I wrote a post for AnCap blog that I wanted to share over here since it’s internet-marketing related.
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I wrote a post for AnCap blog that I wanted to share over here since it’s internet-marketing related.
Why? Google getting ready to incorporate relevant Google+ posts into Google News results
What to post
Best time to post
How to post
One of my favorite things about SEO is that so often it, unlike most things in life, just makes sense!
Reading the latest SEOmoz blog post, Using Passive Link Building to Build Links with No Budget, I came across a fantastic idea.
The author states that Google knows people will happily write crap in order to pull in search traffic. But rarely do people want their real names associated with that crap. So he surmises:
Rel=author is going to be one of the biggest trust signals in the coming years. If you are consistently writing quality content within the same industry (not poker one week, weight loss the next) that gets social shares, attracts links and is on well-respected blogs (owned by another well respected author) Google knows you’re not some shady internet marketer that’s promoting the latest e-book on Clickbank. This is awesome and everyone that’s trying to build a legitimate business should be using it.
As someone who consistently writes what at least I think is quality, one-topic-per-blog content, this seems like a no-brainer. And in WordPress at least, it really is. The blogger linked to Google’s old instructions on how to set up with data, but I’ll link you to the newer version.
If you’ve got a WordPress blog, first make sure your GoogleCards plugin is installed and working properly. Then go to Appearance > Widgets and expand your GoogleCards box. Check the box that says Add rel=”author” to links?.
Then just continue in the Google instructions for adding links to your Google+ profile:
I used the rich snippets testing tool on a post of mine, and look:
Ain’t it pretty?
Internal site search is incredibly important to converting visits. Shay Digital quoted a Google report showing 90% of companies reporting internal site search as their visitors’ No. 1 means of navigating their sites. And fully 82% of visitors use site search to find the information they need. Visitors who use internal site search convert more than those who don’t, according to an article by Multi-channel Merchant. And quality matters. An article from Internet Marketing Ninjas states that well-performing e-commerce site search has been known to dramatically increase conversion rates.
So it’s understandable that you’d want to make sure your internal site search performs well for you.
To take the pulse of your internal site search, first look up your ten most searched keywords for the past month.
For each of those ten keywords, record how many times each keyword was searched. Then look at bounce rates, exit rates, orders and conversion rates by keyword. Lastly, you’ll want to know where people are searching from, and what pages they’re hitting directly after seeing your search results.
This tells you how well your internal site search is performing. If your site search works well, your bounce rates will be low, your conversion rates high and your visitors will hit the pages you think they were looking for right after they see the results page.
If all that’s the case, great, you’re done.
But if anything seems amiss, you’ll want to go on to the next step.
Take a look at what your results pages look like for your top three search terms.
Are the results what you’d expect? Are they the most helpful results? Are you confused by what’s ranking and why? In the next post, I’ll go over what to do to improve your internal site search experience and results.
Pinterest “secretly” inserts affiliate codes into pins so e-tailers can give them money when someone comes to their site via the pin. The article calls this creepy. I’m not seeing it. I personally like it when a site I enjoy using completely harmlessly makes money. That means it sticks around longer at no cost to me. What’s not to love?
Google’s decision to buy Motorola is what leads me to believe this won’t be successful. The phones suck. The last two phones I’ve had have been Motorola and they’ve both been awful. I had the Razr first. Now I have the Droid X. My droid isn’t
yet two years old and has big black splotches on the screen. Setting it up required me to remove the battery, which is inordinately difficult due to poor design. I’ve had to remove the battery other times to get the phone to take a charge.
If you’re publishing content on a regular basis, there’s a good chance you could stand to benefit from having your posts included in Google News. It’s not terribly difficult to try to get your content included, and the rewards are well worth it if you rank.
The first thing you’re going to want to do is determine whether your site is currently eligible for inclusion. To do this head on over to Google News and do a site: search for your site. Ex: site:cnn.com.
Are there results for your site? Awesome. Skip the next step. If not, that’s cool. You’re going to request inclusion. The directions are pretty self explanatory. Give Google all the information they ask for that you have. Wait to see what they say.
The next steps are for people who are already included and those who await Google’s reply.
One thing you’ll definitely want to do is to create a Google News sitemap that’s autogenerated every night. If you’re on WordPress, there are some handy plugins that’ll do it for you. I just added the GN Sitemap Generator to my political blog, so I don’t yet know whether it works, but it’s the most recently updated of the bunch right now.
Follow the directions, and it’ll create a feed that you’ll add to your list of XML Sitemaps in your Webmaster Tools.
Alright, that covers the basics of having a chance of being included at all. Now let’s talk about how to get your articles/posts ranking in Google News!
Just like in normal SEO, Google wants to rank authoritative sources over poorer-linked sites. But with Google News SEO, there’s a theory that Google prefers to rank sites that are particularly authoritative on a particular subject. So for example if your blog covers election news exclusively or near exclusively, and has many links from sites that are authoritative on elections, if someone’s looking for election news Google will favor your site. This could be a boon for niche blogs over general, but authoritative, news sites.
Just like in normal SEO, keywords are essential. Don’t get creative with your headlines if you want Google News rankings, use the words people search with.
Get those social sharing buttons on your posts and articles, and encourage your readers to use them.
Here’s where I got a lot of my information on Google News SEO:
If you’ve done all this and want more advanced tips for rocking out your Google News opportunities, check out Andrew Shotland’s excellent Google News SEO article.
Google paid for links. Will they blacklist themselves? I’m guessing no.
“My competitors are here, so this is where I need to be.”
“They’re ranking for keyword x so I should be too!”
“They’re advertising on www.nytimes.com so that’s what I need to do.”
How many of you have thought or heard similar sentiments? On the surface, it makes sense. Why would your seemingly successful competitor be there if it didn’t work? Why reinvent the wheel with your own keywords and tactics?
I think, though, that there are several reasons you might not want to be where your competitors are.
Reason 1: You don’t know whether it’s working.
Unless you’ve got some killer competitive intelligence, or somehow your competitor is definitely succeeding and only employing one tactic, the fact that they’re employing a tactic doesn’t mean it’s working for them. Sadly many companies do things like bid on unprofitable keywords for extended periods of time for various reasons, such as internal politics, neglect and faulty information. Don’t follow them blindly off a cliff!
Reason 2: The same thing may not work for you.
Let’s say that your competitor’s tactic is working for them. Maybe they’re bidding on a very competitive head term and it’s actually making them money (it usually doesn’t). There may be a reason it works for them that doesn’t apply to you. For example perhaps their overall budget is much bigger, so they can afford that head term as well as its more profitable brothers and sisters way down the tail. Maybe their landing page converts better. Your challenge is to find the tactics that work for your unique set of strengths and challenges.
Reason 3: There’s competition there.
Here’s what it really comes down to. I want you to imagine two scenarios. One, you’re talking to a group of potential customers. Two, you and your competitor are both trying to talk to the same group of potential customers. When you follow your competitors around, you’re essentially forgoing scenario one and guaranteeing scenario two.
Competitor research is a great way to get ideas. You can find out through competitor research who your competitors are targeting and how. But it’s a terrible basis for ultimate decision making. Instead, begin by targeting the same people in a different way, or try targeting a different group of people with their tactics. Then expand based on what works. In the end, you should be so successful they start looking to you for new ideas.
Ah, pagination. On e-commerce sites, it’s mostly a holdover from back in the day when connection speeds were slower and it took a long time to load large pages. On content sites, it’s mostly a bid to ramp up page views.
Part 1: The Problem
Let’s quickly go through some of the SEO problems pagination can cause.
First, few people think to give each page of pagination its own title and description tag. And as we all know, each page needs its own title and description tag.
Also, the content on page 1 can look very similar to the content on page 5, especially in the case of product variants. If page one is full of links to product pages that only differ from each other in one respect, such as color or size, and have the same product name and description, you’re looking at duplicate content.
Since we know Google tries to exclude duplicate content from the index, Google might never crawl to your third page of pagination. So when someone searches for “large blue widgets,” if your large blue widgets are linked to from the third page, you won’t rank, because you’re not indexed. Problematic!
The third way pagination can cause duplicate content is that sometimes your CMS will attach the page number to the URL of pagination. This is fine in the case of page 2, 3 and so on. But it’s problematic when it happens to your first page. A very common scenario is when the link to the first page from the main navigation is www.example.com/blue-widgets. But the link to the first page of pagination from the other pages of pagination is www.example.com/blue-widgets-page-1. Now you have two URLs showing the same page. Bummer. Ian Lurie’s got a great writeup on this problem on his blog. Check out Duplicate content sin #1: Pagination. For an example of the problem, look at the New York Times. If you click on a link to the story, you get this URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/20/science/20dawkins.html. But let’s say you get done reading the story and want to link to its first page. If you click the 1 link in the pagination, you arrive at this URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/20/science/20dawkins.html?pagewanted=1. Now the link juice that would’ve gone to the story goes to this imposter URL.
Part 2: The Fix
First, just add the words “page x” (x being whatever page it is) to your title tags and meta descriptions. Bam, no more duplicate tags. This can usually be done programatically.
Next, create a view all page, with every item on every page of pagination linked from that page. Add a rel=”canonical” tag to the head section of all your paginated pages. The URL you’ll want to make canonical is the View All page. Now you can make it more likely that Google will crawl all those links. Easy peasy!
By now we’re pretty familiar with the standard operating procedure for guest posting. Write the post, include a bio with a link back to your site/blog. But Tiffany from I am Style-ish said screw-you to all that and went above and beyond.
Everything began pretty standardly. The blogger introduced Tiffany, then Tiffany introduced herself with a short bio and a link to her blog. All’s normal here.
The post was A Newbie’s Guide to Designer Shoes and was good if you’re also fantasize about buying designer shoes (don’t judge me).
But then, at the end, she knocks it out of the park. Take it away Tiffany:
And if you’re interested in how I store all my shoes, check out my shoe closet video!
Why yes, Tiffany, if I’m interested in your post, about beginning to buy designer shoes, I would certainly love to watch a video about how to store them! This is brilliant, and makes me weirded out that I’ve never done it, or seen it done before.
You bet your butt I’ll be doing this from now on, and I’d suggest you do the same!