Client Communication is the Key to a Successful SEO

seo idea

If you’ve been doing SEO for any length of time, you’ve undoubtedly experienced your fair share of failures. And in many cases, frustratingly, the SEO program itself was not the issue. While I’ve discussed meta topics such as management challenges, getting executive buy-in, and the need for flexibility in the past, I haven’t directly addressed the question, “What do you do if SEO isn’t your SEO problem?”

As search marketers, we work our tails off analyzing data, search results, client websites and more, with the goal of providing recommendations that will move the needle. Unfortunately, the best recommendations in the world don’t matter if they aren’t implemented — and therein lies one of the biggest challenges of SEO.

Let’s look at a few common obstacles that can hinder an SEO program’s progress and discuss how we can overcome them.

Just following up

We’ve all been there: You’ve sent one, two, three emails and still have heard nothing back. How can you possibly get anything done if the client won’t even answer your emails?

It’s not a simple solution. People are busy; they have other priorities, and it’s our job to ensure our clients understand the importance and value of the program.

If a contact goes silent, there are a few options we can try.

Pick up the phone

Your clients are busy people, and many of them probably receive dozens or even hundreds of emails per day. That’s a lot of messages to sort through! While it can be frustrating to not receive a response, it’s possible your contact has more important emails to get through.

Pick up the phone. It’s so simple, yet we often forgot to do it. In the age of technology, everyone is emailing and texting. Talking to someone can go a long way.

Use an email tracker

If your emails aren’t being responded to, maybe you are sending them at the wrong time of day. Even worse, maybe they aren’t even getting to your client’s inbox.

Tools like Yesware and Bananatag show you when a person opens your email, allowing you to see if your emails are being read — and giving you an opportunity to follow up quickly. Did your client just open the email? Send another one while it’s top of mind, or give them a quick call.

Go to the next person

Sometimes, the only option is to go a level up. I only like to use this as a last resort — we certainly don’t want to make anyone look bad, but at the end of the day, the program’s success is tied to our ability to make things happen.

I disagree with you

As a marketing consultant, you typically end up working directly with an organization’s internal marketing team — a marketing team with experienced professionals, brand knowledge and more often than not, a whole lot of opinions.

For agencies, the key to program success is getting buy-in from key decision-makers. The person in charge needs to ensure that their team approves and implements what you are recommending. However, in some cases, the boss will rely on his or her team to make those decisions. And that’s OK. A sign of a good leader is trusting one’s team.

Unfortunately, the team may not always agree with what you are recommending. Perhaps they’ve done it a different way in the past or don’t think it’s worth the effort. How do we change their minds?

Lay out your strategy

It’s no secret that there’s a lack of education in the SEO world, both inside and out. The result? More work on the front end. Instead of just providing a recommendation, make sure you discuss the why. What is the overall goal, and how is this suggestion going to help them get there?

Pick your battles

We provide a lot of recommendations. In many cases, we make recommendations that aren’t going to move the needle significantly but are best practices that will make the site better. Sure, we’d like these implemented — but sometimes it’s okay if they aren’t. We have to pick our battles.

Let’s take ALT text, for example. A few weeks ago, I had a client who disagreed with an ALT text recommendation my team had made. The client wanted to use something else, so they decided they weren’t going to implement our suggestion. And that’s OK — overall, it wasn’t a high-priority task.

In all likelihood, you won’t be able to implement every SEO recommendation you put forth — so be sure to save your fights for the ones that are really going to matter.

Run a test

For efforts that may require additional time and resources, it can be hard to get buy-in. Suggest running a test.

A few months ago, we provided recommendations to improve a client’s product pages. Unfortunately, the client didn’t want to spend the time and effort making the changes. Our suggestion? There’s a new product page launching, so why don’t we try the proposed improvements on that page and see how it performs?

The new page outperformed all the others — and as a result, the team is now ready to go back and revisit the rest of the product section.

Like most things in life, we want reassurances. If we can prove that our recommendations will get results, it makes it much easier to push for others down the line.

We don’t have time

Time. Precious time. How often have you uttered the phrase, “There’s not enough time in the day?” You aren’t alone.

We only have so many hours in our work week, so we have to prioritize the things that matter to us. Unfortunately, SEO isn’t always the top item on your client’s list of things that have to get done. How can we overcome this hurdle?

Agency implementation

We learned a long time ago that if we wanted things done, we needed to do them ourselves. While agency implementation takes time (and trust from the client), it ensures your recommendations are applied and the program can move forward.

Prioritize recommendations

There’s a thing I like to call “deliverable overload.” A client falls behind, but we continue to send out deliverables. Instead of working through them from start to finish, the client gets overloaded and is unsure where to begin.

Make it easier. When a client starts getting behind, the first thing I do is make a list of outstanding deliverables and prioritize them based on what’s going to have the biggest impact on the site and/or what can be done quickly. That makes it easier for the client to sort through our recommendations and start working on them.

Make your case with data

It’s extremely frustrating to have to put together a bad report for your client — especially when you know that the reason for the poor performance is that nothing was actually done.

If you aren’t making any headway, and if you aren’t able to implement the recommendations yourself, start pulling data. What metrics are important to the client? Show them how those metrics are (or are not) being impacted, and explain how your proposed changes can help.

Final thoughts

As search marketers, our jobs are hard. On top of doing great SEO work, we are managing different personalities, dealing with internal company issues and trying to manage our own day. But if we can proactively address the issues above, we can remove some of the biggest impediments to our SEO program’s success.

5 Effective Tips for a Successful Client Relationship Management

 

5 effective tips for a successful client relationship management

Are you wondering about the secrets behind successful client relationships?

In any successful business partnership, there’s a secret to attaining that success. We start with establishing relationships with your business partners and clients.  A good relationship with other key stakeholders or other agency partners is also important. You should also value agency partners since they can also help attain the success of client relationship management.

Let’s remind ourselves that clients or business partners are people too. From  there, you should have an idea on how they should be treated well by asking yourself the same question.

How would you want to be treated by your business partner? After you answered this question, you should have a basic idea of the proper way to deal with your business partners and clients. This will start your progress in attaining a successful business partnership.

In this series, we’ll be discussing: handling client requests, earning client’s trust and respect, dealing with an unhappy client, utilizing meeting breaks, and collaborating with other agencies.

Handling Client Requests

Learn how to handle client requests when it all piles up on your plate. The right approach in times like this will be your stepping stone to the next step of this process. It will also help you to be more mindful of your deadlines if you know how to properly handle clients’ requests.

That’s what we’ll tackle on the next part of this series.

Earning Client’s Trust and Respect

Earning Client's Trust and Respect

Once you know how to handle client’s requests, more tasks will be assigned to you. Since the clients know you can handle their requests well. Now, it’s the right time to start earning their trust and respect. This is an important factor in every working relationship.

When clients trust and respect you and how you work, things will be smoother for you at work.

 

Dealing with an Unhappy Client

Sometimes, you won’t be able to impress your clients with your work. When this happens, don’t let yourself get down. You need to know how to deal with those kinds of situations.

Effective Use of Meeting Breaks

Meeting breaks can be meaningful and productive if you know how to spend your time wisely.

Collaboration with Other Agencies

Two heads are better than one. At some point, you’ll need to work with different agencies. Some clients will need you to work with their other partners on a project. In such circumstances, you should be ready.

Know the basics of collaborating with other agencies. Doing so will help you achieve a smooth working relationship with them and in turn, your client will know you are a professional and can make a project work.

Conclusion

Today, we discussed an overview of the tips to achieve a successful client relationship management. It takes time and work before you can attain it. In this series, we will discuss these tips one by one and study and observe them.

In the next part of the series, we’ll be delving deeper into the right way of handling clients’ requests. Stay tuned!

 

Reference: Seer

Photo credits: The Balance, Cleverism

With Business Booming, Bradley T. Harris Jewelers Needed A Larger Showroom

BTHJ-rings

Atlanta, GA, November 9, 2017Bradley T. Harris Jewelers, a full service jewelry store, recently moved to a brand new, larger space within the same complex.. Their address is still 4360 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd, Atlanta, GA  30341, but now they are in Suite #160.  It is conveniently located just inside the 285 Perimeter, in the Plaza Square North Office Building.

Store owner, Brad Harris, knew that he had to make some changes.  His business had grown tremendously since he first opened and he basically needed more room.  However, he was reluctant want to move because his current location was ideal and very convenient for his customers.  

Harris said “I realized we needed more space to showcase our expanding jewelry selections and to also expand our jewelry repair back-room.  My reluctance was that our current store was easy to find and convenient for our customers, so I didn’t want to move to a location that might not be as convenient to get to. As luck would have it, a much larger space became available in the same building!  Even better was that it was on the ground floor with ample parking.”

Locally owned and operated, Bradley T. Harris is a boutique-style jewelry store specializing in custom designs and fine jewelry. From fine diamonds, engagement and wedding rings, precious gemstones, platinum, karat gold jewelry, to custom designing, expert jewelry repairs, original designs, and jewelry appraisals, Bradley T. Harris is a full service jeweler in the Atlanta area and also GIA certified in Diamonds, Diamond Grading, Gem Identification, and Colored Stones.

Bradley T. Harris Jewelers is passionate about helping their clients find unique, high quality custom jewelry to fit any occasion and is very committed to providing an outstanding customer experience.

About Bradley T. Harris
With over 30 years in the jewelry industry and 28 years in business, Bradley is a well-seasoned Jeweler/Goldsmith, a GIA Graduate Gemologist, a member of the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating, a registered Jeweler, and a member of the esteemed American Gem Society.  He is experienced and knowledgeable in diamonds, gemstones, custom designs, and jewelry repair and appraisals.

 

Contact Information:

Bradley T. Harris Jewelers
4360 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd
Suite #160
Atlanta, GA   30341
770-644-0842

 

Panorama Marketing & Media, LLC
555 Hawkins Store Rd
Kennesaw, GA  30144
678-391-9136

Attend a 2-Day SAFe Workshop/Certificate

SAFe implementation

Delivering customer value through effective execution and coordination of program increments in the enterprise

In this two-day course, you will learn how the roles of Product Owner, Product Manager, Solution Manager, and Epic Owner drive the delivery of value in the SAFe enterprise. You’ll get an overview of the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®), the Lean-Agile mindset, and an understanding of how the Product Owner and Product Manager roles operate in the enterprise to drive the delivery of value. Finally, you will get an in-depth understanding of the specific activities, tools, and mechanics used to effectively deliver value to the enterprise.

By the end of this course, you should be able to write Epics, Capabilities, Features, and User Stories within the context of SAFe, and have a solid foundation for managing backlogs and programs in a Lean-Agile enterprise.

Audience

The following individuals will benefit from this course:

  • Product Owners, Product Line Managers, Product Managers, Business Owners, and Business Analysts
  • Solution Managers, Portfolio Managers, Program Managers, PMO personnel, and Process Leads
  • Enterprise, Solution, and System Architects

Associated Certification: SAFe POPM

Learning Goals

After this course, you should be able to:

  • Identify the major components of the Scaled Agile Framework
  • Connect the Scaled Agile Framework to core Lean-Agile principles and values
  • Identify key roles and responsibilities within a SAFe implementation
  • Contribute to Portfolio content using epics and the Portfolio kanban
  • Apply Value Stream strategies to define and manage solution value
  • Engage in Product Manager strategies
  • Operate as a SAFe Product Owner
  • Develop a stakeholder engagement plan
  • Build and grow communities of practice

Topics Covered

  • SAFe PO/PM Introduction
  • Embracing the Lean-Agile mindset
  • Exploring Product Owner and Product Manager roles
  • Contributing to Portfolio content
  • Defining and managing solution value
  • Being an effective SAFe Product Owner
  • Being an effective SAFe Product Manager
  • Engaging stakeholders
  • Building your Communities of Practice

Prerequisites

One or more of the following prerequisites are recommended for students planning to attend this course and take the POPM certification exam:

  • Leading SAFe
  • Leading SAFe Live Lessons
  • SAFe experience

SAFe Certification

Attending the class prepares you to take the exam and become a certified SAFe Product Owner/Product Manager (POPM).

SAFe Certification Kit

Attendees who pass the exam will receive:

  • A SAFe PO/PM certificate
  • One-year certified membership as a SAFe PO/PM
  • A SAFe PO/PM branding kit with the POPM certification mark

What You Get

The class registration includes:

  • Attendee workbooks
  • Access to the SAFe® 4 Product Owner/Product Manager Exam – requires course attendance
  • One-year membership to Scaled Agile, with access to members-only resources such as webinars, workbooks, guidance presentations, and advance notice of upcoming SAFe products
  • SAFe PO/PM (POPM) attendance certificate upon request

Exam Details

  • Exam Name: SAFe® 4 Product Owner/Product Manager Exam

  • Exam Format: Multiple Choice, True/False

  • Exam Delivery: Web-based; Open book;

  • Exam Access: First attempt free within 30 days from course completion date

  • Exam Duration: Candidates have 30 days from course completion date to answer all questions and submit their exam.

  • Number of Questions: 59

  • Passing Score: 35 (60%)

  • Sample Test Questions

Annual Renewal

Renewals are from the date of certification.

  • Renewal fee: $100
  • 10 continuing education/outreach hours

Professional Development Units (PDUs) and Scrum Education Units (SEUs)

  • Attendees may be eligible to apply for 15 PDUs toward their continuing education requirements with the Project Management Institute (PMI) for PMP, PgMP, and PMI-ACP certifications
  • Attendees may be eligible to apply for SEUs under category C, toward earning or renewing their CSP through Scrum Alliance

Cancellations & Refunds

Substitutions are accepted at any time. Cancellations must be notified by email and refunds will be provided according to the following:

We reserve the right to postpone or cancel this event if there are less than 5 registrations or if presenters are unable to attend due to illness. If necessary, you will be notified no later than 5 days prior to the event and all registration payments will be refunded promptly. We will not be responsible for any other costs incurred.

 

The Silicon Review Names Atlanta Based Panorama Marketing & Media, as one of the 30 Fastest Growing Private Companies to Watch

30 Fastest Growing Private Companies to watch 2017

Atlanta, GA, September 1, 2017- Atlanta based Panorama Marketing & Media, was chosen among the 30 fastest growing private companies to watch by The Silicon Review.  The Silicon Review is the world’s most trusted online and print community for business & technology professionals. This announcement showcases 30 private companies that are making a splash in the tech market and growing at an incredible rate.

“A dedicated and experienced team committed to growing client businesses by creatively increasing conversions, engagements, and sales”, is what Panorama Marketing & Media is all about states Quique Lopez, Founder and CEO.  They have seen a tremendous growth in the last 2 years with the emergence of social media as a driving force in marketing in 2017.  The company develops creative solutions aimed at increasing sales, exposure, and of course profitability for their clients. 

Panorama Marketing and Media (PM&M) is a Google AdWords Partner and offers a wide range of affordable, customized marketing solutions for any size business, not only locally, but globally as well.   The company also uses Bing Ads and Facebook ads along with creative cope, SEO, video and multimedia content creation to create a consistent lead pipeline. PM&M specializes in mobile technology, local marketing and social media with a focus on soccer, music, art and multi-cultural local events to provide clients quality engagements from new and existing customers.

The company has provided marketing services for hundreds of companies over many ears and continues to grow and adapt to new technologies while keeping creativity as the focal point in marketing.  They have grown to 3 offices in the Metro Atlanta area and opening one in Denver, CO.

Quique Lopez has over 3 decades of lifestyle marketing in soccer, music art, and multi-cultural events.  Their approach supports a uniquely American ideal of the great melting pot and that by celebrating differences, people come together.  He states “We have strict standards on clients we accept.  Social media is our vehicle to bring a positive and hones message on behalf of our clients”.

The Silicon Review is the world’s most trusted online and print community for business & technology professionals.  Community members include CEOs, CIOs, CTOs, IT VPs and Managers, along with diverse IT professionals.

The Silicon Review encompasses nine technology and vertical communities: Software, IT Services, Cloud, Mobile, Big Data, Security, Telecommunications, Hot Start-ups and The Best Companies to work for. Each community leader collaborates with industry gurus, technology managers, researchers, top technology journalists, consultants and industry analysts. This is the place where senior level IT buyers and decision-makers come to learn and also share their experiences in regard to products, technologies and technology trends.

For more information about Quique Lopez and Panorama Marketing & Media, contact

Panorama Marketing & Media or call 678-391-9136.

 

Contact Information:

Panorama Marketing & Media, LLC
555 Hawkins Store Rd, Kennesaw GA 30144
Phone: 678-391-9136

The Emerging Atlanta Tech World- Don’t Get Left Behind

Big Change Is Coming to the Atlanta Tech World. Are You Ready

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As a tech company, you couldn’t be in a better place. Silicon Valley’s star is waning, as consumer apps are fewer and farther between and the consumer tech giants are devouring them whenever they appear. Atlanta, on the other hand, is rising like the phoenix. Forbes magazine just named it #3 on its list of “5 U.S. Cities Poised to Become Tomorrow’s Tech Meccas,” the only city on the list east of the Mississippi River.

But in the midst of all the opportunities will also be challenges, as the tech giants move into niches they used to disdain and the lure of profits induces investors to pour previously unthinkable amounts of money into building and promoting potential tech winners. To secure investment in your new or better mouse trap, PE’s and VC’s want to see a well-thought-out brand strategy. In accounting, a brand defined as an intangible asset is often the most valuable asset on a corporation’s balance sheet. Despite this fact, many start-up and tech companies spend copious amounts of money developing the product with little or no thought to the brand and go-to-market strategy.

Learn what you can do to take advantage of the coming opportunities and overcome the challenges of being a tech start-up in a glorious new world the global giants won’t relinquish willingly.

Key takeaway

Be prepared to be hands-on. We’ll help you work through fundamental issues specific to your brand. You’ll leave with actionable insights you can use in your own marketing.

Directions and Parking Information:

Atlanta Tech Village is located in the heart of Buckhead at the corner of Lenox and Piedmont Road.

 

Amazon Advertisement Revenues Growing at an Incredible Rate

In October 2017, Amazon announced their third-quarter earnings, which reported sales of $43.7 billion, up 34% compared to last year. 

The more interesting part of the report is that $1 billion of that revenue actually came from advertising and is 58% of this year’s growth!

Amazon is Exploding
Amazon is Exploding

In Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky’s statement, he said, “Advertising revenue continues to grow very quickly and its year-over-year growth rate is actually faster than the other revenue line item that you see there [in the ‘other’ category].”

Amazon is now going head to head with Google in product searches and has gotten the attention of retailers, brand advertisers, and search marketers. Looks like Amazon is catching up to Google and planning to surpass them…stay tuned!

To read more about this story, visit Search Engine Land.

Relax, Network and Meet New Friends

DESCRIPTION

MEGA SOCIAL MIXER
presented by MEGASOCIALATL.COM, ALPFA, PROSPANICA, HACEMOS & HYPE
Thursday, November 16th 2017
6:00pm – 9:00pm
Eclipse Di Luna Dunwoody
4505 Ashford Dunwoody Rd, Atlanta, GA 30346 – 678.205.5862

Mingle with Atlanta’s Elite Professionals in an Exclusive
After-Hours Social while enjoying complimentary Hors d’oeuvres.
Reward your hard work with a night of stimulating conversations
among peers plus their prospective organizations.
(ASSOCIATIONS, CONSULATES, CHAMBERS, AFFINITY GROUPS)
Seek a bit of life after work at this quarterly event.

……………………………………………………..

FOR FREE ADMISSION TEXT “MIXER” TO 50500 OR RSVP ABOVE

Bring your business cards for a chance to WIN raffle prizes.

Source Url: https://www.eventbrite.com/

Learn the Ins and Outs of Real Estate Investing

Financial Freedom Education and Investor Community
Thursday, November 2, 2017 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM (EDT)
Atlanta, GA

Event Details

Welcome…We would like to invite you to our 2hr real estate investing orientation. Bring something to take notes with and come sit back and listen to why real estate investing is meant for everyone… Whether you like real estate or not, you might not realize yet that you already are an investor. You most likely pay for where you live now and you invest in someone’s dreams! We all either pay a rent/mortgage or we get paid rent/mortgage. Would you rather pay someone for where you live, or would you like to get paid? How would you like to get FREE education, maybe a FREE car every couple years? How would you like to take control of your retirement … We will show you how SMART investors are doing exactly that.

At our 2hr real estate investing orientation, we intend to show why that possibility has slipped past the 99% and what we are doing with real estate TODAY! We will

  • show you the ONLY curriculum based, ongoing, and scalable education platform in the industry.
  • show you a plan that has assisted students, in our community, to a net worth over a million dollars in controlled assets.
  • show you how you can be involved in the properties that we are involved in.
  • show you to a working business model that you could have walk down the hall to your home office instead of fighting traffic.
  • show you the ways to make money, and how to be wealthy with a variety of strategies.
  • show you how you could be done interviewing for jobs for the rest of your life and comprehensively teach your children how to BE the same!

WE ARE LOOKING FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO MAKE MONEY:

In Real Estate Investing: We are looking for those who want to learn how to be an investor and those who want to build wealth through investments in Real Estate. Not only do we invest locally, but we also invest nationwide. Our investment associates earn anywhere from ~$5000-$100,000 per real estate transaction depending on the type of real estate transaction. A real estate license or experience is not necessary, but if you have either, great. Either way, we are here to show you how to be a real estate investor, where to invest, and our ways to make money. We work with everybody in our real estate investor training programs and here to help you build your own real estate investment portfolio.

and/or

In Sales/Marketing: If you enjoy getting out and being around people, attending our wealth building workshops and real estate seminars, this can help you to network and get to help other people interested in real estate investing get started with their home based business. You can do most all your work from home! Once certified, our sales agents are paid to enroll new real estate investing training associates. We get paid on Tuesday’s & Friday’s (8X a month). Our home based business is yours to control as long as you are willing to network and help provide customer service to the people you get enrolled. That’s it!

We create successful real estate investors and we have the results to prove that our system works. You must be coachable, willing to work very hard, dedicated, and most importantly passionate about the field of REAL E$TATE. We are very selective of whom we work with, and timing is everything. NOW IS THE TIME to make YOUR move towards building wealth.

Source: https://www.eventbrite.com

Watch Out Google…Amazon in Coming Your Way

Amazon Q3 ad revenues surpass $1 billion

Yesterday, Amazon announced third-quarter earnings. The company reported sales growth of 34 percent to $43.7 billion. A year ago, Amazon reported $32.7 billion in sales.

For the purposes of this post, the noteworthy part is Amazon’s “other” revenue, which is basically advertising. Buried at the bottom of the Net Sales chart in the press release was this line item:

“Other” is defined by Amazon to include “sales not otherwise included above, such as certain advertising services and our co-branded credit card agreements.” It’s a safe bet, then, that ad sales for the quarter were $1+ billion, which represented 58 percent year-over-year growth. Since Q2 of 2016 ad sales have basically doubled.

On the earnings call, Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky said, “Advertising revenue continues to grow very quickly and its year-over-year growth rate is actually faster than the other revenue line item that you see there [in the ‘other’ category].”

The fact that Amazon is now on par with or surpasses Google in product search is not lost on retailers and brand advertisers. Reflective of the company’s intensifying effort to attract ad revenues from search marketers and agencies, Amazon made its first appearance at SMX East in New York City this week to promote Amazon Marketing Services advertising offerings.

Source Url: https://searchengineland.com

Duplicate Content- It’s All About Time Management

Google: Duplicate Content Issues Are Rainy Day Tasks

John Mueller from Google has a wonderful response to a question about duplicate content and how to measure how big of an issue it is on your web site. He posted it in the Google Webmaster Help forums.

In short, he called duplicate content issues an issue SEOs can work on, on one of those rainy days. He said Google does a good job dealing with it, and with all the issues you probably have on your site, duplicate content is probably not a primary issue relative to what else you have on your to do list.

Here is what John wrote:

Focusing on artificial metrics like that is not really that critical … Using tools to recognize issues is great, but you need to understand how these tools work, and take their output appropriately. For example, if you’re looking at a new site, it can be useful to get an overview of where potential issues with duplicate content might lie (and for that, crawling the site, using shingles and comparing them – via hash or directly, is a way to get a rough picture). However, when it comes to actually changing things, I’d recommend not blindly focusing on numbers like that and instead reviewing your content manually. “Is the primary content and purpose of these two pages the same? — Can they be combined into a single page?” Sometimes having the same content on multiple pages is desired, it’s certainly not something Google’s algorithms penalize a site for :). For the most part, I’d recommend looking at it as a user, and working your way through the site naturally. You’ll always find things to improve!… and, as always, try to keep a sense of scale in mind. If you’re spending a week only focusing on filtering out some duplicate content, is that really the best use of your time? How relevant will that de-duplication be in 1 month, in 1 year, in 5 years? Google generally does a good job of dealing with these things, so sometimes it’s worth just jotting the issue down in a “rainy day / when someone new comes on board / for the summer intern” list, and instead focusing on the bigger issues in the meantime.

So much here, I enjoyed reading it and wanted to share it with you all.

SOURCE URL: https://www.seroundtable.com

Google Assistant Offering Family Fun Night

Fun is a competitive battleground in the smart speaker race
Google Assistant Offering Family Fun Night

The battle of the smart speakers and home assistants is in full swing. And both Amazon and Google think that gaming and fun will help provide a competitive edge.

Amazon introduced Echo Buttons, which enable families to play Alexa-based games together, in September. Today Google announced a trove of games for families and kids: “[T]he Google Assistant now has more than 50 new games, activities and stories designed for families with kids.” They include trivia, musical chairs, storytelling and more.

Games for Google Assistant are available on Home devices, smartphones and other devices where the Assistant is available. This is also where Google seeks to compete, as a platform across more devices (“ambient computing”) than Amazon can offer.

Google has also made it possible to personalize the Assistant for kids under 13. Home devices can recognize up to six different voices. Accordingly, kids can use the same devices as their parents, but the Assistant will recognize the child’s voice and offer different options and experiences.

Parental controls are powered by “Family Link.” It’s an app that gives parents the ability to manage their kids’ Android device experiences.

SOURCE URL: https://searchengineland.com

Helpful Hints for SEO Neophytes

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Technical SEO is an awesome field. There are so many little nuances to it that make it exciting, and its practitioners are required to have excellent problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

In this article, I cover some fun technical SEO facts. While they might not impress your date at a dinner party, they will beef up your technical SEO knowledge — and they could help you in making your website rank better in search results.

Let’s dive into the list.

1. Page speed matters

Most think of slow load times as a nuisance for users, but its consequences go further than that. Page speed has long been a search ranking factor, and Google has even said that it may soon use mobile page speed as a factor in mobile search rankings. (Of course, your audience will appreciate faster page load times, too.)

Many have used Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to get an analysis of their site speed and recommendations for improvement. For those looking to improve mobile site performance specifically, Google has a new page speed tool out that is mobile-focused. This tool will check the page load time, test your mobile site on a 3G connection, evaluate mobile usability and more.

2. Robots.txt files are case-sensitive and must be placed in a site’s main directory

The file must be named in all lower case (robots.txt) in order to be recognized. Additionally, crawlers only look in one place when they search for a robots.txt file: the site’s main directory. If they don’t find it there, oftentimes they’ll simply continue to crawl, assuming there is no such file.

3. Crawlers can’t always access infinite scroll

And if crawlers can’t access it, the page may not rank.

When using infinite scroll for your site, make sure that there is a paginated series of pages in addition to the one long scroll. Make sure you implement replaceState/pushState on the infinite scroll page. This is a fun little optimization that most web developers are not aware of, so make sure to check your infinite scroll for  rel=”next” and rel=”prev“ in the code.

4. Google doesn’t care how you structure your sitemap

As long as it’s XML, you can structure your sitemap however you’d like — category breakdown and overall structure is up to you and won’t affect how Google crawls your site.

5. The noarchive tag will not hurt your Google rankings

This tag will keep Google from showing the cached version of a page in its search results, but it won’t negatively affect that page’s overall ranking.

6. Google usually crawls your home page first

It’s not a rule, but generally speaking, Google usually finds the home page first. An exception would be if there are a large number of links to a specific page within your site.

7. Google scores internal and external links differently

A link to your content or website from a third-party site is weighted differently than a link from your own site.

8. You can check your crawl budget in Google Search Console

Your crawl budget is the number of pages that search engines can and want to crawl in a given amount of time. You can get an idea of yours in your Search Console. From there, you can try to increase it if necessary.

9. Disallowing pages with no SEO value will improve your crawl budget

Pages that aren’t essential to your SEO efforts often include privacy policies, expired promotions or terms and conditions.

My rule is that if the page is not meant to rank, and it does not have 100 percent unique quality content, block it.

10. There is a lot to know about sitemaps

  • XML sitemaps must be UTF-8 encoded.
  • They cannot include session IDs from URLs.
  • They must be less than 50,000 URLs and no larger than 50 MB.
  • A sitemap index file is recommended instead of multiple sitemap submissions.
  • You may use different sitemaps for different media types: Video, Images and News.

11. You can check how Google’s mobile crawler ‘sees’ pages of your website

With Google migrating to a mobile-first index, it’s more important than ever to make sure your pages perform well on mobile devices.

Use Google Console’s Mobile Usability report to find specific pages on your site that may have issues with usability on mobile devices. You can also try the mobile-friendly test.

12. Half of page one Google results are now HTTPS

Website security is becoming increasingly important. In addition to the ranking boost given to secure sites, Chrome is now issuing warnings to users when they encounter sites with forms that are not secure. And it looks like webmasters have responded to these updates: According to Moz, over half of websites on page one of search results are HTTPS.

13. Try to keep your page load time to 2 to 3 seconds

Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller recommends a load time of two to three seconds(though a longer one won’t necessarily affect your rankings).

14. Robots.txt directives do not stop your website from ranking in Google (completely)

There is a lot of confusion over the “Disallow” directive in your robots.txt file. Your robots.txt file simply tells Google not to crawl the disallowed pages/folders/parameters specified, but that doesn’t mean these pages won’t be indexed. From Google’s Search Console Help documentation:

You should not use robots.txt as a means to hide your web pages from Google Search results. This is because other pages might point to your page, and your page could get indexed that way, avoiding the robots.txt file. If you want to block your page from search results, use another method such as password protection or noindex tags or directives.

15. You can add canonical from new domains to your main domain

This allows you to keep the value of the old domain while using a newer domain name in marketing materials and other places.

16. Google recommends keeping redirects in place for at least one year

Because it can take months for Google to recognize that a site has moved, Google representative John Mueller has recommended keeping 301 redirects live and in place for at least a year.

Personally, for important pages — say, a page with rankings, links and good authority redirecting to another important page — I recommend you never get rid of redirects.

17. You can control your search box in Google

Google may sometimes include a search box with your listing. This search box is powered by Google Search and works to show users relevant content within your site.

If desired, you can choose to power this search box with your own search engine, or you can include results from your mobile app. You can also disable the search box in Google using the nositelinkssearchbox meta tag.

18. You can enable the ‘notranslate’ tag to prevent translation in search

The “notranslate” meta tag tells Google that they should not provide a translation for this page for different language versions of Google search. This is a good option if you are skeptical about Google’s ability to properly translate your content.

19. You can get your app into Google Search with Firebase app indexing

If you have an app that you have not yet indexed, now is the time. By using Firebase app indexing, you can enable results from your app to appear when someone who’s installed your app searches for a related keyword.

Staying up to date with technical SEO

If you would like to stay up to date with technical SEO, there are a few great places to do that.

  • First, I recommend you watch the videos Barry Schwartz does each week.
  • Second, keep your eye on Search Engine Land.
  • Third, jump on every blog post Google publishes on Google Webmaster Central.
  • Finally, it is always a good idea to jump into a Google Webmaster hangout or simply watch the recording on YouTube.

 

SOURCE URL: https://searchengineland.com

Always, I Repeat, Always Follow the Google Guidelines!

Don't Break The Google Guidelines Even If Someone Recommends You Do

UPDATE: I am leaving this story as is but adding that my post was insensitive. I misinterpreted her question and embarrassed her. I am the one who should be embarrassed, not her. Here is my post, and I am sorry.

Sometimes I don’t get how people can simply ask Google questions about how to spam Google. I mean, if you know something is specifically written and against Google’s guidelines, why ask a Googler if it is okay to go against those guidelines? Do you think that Googler is going to say – yea, sure, go ahead, we are fine with you going against our webmaster guidelines?

But yet, I’ve seen this happen so many times on social media, in the forums and at conferences.

Here is one of the most recent examples on Twitter. An SEO said that the “Google docs it says not to add Product Schema to lists of products” and she then includes a screen shot of the policy from the Google docs. Then she goes on to say that people are telling her that if she does it anyway, it leads to positive traffic to the site – can she go ahead and do it since it is a traffic boost?

Source URL: https://www.seroundtable.com

How Blockchain Will Impact SEO

How blockchain will impact search marketing

If you’ve heard of Bitcoin then you most likely have heard of blockchain, the technology that enables Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to exist and function. The technology is forecast to disrupt many industries as it allows users to conduct transactions without a middleman in a secure and transparent format.

Some of the industries that can potentially be disrupted are car sales, voting, ridesharing, real estate, insurance, sports management, loyalty cards and gun tracking. While the search marketing industry is not as mainstream as the aforementioned industries, it can also be potentially disrupted by blockchain.

Now, before we go any further, this article is not about Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. However, if Bitcoin is adopted by large companies such as Amazon or Walmart, it will certainly have an impact on the future of payments between search marketing agencies, website owners, advertisers and others. Contract agreements will also be impacted, as the blockchain could be leveraged for more transparency and accuracy.

What is blockchain

Here is a great definition of blockchain offered by Don and Alex Tapscott, authors of a 2016 book called “Blockchain Revolution”:

The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.

In layman’s terms, it’s like a Google Doc spreadsheet that is shared with the public which displays transactions and is tamperproof. Many are considering blockchain to be as impactful as the internet was in the ’90s.

Impact on search engine marketing (SEM)

In the digital marketing world, many central authorities, such as Google and Facebook, connect advertisers with website owners. For example, Google is a central authority in programmatic ads, where it helps advertisers run ads on websites via the Google Display Network. Google essentially is the middleman that helps advertisers and website owners trust each other. If they already trusted each other, they would not need Google as an intermediary taking a cut of the profits.

Enter blockchain, which can verify that every user is genuine with 100 percent accuracy and that the website owner is only charging the advertiser for genuine clicks through to their site. Then the website owner and the advertiser don’t need a middleman to arbitrate their agreement, which would save them both money. Blockchain presents a big threat to Google’s display network revenue.

Blockchain being the unhackable distributed ledger is going to also help reduce online fraud. It will provide transparency for persons involved in a transaction without giving away their personal details, essentially proving they are a real person. Ad fraud is a big problem: It cost advertisers over $7 billion in 2016. A number of players — including Microsoft, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and DMA (in partnership with MetaX) —  are already working on blockchain-based digital identification systems.

Impact on search engine optimization (SEO)

As companies start to adopt blockchain, they will need to integrate it within their websites. This involves the web developers as well as the SEOs, if they are trying to gain organic search benefits as well as display the information from the blockchain transactions.

This will present both technical issues and opportunities in which SEOs will have to work alongside developers to resolve compatibility issues with different content management systems and website platforms. I have noticed that the Schema community has already started to work on Schema Markup for blockchain certificates and user ID profiles. Both items are a work in progress and have not yet been published on Schema.org.

Here is a glimpse of what the codes for both items looks like.

Blockchain certificates

The following sample markup (from our company) is in JSON-LD format. Full details can be viewed on GitHub.

Blockchain user ID profiles

The following sample markup is in JSON-LD format. Full details can be viewed on Blockstack and GitHub.

As new blockchains are developed and it is more widely adopted, it will certainly disrupt the search marketing industry in many other ways. For now, search marketers should pay close attention to blockchain as it grows.

Source Url: https://searchengineland.com

 

Changes May be Ahead for Google Search Results

google-testing

Google seems to be testing a new look and user interface for the sitelinks in the Google search results snippets. I had two different people from India send me screen shots on Twitter, including @V_VipinYadav and @himani_kankaria. The new look shows the sitelinks lined up vertically instead of them in a side by side grid format.

Here is a screen shot from Twitter of the normal look on the left and the test interface on the right:

I cannot replicate this, I’ve tried numerous methods and I am out of luck.

In any event, both looks are fine with me – I am not sure which one would be better here.

Source Url: https://www.seroundtable.com

What a Relief!! Disabling Right Click Does NOT Affect Google SEO

Disabling Right Click & Content Selection Doesn't Impact SEO

Google’s John Mueller said on Twitter that disabling the right click on your web pages and/or disabling the ability to select content on your web pages, has no impact on your SEO or rankings.

John did add that doing so is “obnoxious” and “useless” because it is easy to get around those prevention features.

We discussed this topic over 7 years ago but this is the first time we covered Google talking about it.

Do you disable these features? If so, why?

Source Url: https://www.seroundtable.com