Posted by & filed under #SEOFUN, CRO - Conversion Rate Optimization, Google, Google SEO, Mobile Friendly Website Design, SEO, SEO Friendly Website Design, SEO Website Design.

Many people we speak with who are looking for an SEO company have asked many of these questions.

It’s great that Google is taking the initiative to help business users understand the SEO process and help provide digital assets that help relay the concerns many businesses have when hiring an SEO.

Mobile Version: tinyurl.com/j4f2jl7

Google’s Maile Ohye shares her advice for hiring an SEO (Search Engine Optimizer) to improve the searcher experience on your website which she has gained over the last decade.

It’s great that Google has taken a moment to explain that in most cases, SEOs need four months to a year to help your business first implement improvements and then see potential benefit.

Request that they corroborate their recommendations with a documented statement from Google, either in a help center article, video, or Googler response in a forum, that supports BOTH:

  1. The SEO’s description of the issue that needs to be improved to help with ranking
  2. The approach they prescribe to accomplish this task.

The video takes the time to discuss what to expect and what you should be looking for when hiring an SEO, but it also provides instructions and tools for small local businesses and small startups (bootstraps and DIY’s) some tools and examples that you can leverage yourself.

A few great tips that were provided in the video include tips for improving the hiring process when working with SEO agecies.

General SEO Hiring Process

  1. Conduct a 2-way interview with your potential SEO.  Check that they seem genuinely interested in you and your business.
  2. Check their references.
  3. Ask for (and you’ll probably have to pay for) a technical and search audit.
  4. Decide if you want to hire.

Simply following these 4 tips will help your working relationship dramatically and will materialize into better results and a better working environment.

The video then continues and breaks down each step into smaller sub sections.

Step 1:  Conduct a 2-way interview

  1. What makes your business, content, and/or service unique and therefore valuable to customers.  Another way to say this is to ask ‘what makes you stand out from the competition’ or ‘what sets your business apart from the competition.
  2. What does your common customer look like?  How do they currently find your website?
  3. How does your business make money? And how can Search help?
  4. What other channels are you using?  Offline advertising?  Social Networks?
  5. Who are your competitors?  What do they do well online (and potentially offline).

If you are a larger company and require an audit to be done, there are a few things you should expect to see in the results.

Audit Structure

The SEO should prioritize improvements with a structure like:

  1. The issue
  2. The suggested improvement
  3. An estimate on the overall investment

There is a lot of information that is covered in this video, but it only scratches the surface of what you should expect when hiring an SEO.

If you have questions about this process or would like to discuss your specific requirements / goals, feel free to give us a call to discuss.

 

Posted by & filed under #MISSISSAUGASEO, #SEOFUN, SEO, SEO Friendly Website Design, SEO Website Design.

2017 SEO Strategy Updates and Changes

 

We are expecting to see a lot of updates from Google and the other major search engines in 2017. These updates include placing more focus on mobile and responsive designed websites. As always, content still plays a large role in the overall ranking of pages. In the past the recommended words per page was around 1200 – 1600 for desktop viewing in between 900 and 1200 for mobile. Recently we started noticing some changes with the way the content is being evaluated and the numbers that were once associated with PC display are now being associated with mobile.

 

Google has been testing some new features and functionality in preparation for 2017 which include a new look for local inventory ads in place of local pack, new voice recognition commands to increase voice search and the usefulness of its service, Bing has rolled out a new schedule and feature for all ad extensions to help remain competitive in the search engine landscape.  The new scheduling feature for Bing will now allow business owners to show extensions during store hours or schedule for time sensitive promotions and leverage Bing ads accordingly.

 

Artificial intelligence is now beginning to play a very important role in both pay-per-click and SEO by directly affecting the search engine results being displayed by each search query. The way this works is previous search requests are taken into account with each new search request to try to determine what your true intent is when searching on Google.

 

Additionally all major search engines are now starting to take more notice of third-party services for example TripAdvisor to provide enhanced listings for both products and services primarily for hotels restaurants and other local businesses in and around the area.

 

All of these third-party signals which are now being Incorporated into the search results are designed to help increase the relevancy of the data being searched.

 

Some of the other technology which was introduced over the last year include amp pages, SEO for Google’s mobile first index, mobile-friendly web design practices, optimizing content for voice searches, How will virtual assistants participate and affect the search results, different markup languages and structured data, and of course video and leveraging YouTube as the second largest search engine.

 

Social media has also had its ups and downs over 2016 with new products including video and new ads which will be available later this year for video.
2017 is lining up to be a really interesting year for both SEO and PPC and social media marketing. If you require assistance with your online marketing initiatives please feel free to contact the team at search gurus Inc.  We will be happy to assist you.

Posted by & filed under #SEOFUN, CRO - Conversion Rate Optimization.

Conversion Rate Optimization

follows the same principals as what you normally would measure when doing a business analysis using the “Classic Business Funnel”.

classic conversion funnel

example of classic conversion funnel

Now with online marketing, the metrics are very similar and depend on what your conversions are (ecommerce sites generally have different conversion metrics than a brick and mortar business).

With ecommerce websites, the website generates revenue directly and so the calculations for Conversion Rate Optimization are slightly different.  You can adjust your formula based on your business requirements.

 

This is very similar to the classic sales funnel which is a modified business funnel to measure conversion costs.  The steps taken to increase the effectiveness to the campaign is another form of Conversion Rate Optimization.

These types of funnels allow you to visualize your overall objectives and can help you identify potential weaknesses in your process (a great asset for your SWOT analysis).

 

If your small or medium sized business is a more traditional brick and mortar business or provide services to a local geographic area, your Conversion Rate Optimization metrics will look a little more like this.

View post on imgur.com

By understanding what is really important to your business growth, you can make adjustments to your digital assets and online presence to better convert into what your business really needs.

You can also use these metrics to further understand your business and help determine things like the cost per lead (CPL) so you have a better idea of what advertising channels are working and where your money is best spent.

CRO has helped evolve SEO and has become as important as the exercises around SEO.  When done right, the data produced by each campaign can help determine where changes are required to help increase the overall effectiveness of the business marketing dollars.

Since CRO takes time to measure, the updates need to be applied regularly to help increase the relevance of the website while at the same time helping produce better results and increase conversions.

This is why the gang at Search Gurus is constantly reviewing and adjusting our campaigns.

If you need help, consider calling Search Gurus.  We can help.

 

 

 

Posted by & filed under SEO.

Fast and Responsive Leveraging the same technology used to display photos and videos quickly in the Facebook app, articles load instantly, as much as 10 times faster than the standard mobile web.

Fast and Responsive Leveraging the same technology used to display photos and videos quickly in the Facebook app, articles load instantly, as much as 10 times faster than the standard mobile web.

Described as a significantly faster method for distributing content primarily for mobile consumption, the “Instant Articles” framework is similar to AMP by Google, but with more customization options including the ability to zoom into images and autoplay video.

What does this mean for SEO.  Well, it depends on how you look at SEO.

Search Engine Optimization is preparing content to be easily and properly consumed and served by search engines.  Initially AMP would be the choice for SEO agencies, since it addresses exactly this.

Instant Articles is similar in what it accomplishes (in the sense of speed) however since Facebook is actually a walled garden of data (require login to access most features and functions) it sits on the fence between social network marketing and SEO.

Social Signals make up a large part of the search engine scores according to Microsoft (BING) and Google, and has additional potential for driving traffic, there are different methods to best leverage each of the new technologies.

How can you start to take advantage of these technologies?  Well, unless you are a large marketing group or professional publisher, chances are you will need to wait until the April 12 launch date like everyone else, however in the meantime, you should start checking out how you can pre-configure your website to take advantage of each of these technologies.

For those who run custom websites designed by hand you will want to take a look at the developer sections for Facebook and Google.

For those who use WordPress, take a look at PageFrog.  This little gem of a plugin makes it easy to incorporate each of the new markup to your existing articles, pages and posts.

Some of the features include the following:

The PageFrog plugin allows you to easily publish and manage your content directly from WordPress to Facebook Instant Articles (FBIA) and Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) with full support for ads and analytics.

What are Facebook Instant Articles and Google Accelerated Mobile Pages?

FBIA is a new mobile format developed by Facebook, which can be served to visitors accessing your content from the Facebook mobile app. AMP is a new mobile format developed by Google, which can be served to visitors accessing your content from Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest mobile apps.

Why should I optimize my content for FBIA and AMP?

The FBIA and AMP formats are built to load instantly on mobile devices and designed for higher engagements, resulting in improved News Feed Ranking and greatly benefits Search Engine Optimization.

Increase traffic and discoverability – Search engine optimization and social media discovery are extremely important when it comes to generating traffic. Both Facebook Newsfeed Ranking and Google PageRank rely on performance metrics such as page load times and visitor engagements to rank articles.

Native mobile formats such as FBIA and AMP offer unprecedented advantages when it comes to page performance. These mobile formats preload content and cache media files, allowing articles to load instantly for readers on mobile devices.

Boost engagements and shares – FBIA and AMP offer opportunities for true mobile experiences to captivate and engage readers. These formats allow for a number of advanced features specifically designed for mobile content such as audio captions, interactive maps, tilt-to-pan photos, and more.

These formats are deeply embedded into mainstream mobile apps such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. FBIA and AMP offer specific layouts designed to maximize social engagements such as Likes and Comments.

 

Who is using these technologies already?

THE WORLD’S TOP CONTENT CREATORS

ARE ALREADY PUBLISHING INSTANT ARTICLES, AMP PAGES, AND APPLE NEWS

THE FUTURE OF CONTENT IS MOBILE

Facebook Instant Articles, Google AMP Pages, and Apple News Format
are native mobile formats created to help publishers evolve into the mobile economy.

What can I do with the PageFrog plugin?

Content Optimization – Rather than following FBIA and AMP documentations to build custom layouts from scratch, PageFrog automatically takes your existing content and optimizes the page structure to fit the requirements of FBIA and AMP.

Quality Assurance – PageFrog offers real-time previews of how your content will appear on FBIA and AMP. This allows you to write content and see the output as you’re writing, ensuring that your content will always appear professionally on FBIA and AMP.

Branding and Styling – FBIA and AMP enforce their own unique styling restrictions. Rather than building custom layouts for each format, PageFrog allows you to handle all your branding and styling needs within the WordPress interface.

Analytics and Insights – PageFrog allows you to connect multiple third party analytics to your FBIA and AMP pages using Google Analytics, Chartbeat, Parse.ly, and more. PageFrog can also display your analytics data from Facebook Insights directly within WordPress.

Ads and Monetization – PageFrog makes it extremely easy to monetize your content through FBIA and AMP. Simply connect your Facebook Audience Network and/or Google AdSense account to start displaying ads with full control over ad placement and display frequency.

EASY SETUP

Rather than studying the documentations and building custom layouts from scratch, PageFrog offers simple plugins designed to help publishers instantly and easily publish content to mobile formats such as Facebook Instant Articles and Google AMP Pages with the simple click of a button.

 

LIVE PREVIEW

PageFrog plugins offer live previews directly within content management systems, allowing publishers to ensure that articles will display appropriately across various platforms. Intelligent notifications and warnings are also delivered whenever published posts contain certain elements leading to suboptimal mobile display.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by & filed under Google, Mobile Friendly Website Design, Responsive Website Design, SEO, SEO Friendly Website Design, SEO Website Design.

THE VIEW FROM THE SEO AGENCY LEVEL – 2015 had a lot of changes and updates to the way our SEO Agency works.  For the most part, many of the same rules apply, but now there is more focus on MOBILE.  SEO Agencies need to stay on top of the latest updates.

Remember Mobilgedon?  April 21st 2015 was the first time Google pre announced a major algorithm update.  Google’s April 21st update had web designers and developers scrambling to update many outdated websites to better serve mobile visitors.

Links are still around, but natural growth is favored over artificial inflation of links to the website.

Relevant website industry and genre’s still provide value.

A new focus on authoritative sites is providing many new potential revenue streams for publishers and large curated website publishers that focus on quality and unique content.

Local Search has received more attention and with that we should start seeing new features and functions pushed to visitors by the major search engines.

A phenomenal article from MOZ.com showcases the current ranking factors.

I am embedding a snapshot of this page below since the URL that is being used is updated.  (It will be interesting to look back on in a few years).SEO Agency Review

The 2015 Local Search Ranking Factors

 

Introduction

From year to year, the only thing you can count on in local search results is change. – SEO Agency.

Last year’s survey corresponded almost simultaneously with the Pigeon algorithm update. We’re now one year in, and although no significant algorithmic changes have been reported since Pigeon, the Local Stack / Snack Pack results were fully rolled-out worldwide just prior to this year’s edition. Given that context, I asked respondents this year not only to rate ranking factors across pack and localized organic results, as in previous years, but also the specfic factors to which they were paying more (and less) attention to since the release of this interface.

As with last year’s survey, the individual factors listed in the results are consolidated to just the top 50 in each category.

The SEO Agency Survey

As in recent years, the 2015 edition of this survey was divided into four parts.

I. General Ranking Factors

In this section, I asked participants to identify the influence of eight thematic clusters of ranking factors across the two primary types of Local results (localized organic, pack). In each case, they assigned a percentage of influence to all eight thematic clusters, totaling 100%. Businesses consistently ranked behind their competition in each of these types of results can use this section to prioritize their marketing efforts by theme.

II. Specific Ranking Factors

In part A of this section, I asked the experts to rank the top 20 individual ranking factors (out of a total list of 114) that have the biggest impact on pack/carousel rankings.

In part B of this section, I asked them to rank the top 20 factors from the same list, only this time to rank them based on impact on localized organic rankings.

In part C of this section, I asked them to rank the top 20 factors from the same list based on biggest impact in a competitive market, across both result types (pack and localized organic).

Results were then tabulated via inverse scoring, where the #1 ranked factor received the most “points” for that question, and the lowest-ranked factor received the fewest points. (The factors ranking outside the top 20 for all respondents ended up with zero points.)

III. Relative Change in Importance since Snack Pack / Local Stack

Here, I asked the experts to rank the five factors they were paying more attention to since the introduction of the Local Stack, and the five factors they were paying less attention to since that introduction.

Results were then tabulated via inverse scoring, where the #1 ranked factor received the most “points” for that question, and the lowest-ranked factor received the fewest points. (The factors ranking outside the top 5 for all respondents ended up with zero points.)

IV. Negative Ranking Factors

In this section, I asked the experts to rank 27 negative factors in order of most damaging to most benign.

To review the article in more detail, visit MOZ.COM 

Posted by & filed under Mobile Friendly Website Design, Responsive Website Design, SEO, SEO Friendly Website Design, SEO Website Design.

SEO Planning Strategy 2015There are a lot of different factors that go into a website and optimization of keywords is only part of the process.

By taking the time at the beginning of a website build to determine what the SEO goals are, many times it makes more sense to use a custom website vs a CMS to properly achieve the desired results.

Now before anyone starts sounding the alarm, CMS or Content Management Systems have a big role to play, but if not used correctly, end up creating security issues and much larger issues.

If you have a website with under 50 pages, it’s generally a smarter idea to have flat files.

Wait, what?

Yes, since speed is also a way search engines rank pages and a properly formatted website can load incredibly fast if it does not need to access a database multiple times per request to receive information about the site markup and contents.

 

The page speed is dramatic and allows the same website to be served to hundreds / thousands more customers, not to mention, a positive ranking signal for the search engines.

Before you invest your time and energy into your website, ask yourself a few questions.

  • Does my website require more than 50 primary pages
  • Will I be updating the site regularly
  • Will I be updating the site or will someone else be applying the updates
  • Is this included with my marketing services

If you are still not sure how to proceed, we welcome you to call our office to discuss your objectives and we can help you achieve your desired results.

When reviewing your current strategy, we compile a list of your digital assets and determine what we can leverage across multiple networks to provide a more intuitive and cluster based footprint.  Discover quickly the results of working with a proven strategy in place.