a photo gallery), should I submit one Sitemap for the site, or multiple Sitemaps (one for each section)?
Again here is the link to the Google sitemaps Q&A.
Are you baffled about a recent drop in your search engine rankings? Do you know where to start and get a handle on what the problem might be and how to remedy it? One option to consider is using search engine forums as a resource. They are full of questions from people who have experienced similar situations and are great resources for an answer or two. But let’s say you really want to get to the bottom of the problem and you want to do it yourself. The following are some of the beginning steps StepForth takes when evaluating dropped rankings. Read more…
Mike McDonald of WebProNews conducted a great, very informative interview with Live Webmaster Tool’s Product Manager, Jeremiah Andrick.
Jeremiah discusses paid links, cloaking, the backlink function at Live Search and my special favorite – the incident where Adwords ads got indexed. Check it out, I think you will appreciate the frankness of Jeremiah’s answers. You can certainly tell that Microsoft has finally figured out that Webmasters need to feel the love. Read more…
The following interview was conducted at PubCon Las Vegas and it focused on StepForth competitor analysis/competitor intelligence services. In hindsight I didn’t give much away in the terms of competitive analysis and frankly the interview could have gone better (what with the sun glare and a lil’memory loss). So feel free to view this and then follow it up with my notes below where I will provide a couple examples of the strategies/resources used in our basic and advanced competitor intelligence reports. Read more…