Showing posts with label seo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label seo. Show all posts

Google is shutting down Google Plus. What does that mean for you?

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Google Plus Shutdown and SEO

Google sets April 2 closing date for Google+, download your photos and content before then.

Google has an official closing date for its troubled Google+ social network: April 2.

The search engine giant says on that date Google+ accounts and any pages created will be shut down and begin being deleted. Should you have any photos or other content you want to save, "just make sure to do so before April," the company said in a blog post.

Photos and videos also stored in Google Photos will not be affected. Google has posted directions on how to download an archive of your Google+ content. Any photos and videos backed up in Google Photos will not be deleted.

Google began accelerating its shutdown last year after announcing in October 2018 that a vulnerability found earlier in the year had potentially compromised up to 500,000 users' data. Google says that it found no evidence any profile data were misused.

Then two months later, Google said a software update in November had caused a security bug that leaked the data — such as name, email and occupation — of 52.5 million users.

Google said in the blog post the decision to shut down Google+ was made "due to low usage and challenges involved in maintaining a successful product that meets consumers’ expectations."
Even though the free consumer version of Google+ will cease, Google+ will continue on as part of Google's G Suite for enterprises.

What does it mean for your business SEO?

Google+ was owned by the search engine giant and any social signals sent out by Google+ were expected to deliver strong SEO benefits.

But that didn’t quite happen. Google+ could never quite become Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook. It was always an “also ran”, despite Google’s best efforts to leverage its pre-eminent position as a search engine behemoth.

Even if you were active on Google+, promoting your business or those of your clients, the exit of Google+ from the social media scene will have minimum impact on your SEO. Social media signals from other sites will easily make up for any perceived dip in SEO performance. Remember, social media signals have some SEO value but not in the same category has backlinks or a well-designed website with good internal structure.

How will the shutting of Google+ Affect My Social Media Strategy?

How frequently were you using Google+? Users were few and user engagement was low. Webmasters were getting multiple times better returns for their efforts on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Nobody was really using Google+ in isolation. It was invariably a part of an overall social media strategy that included posting content and networking on other social media sites.

Simply remove the Google+ social media icon from wherever you’ve displayed it on your website. It’ll soon be a dead link and you don’t want dead links emanating from your website.

Will Google + shutting down affect my Google My Business Listing & Reviews?

No worries, your Google My Business page will be unaffected by the shutdown. Many people confused Google+ with GMB (another reason Google+ failed), but they are separate entities. For excellent search results keep posting on your GMB page. That should more than make up for any loss you sustain from losing Google+.

How to make your videos appear in Google search with Video Marketing

Monday, March 27, 2017

SEO Video
5 steps you can take to improve your video search ranking, including transcription, content, keywords and more.

How to convert web traffic into business

Friday, March 10, 2017

Conversion tunnel
Small-business owners might be initially discouraged by how few website visitors become paying customers, but there are ways to improve conversion. Here are 6 tips for optimizing AdWords campaigns, streamlining the conversion process and running retargeting campaigns.

Mobile Searches Outnumber Desktops

Thursday, May 7, 2015

#SEO For the first time, the number of Google searches performed on mobile devices has surpassed the number of searches done on personal computers in the U.S.

The milestone announced at a digital advertising conference Tuesday serves as another reminder of how dramatically online behavior has changed since 2007.

Is your site mobile ready?

With Google's new "mobile friendly" designation on mobile searches, you may see your site's listing fall if it's not configured for mobile devices.

It's time to evaluate who your audience is and what the likelihood is of them finding you with a mobile device. Not only should you concentrate on your site's mobile friendliness, but also on how your customers search for your services. Are you on Yelp? Google+? Trip Advisor?

Start by searching for your services on a Google search both on your desktop and your phone, see what happens. If you're not there, it's time to think about your marketing efforts.

Whether you use a mobile device yourself, you can no longer deny that a majority of people out there do!

Marketing Your Business for Local SEO

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Local SEO

Have a business and a website? Time to get Local.

Times are changing, and some of the old marketing habits by consumers are returning. For instance, over the past couple of years consumers searching for local business on the internet has increased to 85 percent. Now that the novelty of the internet has calmed, and big box stores are less popular, consumers are going local. This makes it more important than ever for you to market your business with your local target audience.

Your local SEO strategy should be taken seriously so that your business scores a consistently high rank on local search engine results pages (SERPs).

Here are some of the best tips for beginners and seasoned SEO pros alike to beef up your local visibility.

1. Claim Your Listings!

Your site may be already listed on several local sites and you don't even know it, and there may be other great local sites you aren't even aware of that you should be on. One of the easiest ways to find out is to use Synup. Synup allows you to search for your listing on local pages, claim them, manage them and even manage the reviews for them.

In addition, Synup's great list of Top Local Citation Sources let's you see which sites to check for your business and get listed if you're not already on them.

2. Citation Sources

Speaking of citation sources - you need to build local citations in order to improve your local search rankings. There are thousands of citation sources on the web and you need to figure out which ones are right for your business.

Whitespark's Local Citation Finder helps you fine and track hundreds of citation to find out where to list your business.  It's as simple as entering a key phrase and searching for citation sources, showing you high-quality sources for your niche.  In addition, analyze successful business competitors in your market and show you which citations they use.

3. MOZ Local

As I've said before, MOZ is an indispensable tool. Not only should it be the first listing you make for a new website, but it's worth revisiting as you grow.

MOZ Local makes updating listings simple. Enter your location information and Moz Local will push this data to well-known, high-quality online directories and top-tier data aggregators in the business.

Your business’s local listings are a critical element of your local SEO strategy and you can’t afford to do it wrong. Let your potential customers easily find you in their area!

Free Seo and Marketing Tools to Monitor Your Website Health

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

You have Google Analytics installed, you work hard on your social media and you are dedicated to your SEO. But do you know what search engines are really seeing?

These tools will help you find your place online in terms of seo, ranking, marketing, code quality and social media.  They are absolutely invaluable for measuring your marketing, seo and web design efforts.

Hubspot's Marketing Grader

Website Marketing Grader

Formerly Website Grader, Hubspot's Marketing Grader goes beyond simple seo. Enter your website or blog URL and your email address, and press go. Marketing Grader will give you an overall score for your website, based on five categories:
  • Blogging
  • Social Media
  • SEO
  • Lead Generation
  • Mobile
Each section has a checklist of items as well as grades for individual aspects of the category.

Why it works:

In addition to the impact (or lack thereof) of your marketing efforts, you get a good overall view of your site popularity


Nibbler website report
The free Nibbler test looks at a slew of site characteristics. With more than 24 items, you get an overall score (on a scale of 1 to 10) and a list of improvements ordered by priority.

Why it works:

The information in this report is so detailed and so well categorized, you'll see items that need improvement where you never thought to look. You'll also understand where your efforts need to be increased.


Woorank website review

WooRank’s free Website Review tool tests seven aspects of your site:
  • SEO
  • mobile
  • usability
  • technologies
  • social
  • local
  • traffic
This is an SEO powerhouse review. Your site is scored on a scale of 1 to 100 and a even has report that you can download as a pdf or slides to share with your marketing team.

Why it works:

In addition to seeing where your SEO efforts are going right or going wrong, WooRank analyzes the keywords on your site, letting you know how they rate and if they appear in the right places, such as title, meta tags and H tags.

Quick Sprout Website Analyzer

Quick Sprout offers a number of comprehensive results. You will get a breakdown of your most popular content, keyword ranking, shares and much more.

In addition, you will see this information for any competitors you want to add.

Why it works:

Know your competition, know your strengths and see what needs improving.

LXR Website Analyzer Tool

The LXR Marketplace Website Analyzer tool is a good one for looking at the core elements of your page (and competitors, if desired). You'll get all sorts of information from the page type to the header tags used. You can also see your web page content, links on the page, image alt tags and anchor text. All with recommendation on how your on-page SEO factors can be improved for ranking in natural search results.

In addition, they offer other free tools for analyzing other SEO factors.

Why it works:

Helps to identify which key on-page SEO factors are directly affecting your organic rank and provides recommendations based on these factors.


What can you learn about your website, blog or online store?

Do you have someone tracking the performance of your content?

Let me know what you learn from these tools and what you did to improve your site!

SEO: Google Makes ‘Mobile-friendly’ a Ranking Signal

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Google Mobile Friendly Search

Is your site mobile friendly?

If your haven't already built your website for mobile devices, on April 21 you may find it harder to get google rank in Google’s mobile search engine esults.

Google announced algorithm updates that will have a “significant impact” on mobile search results worldwide for mobile searchers.  The update improves rankings for sites that provide a mobile-friendly experience to searchers on mobile devices, and, by association, demotes sites that do not.

They've already begun rolling out the new algorithm, and you may have already seen it.

Note that the "mobile-friendly" update only affects mobile search results (searches from smart phones and tablets) not searches conducted from a desktop or laptop computer.

The new mobile-friendly search algorithm is:

  • World-Wide
    All countries will get the algorithm update
  • Page-by-page
    Each page is judged separately (but a bad page won't affect your good ones)
  • In Real Time
    Each time your pages are crawled, it will determine it's mobile friendliness right away
According to Google, their goal is "to improve searcher experience. It’s frustrating to search on a phone and land on a page that’s so tiny you can’t accurately click the links without pinching and zooming and scrolling to find the right text or links."

Here's how the search results currently look:

Sites that are deemed "mobile friendly" will appear higher in the results, which could mean disaster for your business if your audience is is a mobile one.

How do you get the Mobile-friendly label on your website pages?

Google said it depends on if Google Bot detects the following criteria:
  • Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash
  • Uses text that is readable without zooming
  • Pages size content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
  • Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped

To see if your site is mobile ready, you can use Google's Mobile-Friendly Test site.

If you already have a site and Webmaster Tools, you can get a full list of mobile usability issues across your site using the Mobile Usability Report.

Resolving these issues may be as simple as a text change to your robots file, or as significant as a redesign to make your site responsive to mobile devices.

How will this impact my site?

This all depends on your current organic search traffic via mobile device, your audience and your competition.

The worst-case scenario is that all of the sales-driven organic search traffic via mobile devices disappears instantly when the change happens.This probably won't happen, but you may feel a significant loss.

Start by analyzing the affected traffic and sales today and determine the real impact of losing it all. Remember, filter the visits (and sales) so that the data only contains organic search-driven traffic via a mobile device. Then you can determine the impact to your business, or your sales if that traffic disappeared completely on April 21.

If you don't currently have much mobile traffic, then getting mobile-friendly will only improve your ranking and may draw in more customers who previously haven't found you on their mobile devices.

10 SEO Myths

Monday, June 13, 2011

When it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the myths and misconceptions are abundant. Here are some of the more common Search Engine Optimization myths:

Myth #1 - SEO Is A One-Time Deal
Search engine optimization is an ongoing process that requires attention and effort over an extended period of time. To do it properly, it is an ongoing process, and definitely not a one-time action. However, this doesn't mean you need to pay huge fees on an ongoing basis. Once you've started, you should learn how to keep it up.

Myth #2 - Quantity Is More Important Than Quality
When it comes to backlinks, quantity is simply not as important as quality. Attracting a huge number of backlinks is simply not as important to search engines as obtaining relevant links from related and trusted sources.Google rates your "popularity" on how many popular sites your link is on.

Myth #3 - Meta Tags Are No Longer Relevant
While meta tags are not the ultimate solution to search marketing, they still matter. Including a unique and keyword-rich title and description on each page of a website. This will help the site rank better in organic search results for those terms. Meta tags may not be as important as they once were, but they do still matter in the world of search optimization.

Myth #4 - PPC Will Help Search Ranking
There is no association between Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising campaigns and how well a website ranks in organic search results. There is simply no evidence to suggest that advertising via AdWords will help improve an organic search ranking.

Myth #5 - Submit Your Website Early And Often
Submitting your website to search engines is no longer a necessity. Search engines use spiders to follow links on a website. However, if you find a search engine's submit your site" button, by all means use it.

Myth #6 - SEO Is A Scam
Search engine optimization, when done properly, is quite effective. In fact, a website may have a difficult time ranking at all if it is not optimized adequately.

Myth #7 - SEO Is A Guarantee
As the old saying goes, the only things guaranteed in life are death and taxes. When properly implemented, SEO can very likely improve your organic search rankings. But be leery of any search marketing company that makes guarantees. There are simply too many factors and variables for SEO success to be guaranteed, and some results from those companies may only last a short period of time - leaving you in the lurch after the very expensive honeymoon period.

Myth #8 - Build It And They Will Come
Once upon a time, before the Internet became so cluttered, you could build something new and interesting and it would attract attention without any effort. But now, with multi-millions of websites on the Internet, you must work to draw attention to your innovation. Do not assume that people will find it simply because it is cool!

Myth #9 - NoFollow Links Are A Waste Of Time
Acquiring links that are tagged as "NoFollow" are not a waste of time. A mix of both DoFollow and NoFollow links looks far more natural to the search engine algorithms than a website that has all DoFollow or all NoFollow links. Additionally, some search marketing studies suggest that not all search engines pay attention to the NoFollow attribute, and they do in fact value a NoFollow link the same way that they would value a DoFollow link.

Myth #10 - Google Is The Only Search Engine that matters
While it is true that Google is by far the largest search engine, a decent volume of web traffic can still be generated by achieving a high ranking in other search engines for competitive search terms.

SEO Crash Course

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

In business, location is everything — and that includes where you are on the Internet. The way people find that online location is through search engines. So, while a pure brick-and-mortar consideration of location involves being on a good street with a highly visible sign, the online version means ranking high when someone does a search to buy what your "store" sells. Search-engine optimization, the art of improving your search rank, isn’t hard, but it’s something a lot of small businesses don’t pay attention to — either because they’re too busy, or because it sounds both technical and scary. Amit Bakshi, who oversees oDesk’s SEO efforts, puts together a very basic primer:

SEO in a nutshell
All search engines, like Google, Yahoo and Bing, want their users to find the quality websites they are looking for. You need to make a top-notch website, in a way that both human customers and search-engine "spider-bots" can identify. These programs crawl the Web to find sites, and send back information that allows the search engineers to rank the sites through complex algorithms. So SEO is the process of establishing your site as attractive and relevant to these Web crawlers. There are three main steps or considerations: Clean up your site design, create quality content and reach out with links.

Step 1: Designed to Succeed
Your website needs to be both easy to find and easy to read. To make it easy to find, consider what your customers would search for. "The first step is to figure out which keywords you’re likely to be discovered with," Bakshi says. "The basic terms should be pretty obvious, but later you can augment that with a bit of keyword research."

If you’re a florist in Boston, the searches you want to top are variations of flower delivery in Boston. Start with the page title, that field in the code that tells search engines what the page is called. “Bob’s Blooms” won’t tell Google anything. "Boston Flower Delivery — Bob’s Blooms," or "Bob’s Blooms — Boston Florist," will be more relevant to someone trying to get a fistful of peonies to Beacon Hill. Working with your web designer and/or webmaster, make sure your site is easy for search engines — and humans — to navigate, and make sure the key terms appear prominently.

Step 2: Quality
Wins Google and its competitors spend millions of dollars on search algorithms that have just one purpose: to present the highest-quality websites to users anytime they search for something. An important aspect of rising to the top of a search is to actually be a quality website. Smart, well-written content on the topics close to your heart (and bottom line) will improve your rankings, and it’s an ongoing effort. You or a qualified marketing writer should routinely expand your site with good content on relevant subjects, such as how to preserve fresh-cut flowers in a hot Boston summer, which flowers are the best deals in Boston, season by season, or a feature on arrangements you’ve done to suit various Boston wedding venues.

Step 3: Get Out There
What search engines value most is a site that real humans value, and that appreciation is measured by inbound links. When other sites start pointing to your site, you look more authoritative and rank higher in search engines. As a Boston florist, you’d would probably want to trade links with local wedding planners and party stores, and might comment on forums and blogs about the community or industry, with a link back to your site. There’s considerable etiquette involved in link exchange (check out the resources below), but the basics are: relevance, politeness and quality comments. You can take the time to do this yourself, or delegate it to your linkbuilder.

Don’t be intimidated by SEO. There’s a lot of information online, and the basics are pretty easy to pick up. After all, knowing who your customers are and how to create an appealing storefront were part of your original business plan, right? SEO shouldn’t take over your life, but I do keep a basic SEO strategy in place.

Simple rules for improving your Google Rank

Friday, May 21, 2010

Google is the internet's most popular and perhaps most important search engine. In addition to being a top search in itself, it powers the search engine components of AOL and Yahoo to name just a few. So if you haven't figured it out already, you'd better have some understanding how Google indexes and ranks your web page.

Here's what Google looks at:

1. Link Popularity
Contrary to popular belief, just exchanging vast amounts of links with other sites doesn't necessarily make you popular. Getting a link to your site on an already high-rate, popular site does it. If Google thinks Site A is popular, and they link to you - then you are considered popular as well. Link popularity is calculated on all of the pages of your website, so make sure to link to all of the important pages on your website.

2. Meta Tags
Google considers your Title and ALT Meta Tags when indexing your page. It does not give much weight or consideration to your Description Meta Tags or Keyword Meta Tags.

a. Title Tags: Title tags play heavily in your ranking for a search on Google. Title tags with just your company name on every page are not going to cut it. Or are you a victim of "new page 1" title tags because you forgot to name your pages? If so, go fix your Title tags right now!

The Title tag is what appears at the top of a Google search result, so it should describe what your business is all about and should include keywords people would use to find your site. Google will read about 59 characters (including spaces) in a Title.

b. ALT Tags: Google also reads the ALT tags that are attached to your graphics. They are a good way to include more keywords in your web page. They are also the words that appear when you move your mouse over a graphic (For more information on ALT Tags, see

3. Content
Google searches the content on your site to return relevant search results. Be sure to include relevant keywords in the text of all your pages. Also, try to keep them near the top of your pages - Google may not crawl all the way down your page.

For example, if someone would search for your site with the keywords "cloth diapers" - be sure to include those words in your Title tag and near the top of your web page.

4. Domain Name
Having your keywords in your domain name may boost your ranking. Google seems to favor sites with keywords in their domain.

For example, if you search for "diaper" on Google, the top results have the word "diaper" in the domain name.

These are the beginning basics of pleasing Google. Wait a few weeks for Google to index the changes and see what works and what doesn't. Remember to check often, change often and always keep on top of your efforts!

SEO Trick of the Day: Links

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ok, so we are all getting to know the ins and outs of Search Engine Optimization: key words, meta titles, indexing, and image tags...

Here's one I bet you over looked:

Using KEYWORDS in your text link.

That's right, inserting your keywords into text links on your site will help boost your search engine rank.

Whether the link is to another page on your own site, a completely different link or an affiliate link, putting a keyword for your own marketing is key.

An Example:

If your website is about "Website Marketing", for instance, you want several links on your page with the keywords 'website marketing' in the text.

Where you're linking to isn't as important (although the page should be relevant content).

Of course, this strategy won't do much for you if you haven't implemented other SEO techniques for your site in the first place, but this just may be the final trick it takes to raise your page rank!

Website Marketing Strategies

Friday, April 27, 2007

So, you want to start with this "SEO" stuff - getting my site noticed on the internet...

BUT - you know nothing about it, you're not a web guru and you certainly don't have the money to hire a big firm for thousands of dollars.

How do you get started, then? How can you make a difference with your new or small business?

Try these on for starters:

Search Engines
Make sure your and/or your web developer are up to date on the latest techniques to access search engines and directories. This means your web site can be easily found from anywhere on the Internet. Make sure that your site is listed with the most popular search engines and directories. These include sites like Google, Yahoo!, AltaVista, InfoSeek and many others.
STRATEGY: Visit the search engines and look for the link and directions on 'how to add your URL'. It's free and it's easy. Also make sure to list in - the directory that most other search engines get their info from.

Adding Value To Your Web Site
Repeat visits and referrals are important to the success of your presence. Find the items and information that will bring your clients back to your web site and your products.
STRATEGY: Offer regular promotions, updated news & content and offer incentives (frequent customers get discounts or free gifts)

Detailed Statistic Analysis
Your Website should have a comprehensive, real-time statistics package available. By tracking the movement through your site, you can determine which of your products or services stimulates the most interest. Statistical user information such as city, country, browser type and operating system can help us determine target market areas and users to help increase traffic and sales. You can also see where your visitors are coming from - whether it's a search engine, an ad or an online directory - great for targeting your efforts.
STRATEGY: If you don't know how to access your stats, ask your hosting company. If your hosting company doesn't provide them, get a new hosting company!

Directory Advertising
In the online world of information, many web sites are strictly functioning as web "directories". These directories provide information to the public about various industries, and provide links to those sites that do business in that industry. Having your site listed on these directories will not only help to increase traffic to your site, but will increase the "popularity" of your site by having it linked on yet another page. Costa Pacific can find and request links to sites that complement your business.
STRATEGY: Do a search on the search engines for your industry, as though you're looking for your own type of business, you'll be surprised how many directories come up that you can get your business listed on! Many of these directories are free, or are very low cost, for just a few dollars a month.

Cross Link Marketing
Cross-linking is a standard practice in the Internet world and is one of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to drive traffic to your website. By providing a link to someone else's website, they in return provide a link back to yours, so every time you link your website to another, you add one more avenue of exposure. This can be accomplished in several different ways. Any website that you provide a link to, or advertise on your website, should promote you as well.
STRATEGY: Approach all of the people that you currently work with. Ask them if they would add a link from their website to yours, and that you'll do the same for them. Explain that you are paying to advertise your website wherever possible and that the more traffic you drive to your site, the more traffic they will receive. Also, contact sites who's services or products you really would LIKE to show on your site along side your own, and ask about reciprocal linking.

Next week, we'll get into pay per click advertising and the very inexpensive way to increase your site's rank and popularity!