Saturday, December 16, 2017

Branding | Marketing | Social Media | SEO

Improve Your Personal Brand’s Social Networks for SEO with These Tips

Search engine marketing and social media work together in building visibility online, which is a change from the older traditional methods of link building and keyword usage. Social media, in particular, is a large influence in the way people look for information, which is driven by conversations and phrases. Google’s latest algorithm reflects this and influences the way personal brands publish content.

Has your brand’s website ranking seen a decline? There are new methods you can use that can attract readers, and improve your placement on search engines. In order to be successful, you need to be aware of the latest trends in marketing.

Today’s social-driven SEO methods differ from those in the past, which means that in-depth and original articles are now in favor for readers. Here are a few ways that will help you improve your following online.

Online Search: SEO

SEO 2018: 15 Rules for Dominating Online Search Results

Seems like yesterday that I was writing about SEO in 2017. Now, 2018 is near. Are the rules changing much? Sort of. But, the fundamentals are staying the same. You still can't game the system. You can't take shortcuts or cut corners. If you want to absolutely crush the SEO game in 2018, you need to put in the work.

The truth? Understanding search engine optimization takes time. With hundreds of rules to Google's algorithm, it's no wonder it's so confusing. But, to stay ahead of the proverbial curve with SEO in 2018, you simply need to put in the time and the effort to deliver real value. Not try use shady tactics. No. Real value.

What exactly does that mean? Well, in order to properly convey the underlying rules to you, let's start with a story. Let's pretend you just opened up a new business and you walk into a bank. You sit down with the banker and explain your fantastic business model. You even show him a dazzling business plan.

SEO | Machine Learning | Google

SEO & Machine Learning: Adapting To Google's New Realities

Machine learning has been on the horizon for a couple of years, but only a few SEO professionals have been paying close attention. Most SEOs opt for tried-and-true on-page and off-page optimization methods, as machine learning is still in its infancy and has not yet fundamentally changed the SEO landscape. As time goes on, however, SEOs who choose to turn a blind eye to machine learning will definitely be left behind. It is beyond doubt that the impact of machine learning algorithms on a site’s visibility in search will only increase.

In the not-too-distant future, you may notice your clients’ sites experiencing massive ups and downs in Google ranking. Your first guess might be that the search giant has released a new algorithm update. And while that may be the case, erratic drops in SERPs and traffic could possibly be related to Google’s efforts to implement machine learning, in order to rank sites more efficiently. It is time for SEO professionals to admit that their role and goals will have to evolve over the next couple of years. We had best be prepared for the upcoming revolution, and figure out what we can do to adapt to the new realities of search. But first let’s clarify what machine learning actually is.

According to Wikipedia, “Machine learning is a field of computer science that gives computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed.” Basically, being a subfield of artificial intelligence, machine learning teaches machines to perform activities that require human intelligence. Though machine learning has been around as a distinct field of computer science since the 1990s, its heyday only began in the 2010s, when corporations such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple started collecting dozens of terabytes of data about their customers.

Big data is key to the massive advances that machine learning as a field has experienced since the 2010s. The more data fed to AI algorithms, the more they can be taught to complete specific actions. More data means more variety for AI.

SEO, Marketing Tools

Win Big with Custom SEO & Marketing Tools

SEO and digital marketing are not monolithic. So why should your reporting be?
It’s time to bring data reporting out of the Stone Age.

With each passing day, website optimization and online marketing become more diverse, and as a result more complex.

You can forget trying to get the whole picture from a single dataset. That’s so 2017.
With the new year right around the corner, why not get the full scoop with cross-dataset custom analysis? Experience the data revolution with the full-on insights that come from tracking correlations from multiple data sources on a graph that is the definition of versatile.

SEO - Prep For 2108

Your 2018 Technical SEO Checklist

Keeping up with Google's algorithms is a full-time job. In the past year it's cracked down on ad-heavy content (Fred), shaken up local search results (Possum), and completely changed how websites are indexed (mobile-first indexing).

If you forgot to tend to your technical SEO while you were busy surviving Google algorithm updates, I could hardly blame you. Fortunately, there's no time like the present to double-check your site health and conduct an SEO audit.

This checklist will run you through all the technical SEO fundamentals you need in place in the year ahead.

1. Install essential tools

Your ability to improve your SEO hinges on your tools' ability to find and fix technical problems. Here are the absolute essentials you'll need:
  • Google Analytics: Track website traffic and gain insight into your visitors.
  • Google Search Console: Measure site performance and errors. If you're targeting US markets, you might also want to sign up for Bing Webmaster Tools.
  • Yoast SEO plugin (if you're using WordPress): Optimize your content, metadata, sitemap, keywords, and more(must have for WordPress sites).
  • An SEO auditing tool: I'll be using my tool, WebSite Auditor.
Those tools are the absolute bare minimum for improving your technical SEO.

Content Marketing | SEO

How Content Marketing Plays Into SEO (and Vice Versa)

Content and SEO go together so well, it seems almost frivolous to talk about them separately. However, there still seem to be a wide variety of businesses and even marketing experts that believe these silos don’t really have a lot in common. After all, an Altimeter study cited by Curata found that 30 percent of marketers don’t have a consistent or integrated strategy, meaning that they have siloed their different areas of marketing.

This can hinder productivity, communication, and improvement. When marketers have worked together on an integrated strategy, the majority of content creators have cited SEO as one of the aspects of marketing that has had the biggest impact on their organization’s bottom line. Below are some of the ways that content and SEO influence one another to create better content, search visibility, and an overall more effective online presence.

Good Content = Better Search Visibility

As search engines continue to refine their algorithms for indexing and displaying content in its search results, the need for high quality content to display for user searches has become even more crucial. As more and more content is created each day, the only way to stand out amongst those who create useless content is to focus on creating high quality, useful content that gives users what they are looking for. Yoast lays out its case for why the quality of content affects SEO. Its main points are this:

1. It provides better user comprehension, e.g. it gives them what they are looking for

2. It lowers the bounce rate, which is something search engines monitor

3. It creates more trust in the website, which may lead to more inbound links and return traffic, both of which are relevant to SEO

4. It leads to more social media shares, which some SEOs believe has some sort of impact on search (though search engines haven’t directly confirmed this correlation as of now).

In addition, making sure your past content is still useful to the reader has SEO benefits as well. Because of Google’s “freshness” ranking factor, updating content to make sure it’s as relevant and up-to-date as possible has long-term SEO benefits. SEOs have long known about Google’s interest in the dates of content. It was first introduced in 2003 with Google’s patent on information retrieval based on date. Then, in 2011, more information came out about the “freshness” ranking factor as part of the algorithm and how content recency affects content’s place in search engine result pages (SERPs).

SEO - Data Driven, Marketing

A balanced approach to data-driven SEO

We have nearly unlimited access to information and data. For search marketers, this can be a blessing or a curse. It’s very easy to get sucked into the never-ending pool of data — but this rarely, if ever, benefits our work. So how do we protect ourselves from information overload?

Futurologist Alvin Toffler predicted in 1970 that the rapidly increasing amounts of information produced would eventually cause people problems. More than a few times, I’ve found myself overwhelmed and overloaded with information, and my guess is that you have also experienced this phenomenon.

If you take your SEO seriously, then you understand the necessity of tracking your efforts — after all, data is at the core of good SEO.