How do I know if My SEO Strategy was a Success?

Local SEO professionals
Local SEO strategy

When it comes to determining if an SEO campaign is successful it’s all about measurement. There are several metrics that can help the SEO professional know more about their strategies and how they may need to be tweaked. Page rankings, links and referrals are some of the key measurements SEO specialists may consider when determining how successful the campaign is.  Measuring an SEO campaign can take many different forms and this can become complicated since the web is in a constant state of change. In order to stay ahead in this climate and ensure that a website remains competitive it’s essential to dedicate some time to the evaluation process. But what are we supposed to look at or measure when determining if a campaign is successful or not?

Engagement

Even if an SEO campaign successfully drives traffic to a site it does not mean the campaign was a success. When traffic arrives at the site only to leave without visiting another page it counts in the metrics as a bounce. Search engines note when traffic to your site bounces out at a high rate and it can potentially lower the site’s ranking in the SERPs. It’s important to properly analyze engagement factors like bounce rate and how long visitors spend on a page. If there are some specific keywords which lead to poor engagement compared to some of the other keywords you may want to target new keywords. Use engaging content and keywords in order to improve the quality of traffic to the site through SEO campaigns. It’s essential that users be engaged. Continue reading “How do I know if My SEO Strategy was a Success?”

Tools for Measuring Website Analytics

Google analytics
Google analytics

In the earliest days of the internet webmasters used counters or hits to determine whether their website was successful or not. Logically at the time that made sense since when people liked what they saw or read on a site they would look for more content. Of course this was prior to the Web 2.0 interactive platform and the web was navigated one page at a time. Today it is much more complex to measure a site’s effectiveness. Today rather than only tracking how many hits a site or page has, an SEO analyst will track users’ behaviors. Instead of looking for an answer to what a server is doing we now want to analyze what the user is doing.

What is Web Analytics?

It only takes a few visitors to gather a huge amount of data. In order to collect and refine data there are several web analytics tools that are available to webmasters or SEO professionals. In most instances these web based apps will gather the data and use various computations to generate reports and charts. They are not exactly like research methods which are generally qualitative; web analytics are actually quantitative. They do not present glowing descriptions of problems but rather they simply present the cold hard data. What types of tools are most commonly used to gather and analyze website data? Continue reading “Tools for Measuring Website Analytics”

What is On Page SEO?

SEO
Marketing

In times gone by SEO was all about working on the backend of a site and the focus was all on Meta descriptions, title tags and links. Google soon caught on to some of the unethical ways that people were manipulating search results by gaming the system and they changed up the algorithm used for determining site rankings. Google changed their focus, and so should SEO experts – at least those who want to see their sites rank high in the SERPs. Google now wants to see quality content that uses keywords which are inserted in ways that humans will understand them rather than just “stuffed” in to attract the attention of the search engine crawlers. On-page SEO is what is done to the site’s textual content that is read by humans when they read the site or blog.

How Important is On-Page SEO?

On-page SEO is very important as it can increase your site’s SEO efficiency. If you spend the maximum of your energy or budget on building links while ignoring on-page SEO strategies, you’ll be wasting your time. Link building is an essential part of ranking your site in the SERPs, but well designed on-page SEO can be much more beneficial. On-page SEO can be completed properly and then you really will not have to worry about it again. When it is done right, you will receive more relevant and targeted traffic. Ignoring on-page SEO strategies you’ll likely get traffic of lower quality. As long as you are using white hat SEO methods your on-site optimization is actually the safest form of SEO and it won’t get penalized by search engines. Diligent on-page SEO will be logical to both humans and search engines. Avoid penalties and increase ranking by removing duplicate content, simply web page designs and make your site easy to navigate. Continue reading “What is On Page SEO?”

What is off page SEO?

Value of SEO
Value of SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can end up being a very confusing topic which can even appear to be contradictory among some of the leading experts in the field. Digital marketing professionals can debate for hours about some of the finer SEO best practices including what works and what doesn’t. SEO comes down to two types of strategies: on page and off page. Basically on page SEO strategies are built into the web design structure and are factors which are used to increase the site’s ranking when the search engine crawlers index the site. Off page SEO are factors which are not located on the page or site but can still be powerful influencers when it comes to ranking in the SERPs.

Blogging and Guest Blogging

Blogs can provide relevant, high quality links back to your site. Using blogs whether you are writing them as an extension of your business or providing a guest post for someone else can help you build relationships with others inside your own niche. Another benefit from blogging includes reaching a larger audience. Maybe you already have a well established blog with some faithful followers. By providing a guest post for another person it can extend this audience beyond your regular readers. Blogs help establish your reputation in your own field as readers soon come to recognize you as a reliable source of information. Blogging helps to increase links back to your site. These are relevant, generic links which search engines will see as adding to the value of your site and help establish you as an online authority.

Social Networking

One of the most effective off page strategies today is to incorporate a social media campaign as part of your SEO strategy. There are the big 4- Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn that are worthwhile for every business to invest time in. But submitting content or your site to other social media sites such as StumbleUpon can also provide essential traffic and valuable back links. Social networking is a very valuable tool when it comes to off page SEO. Just remember that it is imperative to share, converse and interact on the social sites in order for them to be effective at helping to improve your site’s ranking in the SERPs. Some of the social signals that can help affect search engine rankings include:

  • Number and Quality of social shares
  • Authority of the social community sharing the URL or content
  • Social signals coming from the site itself
  • Activity, interactions and following of the site’s brand on social pages

White Hat Link Building

One of the things that the search engines look at when ranking a page is the inbound links. They want to see that they are generic, unsolicited, and relevant. Your site will incur a penalty if links are obtained in unethical ways which has led to some confusion about this off page strategy and many have abandoned gathering links altogether to avoid penalties. It is imperative to monitor your links and make sure that they are high quality. Here are some questions to help you identify good links:

  • Is the page or site relevant to my business or what I do?
  • Does this site have low quality outbound links?
  • Is the site going to help send the right type of traffic to my site?
  • Does this page or site rank well in the SERPs?
  • Does the site have numerous links from other sites?

It is important how other sites link to yours. Sites that use “rel=nofollow” tags or that use a redirect to link to your site will not be beneficial. Search engines will also evaluate the text that is linking to your site. Despite its complexity, link building strategies are still a valuable off page SEO strategy.

 

What are the Elements of a Successful SEO Campaign?

Successful SEO
Successful SEO

Good Search Engine Optimization is hard time consuming work. Building a successful campaign is like building a solid structure that is going to stand the test of time. An SEO campaign is successful when it has a foundation that is solid enough to be able to endure many challenges posed by competitors and changes that occur in the search engine ranking algorithms. There are many different aspects and elements included in SEO best practices and SEO itself is constantly in a state of flux. The elements of successful SEO campaigns can be brought down to three essential parts which will work together to support each other and the entire campaign: content, links and social media.  Working with a reputable SEO firm can help ensure that you utilize the latest in SEO best practices on your site.

High Quality Content

It’s just logical that great content is an essential part of SEO strategies. Your website should act as a hub and contain good content as part of the on-site strategies. It is noteworthy to mention that the site itself must be high quality as successful SEO simply cannot exist with a poor website. Every piece of content on a site should be high quality and purposeful. For an SEO campaign to be successful there are no shortcuts. Remember that articles or blog posts are indexed by the web crawlers but should be developed for the readers not the search engines. Blogs and websites should be regularly updated with fresh, unique and valuable content. There is also some content that is seen only by browsers and crawlers – Meta content. URLs, Meta titles, Meta descriptions, and Meta keywords are all considered to be “content” and must accurately use SEO best practices. Continue reading “What are the Elements of a Successful SEO Campaign?”

How to Use Google+ for SEO

Google Local Pages
Google Local Page

Google+ can be a beneficial part of an SEO campaign. For those who are not yet using Google Plus, it is likely because they do not know how to take advantage of the platform or misunderstand the nature of Google+ and how it can improve SEO results. There are several different ways to strategically use Google+ for SEO purposes.

Google+ Content

Content on Google+ is treated by the search engine just like content that is on any other web page. Any content that is placed on Google+ will be indexed and can gain page rank as well as be listed in search results by Google. This can be very beneficial since about 2/3 of all searches in the United States take place on Google. It is essential to have your content searched and indexed. The posts made on Google+ will appear as search page results which manes that some of your audience may be able to find your Google+ content through a regular search on Google. The content will be online, gain in page rank, and appear in SERPs for a long period of time. It’s even possible for some of the posts to continue ranking indefinitely – even as long as a year. Most tweets only have about a 14 minute lifespan on SERPs so one year is really good real estate. Continue reading “How to Use Google+ for SEO”

What is Google Penguin?

Penguin Update
Penguin Update

Keeping up with a blog or a website can keep a person very busy. Developing high quality content and following all the SEO best practices are just part of the worry that an individual has to bear, not to mention how to get it ranked high in the search engine result pages (SERP). It’s important to maintain a blog or site for an established audience; but it is equally important to get it listed in the top slots of the SERPs so that more people can find it. That’s just good business. There trouble is that just about the time it is all up and running Google releases a new update like Penguin and it’s back to the drawing board.

What is Google Penguin?

Having an online presence is essential for the successful business of today. Google Penguin is really a process used to penalize black hatters who abuse the system in order to gain the advantage and manipulate the search engines into ranking their sites higher in the SERPs. Penguin is really an attempt by Google to clean up the search algorithm and reduce spam as well as site rankings that are from “questionable” sites or irrelevant because they manipulated the system to get located in the coveted 3 slots. It really aims at penalizing those who use “black hat” SEO methods like keyword stuffing, link building schemes, spamdexing, or duplicate content as well as the multitude of techniques used by some SEO companies in order to help clients gain exposure on line. Continue reading “What is Google Penguin?”

How Long Does SEO Take Before I get Results?

SEO strategy
SEO strategy

How long it takes to get real results from an SEO campaign is probably one of the most asked questions in internet marketing. Take a look at some of the SEO forums and you’ll find it asked multiple times and answered in multiple ways. Of course we are aware that there are plenty of black hat SEO methods which can create some results in a very short time. But these will be short lived as the sites will no doubt soon incur a Google penalty from which it is difficult, if not impossible to recover. Real results will not come overnight, but they will come.

SEO is a Long Term Investment

Handling SEO campaigns is a process and it must be given some time. The best thing to remember is that slow and steady will win the race. Even though results are not likely to come overnight, diagnosis building a long term business that is successful is much like SEO best practices – it will just take time. There is not really any way to just say a week, a month, a year and you’ll see results. Some may consider making any improvements in a sites SERP ranking as improvement and as evidence that SEO is working. This is not inaccurate, and simple growth may be seen as an indicator that the SEO strategies are beginning to work but it is far from the end.  The bottom line is that an honest and reputable SEO expert in Boston will not be able to give you an exact figure.

How SEO Works and Why it May Take Time

SEO is really about closing the gap between you and consumers through the use of innovative and creative content development, online business development and site structuring. Until the gap is closed it is relatively certain that your site will not rank on page one of the SERPs. The SEO specialist is adept at making accurate measurements, choosing the right resources and using the right amount of each resource or strategy in order to close the gap. Using the wrong strategies or using too little of them will cause the job to take a lot longer.

What to Expect Month to Month

When you first contact an SEO specialist, they will strategically develop an SEO campaign based on your type of business. They will use a variety of SEO techniques in order to develop an effective strategy based on several elements and then they will usually release your page or site with SEO strategies in place. Your site will then begin to be cached by Google. This will take somewhere between 4 to 6 weeks in most instances. Over the next couple of months there will be fresh, unique and high quality content added to your site and perhaps the site will be developed further by adding more pages. An SEO professional may begin a blog to help increase the potential for new content and to build generic backlinks.

For the next 6 months or so your pages will be totally indexed by Google as well as other search engines. You’ll begin seeing your site rank and it should slowly climb as new content is added on a regular basis. Link building strategies will also be improving during these few months. Traffic should continue to increase and your page rank should move up for several months. The site may undergo quite a little bit of tweaking and content will always be added and improved to help your site’s ranking continue to move up in the SERPs.

Constant Monitoring

Over the next 2 to 24 months your ranking may fluctuate quite a lot. During this time your SEO specialist will be monitoring the site and measuring results to find out what is working well and what needs to be adjusted. It is important to note that your site ranking can change a lot since others are also competitively vying for that first spot. This is simply an incentive to continue to add fresh and new content regularly and keep other strategies updated.

What is Viral Marketing?

Viral campaign
Go Viral Button

Just a few years ago the internet was like a one-way street where a person got online simply to get information. There was no interaction, and there was no such thing as a share or a like. But as the internet evolved into the Web 2.0 world we know today interaction became the primary element. It is now a super highway running both ways with all sorts of social interactions. This is basically what drives viral marketing. The main idea behind a viral marketing campaign is to initiate social sharing of your message for you. Some experts suggest that a viral campaign will have between 500 and a 1000 times more impact than a campaign that is not viral.

Why is it called “Viral” Marketing?

When we think of a virus, we generally think of flu season. But viral marketing is a strategy which helps pass information on from person to person simulating how a virus is passed until an enormous amount of people have been in contact with it. A viral marketing message has the potential of exponential growth in terms of how many people it is exposed to or how many individuals are influenced by the message. Just like a virus, this strategy will require taking advantage of very rapid multiplication in order for the message to explode out to thousands or millions of individuals. Continue reading “What is Viral Marketing?”

How to Use YouTube for SEO

SEO Rank
SEO elements

Successful inbound marketing requires a lot of optimized content, and content is not just written words. Videos are one type of content and YouTube is certainly the most popular site for watching them. It just makes good sense to take advantage of YouTube since it is just behind Google when it comes to the sizes of search engines. But YouTube also has a huge impact across social networking sites. In just one day people watch about 500 years’ worth of videos via Facebook; and over 700 videos are shared on Twitter every minute. These large numbers simply demonstrate what an enormous reach videos have. Videos can be useful for boosting a company’s discoverability as well as help to encourage consumer engagement. This is where SEO strategies come is since it is imperative that people are able to find the videos that you put online. There are several strategies for optimizing YouTube videos for SERPs. Continue reading “How to Use YouTube for SEO”