Posts Tagged ‘Berrie Pelser’

27 More Remarkable SEO Guides, Tips and Tactics

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

As noted in part one of the best SEO posts roundup for last year, with all the significant changes announced by Google in the past 12 months (at least six, detailed in a pair of posts below), “These are indeed “interesting times” for SEO professionals, with rapid and wide-ranging changes to the search landscape being announced at an accelerating pace.”

Top SEO Guides 2013The general consensus is that the practice of SEO is becoming more strategic, less tactical; more content-driven, less technical. The winners should be organizations that focus on providing targeted, relevant, high-quality content, as well as their prospective customers; with the (little lamented) losers being the spammers, manipulators and black-hat SEO types.

What techniques still work in the new world of SEO? Which need to be discarded? What new tactics and ranking factors are most vital to understand? How should SEO professionals strategically align frameworks for maximizing online visibility and business results?

Find the answers to those questions and many others here in more than two dozen of the best SEO guides from the past year.

Expert SEO Guides and Tips

9 SEO Myths That Won‘t Go Away Demystified By Google’s Matt Cutts by JoopRijk.com

Joop RijkNoting that in any field, “once a myth has been established it hard to get rid off,” Joop Rijk debunks nine SEO-related myths including duplicate content penalties (“Duplicate content is not considered spam and sites do not get penalized for duplicate content. Google ignores duplicate content and has a way to determine which page they should rank”—though it doesn’t always get this right) and the 100 links-per-page limit (“Googlebot can crawl more than 100 links on a page and there is no specific [known] limit”).

SEO Strategies for People that Hate SEO by Search Engine Guide

Brian DeanBrian Dean offers a handful of simple yet effective rank-improving tips from people not naturally inclined to SEO work, from a clever tactic for getting mentioned in link roundups (one of the few remaining manual link-building strategies that still work) to how to get featured on resource pages.

SEO Makeover for 2014: A Practical Guide for Businesses by Portent
***** 5 STARS

David PortneyDavid Portney presents an outstanding checklist of three dozen questions to ask and answer about the state of your site’s SEO, from content-related factors (Does each page have a page-relevant unique title tag? A page-relevant unique meta description? A clear and concise headline?) through links, navigation, and technical SEO considerations.

Top 19 SEO Experts Share Their Best Advice on SEO by Effective Inbound Marketing

Ayodeji OnibalusiAyodeji Onibalusi curates a big list of helpful SEO tips and tricks from SEO experts including Kristi Hines (“don’t get tempted to buy into cheap SEO services. If someone’s offering 100 backlinks for $5, then they’re more than likely going to get you spammy links that you will pay dearly for in the long run”), Neil Patel (see the next entry), Ann Smarty (“If you love each article you are publishing online, you’ll see genuine interest to your content”), Tadeusz Szewczyk (a.k.a. Tad Chef), and Jayson DeMers (see the “Big Picture SEO Strategy” section below).

11 SEO Changes That Will Give You Big Results by QuickSprout

Neil PatelNeil Patel shares 11 effective but lesser know techniques for optimizing search results, such as capitalizing on the internal-link building power of 404 error pages; creating dynamic infographics; using what he calls the “skyscraper technique” (this blog is an example); and incorporating “most clicked-through words” (such as “how to,” “tips” and “best”) in headlines.

Rethink Link Building for Best B2B Marketing by MLT Creative Ideas@Work Blog

Jeremiah SmithGuest author Jeremiah Smith notes that the old ways of link building are dead (at best, pointless), social sharing is critical, and conversion rate optimization (CRO) supports SEO efforts. He concludes the post with a five-step process for optimizing not just rankings, but also bottom-line business results.

In Search of SEO? Have Content, Be Social by BroadSuite

Daniel NewmanDan Newman details several ways in which the practice of SEO has changed over the past 18-24 months, particularly in terms of the role of content (and more importantly, the importance of business blogging: “Even the most optimized B2B site if just a static products and services website will have a hard time growing and sustaining traffic”) and the role of social sharing (“7 of the top 8 factors driving SEO are Social Sharing related and not traditional SEO drivers whatsoever”).

Search Engine Click Through Rate Optimization (+Infographic) by Marketing from the Front
***** 5 STARS

Brent CarnduffBrent Carnduff reports on some eye-opening research findings in this post which reminds one of a Geico commercial: Did you know that the top four organic search results get 83% of all clicks? Of course, everyone knows that. Okay, but did you know that “As searcher intent becomes more detailed or specific (long tail term), the click distribution across the first page organic listings begins to even out”? That makes, as Brent explains, CTR optimization as important as SEO.

New SEO Best Practices with Schema Markup #SESCHI by TopRank Online Marketing Blog

Brian LarsonConfused by what a “schema” is or why you’d bother with one? Brian Larson helpfully walks through the history of this (no longer new) tactic, how it works in action, what the classifications are, and how to get started with schema markup tools, all based on a presentation by Anne F. Kennedy at SES Chicago.

Technical SEO for Nontechnical People by Search Engine Watch

Erin EverhartFor those confuzzled by technical SEO terms and techniques, Erin Everhart patiently explains “the basics behind what you need to look out for with technical SEO,” including redirects and status codes, canonicals, duplicate uppercase and lowercase URLs (though search engines should really be able to figure this out), and URL parameters.

150 Blog Posts in 50 Days: Why Were Marketers Mad? by Search Engine Journal

McKay AllenMcKay Allen details the results of a test to determine how a substantial ramp-up in content creation would affect search traffic, and the surprising response of (some) marketers. The bottom line is that while not all elements of “old school” SEO are dead, content development definitely needs to play a key role in go-forward search strategy.

Infographic: Companies with a blog get 55% more traffic by leaderswest

Jim DoughertyJim Dougherty showcases a very helpful SEO infographic, which visually steps through techniques and best practices for on-page and keyword optimization, technical SEO factors, social signals, Google+ authorship, and generating links from inbound marketing.

Best Guides to Big-Picture SEO Strategy

6 Major Google Changes Reveal the Future of SEO by Search Engine Watch

Eric EngeInviting readers to “take a few steps back and understand the big picture,” Eric Enge looks at half a dozen major changes from Google in 2013–from keyword (not provided) to in-depth articles, and ties them all together concluding “the six major Google changes listed above are all moves that” take tactical data out of the SEO picture and “encourage more strategic behavior.”

How recent Google changes affect your SEO by iMedia Connection

Nathan JoyntSimilar to the post above, Nathan Joynt here reviews the major algorithmic and reporting changes made by Google over the past year, describes the impact of each on SEO efforts, and ties it all together in the end by stating, “one thing is clear: The value of an SEO strategy set on tactics involving direct manipulation of search results is becoming less effective…This is exactly what Google wants. They want inbound marketers and business owners to shift their primary focus away from Google and manipulative link and content schemes and concentrate this energy on each business’ target market and to create the best products, services, and content possible.”

5 Reasons You’ll Need to Increase Your SEO Budget in 2014 by Search Engine Journal

Jayson DeMersJayson DeMers makes the case that SEO will require more dollars in resources in 2014, for among other reasons, that “cheap” tactics like keyword stuffing and low-quality backlink building no longer work (and may even backfire); the increasing importance of social media; and the need to produce a steady stream of fresh content.

Best Guides to Search Engine Ranking Factors

The Future of Search: 2013 Search Engine Ranking Factors Released by Moz

Cyrus ShepardCyrus Shepard unveils results from the the Moz semiannual (see also the wrapup of this from Rand Fishkin, below) survey of SEO professionals on ranking factors, and predicts which factors are likely to become more important (e.g., authorship metrics) and less important (e.g., exact keyword match domains0 over the next few years.

Weighting the Clusters of Ranking Factors in Google’s Algorithm by Moz
***** 5 STARS

Rand FishkinRand Fishkin explains some of the key takeaways from the Moz semiannual survey on ranking factors. The top three factors remain the quality and quantity of backlinks to a domain; quality/quantity of backlinks to specific pages; and page-level keyword and content features.

Infographic: Every ingredient that contributes to search engine ranking by leaderswest
***** 5 STARS

For those who prefer their ranking factors in a colorful, illustrated format, Jim Dougherty (again) shares a bookmark-worthy SEO infographic detailing 200 Google ranking factors, from domain factors like domain age and history through page-level factors, site-level factors, backlink factors, social signals and more.

Best Guides to SEO in the Keyword (Not Provided) World

Overcoming Google’s Keyword ‘Not Provided’ Data by Web Marketing Today

Kevin WebsterKevin Webster outlines several strategies for dealing with keyword (not provided) in search analytics, such as benchmarking and optimizing search landing page traffic and performance: “The company should let go of the notion of ranking for a search term, and focus more on the idea of ranking for a search concept.”

Google ‘(Not Provided)’ Keywords: 10 Ways to Get Organic Search Data by Search Engine Watch

Jennifer SleggJennifer Slegg reviews the motivations behind Google’s move to secure search, how the change affected the practice of SEO, and 10 methods for “replacing the (missing keyword) data now that Google isn’t providing it,” such as looking at non-Google search data, Google Webmaster Tools reports, and analyzing on-site searches.

Best Guides to SEO for Panda and Penguin

Life of an SEO Before, After and Beyond Penguin 2.1 an Infographic by WordPress SEO Cloud Hosting

Berrie PelserBerrie Pelser presents a fantastically helpful graphical guide to SEO in the post-Penguin environment, which illustrates for example from spending time and money to obtain directory links (before Penguin) to spending time and money getting low-value links removed, and moving from article spinning to quality guest blogging.

How to Recover from Panda Dance by Kaiser the Sage

Jason AcidreIf your search rankings were mauled by Panda, Jason Acidre details seven techniques for recovering that lost traffic, including rich-snippet optimization (which “seems to be one of the best methods to use in responding to these recent algorithmic changes”), upgrading “evergreen” landing pages, and optimizing for local search.

Google Panda And SEO: Updated Tips For Online Marketers by MediaPost

Brian RauschenbachBrian Rauschenbach offers half a dozen practical tips for SEO in the post-Panda world, among them: “Ensure that links to your site are natural.  Panda likes links from quality sources but will come down hard on you (and may even exclude you from Google’s search results) if your site is inundated with overly targeted links, especially if they are sponsored…it’s clear that Google is looking to essentially reward companies and marketers who make a concerted effort to populate their sites with authoritative, useful, and shareable content.”

Best Guides to SEO for Hummingbird

5 Ways To Unlock The Benefits Of Semantic Search by Search Engine Land

Barbara StarrExplaining that semantic search is intended to make search results “more personal, more engaging, more interactive and more predictive,” Barbara Starr offers guidance on how to unlock its benefits, from optimizing content based on user intent rather than keywords (based on Google patents in this area) to fully leveraging Google+ and implementing appropriate semantic markup.

Hummingbird Unleashed by Moz

Gianluca FiorelliGianluca Fiorelli recommends taking using a philological (based on the original documents and observation of effects) method to adapt to Google’s algorithmic changes, and details the results of his “study of those documents and field observations” pertaining to Hummingbird, how Hummingbird works, how large the impact is, and most importantly–how to do “Hummingbird-friendly” SEO (e.g., follow technical SEO best practices, build the right kinds of links, and use analytics to optimize social media marketing efforts).

Hummingbird’s Impact On B2B Sites by Search Engine Land

Harrison JonesContending that “The new Hummingbird algorithm will revolutionize the way B2B companies market their sites in search,” Harrison Jones explains how Hummingbird works, how that is likely to affect search rankings and traffic for b2b websites, and how those sites can capitalize on the algorithm change to draw more–and more relevant–traffic from search engines.

Google Hummingbird Requires Brands To Step Up Content Development by MediaPost

Laurie SullivanSomewhat echoing the points made in the post above, Laurie Sullivan writes that “Search engine marketers need to put aside attempts to raise their brand’s Web site to the top of first-page query rankings through old-fashioned optimization techniques and focus on content,” and more specifically, that they should “Use objects, images, and videos, and with the correct semantic structure the content will get grabbed” by the search engines.

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20 More of the Best Social Media Marketing Guides and Tips of 2013

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Social media marketing has become an integral part of strategies for maximizing the overall web visibility of an organization. To be effective, it must be integrated with SEO and PR efforts, and even executed to enhance online advertising efforts.

Best Social Media Marketing Guides of 2013Back in October, the post here 21 of the Best Social Media Marketing Guides of 2013 (So Far) noted that as social media marketing practices mature, the questions about it have evolved from simple “how do I do x” queries to more complex investigation into how to optimize social marketing strategies and tactics.

How can you make your blog content stand out amid the increasing online noise? What are the key platforms to utilize beyond the “big four”? What key trends in 2014 should social media marketers to be aware of? What are the best practices for promoting events through social media?

Find the answers to those questions and many others here in 20 more of the best social media marketing guides of the past year.

Best Social Media Marketing Guides and Tips

The Ultimate Social Media Tip Sheet by Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenThe insightful and prolific Heidi Cohen collects 101 top social media tips and tactics in this bookmark-worthy tip sheet, from knowing your target audience and their hot buttons and writing regular features responding to your audience’s needs to answering questions on forums and sites like Quora, and incorporating social media calls to action.

21 Rules For Effective Social Media Marketing Strategies, an infographic by WordPress SEO Cloud Hosting

Berrie PelserBerrie Pelser shares an infographic covering “21 unwritten (well, they were unwritten) rules of social media marketing” for social marketing success, which include: quality > quantity, mind your manners, patience is crucial, and—one easily misunderstood—access doesn’t equal entitlement (“Making connections may give you access, but it doesn’t mean fans and followers owe you anything”).

How to Find Influencers Who Already Want to Share and Link to Your Content by KISSmetrics
***** 5 STARS

Mark TruemanMark Trueman walks through a multi-step process for finding content similar to yours that has broad reach, determining who is sharing these posts, and then getting these people to share your posts. He even provides sample outreach email text that’s been proven to drive significant response.

IBM: These Are The Top 7 Social Trends That Will Emerge In 2014 by Forbes

Mark FidelmanThe brilliant Mark Fidelman reports on seven top social media trends for the coming year identified by IBM, including taking social beyond collaboration; increased traction for brand journalism; and “the true convergence of Social, Mobile, Analytics and the Cloud.”

70% follow social media for business purposes – Can it be ignored? by Pitch Magazine

Moneka KhuranaThe English is bit rough, but the concepts are spot on in this post. Moneka Khurana compiles b2b best practices and tips from Dell and Cisco, demonstrating how different types of information (e.g., brand information vs. market trends) lend themselves to different content formats, and a six-step approach to building a robust social media presence.

26 Tips to Create Social Media Magic for Your Business by Positively Peggy

Peg FitzpatrickIf you feel like your social media marketing efforts are hitting a wall, Peg Fitzpatrick prescribes more than two dozen “easy, actionable items that you can do to put the social media magic back into your brand,” among them: creating a weekly Google+ Hangout series, adding “a board with links to your other social networks and blog so people can find you everywhere,” and using third party apps to help grow your Twitter following.

20 Things You Should Share On Social Media by jeffbullas.com

Jeff BullasJeff Bullas lists 20 things to share on social media “that can assist your business to be viewed as a leader in its industry and drive inquiry and sales and help you get found online,” including Slideshare presentations, infographics, company news releases, and “Share your humour…mix up your serious content with some humourous photo’s, articles and even cartoons.”

How To Socialize An Event by LinkedIn
***** 5 STARS

Guy KawasakiGuy Kawasaki provides 14 tips to make it “possible to ensure that an event is covered in social media—even trending as a hot topic with an event with only 100 attendees,” such as choosing an evergreen hashtag and promoting it everywhere, produce livestream video coverage and real-time updates, and require executives to be available for photos.

The Best [And Worst] Times To Post On Social Media by V3 Integrate Marketing

Shelly KramerShelly Kramer outlines three methods for “discovering the optimal posting time on a social media platform,” including the use of third party data; for example, an infographic she includes which illustrates, in general, the best and worst times to post updates on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

20 Quick-Win Tactics For Building A New Social Media Presence by Marketing Land

Courtney SeiterCourtney Seiter lists “20 quick-win tactics for building a new social media presence on any network,” like filling out your profile as completely as possible; using professional, high-resolution images; analyzing similar accounts to determine what’s working (and what’s not); and cross-promoting the new account through your other social media points of presence.

Are You Using Quora in Your Social Strategy? 8 Tips to Do It Right by The Daily Egg

Joanna XuDescribing Quora as “the mature, authoritative big brother of Yahoo Answers,” Joanna Xu shares eight tips for getting the most out of the platform, from proper editing, formatting and use of photos through linking Quora to your other social accounts and backing up all of your answers.

How to Use Tumblr for SEO and Social Media Marketing by SEOmoz

Takeshi YoungTakeshi Young says that Tumblr is an often overlooked platform with great potential for SEO and social media marketing, and so in this post covers “1) What Tumblr is and how it works, 2) The benefits of Tumblr compared to other social networks, and 3) Actionable advice on how you can use Tumblr for online marketing, including specific content ideas.”

Why The Company You Keep Online Is A Big Deal [And How To Fix It] by V3 Integrated Marketing

While every company wants lots of Twitter followers and Facebook “Likes,” Shelly Kramer (again) provides a helpful reminder that it matters who is doing that following and liking. Fake followers, ill-advising activities or connections on Facebook or Instagram, purchased or otherwise illegitimate reviews–all can harm a company’s online reputation. Fortunately, she also explains tools and strategies to help keep a firm’s social presence respectable.

YouTube Marketing Guides and Tips

How to Optimize Your YouTube Video for Maximum Traffic by jeffbullas.com

Courtney GordnerMaking the case that YouTube is much more than “the world’s foremost provider of cute kitten videos, guest author Courtney Gordner explains how the video sharing site fits into overall social media marketing strategy and how to optimize YouTube videos for search.

YouTube Gives Video Publishers Calls-to-Action With External Annotation Links by Cloud Tactix
***** 5 STARS

Sam SwiechSam Swiech explains how to add your company website as an “associated site” on your YouTube channel (and notes that “It’s important to keep in mind that you can associate more than one site to your YouTube account at once,”) and “tastefully” apply annotations to videos.

Top 10 Ways to Optimize Your Business YouTube Channel by Pinterest

Mike JohanssonMike Johansson shares an infographic showing how to optimize a business YouTube channel, from creating an attractive channel design and developing a video strategy through utilizing annotations, calls to action, keywords, playlists, and social promotion.

Image Size Cheat Sheets for Social Media Profiles

Complete Social Media Sizes Design Chart [ #Infographic ] by Jason Fox

Jason FoxIn this brief but bookmark-worthy social media sizes design chart post, Jason Fox lays out the design specs and image size requirements for graphically optimizing profiles on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube.

Infographic: The Ultimate Social Media Size Cheat Sheet by CloudTactix

Sam ZastrowFor those who want a more richly illustrated of the social network profile image size chart called out above, Sam Zastrow shares a photo-rich infographic which “includes everything you want to know about visuals sizing for Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn (and probably a lot you didn’t care to know, too).”

Social Media Policy Development Guides

Law Firm Creates Social Media Guide For Businesses by Twin Cities Business
***** 5 STARS

Rebecca OmastiakRebecca Omastiak reports on a free guide created by Minneapolis law firm Gray Plant & Mooty that “informs businesses about the legal ramifications of using social media websites—including Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, among others—to connect with clients, advertisers, and customers” to help companies understand how to write social media policies that are both effective and legally compliant.

Social Media Policies Present Challenges to Business via ThomasNet News

David SimsAlthough, as David Sims notes, “There’s no question whether manufacturers should establish rules governing if and how employees may use social media,” it’s vital for employers to understand the rules governing such policies. For example, a blanket prohibition on criticizing the company on social media sites is likely to run afoul of the law.

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15 Expert Guides to WordPress: Tips, Techniques, Plugins and More

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Powered by legions of fans and armies of developers, WordPress has evolved from a humble blogging platform to a flexible, robust and ubiquitous CMS.

Expert WordPress Tips and TechniquesWordPress now powers one out of every six sites on the web, and half of all sites built on a content management system (CMS)—more than 60 million websites, including 45 of the Technorati Top 100 sites. (See below for sources.)

Nevertheless, it’s not perfect. So if WordPress is your platform of choice,  how can you overcome or work around its shortcomings and quirks? Optimize the speed of your site? Extend it, socialize it,  keep it secure, back it up, SEO it, and measure your results?

Find the answers to those questions and more here in 15 expert guides to WordPress tips, tricks and plugins.

WordPress Tips, Tactics and Facts

The Top 10 Most Infuriating Things about WordPress and How to Fix Them by jeffbullas.com
***** 5 STARS

A guest author on Jeff’s blog, the enigmatic “Jamil,” provides a remarkably helpful and even entertaining look at 10 top shortcomings of WordPress and how to avoid, overcome, or work around them. Even if some of the “fixes” aren’t particularly helpful (the recommended solution to plugin incompatibility is prayer, and the answer to the notoriously unhelpful default WordPress search functionality is “Get literally any other search bar”), you’ll lean a few new things here and enjoy doing it.

WordPress is the Emerging Monopoly in CMS #infographic by WordPress Hosting SEO

Berrie PelserJust how popular is WordPress? According to Berrie Pelser, “Over 60 million people have chosen WordPress to power (their websites)…By March 2012, with about 72.4 million users for the content management system, the WordPress grew as the largest of its type on the planet. It provided hosting to more than 50% of the CMS users and more than 45% of the top 100 sites as rated by Technorati.” You’ll find those and many more such stats in this fascinating infographic.

How to Create Different Widgets on Different Pages Using a Plugin by SteamFeed

Rachael ButtsRachael Butts supplies a tutorial on how to use the Display Widgets plugin to “display different widgets on different pages, thus allowing you to have custom sidebars on your WordPress site.” She also offers tips for using the plugin, such as to customize the sidebar menu based on the page your visitor is viewing.

Custom Post Types – WordPress Evolves Closer to a Content Management System by Masterful Marketing

Debra MurphyThe engaging Debra Murphy explains what WordPress custom post types are and writes that “Theme developers can now use custom post types to create an array of content that can be edited through the visual editor and used anywhere on the site,” such as image galleries or product catalogs.

My Favorite Things to use with WordPress by SteamFeed

Rachael Butts (again) reviews eight of her favorite “things” to enhance WordPress, including the Woo Themes framework, Simpicity theme, Gravity Forms plugin for creating and managing forms,  and MailChimp for email marketing.

How to Speed Up a WordPress Site

5 ways to speed up WordPress by Rainbow Fire

A handful of excellent tips for reducing your blog’s load time (and related user frustration), among them installing a caching plugin like W3 Total Cache (“using a caching plugin can prove a vital way to speed up WordPress by ensuring that only the first visitor to your page needs to go through the entire process. The plugin will save the data from this first visitor, and serve it directly to any subsequent visitors thus reducing the strain on your database and the user’s browser”).

4 Things to Speed Up Your WordPress Site by SteamFeed

Rachael Butts (once more) offers four quick tips for increasing WordPress speed, such as using a content delivery network (“CDN’s load your website from a local server, say one in England, so your website for this user would be very fast because it is not pulling from a server in the States”). If your visit volume justifies this, starter plans are surprisingly affordable.

Top WordPress Plugins and Reviews

7 Must Have Plugins For Starting A Blog by Geekless Tech

Garen ArnoldGaren Arnold recommends plugins to cover basic functions from commenting and social sharing to SEO and, for security, Backup Buddy: “Backup Buddy is a fantastic plugin which will allow you to backup your mSQL databases automatically…There are a lot of similar plugins that do the same; this one is paid but well worth the money.”

37 Top WordPress Security and SEO Social Media Plug-ins 2013 by WordPress Hosting SEO

Berrie Pelser (again) lists more than three dozen top security and SEO plugins for WordPress along with brief descriptions of each, including Digg Digg (“Add a floating bar with share buttons to your blog. Just like Mashable!”) and Simple Login Lockdown (“A simple way to prevent brute force login attemps on your WordPress installation”).

10 Time Saving WordPress Plugins by Brad S. Knutson

Brad KnutsonBrad Knutson serves up thoughtful reviews of “WordPress plugins that webmasters, developers and bloggers use to save time every day,” from the comment spam-squashing Akismet to Social by MailChimp, which very helpfully publishes “comments, retweets and replies as WordPress comments. When you share your post across multiple social media platforms, the conversation is often carried on in many different places. This plugin aggregates your conversations and keeps them in one place.”

30 Most Popular WordPress Plugins – infographic by WordPress Hosting SEO

Berrie Pelser (yet again) highlights a list of popular WordPress plugins, this time in infographic form. Among the recommendations here are the self-explanatory WP-DB-Backup and WP-Polls, as well as WPTouch, which “automatically transforms your WordPress website for mobile devices, complete with ajax loading articles and smooth effects.”

Starting a WordPress Blog? Make Sure Your Have these Plugins Installed by Techetron

Mushfiqur RahmanMushfiqur Rahman reviews his top 10 must-have plugins for a new blog. Beyond a few obvious choices (Akismnet, SEO Yoast, Google SML Sitemaps), he also includes Broken Link Checker for automatically finding broken links, WP Mobile Detector for automatically detecing device type and serving up the proper display of your blog, and Quick Page/Post Redirect Plugin.

The 17 Best WordPress Plugins for Social Media, SEO, and Better Visitor Engagement in 2013 by Maximize Social Business

Neal SchafferNoting that “WordPress powers one of every 6 websites on the Internet, nearly 60 million in all, with 100,000 more popping up each day,” Neal Schaffer explains the importance of minimizing page load time and some tactics for increasing your site’s speed, then reviews his favorite social media and SEO plugins including JetPack Publicize, Scribe SEO and Social Author Bio, which provides “fully integrated Google Plus Authorship.”

15 Social Media WordPress Plugins for 2012 by iMediaConnection

Noemi MadridNoemi Madrid reviews more than a dozen plugins for integrating your content with and sharing it on social platforms, including plugins specifically developed for interaction with Facebook, Google+, Flickr, Pinterest, Storify, YouTube, and even MySpace.

The Complete Set of Social Media Plugins for WordPress by Web Teacher

Tom ChuWhile this isn’t a “complete set,” guest author Tom Chu does serve up helpful reviews of half a dozen social media plugins ranging from Sociable and ShareThis for general social sharing to “deep integration” plugins like Social Metrics, which “displays your site’s social media performance statistics and gives them back to you in an intuitive way to help you to understand what you’re doing right and where you can improve.”

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101 Vital Social Media and Digital Marketing Statistics for (the Rest of) 2013

Monday, August 5th, 2013

As marketing becomes more data-driven, it’s vital to use data to keep up with trends, competitor strategies, and developments in your market. To that end, 94.7% of all marketers love blog posts about marketing statistics.

101 Vital Social Media StatisticsOkay, that statistic was made up (though probably not far off the mark),  but the social media and digital marketing facts and statistics below are real (or at least from generally reliable sources).

For example, 93% of marketers use social media for business. But how do marketers and consumers view social media differently? How do top executives use social media? Small businesses? Rapidly growing companies? B2b vendors? What are the best days and times for Facebook updates? What’s the average click-through rate of a link shared on Twitter?  What tactic do 92% of SEO professionals view as effective? What percentage of queries on Google each day are new to the world (i.e., won’t show up in keyword research tools)?

Find the answers to these questions and many,  many more here in 101 vital social and digital marketing stats for (the rest of) 2013.

Social Media Facts and Statistics

93% of marketers use social media for business. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

Social media has reached middle age(d). The fastest growing segment of social media users is now adults aged 45-54%. 55% of this age group now have a profile on at least one social network. (State of Search)

Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are the most popular social networks with search engine marketers. The second-most popular tier includes YouTube, blogging and LinkedIn. The least popular major networks are Flickr, Tumblr and StumbleUpon. (B2B Infographics)

Marketers aren’t like ordinary people. (A pause here while you absorb the shock of that statement). While 86% of marketing professionals have “liked” at least one brand on Facebook, just 58% of consumers have done so. And the gap is even more dramatic on Twitter, where 61% of marketers but just 12% of consumers follow at least one brand. (Thought Reach)

Furthermore–75% of social media users “object to major companies and platforms using their personal information for commercial purposes.” And just 12% admit to having their purchases influenced by Facebook “Likes” or Google “+1s”.(Relevanza)

How big are these networks? As of January 2013, the five largest social networks based on active monthly users were: Facebook (1 billion), YouTube (800 million) and Google+ (343 million) followed by Twitter and LinkedIn with 200 million active monthly users each. (TECHi)

Social media users are more social than non-social-media-using-internet-users in real life too: social networkers are 18% more likely to work out at a gym or health club, 19% more likely to attend a sporting event, and 26% more likely to give their opinion about politics and current events. (TECHi)

Half of all social media users under age 35 follow their online friends’ product and service recommendations. (TECHi)

Three-fourths of marketers planned to increase strategic efforts on social media and social networking sites this year, with 68% also focusing more on SEO and 63% on blogs. (eMarketer)

One in five married couples met online. But…20% of all divorces are blamed on Facebook. Coincidence? Hmm. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

As universal as business use of social media can seem to be, 26% of companies still block access to social media sites in their workplaces. 31% have no social media policy in place. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

54% of consumers say that “smaller communities have greater influence on a topic than larger ones.” (MarketingProfs)

Social media…to engage or to advertise? Turns out agencies are slightly more likely than in-house marketers (81% vs. 75%) to advertise on social networks, while corporate marketers are significantly more likely to utilize “free” social media tools (89% vs. 71%). (Heidi Cohen)

70% of brand marketers (and 60% of agency professionals) view social media advertising as more valuable for building brand awareness than for driving direct response. (Heidi Cohen)

But–contradicting the statistic above–66% of brand advertisers want to see a measurable sales bump from social media advertising. (Heidi Cohen)

How C-Level Executives Use Social Media

82% of buyers say they trust a company more when its CEO and senior leadership team are active in social media.  (War of Words: Myth-Busting Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing)

77% of buyers are more likely to buy from a company if its CEO uses social media.  (War of Words: Myth-Busting Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing)

And yet – 36% of executives say their CEO “either does not care, or cares little, about the company’s reputation in social media.” (Polaris B)

It helps having a woman at the top. Female small business CEOs are 78% more likely to say social media is highly valuable to their firm’s growth (20.8% vs. 11.6%), and 43% less likely to say it isn’t valuable (14.2% vs. 25%). (Marketing Charts)

Email is still the most effective way to reach top executives; 90% say they check their inboxes regularly. 64% use LinkedIn on a regular basis, while 55% say the same for Facebook. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

How the Inc. 500 Fastest-Growing Companies Use Social Media

Only one-third of the companies in the Inc. 500 say they can adequately determine ROI for the social media spending. (Relevanza)

Yet 35% of marketers say ROI is the most important measure of inbound marketing success. 24% say marketing’s influence on sales and 16% cite conversion rate as the key metrics. (Marketing Charts)

90% of Inc. 500 companies use at least one major social media platform. And 62% say social media is either “somewhat” or “very” necessary to their growth. (Heidi Cohen)

But just 44% of Inc. 500 companies maintain a blog. “This low number is a surprise since blogs drive social media, content marketing and search.” (Heidi Cohen)

While 31% of businesses overall have no social media policy in place (see above), that is true for only 22% of Inc. 500 firms. (Heidi Cohen)

How Small to Midsized Businesses (SMBs) Use Social Media

21% of small businesses plan to increase spending on social media advertising this year.  (eMarketer)

92% of small businesses say that social media is an effective marketing technology tool. They are evenly split on the effectiveness of social media for attracting new customers vs. engaging existing customers. (e-Strategy Trends)

A whopping 95% of small businesses view blogging as an effective marketing technology tool–second only to email marketing. 15% say blogging is most effective at engaging existing customers; 11% value it more for attracting new customers; and 69% say blogging is equally effective for both objectives. (e-Strategy Trends)

Facebook Facts and Statistics

Obsession? 23% of Facebook users check their accounts five or more times every day. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

But it’s vital for businesses to have a Facebook presence: 80% of Faceook users prefer to connect with brands on Facebook. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

47% of Americans say that Facebook has a greater impact on their purchasing behavior than any other social network. (State of Search)

Facebook = mobile. More than half of all Facebook members have used the social network via a smartphone, and 33% use a phone as their primary means of Facebook access. (State of Search)

67% of b2c marketers have generated leads through Facebook.  (War of Words: Myth-Busting Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing)

33% of milennial consumers are more likely to buy from a company if it has a Facebook page.  (War of Words: Myth-Busting Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing)

The best time and day for Facebook postings? Saturdays at noon. To maximize sharing, post to Facebook 3-4 times per week. (Visual.ly)

56% of Facebook users check in at least daily. 7% say they would check a message “during an intimate moment.” Awk-ward. (TECHi)

Half of all mobile web traffic in the U.K. goes to Facebook. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

48% of consumers who follow brands on Facebook do so in order to take advantage of sweepstakes and promotions. 18% follow to complain about a product or service. (MarketingProfs)

67% of the Inc 500 use Facebook, a decline of 7 percentage points from 2011. Facebook “demands dedicated resources” but doesn’t always show a comensurate return. (Heidi Cohen)

While 75% of internet users over age 45 prefer to share information using email, 60% of those under 30 say the same for Facebook. (Relevanza)

LinkedIn Facts and Statistics

97% of business executives have used LinkedIn. (Search Engine Journal)

LinkedIn rules for business owners. Asked which social media tool had the greatest potential to help their firms, 41% of small business owners chose LinkedIn. More CEOs chose LinkedIn than chose Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest combined. (Marketing Charts)

LinkedIn is the “social platform of choice” for companies in the Inc. 500, the index of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S. 81% of these firms use LinkedIn, compared to 67% on both Facebook and Twitter. (Relevanza)

80% of LinkedIn users are at least 30 years old. (Relevanza)

Twitter Facts and Statistics

On Twitter, frequency (and quality) matter: 71% of all tweets are ignored. Just 23% generate a reply. (Search Engine Journal)

Worse, 56% of customer tweets to companies are ignored. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

69% of follows are based on recommendations from friends. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

34% of marketers say they have generated leads using Twitter. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

53% of Twitter users have been using it for less than one year. (State of Search)

50% of Twitter users are more likely to purchase from brands they follow.  (War of Words: Myth-Busting Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing)

The average click-through rate (CTR) for a link shared on Twitter is about 1.6%, BUT—the average CTR drops as one’s number of Twitter followers increases. Accounts with 50-1,000 followers generate a better-than-6% average CTR; the rate drops to less than 0.5% on average for accounts with 10,000 or more followers. (Bit Rebels)

During the work week, Tuesday has the highest CTR (1.8%) and Friday the lowest (under 1.5%). (Bit Rebels)

During the day, CTRs are highest between 8:00-10:00 am and 4:00-6:00 pm. (Bit Rebels)

When planning timing of tweets, keep in mind that almost half of the U.S. population lives in the eastern time zone, and 80% of Americans live on eastern or central time. (Visual.ly)

Maximum CTR on tweets occurs between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. Unless you are particating in a Twitter chat, there’s no point in tweeting more than four times per hour. (Visual.ly)

Nearly 40% of top executives say they check Twitter regularly. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

67% of the Inc 500 use Twitter. Though valuable for content marketing and customer service, it is labor-intensive. (Heidi Cohen)

Pinterest Facts and Statistics

Women still constitute 80% of Pinterest users. (Search Engine Journal)

50% of users are parents. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

80% of pins are repins. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

Pinterest and Tumblr are among the “stickiest” social media sites, each accounting for, on average, 89 minutes of time spent per month per user. That compares to 21 minutes monthly on average spent on Twitter, 17 minutes on LinkedIn, and just three minutes on Google+. (TECHi)

25% of all female internet users in the U.S. use Pinterest–compared to just 5% male web users. (eMarketer)

Google+ Facts and Statistics

Google+ has attracted users, but not engagement. Non-mobile users spend an average of just three minutes per month on the site, and 30% of users who make a public post never make another one. (Search Engine Journal)

40% of marketers use Google+. Two-thirds plan to increase activity there over the coming year. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

This doesn’t count as an official statistic, but in the process of collecting 100+ social media stats and facts, only the two above related specifically to Google+. For whatever that’s worth.

Blogging Facts and Statistics

B2b companies that maintain blogs generate, on average, 67% more leads per month than non-blogging firms.  (War of Words: Myth-Busting Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing)

57% of marketers have acquired customers via their blogs, and 52% of consumers say blogs have impacted their purchasing decisions. (B2B Infographics)

Just 44% of Inc. 500 companies blogs – but that is up from 2011. (Relevanza)

Blogs are rated by consumers as the third-most influential category of sites influencing purchasing behavior (after retail sites and brand sites) – yet they garner just 10% of social media budgets (comnpared to 57% for Facebook). (Pamorama)

Blogs are the fifth-most trustworthy source overall for online information (ahead of Google+, forums, online magazines, brand sites, Twitter and Pinterest). (Pamorama)

86% of “influencers” blog.  (Pamorama)

23% of top executives say they read blogs regularly. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

Content Marketing Facts and Statistics

Content marketing works. 70% of marketers say that content marketing has increased their brand awareness; 59% believe it supports sales growth; and 45% say it has reduced their advertising costs. (iMedia Connection)

92% of SEO practitioners say content creation is an effective SEO tactic, and 76% regularly invest in content creation. (B2B Infographics)

Marketers spend most of their time producing blog posts, article and guides, social media updates, e-newletters, and news releases; they spend the least on podcasts, polls and surveys. (B2B Infographics)

While 90% of companies are engaged in some form of content marketing [http://webbiquity.com/book-reviews/book-review-content-rules/], just 36% believe their efforts are highly effective. (Polaris B)

Images are (important!) content too: 94% more total views on average are attracted by content containing compelling images than content without images. Using photos provides a 37% increase in Facebook engagement and 14% increase in news release pageviews. (Heidi Cohen)

B2B Marketing Statistics and Facts

Social matters in b2b. 53% of b2b buyers follow social discussions about vendors they are considering.  (War of Words: Myth-Busting Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing)

The role of sales has changed. 67% of the typical “b2b buyer’s journey” is now done digitally.  (War of Words: Myth-Busting Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing)

Google accounts for 90% of search traffic to b2b websites. (MediaPost)

Average conversion rates for different types of b2b web traffic: 1.60% overall; 2.89% for email; 1.04% for referral visits; 1.96% for paid search; 1.80% for branded search; 1.65% for direct visits; 1.45% for non-brand organic search; and 1.22% for social media. (MediaPost)

The biggest challenges for b2b content marketers? 64% struggle to produce enough content, while just over half (52%) find production of “engaging” content a challenge. (imFORZA)

More than 80% of b2b marketers use LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to distribute content. 61% use YouTube and 39% Google+. The least popular channels (all with single-digit percentage use) are Foursquare, Instagram, Tumblr and Quora. (Polaris B)

SEO is for traffic, social is for leads? Organic search accounts for, on average, 41% of traffic to SMB b2b websites, but just 27% of leads. Social media, in contrast, supplies just 2% of visits but 5% leads. And email accounts for just 1% of web traffic on average, but 9% of leads. (eMarketer)

Breaking that social traffic down one level, Facebook accounts for 54% of b2b website social media visits, but just 9% of leads; Twitter, on the other hand, provides less than a third of social visits but a whopping 82% of social leads. (Really?) (eMarketer)

SEO Statistics and Facts

Search produces quality traffic. SEO leads have a 14.6% sales close rate on average, compared to 1.7% for outbound leads (e.g., from direct mail or print advertising). (War of Words: Myth-Busting Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing)

Search is the top traffic driver to content-oriented websites, producing on average nearly four times the traffic of social media (41% from search, 11% from social).  (War of Words: Myth-Busting Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing)

Another study found an even more dramatic advantage for search, with organic search supplying 40% of all traffic (and Google alone accounting for 36% of visits) to b2b websites, while social media accounted for just 5% of traffic. (Forbes)

Keyword research only goes so far: 16% of daily Google searches, on average, have never been seen before.  (War of Words: Myth-Busting Social Media, SEO & Content Marketing)

Remeber when Google first started “hiding” the exact keywords used in organic search, and promised this would only affect a small percentage of search traffic? It now hides, on average, keyword data for 41% of all organic searches. (MediaPost)

For b2b websites, on average, the split between branded and non-brand search traffic is 31%/69%. (MediaPost)

6 of 10 organizations plan to increase SEO spending this year. (imFORZA)

One-third of searches are location based. (imFORZA)

71% of marketers say that content marketing has helped inprove their site’s ranking in organic search, and 77% say it has increased website traffic. (iMedia Connection)

Nearly a quarter of U.S. small businesses plan to spend more on their web presence this year–as well they should. As of early 2013, “More than 60% lacked an address on their homepage, and nearly 50% did not provide a contact number…47% were not present on Google Places, and 35% did not have a Bing Local presence.” (eMarketer)

Don’t forget to optimize videos for search. YouTube is the second-largest “search engine” by volume of searches. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

Top brands spend, on average, 19% of their digital marketing budgets on search, vs. 14% on video content and 10% on social media. But the largest share (41%) goes to display advertising. (MarketingProfs)

Mobile Marketing Statistics and Facts

25% of all internet searches last year were made on mobile devices. And 25% of all U.S. internet users are mobile only (includes tablets). (imFORZA)

More than three-quarters (77%) of mobile users use their smartphones and tablets for searching and social networking. (imFORZA)

While mobile marketing is by no means unimportant, it may not justify quite the attention it gets. Marketers have a disorted view of the market because while 90% of marketing professionals own smartphones, but half of consumers do. And while 41% of marketing professionals say they have made a purchase based on information on Facebook, less than a third of consumers with smartphones–and just 12% of consumers without smartphones–have done so. (Thought Reach)

Forget the app, just use email. 33% of consumers say the email is the most effective tool for building loyalty, vs. 26% of marketers. On the other hand, 23% of marketing pros believe that custom apps are most effective at loyalty building; just 7% of consumers agree. (Thought Reach)

Asked how their marketing strategies would change in 2013, the largest percentage of marketers (82%) planned to increase their focus on mobile media. The largest decreases were expected in newspaper and magazine advertising. (eMarketer)

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37 Fantastic SEO Guides, Tips and Tactics

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Considering that the average b2b website gets about 40% of traffic from organic search, with some sites getting as much as two-thirds of all visits via search engines, effective search engine optimization (SEO) remains a vital strategy.

But precisely what constitutes “best practices” in SEO is a continually (and lately, rapidly) moving target. Yesterday’s on-page optimization and link building tactics—even those used with the best, non-manipulative intentions—may get a site penalized in search rankings today for being “over-optimized.” (You can’t be too rich or too thin, but apparently you can be too optimized.)

So what’s a marketing manager, PR professional or SEO specialist to do? Keep up with SEO trends and changes. Optimize off-site content (for example, on YouTube and other social platforms). Use effective SEO tools and marketing metrics. Create link-worthy content. Use social signals to boost rankings. Learn how to do all of that and then some here in more than three dozen of the best SEO guides and tips from the past year.

General SEO Tips and Guides

When Search Becomes Invisible by MediaPost Search Blog

Laurie SullivanLaurie Sullivan explores how online advertisers and search engine optimizers will adjust to a not-too-distant future “when the act of typing keywords into a search box to create a query becomes invisible? The act of searching for information will blend into voice-assisted programs, with geolocation targeting supported by data.” She reports on how Google, Ask, online ad platform vendors and others are simultaneously creating and adjusting to these changes in technology.

4 questions to ask when hiring an SEO consultant by iMedia Connection

Louis RixLouis Rix recommends four questions that marketers ask before hiring an outside SEO consultant or firm, such as what kinds of reports they provide and how they build links (great question). His fourth suggested question is a bit tricky however, as even the author notes that “Nobody can promise you a No. 1 ranking.”

10 Elements of a Perfectly Optimized Page by Search Engine Watch

Gareth OwenGareth Owen presents 10 important elements for on-page SEO, though he acknowledges that “perfect” may be stretching things a bit (“It’s worth noting that the ‘perfectly optimized page’ above won’t be perfect for all verticals, or for all brands – not everyone has the ability to add customer reviews to their product pages”).

4 Enterprise SEO Trends to Watch in 2012 by ClickZ

Adam AudetteAdam Audette outlines four trends he sees in SEO, among them “Further Corporatization of SEO in the Enterprise: The trend over the last several years has increasingly shown SEO teams ‘go within’ at large companies. This is a trend I’ve long supported and recommended, for example in my piece on in-house SEO teams. In fact, for enterprise companies to realize exceptional results in SEO, they almost always require a dedicated internal SEO team. That’s the case today primarily because incremental gains are harder to achieve.” True perhaps, but this is not necessarily a trend in small to midsized firms yet.

5 big SEO changes you might have missed by iMedia Connection

Lisa WehrGoing beyond the usual SEO guidance, Lisa Wehr explains how to capitalize on mobile and local search, Google encrypted search results, and even Google+ and Facebook: “Where on a social site can you insert keywords? From Google+ profiles to Facebook info sections, you can display keywords and all of your business web properties (website, Twitter, YouTube, corporate blog, etc).”

SEO Strategy for New Domains by Search Engine Journal

Sujan PatelWriting that “When you first launch a new website, it’s a blank slate in the eyes of Google and the other search engines,” Sujan Patel serves up a five-step plan for gaining search ranking, from “make sure that your site is set up as effectively as possible from an internal SEO standpoint” to planning for ongoing optimization.

5 Best Practices for Global SEO by ClickZ

Crispin SheridanFor websites that are truly global in terms of their market targeting, Crispin Sheridan offers a handful of helpful tips for optimization, among them engaging in local link building: “Link building, whether through traditional efforts such as outreach programs or guest blogging, social media, and leveraging partnerships, will always be one of the strongest ways to obtain more favorable rankings. In addition to helping with rankings, the search engines will look at the origin of the links to help determine local relevance. For example, a Chinese site that has a large number of links coming from other China-based sites will have a stronger authority within the local China search engines.”

7 Signs That You’re Overvaluing Search Engine Optimization by MarketingSherpa

Daniel BursteinReporting that nearly a third of b2b marketers “consider search engine optimization to be very effective — more than email marketing, content marketing, and most noticeably, paid search,” Daniel Burstein outlines warning signs that a company may be overvaluing SEO, to the detriment of considerations like providing valuable content and optimizing for conversions.

Create A YouTube Traffic Jam With These 4 Simple Optimization Tips by KISSmetrics
***** 5 STARS

Brian HonigmanWhile it’s not SEO strictly speaking, optimizing your YouTube videos for search is a great way to increase brand exposure, and to (indirectly) drive website traffic. Brian Honigman provides an outstanding, comprehensive guide to optimizing videos from tags and titles to playlists, annotations and channel branding.

Confirmed: Google+ Is Critical To Your Search Rankings by Sean Clark

Sean ClarkSean Clark contends that “Keywords (are) a thing of the past,” and that social media signals (particularly from Google+) are the future of search engine ranking signals. True? Perhaps. Carefully consider Sean’s arguments and those of his commenters.

DuckDuckGo Search Engine Crowdsources Plugins by Wired

Scott Gilbertson reports on DuckDuckHack, “a developer platform that allows anyone to add new features to the search engine.” The platform enables anyone to write plugins (to go along with current “goodies” like time-based queries and unit conversions) for the search engine and share them. Is this article really one of the best SEO guides of the past year? Maybe not, but it’s hard not to love DuckDuckGo.

9 Lessons from 1,000 SEO Questions by SEOmoz

Dr. Peter J. MeyersDr. Peter J. Meyers distills the answers to 1,000 private questions asked of SEOmoz into this compact summary of SEO  wisdom, such as “One-trick Ponies Make Good Glue…People naturally get comfortable with one aspect of search marketing (link-building, on-page, social, etc.) and then want to ‘perfect’ it, but at best they hit diminishing returns fast.”

Google Webmaster Tools: An Overview by Search Engine Watch

Simon HeseltineSimon Heseltine offers a helpful guide to the features in Google Webmaster Tools, from getting started through navigating the dashboard, messages, configuration, assessing a website’s health (e.g. through crawl errors), search queries,  internal links, sitemaps and more.

10 Myths That Scare SEOs But Shouldn’t – Whiteboard Friday by SEOmoz

Rand FishkinRand Fishkin dispels myths that shouldn’t be keeping SEO practitioners awake at night, such as having a large number of backlinks from a single domain (unless the linking site is really spammy or the links were built manipulatively) or keyword density that’s “too high.”

10 SEO measurements every marketer should know by Biznology

Rob PetersenNoting that “80% of people who visit a website get there from typing a keyword in the query box of a search engine” (seems a bit high, your mileage will vary) and “90% click on websites on the first page” (of search results), Rob Petersen defines 10 imperative SEO metrics for marketers, from the number of keywords driving traffic to the number of pages indexed by search engines.

7 Small Business SEO Tips by Search Engine Watch

Adam StetzerAdam Stetzer suggests “seven small business SEO tips to help earn more business through traditional organic search rankings,” among them understanding that onsite SEO is necessary but not sufficient; that creating engaging content is critical; and that content marketing should be used to earn backlinks (“Quality content containing humor, information, controversy, politics or training usually brings backlinks – and is definitely considered acceptable SEO”).

SEO Tips for Panda and Penguin

Interview of Jonah Stein by SEO Book

Aaron WallAaron Wall has a long, detailed conversion with SEO expert Jonah Stein about the impact of Google’s series of Panda algorithm updates, and how to respond to penalties. One key line from Jonah: “It is short sighted to believe that any of the SEO niche strategies are going to survive if they are not supported with PR, social, PPC and display.” Which is pretty much what the web presence optimization (WPO) framework is designed to address.

What is your SEO Social Signals Strategy? by iMedia Connection

Krista LaRiviereKrista LaRiviere reveals, in her words, “how Google’s algorithm changes impact both backlinking and social signaling; how to build an SEO social signals strategy; how your SEO backlinking and social signals strategies come together in your content strategy; (and) how to measure it all.”

Google Plans SEO Over-Optimization Penalty by Practical eCommerce

Jill KocherJill Kocher provides some details about Google’s throw-the-baby-out-with-the-bathwater approach to penalizing “over-optimization.” For example, one sign of over-optimization to Google is reportedly “Linking repeatedly from body copy to a handful of key pages with optimized anchor text. If 33 of my 100 pages link to www.jillsfakesite.com from the body copy with the anchor text “Jills Fake Site,” that should count as over-optimization.” Never mind that there may be perfectly legitimate reasons for doing this, and it may improve the user experience.

6 Changes Every SEO Should Make BEFORE the Over-Optimization Penalty Hits – Whiteboard Friday by SEOmoz

Speaking of over-optimization, Rand Fishkin (again) here reviews half a dozen ways to avoid Google’s “over-optimization” penalties, including this on in-content text links: “go with logical, useful, change it up when you’re linking to pages, maybe a couple of times, in some spaces. You have a blog post and it mentions a page on your site that you want people to actually go to and that you think is useful in context. Great, link over there. Fine, use the anchor text. Maybe use a modified version of the anchor text, a little longer, a little shorter, a little more natural sounding, and you’re going to get these same results, but you’re going to do it in a much more effective way. You’re not going to be at risk of whatever is happening with this over-optimization penalty.”

The Rise of Content Strategy–What to do about Google killing SEO by Biznology

James MathewsonJames Mathewson outlines four ways Google is killing SEO, including semantic search: “How do SEOs traditionally optimize pages? By advising their clients to put keywords in strategic places on a page. When Google goes to semantic search, it won’t be as much about keywords at all, but on the meaning of the words you use. This might be the biggest SEO killer of all. If tuning our content for keywords our users care about is no longer an effective strategy, what is left for SEOs?” He believes content strategy is the new SEO.

SEO & Content Marketing: Getting The Most Visibility For Your Valuable Content by MediaPost Search Insider

Janet Driscoll MillerObserving that “with recent algorithm updates, Google has noticeably placed renewed emphasis on unique, relevant, and timely content. Clearly there’s a marriage between SEO and content marketing,” frequent best-of honoree Janet Driscoll Miller explains how to capitalize in search on difficult-to-optimize content such as information that’s behind a registration wall, infographics and PDFs.

How to Identify Search Engine Penalties by Search Engine Journal

Reassuring that “Not all search engine penalties are permanent, and with a little detective work and remedial action, you should be able to restore your previous rankings and rebuild the flow of organic traffic to your site,” Sujan Patel (again) outlines a five-step process to determine if your site has been penalized, and it so, recover from it.

17 Ways SMBs Can Survive the Google Penguin Update Effect by ClickZ

Lisa BuyerFor those concerned about Google’s Panda update (which is to say, anyone involved in SEO), Lisa Buyer highlights a number of resources for help including guidance on optimizing beyond Google, including advertising, socializing, pinning, profiling, twittering, and more.

Backlinks Strongest Factor For Positive Search Rankings by MediaPost

Laurie Sullivan (again) reports that “Content shared from Facebook and the amount of backlinks appear to influence organic search engine results most, but Google +1s have the strongest impact on rankings,” and that recent analysis of Google ranking factors in the post-Panda-and-Penguin era suggests that social signals will play an increasing role in site ranking.

6 Months with Panda: A Story of Complacency, Hard Decisions, and Recovery by Search Engine Journal
***** 5 STARS

Glenn GabeIn this must-read case study for any site hit by Panda, Glenn Gabe explains how even a large, mature, well-respected website with a stellar link profile can get hit with Panda penalties, what caused this to happen, and the single most important thing that needed to be done to regain ranking and traffic.

7 Achievable Steps For Great SEO After The Penguin Update by SEOmoz
***** 5 STARS

Chris WarrenThis post from Chris Warren would be a must-read for anyone struggling with search traffic issues in the post-Penguin era even if it only contained steps one (“Understand your link profile…The biggest risk factors are a combination of lots of low quality links with targeted anchor text”), two (“Learn what makes a good link…there is a lot of evidence that these high value links are really the main drivers of a domain’s link authority”) and five (“almost never change your URLs”).

Understanding Penguin 1.1: Be Safe from Updates in 3 Easy Steps by Search Engine Journal

Muzzammil BambotMuzzammil Bambot steps through some of the biggest negative factors in post-Penguin search ranking and how to correct those, from getting rid of paid links and excessive links from a single domain to having too many exact-match text links (solved by increasing the diversity of text link variations).

3 Ways to Use Social Media to Improve Your Search Rankings by Social Media Examiner

AJ KumarAJ Kumar suggests strategies for using social media to improve search rank, but just as importantly to “future-proof” your site from still more Google algorithm changes by using social media to reduce your reliance on organic search traffic, for example by including “prominent social sharing buttons at both the top and bottom of each blog post on your website (or use a scrolling option that moves down the page alongside your readers).”

10 Ways Coding Can Help Your SEO by Search Engine Journal

Sujan Patel (once again) provides an excellent collection of SEO tips, here focused on technical factors that can affect rankings. Among his recommendations: use a search engine spider simulator to validate your code for spider-friendliness; create search-optimized page URLs; and combine script files to speed up page load times.

How Google’s Panda and Penguin are affecting your site’s rankings by iMedia Connection

Kent LewisKent Lewis does a commendable job of explaining how Google’s Panda and Penguin updates affected search rankings, and practical steps for avoiding penalties and regaining rankings (e.g., “Cancel or remove unnecessary footer links. Take it easy on the internal ‘SEO’ linking”), though his contention that “A minority of those sites (negatively affected by these algorithm changes) may be legitimate, but a majority of those impacted were consciously in violation” is questionable, particularly given the experiences of other experts noted above.

10 Old SEO Methods You Need to Stop by Search Engine Watch

Greg HabermannGreg Habermann warns against 10 SEO “techniques” that no longer work (or never really did), including Ezine Articles submissions, “news” release without any real news (produced just for links), link exchanges, thin content, and spider-unfriendly web design.

Top 1 SEO Tips for 2013 by SEOmoz

Pete Myers (again) shares his single most valuable SEO tip for 2013, writing that: “While I can’t tell you Google’s next move, I can tell you one thing with absolute certainty – there’s more to come. So, how can you protect what you’ve built in 2013? I was going to write a long list of suggestions, but I realized that they almost all boiled down to just one idea. I’m not going to toy with you – my top tip for 2013 SEO is…”

Best SEO Infographics

On page content SEO Puzzle #infographic by WordPress Hosting SEO
***** 5 STARS

Berrie PelserWriting that “SEO is a large and dynamic puzzle…to have a successful SEO strategy, you will need to all of the pieces of the puzzle together,” Berrie Pelser presents an easy-to-grasp infographic covering the basics of on-page optimization, coding, site architecture, social factors, reputation, links and more.

The History of Search Engine Marketing by Erik Holladay

Erik HolladayErik Holladay shares an infographic from Markus Allen that details the major ranking factors used by the leading search engines and the significant changes and upgrades made to ranking algorithms from Lycos and WebCrawler in 1994 through Google’s Panda algorithm update.

A Simple SEO Audit For Your Website by Soulati Media
***** 5 STARS

Jayme SoulatiJayme Soulati share a helpful infographic outlining the process for a basic website SEO audit, from content (fresh? Keyword-stuffed? Easy to read?) through technical considerations (navigation, crawl issues, broken links) to backlinks (spammy or paid vs. relevant and high-quality).

Infographic: The New Face of Search Engine Optimization by Marketing Technology Blog

Douglas KarrDouglas Karr presents an excellent SEO infographic contrasting what used to work in terms of keyword targeting, user experience, on-site content (e.g., “stuff title tags with keywords”), anchor text, directory submissions, news releases, and more, to what works today (e.g., “social traction correlates with links…Google+, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest are the most important SM platforms to SEO”).

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