David Jones – Performancing http://performancing.com Tue, 13 Feb 2018 03:14:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 11 Myths About Link Building In SEO http://performancing.com/myths-about-link-building-in-seo/ http://performancing.com/myths-about-link-building-in-seo/#comments Wed, 10 May 2017 08:12:12 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=13830 Link building is one of the cornerstones of SEO and essential to rank for most competitive search terms. Doing link building the wrong way can quickly get your website into trouble and many websites and business have gone from the top of the SERPs to almost bust overnight due to the wrong link strategies so people […]

The post 11 Myths About Link Building In SEO appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
Link building is one of the cornerstones of SEO and essential to rank for most competitive search terms. Doing link building the wrong way can quickly get your website into trouble and many websites and business have gone from the top of the SERPs to almost bust overnight due to the wrong link strategies so people are naturally cautious. This has also lead to many myths about link building spreading across SEO blogs, forums and social media over the years and this article is going to put a few of them straight. 

Links from directories do not have any value

Back in the old SEO days when link building involved submitting your website to as many places as possible directories were high up on the list as a main place for getting links from. When people started to spam this tactic too much and many link directories started to lower the standards of what they accepted or even let any website add it’s link with no oversight things started to get out of hand. Many directories deemed to be low quality or simply for the purpose of adding links were heavily penalized by Google and then after the Penguin updates people quickly stopped using them.

However, this does not mean that all directories are bad. Like with all links it depends on what the quality of the site is and what it’s doing. If there is a website run specifically for businesses in your local area with a directory and they are accepting listings and vetting them  then by all means you should be looking to get a link from that site. As with all link building, use your judgement and analyse the quality of the site beforehand.

Getting links too fast will get you penalised

Another myth and one which even seasoned SEOs believe! There is some truth to this though, if you create a new website or publish a new page and then get a lot of links with the same anchor text or text that is overly optimised for search terms than Google may not see these links as natural as when a link is truly built naturally it is normally not using your target search terms! However, if your business happens to blow up in the news or a piece of content goes viral and suddenly you are getting lots of links then this is fine and Google can tell that they are natural. So yes if you are doing forced, low quality link building too quickly then expect them to either not count at all or for Google to come after you, otherwise you’re fine.

Don’t link out to too many sites

This is something else that did have some truth to it in the past but in the last few years Google has stated is not true anymore. Many years ago in the Google webmaster guidelines it said “Keep the links on a give page to a reasonable number (fewer than 100)”, however people took this as a web spam rule and soon after 100 was the benchmark figure a page should not go over for outbound links. Matt Cutts helpfully cleared this up in 2009 though explaining that this was more of a user experience guideline which is why it was not listed in the web spam section.

“Does Google automatically consider a page spam if your page has over 100 links? No, not at all”

Matt Cutts, 2009

Even though the advice was dropped from the guidelines in 2008, Google publicly reinforced this in 2013 but also added a note that they make take action against that page if there were signs of obvious manipulation and/or spam.

Do not ask for links at all as it will get you penalised

This is not true but again it does share similarities with other situations where companies have offered discounts on their products and services or even free samples in return for links. If Google sees a website or company doing this on any kind of large scale they will see it as manipulative and most likely issue a penalty and warning.

However doing general outreach to niche related sites and asking them to link back to you is just fine. If a website has a resources page and you have something that you feel would be a good fit for that page then by all means ask them to add it.

This will *not* happen if you ask for links

Don’t get links from sites with less authority than you

As long as a site has quality content and isn’t spamming then the link is still valuable to you if its DA 50 or 20 site. Of course links from higher authority sites will carry more weight but lower ones can still help especially if the content is closely related to your site, don’t turn your nose up at them!

More than one link from the same domain has no value

Getting links from as many different domains as possible is of course desirable for any webmaster or link builder. Getting a second or third link from a domain that has already linked to you may not help you as much as the first link did but it still passes value in the same way other links do. If Forbes.com was linking to you multiple times from their site would you be upset? Of course not.

Links from non-related sites will not help

Your priority target sites should be sites related to your industry but it doesn’t mean that links from other niches will not pass value and help your rankings.

Link building is an independent strategy

This is another hangover from how SEO was done in the past and before the rise of content marketing. Any modern day SEO or content marketer knows that these two fields now go hand-in-hand. High quality and useful content is integral to nearly all link building campaigns especially if you want to attract links organically (without having to do manual outreach) and if you are planning a piece of content that you are hoping will get links naturally and/or you want to use for outreach to get links then making that piece of content as stand out as possible should be your main priority. If you have an attention grabbing piece of content that is head and shoulders above your competition then this will do a lot for the work for you!

 Reciprocal link building will always get you penalised

No it will not. If you link to a site that happens to link back to you by chance or even intentionally then Google will not have a problem with it. However, if they see you conducting what looks like a reciprocal link scheme where there are many sites and you are all linking to each other then they will take action.

I’m sure you are beginning to see a pattern here now, don’t spam, Google isn’t stupid!

Links are permanent

You may have heard people say thins like ‘pay per click is temporary, SEO is forever’ and there is some truth to this, although SEO takes a lot longer to achieve results the affects can last for a long time and organic SERP results historically have a much better click through rate than PPC search ads. However this does not mean that if you build XX number of links for a website that those links are still going to be there in a few months or a year later. Editors may remove links or entire pieces of content, websites are bought or shutdown, businesses may go bust and there are numerous other reasons that any number of highly valuable links to your website disappear overnight. Link building should never be a ‘set it and forget it’ strategy and should be on-going which is adds further emphasis to why it needs to be baked into your overall content and digital marketing strategies.

Nofollow links have no value

As we covered here in a previous post nofollow links should actually be part of your linking strategy to ensure that your link profile looks natural as Google does not like to see too many followed links and you want to have a link portfolio with a good mix of followed and nofollow links. Some SEOs and content marketers these days even say that you shouldn’t even think about whether a link is follow or nofollow and instead focus on reaching out to the right websites and people.

The post 11 Myths About Link Building In SEO appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/myths-about-link-building-in-seo/feed/ 12
How to Do Internal Linking the Right Way http://performancing.com/how-to-do-internal-linking-right-way/ http://performancing.com/how-to-do-internal-linking-right-way/#comments Wed, 10 May 2017 03:11:29 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=14023 Internal Linking and SEO Best Practices One of the great things about raising your visibility through search engine optimization is that you can get a lot of link juice with a few simple changes to how your produce and present your content. One well-known way of improving your SEO is through external links from relevant, […]

The post How to Do Internal Linking the Right Way appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
Internal Linking and SEO Best Practices

One of the great things about raising your visibility through search engine optimization is that you can get a lot of link juice with a few simple changes to how your produce and present your content. One well-known way of improving your SEO is through external links from relevant, popular sites that point to your content. A method of improving your SEO that’s a little less understood is internal linking and its many benefits. If you aren’t including internal links in your webpages, you’re losing out on what could be a substantial boost in your Google rank.

 

What is Internal Linking?

An internal link is a link on your website that points to another page hosted on your website. For example, if a blog post on your page references a product you’re selling, you could link to that product. You could also link to your homepage, frequently asked questions or another post that sheds light on a topic mentioned in the one with the link. The important thing about internal linking is that the source and target link are on the same domain.

 

What’s the Point of Internal Linking?

Internal links serve a few different purposes on your website. For one, they create a roadmap of your site that helps people navigate. A clear webpage structure makes a better customer experience. Another thing they do is educate your visitors on what topic you’re writing about. Sometimes concepts are too complex to be explained in a single post, and linking to another can help your visitor find more information to clear things up.

These links also help create more links on your site, which can benefit your Google rank and help make your site more visible to interested searchers. One of the major benefits of internal linking is its ability to make more of your pages indexed, which is another way to increase your visibility. 

 

Internal Links and Google Crawlers

Google indexes the web with robots called crawlers. They go to a website and index the content, then follow links to new pages to index those as well. When content is indexed, it is available to searchers on Google.

Internal linking gives the crawlers a new way to find pages on your website. It creates links for them to follow. It helps Google index your pages and display them in search results, which increases your potential visibility. Since Google only updates their indexed content so often, creating new links to your pages may increase the rate of refresh for your site.

 

 

Internal Linking provides crawlers a way to find other pages on your website.

Internal Links and Crawl Limits

When designing an internal linking strategy, keep in mind that search engine crawlers have limits to the amount of links they can crawl. Google recommends that you keep the number of links to a few thousand at most, as of 2017. In the past, however, Matt Cutts of Google recommended keeping links on a page to less than 100, Google dropped this recommendation later in 2008 but also reinforced that they would take action if a page was deemed to be linking out for spam purposes. 

When linking internally it is also important to keep your crawl budget in mind. This is the number of pages on your site that Google bots are able to crawl.

 

What is Your Crawl Budget and Why You Need To Know This

what is your crawl budget

 

Since you also want to keep the page looking natural and not like it was link-stuffed, go easy on the internal links. Link totals include every link on the page, including the header, footer and any sidebars. If you can work in two or three internal links in a few thousand words, you’re doing the right thing.

That’s not to say that there aren’t times when more internal links are useful. If you’re setting up an index page or doing an overview of a topic to help people find more in-depth articles, link away. But in general, go easy on the internal links. Just a few to help readers and crawlers find their way to new pages can do wonders for your website navigation and SEO.

 

Types of Internal Links to Use

Use links in places where there is a convincing connection between the two pages. Ask yourself: is this relevant enough that a reader would want to click the link to see more information about it.

Use links that reach deep within the content of your site, not only links to the surface. While a link to your homepage is technically an internal link, it’s unlikely that it will deliver the same search engine optimization benefits as a link into deeper content, like blog posts or answers to reader’s questions that have been submitted to the site.

 

Types of Internal Links to Avoid

One type of link to avoid is a nofollow link. Since crawlers are using the link to get deeper into your site and index more pages, nofollow links counteract this. Crawlers generally only continue to the next page when the link is formatted as a follow link. Google doesn’t like to see webmasters doing this as it looks like ‘page rank sculpting’ which is when you try and force Google bots to only flow to certain pages to boost their value. 

“Nofollow is probably never the answer, especially on your own site. I can think of corner case scenarios where the target page would be robotted for whatever reason, and then if it is robotted and not indexed yet, if you don’t want to get that page indexed, then you probably don’t want to point to it with anchors”

Gary Illyes, Google

Matt Cutts did say back in 2013 though that its ok to nofollow a link to a page that contains something such as a login form:

 

 

Don’t have your internal links be the same on every page. Most webpages have a setup where links to major content are linked on every page. Examples include: contact us, the homepage or business hours. Avoid the mistake of making no variation.

Some examples of links that won’t be crawled are:

  • Links kept behind forms won’t be indexed. Crawlers won’t submit forms.
  • Some links are only accessible through an on-site search. These won’t be indexed. This is one of the most common causes of links not being crawled.
  • Flash, Java and similar plugins can prevent crawlers from accessing the links on them.
  • Links in certain types of Javascript won’t be crawled. It’s almost always better to use normal HTML links.

As you build internal links, decide what you want to focus on. You can focus on spreading many internal links through your site. Another strategy is promoting certain pieces of well-written content on many different pages. Either way, work to structure your links so they’ll be crawled. Your site will benefit from the new links and crawlers may find pages they haven’t before.

 

Internal Linking and SEO

Internal linking combines some of the most important components of search engine optimization into one task: linking, content, indexing, and refresh rates. Though you won’t get the same juice as you would from an external link from a high-authority site, you still get a boost when Google crawls and indexes your pages more often.

When your search engine optimization is increased, you’ll see your Google rank climb. Since pages at the top of Google’s search results for a term get significantly more traffic than those lower on the list, it’s worth the effort you put in to increase your rank.

Internal linking can also help increase your traffic and SEO by returning more of your pages in search results. More links mean more crawling means more pages indexed by Google. Those indexed pages can be returned in searches for the keywords you’re targeting. In that way, your site may rise above one that doesn’t use internal linking.

 

Internal Links and Reader Engagement

Another benefit of internal linking is that you can increase reader engagement. A good link structure will make your site and content easier to navigate for readers. One benefit is that a clear link to supplementary content will add value. Adding value will make your site more appealing to a visitor.

The easier and more helpful your site, the more interested people will be in returning to it later. Since returning visitors are more likely to make a purchase on your site, it pays to keep people coming back again. This is another reason why fresh content is essential and helps an internal linking strategy–it keeps people coming back and following links to your pages, establishing you as an authority and building the trust that inspires people to purchase products or services.

 

Internal Links and Niche Authority

Linking to your own material can also help increase your own authority in your niche. While linking to outside websites also has value, you show that you know your stuff when you use internal links properly. Since building your niche authority can help you build relationships with other businesses, attract customers, and offer external link trading capabilities, it’s good to position your brand as an expert.

Pages that define terms, elaborate on mentioned concepts, or highlight some area of expertise that you excel in can position you as an authority. Linking to those exposes your brand knowledge and awareness to other people. If you have more relevant and substantive content on your site, they know that you know as much or more than your competition.

 

Creating Linkable Content

One trick to internal linking is to create lots of content. The more content, the more potential links and places to link on your site. Since updating your content regularly helps improve your Google rank, increasing the content production on your website is a good idea for more reasons than one anyway.

To create content that is easy to make relevant links to, take a look at your old posts and consider how they might connect to new content. Don’t force it, though. You don’t want to sacrifice the quality or readability of your content to link to other pages on your site.

If you already have a lot of content that isn’t linked, go through and update it to add links to relevant pages. To make it natural, consider adding a sentence or two to refresh the old content when you revisit it. Add the link in the new content. In this way, you’re making it fit naturally and it will be easier to read.

 

Formatting Internal Links

Always format internal links the right way. Not doing so many detract from their benefits. The link structure you’re creating is designed to help Google find and index pages on your website.

A normal, follow link should work perfectly fine with internal linking. Also, if you’re trying to get very good results for a particular page, consider making the link more visible. Place it in the content with a good anchor text: keep it succinct, relevant to the link, and don’t make your anchor text too keyword heavy.

Many websites are designed in such a way that Google can’t easily index their content. Having the pages linked the wrong way can inhibit the crawling activity. This keeps your site from being indexed and returning as a search result. If your pages aren’t linked properly, Google may not even know they exist. Google can’t return what it isn’t aware of in search results.

 

Keep Your Internal Links Relevant

Adding internal links to your website isn’t just about shoehorning them in where they fit. It’s important that they’re relevant to the content of the source page. Ask yourself whether the links adds value to the page. If it does–and is formatted and selected properly–then you have a perfect internal link. If it isn’t, remove it and use a link that does give a reader more value.

Before placing a link, determine whether it’s relevant. Ask yourself whether you’d find it interesting and educational if you were reading the page. Picture yourself as a customer and ask whether that link would seem natural and useful to you. If you think it would be, then add it to your page.

If you aren’t already using internal links in your content, start today. It’s a simple and easy way to increase reader engagement and improve your search engine position. On top of that, it makes your site more easy to navigate and can supplement your content.

As you work to increase your position as a brand authority, internal linking should become a commonplace feature of your site. The benefits over time will be substantial.

The post How to Do Internal Linking the Right Way appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/how-to-do-internal-linking-right-way/feed/ 1
Soft 404 Vs Hard 404 Errors: What’s The Difference? http://performancing.com/soft-404-vs-hard-404-errors-whats-difference/ http://performancing.com/soft-404-vs-hard-404-errors-whats-difference/#comments Mon, 01 May 2017 07:28:26 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=13963 Even when you have an attractive website filled with relevant, timely content that links to other reputable sites, there are still a few places where it’s easy to stumble and end up with negative effects on your SEO. The technical design and function of your website is just as important as the content when it […]

The post Soft 404 Vs Hard 404 Errors: What’s The Difference? appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
Even when you have an attractive website filled with relevant, timely content that links to other reputable sites, there are still a few places where it’s easy to stumble and end up with negative effects on your SEO. The technical design and function of your website is just as important as the content when it comes to climbing the ranks to get a top spot on Google. One example of a technical error that can cause big problems for your search ranking is a soft 404 error.

Hard 404 Errors

A hard 404 error is something you’ve probably encountered more than once while browsing the web. Simply put, it’s a signal to a user that the page couldn’t be found or accessed. This could be because the page doesn’t exist. Hard 404 errors can be frustrating for users who can’t find a page, but aren’t likely to affect your SEO in a large way. 404 errors also aren’t always the fault of the site. If a person types in a web address wrong, for example, they may receive a hard 404 error.

 

Soft 404 Errors

Soft 404 errors, on the other hand, are negative signals for your website. A soft 404 error occurs when someone is trying to access a URL on your website and is getting a message that the page doesn’t exist. However, the site isn’t sending out a typical 404 error code. Instead, it’s responding with a 200 OK HTTP response code. This means that the site is saying the URL is fine and not broken or missing. In other words, the response indicates a successful HTTP request. When the request isn’t successful, the 200 OK code shouldn’t be sent by the server. When soft 404 errors appear on a large percentage of your pages, it becomes a serious customer experience and SEO issue.

 

Effects on Page Indexing

When Googlebot crawls the web to index pages, it has a limited amount of time that it can spend on each domain before it moves on to another one. When you have pages giving soft 404 errors, Googlebot interprets them as pages with unique content that you want indexed and displayed in search results. So it spends some of the time it has on your domain to index pages that aren’t delivering unique or useful content to your viewers. This is sometimes called a sites crawl budget.

This means that the pages you want indexed may take longer to update and rank on Google. You should run your website so that you have the best chance of ranking for the keywords you’re targeting as quickly as you can—and soft 404 errors can prevent that from happening. Instead you may be ranking for useless terms that aren’t related to your niche, especially if you have a high proportion of pages with 404 errors.

 

Effects on SEO

Because a soft 404 error can limit the number of good pages indexed and how frequently they’re indexed, it can have a negative effect on your SEO. Ideally, every time Googlebot crawled your page it would index the newest versions of all your pages, signaling to Google’s ranking algorithm that you’re a frequently-updated and relevant site. However, when your pages with soft 404 errors are indexed, you’re losing the positive benefits of all those well-crafted, on target pages. This is because the web crawlers may not prioritize the pages you’re trying to rank when they’re spending their time on pages with soft 404 errors.

Google on Soft 404 Errors

Google directly said on the Webmaster Central Blog that:

“We discourage the use of so-called “soft 404s” because they can be a confusing experience for users and search engines. [. . .] Search engines may spend much of their time crawling and indexing non-existent, often duplicative URLs on your site. This can negatively impact your site’s crawl coverage.”

There are some areas of SEO like subfolders vs subdomains where Google isn’t extremely clear on what you should do to get the best possible SEO results. However when Google is direct and clear about an issue, you should always do what they suggest. In the case of soft 404 errors, your best bet is to eliminate them completely so that you have the highest ranking you can achieve.

 


Example of a hard 404 error page.

User Experience

Another problem with soft 404 errors is that they create a negative and confusing user experience. A hard 404 error just refuses to load the content and explains that it couldn’t be found. However, a soft 404 will often redirect to the homepage or show a related page that wasn’t what the user was searching for. It can be a frustrating experience for a person looking for content on your site and may end up preventing a return visit from that person in the future.

You don’t have to use the standard 404 error page either. You can create a custom page that is triggered when someone requests a page that doesn’t exist on your server. It can redirect the user to another page while still sending the 404 error code out that indicates that the page isn’t found. This is one way to improve the experience for users of your website.

 

Configuring Your Pages

When you have a URL for a page that isn’t there anymore, it’s best to configure it to return a hard 404 error. This tells both users and search engines that the file couldn’t be found.

Even if your page is displaying a 404 error message, it may not be actually transmitting a 404 error code. The code and the content of the page aren’t necessarily the same. Your page must be transmitting that code so that Google and users know that it’s nonexistent or not reachable. The HTTP header response must be changed so that the server returns a proper 404 code instead of the 200 OK code.

 

301 Redirects

One way to deal with a page that is no longer available is to configure it to redirect to a different page. However, if you’re not planning to revamp the page in the future and if it doesn’t have value in terms of entry traffic, it’s better to completely delete it and move it off your sitemap for good. That way Google will stop indexing that URL and spend its time crawling pages that still offer good information.

Another reason to use a redirect is if you have a valuable link on another site that you don’t want to lose. The link will still be directed to its original page, and then the 301 code will bring it to the new page. It can preserve your very high-value SEO links.

Never try to configure your site to only use 301 redirects instead of 404s. They’re only appropriate when a direct replacement page is available. Some webmasters turn every 404 into a redirect, but that’s not an appropriate way to set up your website. Having 404 errors when no direct replacement product or page is available is more appropriate.

 

How to Check For Soft 404 Errors

The first thing you need to do is see how many of your pages are returning soft 404 error codes. Load your site into Google Webmaster Tools (or Search Console as its actually called now but I still prefer the old name!) and navigate to the Diagnostics portion of the page. Once there, open Crawl Errors and look to see what pages, if any, are returning errors. Above the listed URLs, click Soft 404s to see which pages Google thinks are soft 404 errors.

Sometimes Googlebot believes a page is a soft 404, but it’s really a page with accurate content returning a 200 OK response. In that case, it’s good to have the page indexed and you don’t need to worry about the code. Other times, you need to configure the page so that it 301 redirects to the right page. (For example, if you were running a contest that ended but you’re still getting hits on that page and want to steer them to a new contest or information about your products.)

If the page shouldn’t exist or should be returning a 404 error code, then it’s time to fix the problem.

Fixing Pages with the Wrong HTTP Response Code

If your page is returning the wrong error code and you want to change it, talk to the person who handles your website. They’ll have to update the code in the content management system for each of the URLs in question. Depending on which content management system or website architecture you use, the fix will vary.

 

Useful Tools

Once you’ve fixed any errors in how Google and site visitors see your page, try using Fetch as Google. It’s a useful tool that can give you insight into how Google crawls your page and whether anything on it is blocked to the crawler. If you have anything you need to debug, Fetch as Google is a good place to start and will let you see what, if any, errors exist in the indexing process.

If you aren’t sure what HTTP status codes are being sent by a URL, use a tool to find out. One web-based tools that can help is the HTTP Status Code Checker. It will shed light on which codes a particular URL is giving. The more information you have about how Google reads, indexes and displays your site, the better you can optimize it to get the best possible SEO.

 

Creating a Custom 404 Page

Once you’ve sorted out your soft 404 errors, you should create a custom 404 page to help site visitors navigate to the information they want or need. Ideally, the page would give them navigation options, an error message and any additional information you deem fit in an attractive format that fits with the rest of your site. Having a custom page could help retain first-time visitors who navigate to your site and are met with an error. Google offers a 404 widget you can place on a custom 404 page. It not only helps a viewer find more information, but also suggests other ways to find what they clicked the link to find.

Github have combined custom visuals with humour for a great 404 page

You can use your Google Webmaster account to check the XML sitemap of your page to make sure the widget will display and function correctly.

Making it easier for a viewer to find what they want may increase the likelihood that the person will stay on your page instead of switching to a competitor. They will offer a way back to your primary domain and also give you protection against undiscovered broken links.

Though soft 404 errors may not look like a major problem for your site, they can have a major impact on both the search engine ranking and the customer experience. Identifying, locating and adjusting your pages so that the right HTTP code is sent can fix these problems. Since your search ranking goes a long way in determining how much traffic is sent to your site by Google, it’s essential to optimize your pages and deliver the best possible product to both site visitors and web crawlers.

The post Soft 404 Vs Hard 404 Errors: What’s The Difference? appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/soft-404-vs-hard-404-errors-whats-difference/feed/ 2
Best SEO Practices for Website Security http://performancing.com/best-seo-practices-website-security/ http://performancing.com/best-seo-practices-website-security/#comments Tue, 28 Mar 2017 10:00:22 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=13721 Google first indicated that they’d start prioritizing sites with valid security certificates years ago, and soon after rolled out with a significant ranking boost to sites that offered HTTPS certificates. Many sites are still using the older, less secure HTTP protocol and losing out on a valuable way to improve SEO and reach more visitors. […]

The post Best SEO Practices for Website Security appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
Google first indicated that they’d start prioritizing sites with valid security certificates years ago, and soon after rolled out with a significant ranking boost to sites that offered HTTPS certificates. Many sites are still using the older, less secure HTTP protocol and losing out on a valuable way to improve SEO and reach more visitors. Just creating an HTTPS site isn’t as effective, though. Use the best practices to choose your security certificate, set up and roll out your site to get the largest possible boost from the change.

HTTP Versus HTTPS

Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is the way messages are sent and received on the Internet. Originally, the information transferred wasn’t encrypted and was more susceptible to being taken and used by a third party. Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) was introduced to fight this danger. When someone accesses your site, a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate is transferred to the viewer; the SSL certificate contains the information the user’s browser needs to validate that your website is the one they’re trying to access and that you’re receiving any information they choose to input. The information is also encrypted so only someone with the right certificates is able to decrypt it.

Another benefit to offering HTTPS is that your Webpage viewers, people who spend money, or those who input information on your site can trust that the information is secure, that no one can intercept it and that they’re viewing the site to which they meant to navigate.

Secure your site with HTTPS – Google 

Choosing Your Certificate

When choosing a security certificate provider, go with a Certificate Authority with a good reputation who uses the latest technologies to protect your viewers and their information. For example, Digicert, VeriSign and Comodo are providers with good reputations that offer up-to-date technology and customer support. There are many other Certificate Authorities to consider, however, and you can use merits like customer service, location or cost. More established companies may offer higher prices, but also more customer service hours or different certificate packages.

When it comes to security, more is always better. Google recommends a 2048-bit key over a less secure 1024-bit key. A 4096-bit key offers an even more secure connection in theory, but neither 2048-bit or 4096-bit keys have ever been cracked, so both are considered equally secure for now. So choosing a 2048-bit key is as good as choosing a 4096-bit key until the industry is able to hack the 2048-bit key and everyone has to migrate to the next, more secure encryption.

There are different certificate setups to consider, too. For example, someone with a basic, one-domain site might only need a single certificate. If you have a multi-domain website (for example, one that has local domains for different countries), a multi-domain certificate might be the better fit. If your site has dynamic subdomains, a wildcard certificate is what you need. The cost will vary, but choosing the right one will protect your Webpage and make sure you get the best SEO boost for all your domains and pages.

Site moves with URL changes – Google

Setup

After you’ve purchased the certificate to convert your site to HTTPS from a trusted Certificate Authority, you need to set it up correctly using the best practices for SEO. First, instruct the person updating your site to use server-side 301 redirects, which tells a search engine that the page has been moved to a new Web address. It’s the best way to maintain your ranking while you migrate to a new site.

Once you’ve updated the Website to HTTPS, Google recommends making sure your site supports HSTS, which switches the Website viewer to the secure HTTPS page even if they specifically request the HTTP page. Put HSTS headers out low max-age, and then increase the max-age slowly over time, making sure the change isn’t negatively impacting your performance. Google also offers HSTS preloading for Chrome, which you can request from Google once you know your page supports HSTS with no problems. You have to change the HSTS headers on your page to the ones that allow preloading before the change can take place, which prevents a third-party from adding your site to the preloading request list.

Troubleshooting

When your site is set up with HTTPS, make sure you’re regularly performing a security and wellness check to make sure nothing is negatively affecting your SEO ranking. First, your certificate will expire at a certain point and won’t be valid anymore. Stay aware of your expiration date so that you can set up a new certificate or extend the one you already have. Next, make sure that every certificate you set up is registered to the proper domain name. A syntax or spelling error can prevent your site from using the certificate and keep search engines from recognizing that your security is up-to-date.

Your robots.txt file needs to be set to allow crawling. If it isn’t, search engines can’t crawl your page, compile information and return your site in search results. In the same token, your site needs to be open to indexing; using the noindex meta tag will drop your SEO ranking.

As you update your site, ensure that all the information is migrated to the HTTPS page. Having an HTTP page with more information than your new, secure page will have a negative SEO impact. All site elements should be HTTPS as well. For example, a payment module that isn’t HTTPS secure will lower the security ranking of your entire site.

Keep in mind that Google treats switching from HTTP to HTTPS as a site change, as if you’d switched your page over to a new URL. It can impact your SEO ranking temporarily. Make sure all your old links are updated to have the best possible results with your change.

As long as you stay on top of having the best security protocols, you’ll be sure to get any available SEO boost. Moving from an HTTP site to an HTTPS site that is set up correctly will be a positive signal to a search engine’s ranking algorithm, making it well worth the time and expense of acquiring a security certificate. Google even says that it may further increase the boost that HTTPS pages receive in the future.

 

What Should You Do With Your 404 Pages?

The post Best SEO Practices for Website Security appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/best-seo-practices-website-security/feed/ 2
Metadata SEO Best Practices http://performancing.com/metadata-seo-best-practices/ http://performancing.com/metadata-seo-best-practices/#comments Fri, 24 Mar 2017 03:35:53 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=13705 Metadata is information about a webpage that doesn’t appear on the page itself, but instead is part of the code that makes the website. For example, the page description in the metadata may not appear on the page itself, but will appear on search engine previews and, depending on your site’s code, along with the […]

The post Metadata SEO Best Practices appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
Metadata is information about a webpage that doesn’t appear on the page itself, but instead is part of the code that makes the website. For example, the page description in the metadata may not appear on the page itself, but will appear on search engine previews and, depending on your site’s code, along with the post when it’s shared on social media or through email. The right metadata can influence your click-through rate and help improve your site’s visibility by improving your content and engagement.

What is the Meta Description?

The meta description is simply a description of the webpage you’ve created. The important thing to remember when thinking about meta descriptions is that each one describes a certain page, not your entire website. So while your landing page might describe the overall purpose of your website in the metadata, a page where you sell items would have a different description.

As you can see in the search results for the Starbucks website, each page is described differently so that a viewer knows exactly where they’ll be landing if they click the link. When updating your website to include new metadata or new pages, it’s very important to differentiate between a menu, a sales page, a directory or any other type of page.

In that way, you’re offering your potential viewers more utility before they even get to your page. In the examples above, a viewer interested in signing into their account and a viewer interested in seeing the available food and beverage choices would be able to click through to the information required without extra clicks on the website.

Google won’t always use the meta description that you write—sometimes they generate their own from the page content. But they use it often enough that the meta description is one of the most important metadata adjustments you can make, and well worth the time it takes to perfect it.

 Writing a Compelling Description

Your metadata description doesn’t just inform a search engine seeking out information about the content of your site. It’s also the first thing a viewer sees when you site appears in search results. Since your search ranking may be influenced by the click-through rate your site gets, it’s important to craft a description that lures visitors in and holds their interest. Boring or irrelevant descriptions could cause a reader to look elsewhere for content.

To write a compelling description, start by stating the purpose of your page. Keep in mind, the description has to be short and punchy—something that grabs the reader’s interest and keeps it. You can also use a call to action to convince a viewer to come to your page. Telling them to click the link can actually help you convince someone to convert from a viewer to a click.

You can test different meta descriptions to see which offers the most utility. Even a good meta description may be out performed by an alternate one, so it’s well worth the time it takes to adjust your meta description and then track your traffic to see which offers the most conversions for your search terms.

Meta Description Examples

As you write your meta descriptions, think about what a viewer looks for and what you can offer them in a quick, 165 character snippet to get them to click on your page. For example, a parent searching for a local zoo might prefer one of these descriptions to the other:

“Come see the lions, tigers and bears at the San Diego zoo! Children under 12 are admitted free Monday-Wednesday. Click now to receive money saving coupons.”

“San Diego zoo is open from 9-8 Monday through Sunday, except in cases of inclement weather. We have a wide variety of animals on show.” 

One of those descriptions is more compelling, offers something to a common viewing group (parents with young children), and has a call-to-action telling the viewer to click to receive even more utility. The second one is dry and informative, but offers no real utility or excitement. A person testing meta descriptions might find that one of those works better than the other for getting more clicks.

Since you need multiple meta descriptions for a multipage website, there are plenty of opportunities to try out different strategies.

 

Essential reading:

Meta Description Magic: Think Less about SEO & More about Click-ThroughsKissmetrics

 

Meta Description Q & A

What is the purpose of a meta description?
The purpose of a meta description is to describe the content of your page in such a way that a person clicks on your link to view your site.

Where do I put my metadata?
Your metadata goes into the html of your webpage. For example, the meta description tag looks like this (for Google Chrome download page):

<meta name=”description” content=”A fast, secure, and free web browser built for the modern web. Chrome syncs bookmarks across all your devices, fills out forms automatically, and so much more..“>

If you don’t design your own website, the person who does can insert the code for you or show you how to adjust it. There are also website and SEO plugins available that have places where you can update your meta description for each page without adjusting the actual html of your website manually.

How many meta descriptions do I need?
Each page of your site should have a different meta description, and each page can only have one. So you should have as many meta descriptions as you do pages on your site.

How do I make Google use my meta description?
You can’t choose whether Google uses your description or creates one of their own. The best way to have your meta description used is to make sure it’s relevant, offers utility, is well-written and is right at 155 characters long. If it’s too long it will trail off the page, but too short ones may be replaced by Google.

 

Using Keywords in your Meta Description

When writing a description or any other piece of metadata, keywords are one of the most important factors. Take the three main keywords or phrases you want to rank for, and try to work them into your metadata in an organic way. In other words, the words or phrases should feel natural in the titles and descriptions, not awkward or forced.

Try writing out a few different test descriptions, for example. You can test with them by watching how many people click-through to your website. If one doesn’t seem to be getting an acceptable number of clicks, try using another description. With time and testing, you can narrow down which will serve you best in the long term. You can also test ranking for different keywords in the same way, and seeing which set offers you the greatest visibility.

One way to write a compelling, standout description is to check what your competitors are doing right and wrong. Perform a search for the keywords or phrases you want to target and consider what makes one description better than another. If a description offers value, it’s better than one that doesn’t. Value could be in the form of a free trial, an answer to a question, or expert information. The description should also be welcoming and encourage the people you’re trying to target to click on it.

Since you’re competing for a top slot with paid advertisements, one strategy is to write a description that isn’t selling to the reader. It could make you stand out from advertisement listings that are set above yours.

 

Essential reading:

How to Write an Effective Meta Description Tag – Informatics

 

Titles, Tags and Image Metadata

Metadata also includes the titles of your pages, the tags for your page and the images on your page, all of which can influence your SEO by adding content that the search engines crawl and index. Image metadata influences where pictures on your site appear and helps you get more visibility in image searches, so make sure to include relevant keywords that will attract the right kind of viewers. Titles and tags should also use keywords, though tags are just a list and titles need to be crafted to be organic, just like descriptions.

Titles are one of the most important types of metadata because they give the search engine and the viewer an idea of what to expect on your page. A short, descriptive title that uses one of your targeted keywords is best. According to Moz, titles under 60 characters long will display correctly 90 percent of the time. If you want a higher probability of your title showing up exactly as you wrote it, keep it at 55 characters. Don’t use all CAPS titles, since it shortens what is visible.

Title Examples

Reflections: Discounted mirrors cut and shipped quickly
This title is 55 characters, including spaces, and includes both the name of the site and what you can expect to find there.

Chai Tea: A list of the teas we offer and prices per ounce
This title is 58 characters, including spaces, and includes the name of the site and what you can expect to find on the landing page. It would be appropriate for a page that isn’t the main page, but rather one with a menu of what’s available and how much a person can expect to pay.

 

Index and NoFollow Tags

Another important consideration when crafting your metadata is the information in the robots.txt. This is part of your code that tells crawlers whether they should come to your page, catalogue the information, store and share it with searchers. For example, “follow” is a better metadata option than “nofollow” for a site that wants a better ranking. “Follow” means that the search engine can trust any links on your site and can safely continue on through to the directed Webpages. “Nofollow” means that links shouldn’t be treated as safe. The “index” option is likewise better than “noindex”. If you choose “noindex”, the search engine that crawls your site won’t catalogue and share your results with searchers. Always use “index” in your robots.txt metadata.

 

Essential reading:

Follow Links Vs. No Follow Links: Should You Care? – Wordstream

 

Influencing Factors & Final Thoughts

One important factor to consider when writing metadata that will potentially appear in a search engine listing is the length. For the best description, stick to 155 characters or less. Otherwise, the description might get cut off by the listing and the viewer won’t be able to see the entire thing.

Remember that the best metadata in the world won’t work for you unless you can deliver high-quality content, too. Let your descriptions and titles be accurate reflections of the content of your page, so that you don’t lose any SEO advantage you gain by optimizing the code of your Webpage. If you’re updating or improving the content of your site, consider optimizing the metadata for each page that you’ve improved. That way, the new metadata will lure people in to see the high-quality information available on your page.

Keep in mind that some search engines will bold the term that a user is searching for. If you use that term one time in your title and another time in your description, it may draw the viewer’s attention and help encourage conversions. When you write your metadata, try to link the titles and descriptions for each page so they’re working together to target a searcher.

Optimizing your metadata can help improve the visibility of your Webpage and boost your SEO. When your page has a higher rank and more people access it, the products and services you want to share are available to a larger audience and your engagement is increased. Since refining your metadata can help you meet that goal, testing new metadata and keywords is a valuable use of the time you spend developing your site.

 

The post Metadata SEO Best Practices appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/metadata-seo-best-practices/feed/ 3
Posting the Right Amount of Content for Engagement http://performancing.com/posting-right-amount-content-engagement/ Thu, 23 Mar 2017 09:02:31 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=13698 Engaging with an audience is one of the most important aspects of marketing your product or service on the Web. One major way to reach people is with updated content that you share on social media, including articles, blog posts and new Webpages. However, it’s possible to push out too much content and fatigue your […]

The post Posting the Right Amount of Content for Engagement appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
Engaging with an audience is one of the most important aspects of marketing your product or service on the Web. One major way to reach people is with updated content that you share on social media, including articles, blog posts and new Webpages. However, it’s possible to push out too much content and fatigue your audience or oversaturate their feeds. While there is a clear benefit to posting new content regularly, finding the right amount and times is an essential part of any marketing strategy.

Content and SEO

When it comes to SEO, the way to get engagement is to use the right keywords. You need keywords in the page URL, the title tag, the header, and the content itself. The more targeted, relevant and current the content, the better the SEO results you’ll get. You can test different keywords in different updates to see which update gets the best traffic from search engines. It’s an easy way to play with your keywords, metadata and other factors without affecting the main page of your site.

Content and Marketing

One great thing about updating your site regularly is you can post updates on your social media sites, which helps with engagement. A new blog or page is a reason to post a targeted update to people who already like your page. If it’s interesting or relevant enough, a person may share it with their friends, leading to even more engagement from people who were previously unaware of your Webpage. Having your site updates linked to every relevant social media site: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Pinterest and others will increase your visibility and help create new links to your site. So not only does developing your website allow you to offer more utility, but it also gives you a larger chance to reach out to an audience.

 

How to Market Your Business on Pinterest

 

Finding Your Balance

When considering how much content to publish, the trick is to find a balance between oversaturation, staying relevant and making search engines crawl your page more often. Some sites update daily with news or information about the industry they’re involved in. Including industry news is one way to keep updates relevant and include more content if you’re interested in updating more often. In general, though, it isn’t necessary and you’re better off updating three or four times per week. If you have less things to publish, aim for at least one item per week. Keeping your website fresh with new articles and images helps reengage customers who’ve already visited and keeps your traffic high. Also, the more the search engine crawls your site and sees new information, the more likely you are to get a ranking boost, leading other viewers to your site.

If your business or industry doesn’t have daily or weekly updates, a good way to stay on track is to create a content schedule. Think of at least one topic per week that you can write about, create a video about or otherwise share. Try not to fall below one update per week, or else you may lose return visitors who can be frustrated when they return to the site and find nothing new to see.

Days and Times

Consider your audience and where they’re located before you share any new content. For example, 50 percent of the population of the United States is in the Eastern time zone. Only 20 percent lives in the Pacific time zone. If your goal is to engage as many Americans as possible, post your updates according to the Eastern Standard Time. If, on the other hand, you’re attempting to reach a primarily British audience, you’d want to post according to the times when they’re at work.

Consider work schedules and when viewers engage on social media sites before you post updates. Posting when people will be at work is one way to help reach people, since many check their social media during the weekday, while they engage in non-computer activities in the evening.

Each site has different best times for engagement. If you’re looking to engage the most people on Facebook, post on Friday or on the weekend just after lunch. You’re more likely to get shares in the early afternoon and clicks in the late afternoon, according to a few different studies. But posting regularly will let you try different times and see what works for you. Since different studies find different results about the best time to post, chances are it depends on your audience and social media strategy.

 

5 Resources and Tools for Social Media Productivity

 

Update Sizes

Another thing to consider when creating content is the length of the update. For example, you want to be able to use a great deal of your targeted keywords and phrases in every update you publish. This way, you increase your SEO rank for those words. When you publish a new piece, aim for at least 500 words. Doing so will help you work in the keywords organically and keep the text from reading as if it’s the product of keyword stuffing. Breaking the text into paragraphs and using headings gives you an opportunity not only to feature keywords, but also to help pull a reader in and direct them immediately to the relevant information.

Don’t include too much information in one update. Not only will you still only get the same SEO boost and engagement from a single update, but you’ll deny yourself content to use in a later update. If a topic can reasonably be broken into two 800 word articles, don’t write one 1600 word article about it. Splitting it will allow you to engage your audience twice and have twice the number of links.

Ultimately, the most important aspect of your content plan is how often you update and when you share those updates. Regular, widely-shared updates posted at the right times can increase your engagement with both new and return viewers, which can help boost both your marketing efforts and your SEO. While daily updates may be able to provide content and capture attention, they can also inundate social media feeds and put off potential subscribers, so finding a balance is essential.

The post Posting the Right Amount of Content for Engagement appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
How To Use Giveaways to Boost Your Followers & Grow Your Social Audience http://performancing.com/using-giveaways-to-boost-your-followers-grow-your-audience/ http://performancing.com/using-giveaways-to-boost-your-followers-grow-your-audience/#comments Fri, 17 Mar 2017 08:00:51 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=13674 70 percent of respondents to a Pew Research Center study said they check Facebook at least once per day. If you’re using social media to connect with consumers, the more followers you have, the better. One way to get more followers for your business is to run and promote a giveaway. By providing a free […]

The post How To Use Giveaways to Boost Your Followers & Grow Your Social Audience appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
70 percent of respondents to a Pew Research Center study said they check Facebook at least once per day. If you’re using social media to connect with consumers, the more followers you have, the better. One way to get more followers for your business is to run and promote a giveaway. By providing a free product or service to people who follows your blog, social media profiles, or newsletter, you’ll attract customers who haven’t yet signed up to learn more what you’re promoting. The most important part of giveaways is making sure they’re attractive to the right set of people and that they get in front of the people who you want to sign up.

 

Set Goals

Before you start designing your giveaway, decide what you’re hoping to get out of it. Some campaigns are designed to get more awareness of a product or service, others are designed to get more social media followers, and some are to get people signed up for a sample, test or mailing list. It’s important to know your goals for the campaign not only so that you can create one that achieves those goals, but also to measure the success of it as it’s rolled out. For example, it’s more difficult to reach 10,000 people than 500. It’s easier to get people to like your Facebook page than it is to have them purchase something right away. Know your aims to create a campaign that helps you achieve them.

Choose Your Items

What you offer in the giveaway has a direct effect on who participates in it. You should choose items that create interest in your target audience, are relevant to the service you’re hoping to market with the giveaway, and are cost effective for the amount you’re willing to spend on the campaign. Keep in mind that the items aren’t the only cost, because there’s often a cost involved with marketing the giveaway. So choose items that will leave enough in your budget to also spend money making more people aware of the giveaway itself.

You can give away more than one item in a giveaway too, which can help attract in people with multiple interests. For example, an item that promotes your business and a gift card might pull in people who are on the fence about only one offering or another. If you choose to do a giveaway of physical items, make sure that people know it up front so they’re aware they will have to give their mailing address to you.

Design the Campaign

In order to help people see your giveaway, you’re going to have to design an advertisement, announcement or other type of visual media that catches people’s attention. The design should hinge on the way you intend to market it. A campaign you want to push on YouTube would be very different from one on Facebook, simply because the video would be the most important part of the YouTube campaign, while the text and images would take precedence on Facebook or other platforms that aren’t video-centric. Ideally, any campaign you run would include a prominent picture of the item being given away, if applicable.

No matter what type of campaign you choose, a good campaign to promote your giveaway should include details about the giveaway, what a person has to do to enter, and what they stand to gain. For example, they might get an entry for sharing your giveaway announcement, but another entry for sharing your Facebook page on their own wall. They might get an entry for signing up for a mailing list, and another entry for sharing the email address of an interested friend. Make sure you have a way to track the entries before you offer the various methods of entering the giveaway.

Key resource:

15 Steps for Creating a Successful Social Media Giveaway Contest

Promote Your Giveaway

Once you’ve set up the giveaway, you need to promote it. Choose the right platform to get the best results. You can advertise your giveaway from your own social media pages, in newsletter swaps with complementary businesses or associates, through email or anywhere you can buy advertising space. Choose your platform based on the audience you want to target and the goals you set for the campaign. If you’re trying to promote your Facebook page, you’d want to run the campaign primarily on Facebook since people would use that account to interact with your giveaway. If you’re looking to market to people in a specific industry, using industry-specific Webpages to buy advertising space may be a better way to get your giveaway in front of the right people.

If you want to keep your advertising budget minimal, consider giving entries in the giveaway to people who promote it on their own social media websites. That will help you extend your reach without having to put more money into advertising. Since people interested in your giveaway may have friends with the same interests, it’s also an easy way to target an audience you might not reach otherwise.

Key resource:

11 Platforms for Social Media Contests

Run the Campaign

Once you have everything ready, run the campaign for the specified length of time. It’s a good idea to schedule it over at least two weeks so that awareness has time to spread and more people can enter the giveaway. The more people who see it, the more successful it is. Don’t feel rushed when you set the end date for the campaign. It’s fine to have one running for a month while your advertisements and social media shares direct more people to sign up.

When it’s done, choose the winner with a random number generator or using a website or service designed to manage and complete giveaways. Then use the end of the campaign as a reason to make another post to your social media sites or blog. Announce that you’ve selected a winner, reiterate the original message of the giveaway, and encourage followers to stay subscribed for more giveaways and deals in the future.

Once your giveaway is over, assess whether or not you met the goals you set before it began. If you met or exceeded them, planning another giveaway in the future may cause a similar effect. If not, consider tweaking your audience, platform or campaign itself to meet the goals you originally had in mind. It can take some time to make a system that’s perfect for you, and in the meantime you’re reaching out and connecting with some people that wouldn’t have been aware of your product or service otherwise.

Key resource:

How to Pick a Winner for Social Media Contests

 

More social media strategies!

Try Tweeting Less Links

Why You Need To Make Canva Your #1 Image Tool

 

 

The post How To Use Giveaways to Boost Your Followers & Grow Your Social Audience appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/using-giveaways-to-boost-your-followers-grow-your-audience/feed/ 2
Getting Ahead of SEO Algorithm Tweaks By Offering a Better User Experience http://performancing.com/getting-ahead-seo-algorithm-tweaks-offering-better-user-experience/ http://performancing.com/getting-ahead-seo-algorithm-tweaks-offering-better-user-experience/#comments Wed, 15 Mar 2017 05:47:53 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=13654 Instead of waiting for a new SEO change to take effect, get ahead of the curve by offering a better user experience now. A focus on improving certain aspects of your site will ensure that you don’t drop down in the search results when new changes are rolled out, which means that you’ll still be […]

The post Getting Ahead of SEO Algorithm Tweaks By Offering a Better User Experience appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
Instead of waiting for a new SEO change to take effect, get ahead of the curve by offering a better user experience now. A focus on improving certain aspects of your site will ensure that you don’t drop down in the search results when new changes are rolled out, which means that you’ll still be visible to the people you want to reach. Waiting until changes are implemented will put you behind—and improving your Web presence now has the added benefit of creating a more relevant, attractive and secure website.

Changes to SEO Algorithms

Changes to SEO algorithms tend to target areas like content, user experience, and website security. For example, the Panda update from Google targeted low information sites that were set up to get views, but not to give viewers useful information. Other recent changes have favored sites with a stronger security setup. Changes in 2017 will favor sites that cater to mobile users instead of only desktop viewers. Each change in SEO algorithm determines who gets a higher rank in search engine results, meaning that your page will be more visible than those with equally relevant content that don’t comply with the recommendations and requirements of the search engine.

Essential reading:

Google Panda Update – SearchEngineLand

Content

The best and most important way to get ahead of SEO algorithm changes is to offer quality content that’s updated regularly and is relevant to the keywords you’re targeting. More than security or user experience, SEO algorithms are created to make sure users are able to find and access the content that offers them the most benefit. Sites that aren’t updated regularly with new information may drop a few spaces in a list of results.

If you’re having trouble creating timely content, look no farther than a company blog. It’s easy to create a page that has information regularly updated to help keep your website relevant. Even posting once a week can put you ahead of other site owners who have a static site that only offers basic contact information and a list of services or products. As a bonus, offering more information will help you get return visitors who want updates on the topic you’re discussing.

Since the single most important factor in SEO is the information you’re providing, never skip the content when considering how to get more visibility online. Current, comprehensive content presented in a direct, easy-to-access way will do more to help you stay ahead of algorithm changes than anything else you can do. The trick is to make sure that the information you’re providing is relevant, well written and uses words specific to your industry, product or service to help people find your site after it has been indexed by search engines.

User Experience

As more people perform searches on mobile devices, having a website with a positive user experience for a person on a smartphone or tablet is essential. There are several types of mobile optimization you can use. If you only offer a desktop site, you’ll lose out when algorithms that benefit progressive mobile design continue to be rolled out.

Essential reading:

Mobile Fact SheetPew Research Center

A mobile site is a website specifically designed to display when a mobile device is detected. This means that you have two versions of your website—and one doesn’t always include the same content and functionality as the other. If your mobile site doesn’t offer the same information and usefulness as your desktop site, your SEO ranking will drop.

The other type of mobile site you can use is a responsive site. This site offers all the same information and features as your desktop site, but appears in a mobile-friendly format. SEO algorithms that benefit mobile sites prefer responsive design to a specific mobile site.

Another popular choice is a web app, which is a site that appears to be a mobile application. It isn’t installed on the person’s device—it just has the same appearance and functionality. Web apps also load quickly and put your information in front of the viewer with less time than either other type of mobile site. Choosing either a responsive design or a Web app can help you increase your SEO.

Website Security

Another area that search engines target to weed out low quality submissions is website security. If your site doesn’t have HTTPS, consider upgrading. HTTPS is a protocol where your site gets a certificate that authenticates the site’s identity, and also encrypts the data and prevents it from being altered while it’s being transferred to and from the site. If you’re selling goods and services, this kind of protection is even more important because it allows consumers to spend money on your site without concern for the security of their financial information.

Essential reading:

Secure your site with HTTPSGoogle Webmasters

Setting up your certificate and site the right way will offer you the most benefit. Google recommends selecting a 2048 bit key when setting up your HTTPS certificate, which offers more security than a 1024 bit key. Choose a certificate issuer who offers technical support if you’ve never worked with a security certificate before. Make sure that your site is set up so that HTTPS pages can be crawled by Google—if they can’t, you might not be available on search results at all. To do this, check that HTTPS pages aren’t blocked by robots.txt files and that the pages don’t include meta noindex tags.

Essential reading:

Mobile OptimizationMoz

Not only will the information transmitted to and from your site be more secure, but you will also see a boost in your SEO rankings. Google, for example, prefers sites that use HTTPS over sites that use HTTP. It’s only a slight boost as of 2017, but the possibility always exists that SEO algorithms will be tweaked again to offer a more substantial boost. Getting HTTPS certified now will help you take advantage of any security-related changes in how rankings are determined.

Don’t Wait

Making small changes to your website now will help you avoid losing clicks when a new SEO algorithm change debuts. All changes are designed to better filter search results to help users find relevant pages, so making sure you’re relevant and have good content will keep you ahead of the game. Since your site will be more visible after changes are processed, it’s a good practice to stay up to date on each relevant area so that you don’t miss out on potential clients or customers. Ultimately, making sure your user experience, content and website security are up to par won’t only help you avoid being penalized due to changes in SEO algorithms, they’ll also give you a site that people are more interested in returning to and using.

The post Getting Ahead of SEO Algorithm Tweaks By Offering a Better User Experience appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/getting-ahead-seo-algorithm-tweaks-offering-better-user-experience/feed/ 3
How To Track The ‘Real’ Bounce Rate On Your Website http://performancing.com/track-real-bounce-rate-website/ http://performancing.com/track-real-bounce-rate-website/#comments Fri, 03 Mar 2017 08:09:36 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=13645 Bounce rate is a very important metric that we like to keep an eye on to see if our content is what the visitor is looking for and if it’s keeping them engaged or not. But did you know that the bounce rate score you see in Google Analytics can often be horribly skewed and […]

The post How To Track The ‘Real’ Bounce Rate On Your Website appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
Bounce rate is a very important metric that we like to keep an eye on to see if our content is what the visitor is looking for and if it’s keeping them engaged or not.

But did you know that the bounce rate score you see in Google Analytics can often be horribly skewed and misleading?

What is a bounce?

Google’s definition of a bounce goes as follows:

“A bounce is a single-page session on your site. In Analytics, a bounce is calculated specifically as a session that triggers only a single request to the Analytics server, such as when a user opens a single page on your site and then exits without triggering any other requests to the Analytics server during that session.”

Seems straight forward enough right? Now imagine this scenario, a visitor comes to your site and leaves 5 seconds later without clicking anything else after not finding what they were looking for. A second visitor then comes to the same page, loves the content there and spends the next 10 minutes reading and afterwards also leaves the site. Obviously these two visitors did not have the same interaction with your site and yet they are both counted as a bounce!

The problem with Google Analytics is that unless there is some other form of interaction by the user on your site (such as clicking an internal link to another page) then with it’s default setup it’s very difficult for the tracking code to tell the difference (in terms of bounce rate anyway) between the above two cases. There are some other engagement metrics that Google uses to try and estimate the time spent on the page as explained very well  by Justin Cutroni here but there are ways of filtering this yourself too.

How to change Google Analytics tracking for bounce rate

Let’s say you have a blog or content site, you may have calls to action for selling products or downloading pdfs and so on and all these can be counted and tracked as engagements. However, even a visitor staying on your site for a reasonable length of time and reading your content should be counted as an engagement and that needs to be tracked.

A good way of getting a rough idea of what a reasonable engagement time is by going into your Google Analytics dashboard and then going to Audience > Behaviour > Engagement and then looking at the session duration vs sessions and page-views, if a large number of your sessions and page-views are for say the 61-180 seconds session duration then this a firm indicator of a reasonable amount of time for a visitor who is engaged with your content.

You can now use this number to make a change to your tracking code as follows:


<script>
(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){
(i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),
m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m)
})(window,document,'script','https://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga');

ga('create', 'UA-XXXXXXX', 'auto');
ga('send', 'pageview');

setTimeout(“ga(‘send’,’event’,’Engaged User’,’time on page more than X minutes‘)”,XXXXX);

</script>

Your tracking code will most likely look the above, you add the last line just before the </script> code, the text in bold is for the following:

UA-XXXXXXX – this is your Google Analytics tracking code, it should already be present so you don’t need to change that.

Engaged User – here we are creating an event for Google Analytics to track

X minutes – is the number of minutes we want to track, so for this example it might be 3 minutes

XXXXX – this is the same number as above but in milliseconds, so for 3 minutes that is 180 seconds so 1800 milliseconds.

Once you have that setup Google Analytics will now count users that have been on any page for more than 3 minutes as an ‘Engaged user’ and the more of these events are triggered

the less number of visitors will be counted as a bounce even if they only visit a single page and your overall bounce rate should drop.

Do note that it will most likely take at least 48 hrs before you see any changes to your bounce rate.

The post How To Track The ‘Real’ Bounce Rate On Your Website appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/track-real-bounce-rate-website/feed/ 4
4 Of The Best Free Website Builders (You Might Not Have Heard Of) http://performancing.com/4-best-free-website-builders-might-not-heard/ http://performancing.com/4-best-free-website-builders-might-not-heard/#comments Sat, 03 Dec 2016 12:00:21 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=13400 Creating your own website or blog is very easy these days, WordPress is one of the most popular platforms for building one and very easy to install and setup on your own domain. There are also hundreds of fantastic themes available for as little as $30 and even many free ones that can give your […]

The post 4 Of The Best Free Website Builders (You Might Not Have Heard Of) appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
Creating your own website or blog is very easy these days, WordPress is one of the most popular platforms for building one and very easy to install and setup on your own domain. There are also hundreds of fantastic themes available for as little as $30 and even many free ones that can give your website a slick and professional look with just a few files being uploaded.

However, even though this is all relatively easy to setup it does require some knowledge of FTP file uploading, HTML, CSS and even PHP and there are many entrepreneurs and business owners who simply do not want to have to deal with any of that and would rather focus on building their business and getting their website off the ground as quickly as possible.

If you find yourself in the latter group then you may want to investigate free website builders. These are platforms which offer simplistic, drag-and-drop tools to create a website as well as hosting and analytics tools.

Wix is probably by far the most well known site builder as well as Weebly and a few other big name platforms. The following are 4 you may not have heard of though.

Site

sitey

Sitey is a fairly new website builder that launched in 2014 but they offer a very competitive package for the entry level of 50MB storage, 5mb file upload and 1GB of bandwidth, however they do not allow you to use your own domain name and you cannot with of their ads. However at the first paid point at $6.99 a month you get a free hosting and a domain. They also have over 100 templates and easy to integrate social media links.

Webnode

webnode

Webnode boasts a very health stat of over 22 million global users and it’s easy to see why as they have an excellent features list including, no ads, 5 minute setup an entry level price of only $5.95 and with that you get an impressive 500MB storage space, 3GB bandwidth, traffic analytics, form builder and premium support. Is this the best option on our list?

Moonfruit

moonfruit

Moon fruit is aimed mostly at the UK market and has an impressive set of templates on offer and their pricing structure is very competitive with the entry level starting at £4 per month and 10GB bandwidth, however this first package limits you to a max of 5 pages and there is no form builder tool included so if you think you are going to need more pages then you may want to look at the £6 per month package which has unlimited pages and more storage and bandwidth available.

Site123

site123

Site123 boasts to be ‘by far’ the easiest platform to use and doesn’t even use drag and drop. You can simply upload your content and then use their builder interface to arrange your site. This demo video probably explains it best:

 

 

Stop Letting Visitors Slip Through Your Fingers By Implementing These Conversion Tips

 

 

The post 4 Of The Best Free Website Builders (You Might Not Have Heard Of) appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/4-best-free-website-builders-might-not-heard/feed/ 7
What Is The Inbound Methodology? http://performancing.com/what-is-the-inbound-methodology/ http://performancing.com/what-is-the-inbound-methodology/#comments Thu, 24 Nov 2016 12:00:52 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=13373 If you are looking to sell any kind of product or service online then the old methods of buying display ads and selling to who you think your audience is fast becoming irrelevant. To capture the attention of an audience and turn them from strangers into leads and then customers you need to focus on […]

The post What Is The Inbound Methodology? appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
If you are looking to sell any kind of product or service online then the old methods of buying display ads and selling to who you think your audience is fast becoming irrelevant. To capture the attention of an audience and turn them from strangers into leads and then customers you need to focus on creating quality content and make them come to you

How can this be done though? There are 4 main segments to the inbound methodology, attract, convert, close and delight. Let’s look at each of them in detail.

Attract

The first step is that you need to capture the attention of your chosen audience. But who is the audience? Right now they are strangers but we want to make them into visitors. To find out who your target audience is you need to create buyer personas.

A buyer persona is a representation of who your customer might be, what is their age and sex, what are their problems and how are they looking to overcome them? What motivates them, what are their goals and also what activities do they partake in? To get an in-depth understanding of your buyer personas you should make them as detailed as possible and also try to understand what their buyer’s journey is too.

professional-info

Once you have created your buyer personas you should have an idea of the type of content they consume and where they get this content and you can begin to plan your content creation around this. For example if your target audience are people in the over 50’s or ‘boomers’ demographic are then chances are they aren’t going to be on Snapchat much but they could be on other social platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest and there will be an even higher chance that they read blogs and other web based content.

Now you can create your content and publish it to the places that your buyer persona is most likely to see and consume it. Although there are many different ways to create content to attract your target audience the main 3 are SEO & organic search, blogging and social media.

SEO & organic search – Here you can create content to place on your website that you want to rank for specific search terms that your audience are searching for, this content might be a pdf file or ebook, an infographic, an article or a cheat sheet. The page that the content is placed on needs to be optimized for the target search terms and you may want to also link to it internally using the sam anchor text and if possible build external links too.

Blogging – Blogging is by far one of the best and cost effective ways to produce content to attract your audience and potential new customers. Every blog post page on your website can be optimized for specific search terms so that it rings in organic search traffic and you can share your posts across all your social channels. Finally, you don’t have to only post on your own blog, guest blogging is a great way for not only exposing your brand and message to new readers elsewhere but it can also build quality, related backlinks that will further boost your rankings in the search engines.

Social media – Lastly, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and others are another viable source of attract your desired audience. Remember though, you need to first find out which platform your buyer personas are mainly on, you also need to put the right content across and at the right times. Blasting out endless Tweets on Twitter about your latest sales promotion is just going to annoy people and they may ignore or even unfollow you. Publishing your content at the correct times is also crucial, generally speaking, first thing in the morning, noon and early evening are the peak activity times for social media users.

 

Should We Give In To Clickbait When Creating Content?

 

Convert

Once you have attracted people to visit your website you need to convert them into leads, this has to be done by getting them to give up their personal details, something that often isn’t easy to do! Many companies fail at this point and never really manage to get those all important contact details. This is often because they don’t have the right content to capture that lead or they give away too much information in their content and thus the visitor has no need to seek further help from the company and the leave the website.

So what are some of the most effective ways to turn a visitor into a lead? Let’s look at two:

Call to action – A call to action (or CTA) is where you request the user to perform some action such as download a file or click a link. For the latter this will most likely lead the visitor to a landing page.

Landing pages with forms – A landing page should not be like the other pages on your website, it needs to be totally free of clutter so no ads or links or anything else that might distract the visitor. The page should have a clear & concise action-oriented headline as well as clearly stating what it is offering as well as giving a sample or glimpse of what else the viewer can get from the company. The goal of any landing page is to get the visitor to fill out that form so that their contact details, making forms that are simple to understand and concise is important and you need to get the right balance of the visitor being able to complete the form quickly while also getting the right information from them so that they may be nurtured into a lead and customer.

Check out these 25 awesome landing page ideas for inspiration.

 

Stop Letting Visitors Slip Through Your Fingers By Implementing These Conversion Tips

 

Close

The close stage is critical, this is the part where you make the sale and that’s what we’ve been working towards right?

In the close stage we are looking to turn your website visitors who are now leads into customers, however, getting people to part with their money is a lot harder than getting them to fill in a form or download a file! Everytime a lead is reading a piece of your content, visiting a page on your website, reading an email from you or interacting with you this is called a ‘touch point’ and marketing data has shown that often as many as 7 to 13 touch points may be needed before a lead closes and makes a purchase.

Email marketing is a highly effective way of enabling multiple touch points with a nurtured lead while at the same time being able to provide them with further content and information on what you do and taking them further down the sales funnel. Even though a visitor may have signed up to receive emails, further analysis is required to ensure that you send them the right kind of email, and at the right time. Segmenting your email subscriber’s list into different sections based on data you have gathered such as how often or when they open your emails and do they click the links within them will help you determine what to send these leads next.

At this point it’s important to know where the lead is at in the buyer’s journey. If they are in the awareness stage then it would be best to send them blog content and free tools, if they are at the consideration stage then webinars and case studies and if they are at the decision stage and ready to make a purchase then demos, consultations and quotes.

the buyers journey

Delight

The final part of the inbound methodology is to delight your customers so that they come back again and again. Many companies neglect this part which is one of the worst things you can do, now is the time to go above and beyond your customers expectations. The goal here is to not just make these people into repeat customers but into promoters. There are 3 ways this can be done, innovation, communication and education and they are seen as the ‘pillars’ of the delight stage.

Innovation – Don’t maintain the status quo, always be looking to push the boundaries of what you do and offer, you should always be looking to improve the customer experience so change is absolutely necessary.

Communication – Keep in communication with your customers, address them by their name and don’t make them feel like they are just a number, make them feel special.

Education – Knowledge is power and education empowers, if you educate your customers on the right product and services and how to use them then they can make informed decisions for future purchases.

So that’s the 4 main principles of the inbound marketing methodology. We have only touched on some of the main points and methods and

 

8 Tools Web Marketers Need In Their Toolbelt in 2016

 

The post What Is The Inbound Methodology? appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/what-is-the-inbound-methodology/feed/ 1
What Should You Do With Your 404 Pages? http://performancing.com/what-should-you-do-with-your-404-pages/ http://performancing.com/what-should-you-do-with-your-404-pages/#comments Fri, 11 Nov 2016 13:03:46 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=13361 Having 404 pages is a perfectly normal part of a website and Google expects this. However, how you handle 404 pages and the visitors that land on them is important if you want to keep these people on your site. What Are All The Different HTTP Status Codes? Here we are mainly focusing on 404 […]

The post What Should You Do With Your 404 Pages? appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
Having 404 pages is a perfectly normal part of a website and Google expects this. However, how you handle 404 pages and the visitors that land on them is important if you want to keep these people on your site.

What Are All The Different HTTP Status Codes?

Here we are mainly focusing on 404 status codes but it’s important to know what the other major codes mean when talking about 404s. You can see an exhaustive list of codes here at W3.org but really there are just a handful of main ones that you need to know and these are visualized in this infographic from the guys at Moz:

http-status-codes-guide

 

So I Should Just Redirect 404s Elsewhere Right?

Not really, it depends on various factors such as; how much traffic is there to that page, what are people who land on that page looking for, and are their back-links and SEO juice pointing to it?

If you have a 404 page that is getting significant amounts of traffic then you might want to look and see how they are getting to this page and what the source is. If its from a source you can control such as somewhere else on your site or an advertisement then you should look at making sure these visitors end up in the right place on your site and not a 404 page.

If they came from another site linking to an expired page then it would be best to redirect them to the either the new page or one closest to what the old page was about. However redirecting isn’t always the answer, for example simply redirecting a user to your homepage might not always be the best action as if they don’t see what they came in looking for within a few seconds they will go back to the search results. Sometimes keeping them on the 404 page with a short note to say sorry and then offering other options such as pages similar to what they were looking for, category pages and/or the homepage lets the user know that even though they’ve landed in the wrong place they might be able to find what they need elsewhere on your site.

Finally, you need to look at any backlinks pointing to this 404 page. If there are significant or highly valuable links pointing to one of these pages (and assuming you can’t get the linking source to change the link) then you may want to setup a 301 redirect so that the valuable link juice flows through to either your homepage or other part of your site that you want to rank.

Going back to the point about 404 pages that are receiving traffic, if you do intend to keep the user engaged on the site so that they hopefully click through to another part of your website, then setting up a custom 404 page is a good way to go about it. Google advises on doing the following for these custom 404 pages

  • Inform the user that what they were looking for is not there and that they are on a 404
  • Keep the look and feel of the page the same as the rest of the site
  • Use links to the most popular parts of your site
  • Make sure the page is returning an actual 404 status code as you don’t want Google attempting to index it

404notfound.fr has a huge collection of custom 404 pages where you can get plenty of inspiration for making your own.

What is Your Crawl Budget and Why You Need To Know This

 

The post What Should You Do With Your 404 Pages? appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/what-should-you-do-with-your-404-pages/feed/ 8
What is Your Crawl Budget and Why You Need To Know This http://performancing.com/crawl-budget-need-know/ http://performancing.com/crawl-budget-need-know/#comments Tue, 01 Nov 2016 07:48:55 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=13348 If you are running a large website with many pages then it is essential that you know exactly what a crawl budget is, how it’s affecting your site, what your budget is and what to do if it’s not enough. What exactly is a crawl budget? The crawl budget is how many times the Google […]

The post What is Your Crawl Budget and Why You Need To Know This appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
If you are running a large website with many pages then it is essential that you know exactly what a crawl budget is, how it’s affecting your site, what your budget is and what to do if it’s not enough.

What exactly is a crawl budget?

The crawl budget is how many times the Google bots or spiders are crawling pages on your website within a given period of time. If you only have a small or medium sized site then this is most likely not going to be a problem, if you have a large site with hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of pages (such as an e-commerce site or news/media site) then you need to know that Google is crawling as many of these pages as possible and if changes are being made to these pages that they are re-crawled soon after.

The main factor that affects the crawl budget is PageRank, so for large and established sites its often not a problem, however if you site is relatively new and you are adding many new pages to it then the lank of PageRank could be a problem.

Matt Cutts summarized crawl budget perfectly in this interview published at Stone Temple some years back:

“The first thing is that there isn’t really such thing as an indexation cap. A lot of people were thinking that a domain would only get a certain number of pages indexed, and that’s not really the way that it works. There is also not a hard limit on our crawl. The best way to think about it is that the number of pages that we crawl is roughly proportional to your PageRank. So if you have a lot of incoming links on your root page, we’ll definitely crawl that. Then your root page may link to other pages, and those will get PageRank and we’ll crawl those as well. As you get deeper and deeper in your site, however, PageRank tends to decline.

That interview was way back in 2010 and there have been many changes to how Google crawls sites such as the Caffeine update in June of that year and Google is able to crawl more pages and a lot faster now but what Matt said back then about Google focusing on pages with more authority still remains true, these pages are just going to be crawled with greater frequency now.

How does Google crawl your pages?

First the Google spider will look into your robots.txt file and see what it should and shouldn’t be crawling and indexing. The budget part is how many of these urls Google decides to crawl per day, this is decided by the health of your site and also the number of links pointing to it.

How to check the health of your crawl budget

First check the total number of pages your site has in its XML sitemap, usually this will be at the root of your site eg Yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml. Quick tip, if you don’t have a sitemap setup and are running a WordPress site then we strongly recommend the YOAST SEO plugin which will do all of this for you with just a few clicks 🙂

sitemp1

 

Within your sitemap XML file there will be other sitemaps for different parts of your site eg a sitemap for the blog posts, one for different authors or users and so on. Go into each of these and get the total number of pages for each.

Once you have your total number of pages go into your Google Webmaster Tools account and then to Crawl>Crawl Stats in the left side menu until you see the pages crawled per day like the image below.

crawlstats

Then to find out your crawl budget simply divide the total number of pages your site has by the average number of pages crawled per day.

If your final number is less than 10 you are fine, if its more then you have a problem as Google has not allocated a you a large enough crawl budget and thus not all of your pages are being crawled, this needs to be fixed.

My crawl budget is bad, now what?

First off you need to find out if there are any crawl errors being found by Google on your site. Your server logs are a good place to start, you want to be looking for any 404s and redirecting them if possible or fixing the pages. 301 and 302’s are ok as long as they are redirecting to the correct places.

Once you have cleaned up crawl errors your next step should be to look at how Google is crawling your site.

How to sculpt where Google bots go

Remember, there are a finite number of pages on your site that Google can crawl, however Google bots will parse anything put in front of them so we need to make sure that they aren’t crawling pages that aren’t important to your site.

Robots.txt file – use this a the top level for disallowing sections of your site from bots being able to crawl

Noindex meta tag – this can be used on a more finite level for individual pages so that they will not be indexed

Nofollow tags – this can be used at an even more granular level on individual links to pages but if you don’t add this tag to all links pointing to the page then Google will still be able to find it

Knowing how and when Google bots are crawling your site is crucial for mid-range to large sites, especially ones that might not have so much authority and are competing against more established sites so webmasters have to ensure that these bots are seeing and crawling the most important parts of their site.

For more in-depth and further information on how Google is crawling websites see this Google hangout with John Mueller and Andrey Lipattsev.

 

Stop Letting Visitors Slip Through Your Fingers By Implementing These Conversion Tips

 

The post What is Your Crawl Budget and Why You Need To Know This appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/crawl-budget-need-know/feed/ 2
Analyzing Organic Keywords With Google Webmaster Tools http://performancing.com/analyzing-organic-keywords-google-webmaster-tools/ http://performancing.com/analyzing-organic-keywords-google-webmaster-tools/#comments Thu, 20 Oct 2016 11:30:42 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=13319 It has been some years now since Google took away a lot of the data in Google Analytics for keywords that organic traffic is coming to our sites by. What surprises us the most here at Performancing though is the number of business owners and webmasters that aren’t aware of how to get this data […]

The post Analyzing Organic Keywords With Google Webmaster Tools appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
It has been some years now since Google took away a lot of the data in Google Analytics for keywords that organic traffic is coming to our sites by. What surprises us the most here at Performancing though is the number of business owners and webmasters that aren’t aware of how to get this data from their Google Webmaster Tools account. This is a crucial method for isolating individual pages and seeing which search queries are bringing visitors to that page from search engines.  So we decided to put a quick tutorial together to demonstrate how it’s done.

After logging in to your Webmaster tools account go to Search Traffic > Search Analytics, make sure you have Queries selected and you should then see all your major search queries listed below.

 

wmt1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next click Pages and you will see the most visited pages for your site listed below.

 

wmt2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now look for the page that you want to dig deeper into to find out what keywords people are coming into that page from, click the url and it will then show that url under the Pages section. Next click on Queries again and below you will have a list of all the organic search terms that people fond your page with from Google.

 

wmt3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Further data can then be acquired on these search terms with the Clicks, Impressions , CTR and Positions tabs selected.

 

wmt4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, you can isolate individual search terms under Queries and then select Pages to see which pages are getting search traffic for a specific page.

wmt5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We hope this quick Google Webmaster tools tip was useful, are there any tips or tricks you use for analyzing your search data from Google?

The post Analyzing Organic Keywords With Google Webmaster Tools appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/analyzing-organic-keywords-google-webmaster-tools/feed/ 4
How to Turn Your Employees Into Powerful Brand Advocates http://performancing.com/turn-employees-powerful-brand-advocates/ Mon, 17 Oct 2016 12:00:25 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=13335 Established businesses leverage all sorts of brand advocates, from influential bloggers to social media celebrities. By leveraging the social reach of these individuals, you can effectively raise awareness and trust in your brand. However, most businesses tend to overlook the best prospective advocates; even though they are right under their noses. With employee advocates, you […]

The post How to Turn Your Employees Into Powerful Brand Advocates appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
Established businesses leverage all sorts of brand advocates, from influential bloggers to social media celebrities. By leveraging the social reach of these individuals, you can effectively raise awareness and trust in your brand. However, most businesses tend to overlook the best prospective advocates; even though they are right under their noses.

With employee advocates, you can increase the social reach of your company tenfold. They can also provide your audience with a glimpse of your company culture — a “sneak peek”, if you will, on how your business is run from the inside.

Furthermore, employee advocacy can be your ticket to maximizing brand engagement in social platforms. According to the 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer, consumers trust regular employees more than branded content or statements from executives.

To launch a successful employee advocacy program, below are the steps you need to remember:

Develop Your Culture

A harmonious company culture is one of the most important components of successful employee advocacy. Keep in mind that if you keep your employees happy, they reflect positivity outward, especially with the way they communicate with your audience.

Of course, there are other benefits of developing a tightly-knit company culture. Employees will be more accountable, teams will be more productive, and communication will be improved; both internally and externally.

To develop your company culture, you need to invest in activities that boost camaraderie such as retreats, contests, and parties. These events will also provide them with materials for sharing, such as photographs and short video clips.

Establish Guidelines

While it is advisable to set loose the creativity of employees, forgetting to establish social guidelines may lead to PR disasters. That said, you need to set up social media policy that regulates how employees interact with the audience.

Aside from being respectful at all times, employees must always be careful with the information they share. A good strategy is to include three essential rules:

1. Don’t talk about things you don’t know
2. Don’t give promises you can’t deliver
3. Don’t endorse other brands — specifically competitors

As an aid to your social guidelines, you can write different audience personas to help employees quickly build rapport. Include as much information as you can such as what they do for work, what are their hobbies, what time of the day are they most active, and so on.

 

The Problem with Every TOS You Sign

Establish KPIs

To help optimize your employee advocacy campaign, you need to identify key performance indicators or KPIs. For example, how many followers do you hope to gain through employee accounts? Are you specifically looking to attract leads or paying customers?

Take note that certain social networks like Facebook already provide accurate measures of engagement such as post reach, click-throughs, and likes. But if you prefer tracking multiple networks seamlessly, then you can leverage social media tools like Buffer.

With this app, your employees can also schedule social media posts so their followers are never left hanging. It also comes with a free image editor to help them create branded visuals for their posts.

Invest In Their Online Presence

When it comes to employee advocacy, it is better to let your people build their own brand. Who knows — maybe one of your employees has the potential to become a social media celebrity or even a thought-leader. You just need to supply them with the right tools and let them explore the right opportunities.

For example, an employee who is adept in writing can be given the chance to run their own blog. A photography hobbyist may also take the lead in your Instagram project.

Once you identify the talents of your employee advocates, you can invest in specialized social media training to help develop their skills. You can start by introducing employee advocacy tools that can make their roles more maneagable.

Make Advocacy an “Everyday Thing”

Finally, remember that your employees must learn to become advocates 24/7. It doesn’t even matter if they’re at the office, attending a local event, or at home. They must be willing to stand up for the brand whenever necessary.

You should also encourage employees to become active in social networks where it is appropriate to share frequent updates. Snapchat, for example, can provide followers with candid photos of employees at work.

Is employee advocacy a part of your online marketing strategy? Feel free to share your experiences as well as tips in the comments section.

 

The post How to Turn Your Employees Into Powerful Brand Advocates appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
Should We Give In To Clickbait When Creating Content? http://performancing.com/give-clickbait-creating-content/ http://performancing.com/give-clickbait-creating-content/#comments Wed, 20 Jul 2016 07:56:43 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=13296 Clickbait. It’s the bane of web content and seems to everywhere these days, should content marketers be using clickbait in their titles to draw attention to their content though? Online content is predicted to increase by 600% by 2020 and Mark Schaefer has already coined the term ‘content shock’ back in 2014 and discussed how web […]

The post Should We Give In To Clickbait When Creating Content? appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
Clickbait. It’s the bane of web content and seems to everywhere these days, should content marketers be using clickbait in their titles to draw attention to their content though?

Online content is predicted to increase by 600% by 2020 and Mark Schaefer has already coined the term ‘content shock’ back in 2014 and discussed how web users and our audience are going to be drowing in content soon. This has resulted in content creators choosing to use clickbait in their titles while others are claiming they are forced to do it as otherwise no-one sees or shares their content.

What Is Clickbait?

Clickbait is a term that most web users will most likely know by now. Google defines it as the following:

“…content, especially that of a sensational or provocative nature, whose main purpose is to attract attention and draw visitors to a particular web page.”

That makes it sound relatively harmless right? Wikipedia’s definition isn’t exactly in full agreement though:

“…web content that is aimed at generating online advertising revenue, especially at the expense of quality or accuracy, relying on sensationalist headlines or eye-catching thumbnail pictures to attract click-throughs and to encourage forwarding of the material over online social networks. Clickbait headlines typically aim to exploit the “curiosity gap”, providing just enough information to make the reader curious, but not enough to satisfy their curiosity without clicking through to the linked content.”

6de

Recently, YouTuber Felix Kjellberg or ‘Pewdiepie’ published a video showing him watching clickbait videos and summarizing them so we ‘won’t have to click on them’, the video was of course mainly in jest but it did highlight just how bad some of the very popular video content out there is and the lengths they go to with their titles just to get someone to click on it and view the video.

What he said later on in the video was quite sobering though:

“Clickbaiting: Almost everyone does it. If you don’t do it, you’re not going to get views. I can spend days on a video and it will get less views than a video that we did in 10 minutes that has a better title. YouTube is really unfair in that regard, and what it leads to is good content sometimes getting buried by ‘clickable’ content.” 

Felix has by far the biggest Youtube channel with over 46m subscribers and his new videos will often hit 1m views within just a few hours of them being published, so for him to admit that even he has to resort to clickbait titles then it says a lot about the content landscape currently. He goes on to say that it’s a major issue with Youtube content and online media in general. Check his video out below.

Facebook were one of the first major platforms to start the fight back against clickbait. In 2014 they started making changes to their algorithm so that content that was only viewed for very short lengths of time by Facebook users would show up less and less in their feeds, they also put more emphasis on serving a users friends and family content in their feed and less from business pages. With another update to this algorithm just recently, many business pages are lucky to get even a 3% reach to their audience now (without paying that is).

All of this this means that the places where we can push our content to audiences organically is becoming more crowded and competitive, what can we do to stand out from the noise? Should we be using clickbait in our titles too?

Although the Wikipedia definition paints clickbait in a bad light it does also mention things such as ‘curiosity gap’ and ‘make the reader curious’ both of which are all good copywriters and marketers should be using in their titles. The term ‘curiosity gap’ was actually first coined in the mid 1990’s long before social media (or content marketing as we know it) existed, George Lowenstein a US economics and psychology academic published a paper on the topic in 1994.

“Curiosity has been consistently recognized as a critical motive that influences human behavior in positive and negative ways at all stages of the life cycle. It has been identified as a driving force in child development and as one of the most important spurs of educational attainment.”

George Lowenstien, Psychological bulletin, 1994

Curiosity is something that markets and copywriters have been using for decades and our job as modern day content creators and story tellers is to pull our audience into our content and away from someone else’s. Smart copywriters can use these tactics to draw the user into their copy and keep them engaged there. If your content fulfills the the curiosity that the reader had when seeing the title then it is not clickbait!

Playing on the audience’s emotions, feelings and curiosity is a natural part of copywriting and content creation and should not be shied away from. Some good examples are:

  • Keeping back information in the title, which can only be obtained within the full content
  • Starting a story
  • Introducing a new idea or an idea that goes against established beliefs or attitudes
  • An unexpected outcome

So when do we know if it’s ok or not to use clickbait in our titles? If you are unsure whether it’s suitable or not, ask yourself these questions first:

How is the audience going to feel after reading this content?

Is my content delivering what is promised within the title?

How will this affect my brands integrity and reputation?

What do I want the user to do once they have finished reading this content?

If the reader is not going to find the answer to what brought them into your content then they are going to be unhappy and leave the page, they may or may not return but if this is happening with hundreds or thousands of users then eventually this is going to have a damaging affect on your brand and authority. As mentioned above Facebook have already started to combat this and Google have for many years preferred ‘long clicks’ over short ones.

Using clickbait the right way can add extra weight to already compelling content, as this video demonstrates perfectly.

What are your thoughts on clickbait?

The post Should We Give In To Clickbait When Creating Content? appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/give-clickbait-creating-content/feed/ 6
Stop Letting Visitors Slip Through Your Fingers By Implementing These Conversion Tips http://performancing.com/stop-letting-visitors-slip-through-fingers-implementing-conversion-tips/ http://performancing.com/stop-letting-visitors-slip-through-fingers-implementing-conversion-tips/#comments Mon, 27 Jun 2016 12:00:13 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=13274 Converting your website visitors is one of the most important steps in turning them from someone who is just browsing your site into a lead and then to a customer and finally into a returning customer. Just getting your site up and running with content on it and ranking in the SERPs does not guarantee […]

The post Stop Letting Visitors Slip Through Your Fingers By Implementing These Conversion Tips appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
Converting your website visitors is one of the most important steps in turning them from someone who is just browsing your site into a lead and then to a customer and finally into a returning customer. Just getting your site up and running with content on it and ranking in the SERPs does not guarantee that people coming to your pages are going to hand over those crucial and sort after contact details.

What exactly is a conversion?

A conversion is when a visitor on your website responds to a call to action or ‘CTA’ requested by the website, this CTA could be something simple as asking for a name and email or it may be for getting a visitor to sign-up on the site as a user or even make a purchase. The conversion happens once the visitor has made all the required steps and a conversion rate is the % of visitors to a page or website that completed this CTA. Conversion rates are often very, very low though and the more that is required from a visitor (eg a simple contact details vs a payment) the lower conversion rate.

Here are a few tips you should implement on any page of your site with a CTA to boost those conversion rates.

Keep the page clutter free – If your sidebar is stacked full of flashing ads and links or any other kind of distraction then this is going to pull the user away from the page they are on. Remember the goal here is to have them stay on the page and complete the CTA and not leave until they have done that. If you must have other banners, buttons and links on the page then try to use as much white space around them as possible so that your CTA doesn’t get drowned out.

If you want to see an excellent an example of a clutter-free page with a beautiful form and call-to-action then check out Brain Gardner’s site NoSidebar.com, which as you can see, has no sidebar 🙂

nosidebar

 

Long, compelling copy is the way – Once you have the user on the page you need to keep them curious and not looking to leave the page, captivating titles but also anecdotes and stories are an excellent way of keeping a visitor reading until the end and if they have been happy with what they have read then they are more likely to convert also.

Multiple calls to action – If you are using longer copy then you may want to have CTAs placed at the start, middle and end of the content, this way users are reminded to submit their details, download a file or make a purchase without forgetting and closing the page.

Break -away from the mundane – How many times have you seen the usual run-of-the-mill choices in a call-to-action sign-up form on a website? They usually go something like this; ‘Do you want to more of XYZ?’ and then you are presented with the enthralling options of ‘Yes, I do’ or ‘No, thanks’. Too many websites are using this in their sign-up forms and it just sends people to sleep. If a user is presented with a form, especially a pop-up one then you have only split seconds for them to either take the dive and hand over their contact details to you or click the close button and move on. Make that split second count by doing something a bit different, take a look at the copy Derek Halpern of SocialTriggers uses for example in the yes/no buttons here:

socialtriggers

Be more personal – Instead of using the normal ‘us to everyone’ business style, try to be more personal with a ‘me to you’ approach instead.

Offer different bonuses – If you are giving something away for free to entice the visitor into converting then try experimenting with something else. For example, lets say you have been offering a free ebook to everyone that signs up at your site then maybe offer a 10% discount voucher to everyone that signs up that weekend instead? If they are making a purchase then try offering free shipping too?

Ask questions – Asking a question to the user can be a great way to pique their interest, especially if you know that the people visiting that particular page have a problem they need solving. See how WPBeginner.com have implemented this with a simple pop-up form on their site.

wpbeginner

Get creative with your forms – Making sure you have a form that visually ‘pops out’ from the page but doesn’t clash with the rest of the site. If your website is using WordPress then there are numerous form builder plugins such as CaptainForm which come with a wide selection of themes and styling options.

If you have impressive data or metrics then show them off! – People are more likely to be interested in what you are offering if they can that it is already popular, so if you have a significant number of visitors to your site, downloads or number of purchases then make sure you are shouting that from the rooftops! See how Neil Patel is implementing this on NeilPatel.com to show how many people have visited his site that month.

patel

A/B test, and keep testing – Finally, you should always be testing. Even if something is working and you are getting conversions nothing ever stays the same and you should always be looking to squeeze out an extra few percentage points of conversions. So every few months take a step back and analyse what has worked and look at what changes and improvements can be made. No webpage or website in the world is ever perfect!

Are there any conversion tips you’d like to add? Let us know in the comments 🙂

The post Stop Letting Visitors Slip Through Your Fingers By Implementing These Conversion Tips appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/stop-letting-visitors-slip-through-fingers-implementing-conversion-tips/feed/ 5
4 Methods To Revitalise Your Content Marketing Today http://performancing.com/4-methods-revitalise-content-marketing-today/ http://performancing.com/4-methods-revitalise-content-marketing-today/#comments Fri, 10 Jun 2016 08:31:55 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=13249 If you have found recently that your content has taken a nose dive and isn’t converting your audience into members & customers or that you are generally stuck for ideas then here are four methods to help revitalise your content marketing and breathe some life back into it. Spend More Time On Your Titles This […]

The post 4 Methods To Revitalise Your Content Marketing Today appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
If you have found recently that your content has taken a nose dive and isn’t converting your audience into members & customers or that you are generally stuck for ideas then here are four methods to help revitalise your content marketing and breathe some life back into it.

Spend More Time On Your Titles

spend time on titles

This may seem obvious but these days being able to stand out from the noise within a reader’s content stream whether that be on Facebook or in an RSS feed is essential. The average reader is exposed to a huge amount of articles, Tweets, images and videos when browsing the web and according to data from last year 211 million pieces of content are created every minute. If you aren’t spending time on brainstorming at least five different titles for any piece you are planning to write then you are doing it wrong my friend. Think 5 is a lot? Then check out Upworthy’s editorial process they come up with twenty-five, that’s right, twenty-five titles for every single piece of content they produce. That’s a lot of brainstorming!

For your content to stand out and get that all important click you need to be putting out titles that are edgier, take more risks and different from your competitors or that evoke emotions & curiosity from your audience.

Tell Stories

tell_stories

Alex Turnbull the founder of the helpdesk support software Groove published a post detailing his company’s journey to try and get their monthly revenue up to $100k per month back in 2013, the article was a huge success as it gave insights into how his company worked and he was sharing his teams journey with the audience. Being able to tie in an article related to your industry in with professional and personal experiences, struggles that you may have overcome or anecdotes is a great way of humanising yourself and your business. James Altucher’s book ‘Choose Yourself’ is another great example, although it could be considered a self-help book it really is just a collection of stories and anecdotes from his business and personal life which any reader that’s looking to start a business or change their life can learn a lot from.

Use Data

stats_blackboardalter

You should always be using your websites (and other platforms) data to see what content is performing well and how your visitors are interesting with it but that is not what I’m referring to here. What I mean here is quoting data within your content to validate your topic and points. This is one of my favourite posts by Neil Patel, see how he uses data throughout the article to validate all his points and also provide deep insights into what does and doesn’t work within the industry, he also puts this data forwards using excellent visuals to keep the reader engaged.

Turn It On It’s Head

upsidedown

If you have stuck to the same style of writing or type of posts then it might be worth throwing your old methods out the window and trying something entirely new. I often speak to business owners who complain that even though they are updating their blog daily it isn’t getting any traffic and/or isn’t getting any likes, shares or conversions. In these situations, it can be worth doing the complete opposite of what you have been doing to that point. Publishing short, daily news pieces Monday to Friday? Start doing a single weekly round-up of the week’s news instead, or start writing long-form opinion pieces on something related to your industry. Changing your publishing times and days can often bring surprising changes too. We all know that Monday to Thursday is the peak traffic days but often putting out an article on a Sunday evening can get more views and interactions than you might think, many professionals will review articles and other industry-related content on a Sunday evening before the working week ahead and we have deployed this tactic ourselves on many blogs with great success.

If you have been struggling with your content recently then applying just one of these tactics can help invigorate it and give it a new lease of life, if you have any other ideas for re-positioing your content then let us know in the comments 🙂

 

The post 4 Methods To Revitalise Your Content Marketing Today appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/4-methods-revitalise-content-marketing-today/feed/ 6
8 Tools Web Marketers Need In Their Toolbelt in 2016 http://performancing.com/8-tools-web-marketers-need-toolbelt/ http://performancing.com/8-tools-web-marketers-need-toolbelt/#comments Fri, 20 May 2016 08:52:00 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=13228 A modern day web marketer needs a multitude of skills and to be able to wear ‘many different hats’ so that they can compete effectively within the industry. To get the most out of all these different skill sets without getting bogged down in specific tasks often requires the right tools. Luckily the SaaS industry has […]

The post 8 Tools Web Marketers Need In Their Toolbelt in 2016 appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
A modern day web marketer needs a multitude of skills and to be able to wear ‘many different hats’ so that they can compete effectively within the industry. To get the most out of all these different skill sets without getting bogged down in specific tasks often requires the right tools. Luckily the SaaS industry has been growing significantly in the last few years and there are already a multitude of tools built specifically for web and digital marketers out there, however it can often seem daunting when faced with so many different tools, so here is a breakdown of 8 of the most crucial ones that you should be using this year.

BuzzSumo

bufferapp

 

Buzzsumo is by far the best tool available right now for doing research on what topics and types of content have been popular and trending in the past and essential for building your own content ideas and strategies. The app is very simple to use, you type in your search term and then you can set the type of content you want to see related to this term such as infographics, articles, videos etc and then how recent the content should be (days, weeks, months etc.) and within the returned results you are given highly valuable data such as number of Facebook and Twitter shares along with other data such as backlinks. Its free to use but you are severely limited to a few searches per day but the premium version is worth every penny!

Buffer App

buffer

Buffer allows you to schedule important social media posts and updates at different times of the day. As we know its crucial to release your content and updates across social media at the right times, your target audience maybe on Twitter between the hours of 6pm to 2am in the US so being able to set all your Facebook and Twitter posts to automatically publish means you dont’ have to keep tabs on that!

Basecamp

basecamp

These days with people working in distributed teams making sure everyone is on the same page is crucial, if your discussions and files are all spread out between various email threads then the chances are mistakes will happen. This is where project management webapps and tools are by far the best way to keep everyone informed on changes within a project and that discussions are all stored in one location.  There are many project management tools in the market now but I’d say Basecamp is still probably the best and is very easy to use.

 

Hiveage

hiveage-invoices

Administrative work can be a real time sink but it has to be done! If you are dealing with multiple clients as well as freelancer designers, content producers and other contractors then eventually you are going to find that managing the invoicing and sending & receiving of payments is going to overwhelm you and take up precious time that should be spent on your work. Hiveage has a wide variety of features including team management and detailed financial reporting and having a time-saving tool like this will allow you to focus on your projects instead of paperwork.

SumoMe

heat1-585x356

SumoMe is essential for converting visitors to your own site or your client’s site into followers or loyal customers. They have a collection of seriously useful tools ranging from heat tracking & click behavior to email collection popups for building your subscriber list as well as the ‘Smart Bar’ an unobtrusive bar at the top of your screen that you can use for advertising and promotion without annoying the user. We have been using SumoMe extensively on our other publications such as Bloggingpro.com and Freelancewritinggigs.com for a long time now and have seen our subscriber list numbers explode in that time. Although the premium versions of each tool offer the most flexibility the free versions are still very good!

HARO

haro

‘HARO’ stands for ‘Help A Reporter Out’, you can sign up either as a source or a journalist, marketers can sign up as a source and then choose an area that they can act as a source eg technology. Each day you will then receive an email (or sometimes more than one per day depending on your settings) with a list of stories that the journalists at HARO are looking for sources on. For example here are some of the technology queries from yesterday:

I need to talk to SAP Consultants/Implementation partners for two-tier ERP story

Businesses who are facing hurdles doing digital 

What are key traits of the top chief marketing technologists?

What is Your Favorite Android Phone Tip or Trick? 

If you or your client is involved in one of those areas then you can reply to the request with further information, if the reporter is interested he or she will get in touch with you and hopefully then feature you or your client in their story! This is an excellent time hacking tool for getting valuable media coverage especially for startups.

 

MOZ

moz

There are many SEO tool-sets out there now and many marketers have their own preferences. Moz has been around a long time and has an evenly balanced set of apps but the most valuable I’d say is their Open Site Explorer tool especially now that Page Rank has been closed off by Google the Moz domain authority score is probably the best benchmark on judging a website’s SEO value.

 

Google Drive

google-drive

 

This may seem like a no-brainer but its surprising the amount of people we deal with daily who use Gmail and other Google Apps but have never used (or seem reluctant to) Google Drive. Sharing documents such as spreadsheets and Word files is far easier and more organised than sending attachments everywhere!

There are many, many other excellent tools out there for marketers and also many other alternatives to the ones mentioned above, what tools do you use? Let us know in the comments below!

The post 8 Tools Web Marketers Need In Their Toolbelt in 2016 appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/8-tools-web-marketers-need-toolbelt/feed/ 5
6 Link Building Tips For Local SEO http://performancing.com/6-link-building-tips-local-seo/ http://performancing.com/6-link-building-tips-local-seo/#comments Fri, 13 May 2016 08:48:03 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=13224 If you are looking to get into the crucial local ‘3-pack’ on Google then you are going to need not just great reviews and feedback from the locals but also excellent links. Here’s 6 tips on how to get them. Reach out to local bloggers This should actually be your first port of call, reach […]

The post 6 Link Building Tips For Local SEO appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
If you are looking to get into the crucial local ‘3-pack’ on Google then you are going to need not just great reviews and feedback from the locals but also excellent links. Here’s 6 tips on how to get them.

Reach out to local bloggers

This should actually be your first port of call, reach out to bloggers and publications in your area and let them know about your business. Keep in mind that the bigger the blog or website the more emails they will be getting each day so don’t be surprised if you don’t get an immediate reply! If you have some unique information or data on the local area that relates to your business then ask them if they would like this data written up into a blog post that they can publish. If you are organizing an event (see below) then let them know about it and don’t forget to invite them!

Extra tip: Offer some free exposure to the blog or publication at your event and they will most likely do the same in return. This doesn’t have to be reciprocal linking though, they could have their logo on the sides of the cups people use or t-shirts could be given out with their brand on and in return they blog about the event!

Attend an event or meetup

You should always be networking so this is a no-brainer. Go to as many SME meetups as you can as well as any others related to your industry. Talk to people, grab business cards and start following these people on social media. Check out Meetup.com to find out whats going on in your areas as well as the local press.

Host your own event

If no events related to your business are being held in your local area then this is a prime opportunity to get more exposure and media mentions along with all the links that come with it! This doesn’t have to be a formal event either, a social gathering at times such as Christmas or Easter for people in the local community will also work.

Create a resource page

Put together an awesome page of content on something really useful to local people in the area, if you run a wine business then what about an infographic map of all the best Italian restaurants in the area? If you have an outdoors shop then a list post on all the best biking & running trails locally would go down a storm with fitness enthusiasts, don’t forget to share across your social channels and even look at some extra paid boosting on Facebook to help it go viral!

Sponsor a team

Not a major sports team of course but a school sports team or similar would happily welcome additional funds to pay for kit and other expenses. You can then get offline visibility as well as links from there website (most minor teams have these now).

Local directory sites

This is also another no-brainer but people often forget about. Make sure you add your website to as many local directory listings as possible.

A/B Testing and SEO: What You Need to Know to Succeed

The post 6 Link Building Tips For Local SEO appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/6-link-building-tips-local-seo/feed/ 7
Try Tweeting Less Links http://performancing.com/try-tweeting-less-links/ http://performancing.com/try-tweeting-less-links/#comments Fri, 30 Oct 2015 08:16:18 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=13184 Twitter is a hugely important platform for businesses to be on and utilising in their social media tool belt, unless a firm already has a lot of traction online or is advertising their account then getting your content noticed in amongst the hundreds and thousands of other Tweets in a users stream is going to […]

The post Try Tweeting Less Links appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
Twitter is a hugely important platform for businesses to be on and utilising in their social media tool belt, unless a firm already has a lot of traction online or is advertising their account then getting your content noticed in amongst the hundreds and thousands of other Tweets in a users stream is going to be tough!

Although there are a lot of guides out there providing tips on how to grow your Twitter account not all these strategies work for everyone and it’s important to experiment with different tactics.

I stumbled across this interesting post the other day on Socialfresh.com, the author Jason Keath had observed how Conrad Hacket who works for Pew Research, had sent the exact same Tweet 20 minutes apart (back in August) on some data relating to population growth by 2050. What was interesting about the second Tweet was that he didn’t include a link to the original data source, he simply used the content of the most populous countries, however the second Tweet was re-shared almost 300 times where as the first one with the link in it only 86 times. See for yourself:

This is just a single example so obviously nothing is conclusive here but it’s an interesting experiment. Why the Tweet without the link got more shares and reactions isn’t clear but I would say that Conrad appearing to be providing useful information & data himself instead of just re-sharing something from a website as pulled in his followers attention. Also when a link is shared you are prompting your followers to click that link which will take them out of Twitter and thus reducing the chance of them sharing your Tweet.

If you are normally Tweeting links on your account either from your own website or others, try changing this tactic up a bit and share the data from these posts without any link and see what happens.

More Twitter Strategies!

How to Participate in Twitter Chats

How to Utilize Twitter Marketing Strategies

How to Use Twitter Hashtags to Your Advantage

 

The post Try Tweeting Less Links appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/try-tweeting-less-links/feed/ 14
Identifying Traffic Drop Causes http://performancing.com/identifying-traffic-drop-causes/ http://performancing.com/identifying-traffic-drop-causes/#comments Fri, 09 Oct 2015 13:21:07 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=13164 It’s the situation that every webmaster or SEO person dreads, they login to their Google Analytics account only to see that their traffic has nose dived into oblivion. Now is not the time for panicking though! Websites and how they acquire traffic are a lot more complex than they used to be so finding the […]

The post Identifying Traffic Drop Causes appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
It’s the situation that every webmaster or SEO person dreads, they login to their Google Analytics account only to see that their traffic has nose dived into oblivion. Now is not the time for panicking though! Websites and how they acquire traffic are a lot more complex than they used to be so finding the source of the problem needs to be tackled correctly and methodically, here’s a short guide on some of the main areas you should be investigating.

traffic drop

Look Closely At Traffic Source Changes

First thing you want to do when you see the traffic dip is to find out the exact source, go to Acquisition > Overview and check all your traffic sources, if its an SEO issue then your organic traffic will be down. If you have a lot of referral traffic from other sites or social media platforms and this is down then make sure any ads or links you have there are still up and running.

Inspect On Page Elements

Is the title tag still the same and all the other meta information correct? For high traffic/highly competitive terms changing an optimized title tag can cause a page or site to plummet from page one of the rankings and all your organic traffic will go with it. Other things to look out for are noindex tags and nofollow tags for your inner page links. If all the links to your inner pages are no followed then Google bots can not follow these links and they will lose their rankings. H1 & H2 tags are also very important and something as simple as removing a target keyword from these can cause a page to suffer.

Login to Google Webmaster Tools

Here you need to check your site messages, if you have received a manual Google penalty you should have a message here, note that many Google penalties do not come with a warning though e.g. Panda. Then check the following:

Index status – here you can see how many pages on your site Google has indexed, a sudden drop in these means there is a problem.

Crawl errors – if your site has experienced any down time or has too many 404 pages this will have a major affect on not just how Google sees your site but can also cause users to leave and not come back!

Robots.txt status – just like with on-page elements the robots.txt file can be very powerful and can cause a huge amount of problems if not setup correctly. Make sure that the Googlebot is allowed to crawl the correct pages and parts of your site using the tester tool. Here’s a fantastic guide from YOAST on how to correctly configure a robots file.

Check Any Page Redirects

If you had any pages setup to redirect elsewhere then make sure all those 301s are still in place, if any have them have been removed or broke then all the traffic going to those pages is going to see a big, fat 404 page, too many of these and Google will severely penalize your site!

These are just some of the main things you should do as your first port of call when investigating a traffic drop but there are many other things ranging from canonical tags being removed to footer and navigation links breaking that can cause your site to crash. Most if not all of these problems are brought on by humans making changes to your site which is why its crucial to keep a log of all changes and edits you or your team make to your website.

How To Filter Out C Language or ‘Bot’ Traffic From Google Analytics

The post Identifying Traffic Drop Causes appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/identifying-traffic-drop-causes/feed/ 17
What Will The ‘Dislike’ Button Mean For Facebook Business Pages? http://performancing.com/what-will-the-dislike-button-mean-for-facebook-business-pages/ Tue, 29 Sep 2015 10:05:47 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=13169 Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that they are working on a ‘Dislike’ button so that users may show other emotions for a post aside from just liking it. The main intention of this will be for users to be able to show empathy when a friend or someone they follow posts bad news. People […]

The post What Will The ‘Dislike’ Button Mean For Facebook Business Pages? appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
Facebook dilike button for business

Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that they are working on a ‘Dislike’ button so that users may show other emotions for a post aside from just liking it. The main intention of this will be for users to be able to show empathy when a friend or someone they follow posts bad news.

People have asked about the ‘Dislike’ button for many years, and probably hundreds of people have asked about this, and today is a special day because today is the day that I actually get to say we are working on it, and are very close to shipping a test of it. Not every moment is a good moment if you share something that’s sad like a refugee crisis that touches you or a family member passes away, it may not be comfortable to like that post…I do think it’s important to give people more options than liking it.

— Mark Zuckerberg

Although many users have been happy to hear this as many people have been requesting it for years, marketers and people that use Facebook pages for business have cause for concern as even though details are scarce at the moment it is highly likely that the Dislike button will become part of the Facebook Edgerank algorithm and affect how content is shown in feeds.

As things are currently, several factors are taken into account for how and when your content is shown to your followers in their feed, the metrics are; Likes, shares, comments and clicks.

What happens when a post gets many ‘Dislikes’?

Normally if something you posts gets many Likes then it will appear more often in a followers feed, this in turn increases the chances of more people seeing the post and thus them also liking it or even commenting, sharing or clicking through to  an external site. What we don’t know right now is what will happen if we post something negative and it gets many ‘Dislikes’ then will these dislikes keep that post in a users stream or will they have the adverse affect on that post and will it  be buried in a fan or followers feed?

A lack of engagement with negative posts?

A comment on a post has been proven to be a lot more valuable than a Like and users are more likely to leave a comment when they wanted to show empathy with a negative topic as there was no other way of displaying this, bringing in a button for disliking this content turns all this on its head and could see people simply clicking the dislike button instead of commenting or sharing on the post.

Surely people can hijack this?

Yes they could, we could see people purposely disliking a post on Facebook even if the content isn’t negative, this is something marketers and brands are not going to want to see. Mark Zuckerberg has said that they aren’t looking to bring in a Reddit style system when people can ‘down vote’ a post and it will be pushed out or down a feed so hopefully trolls can be negated.

Are there any positives to this?

We still don’t know exactly how this button is going to work or how it will integrate with their algorithm but one interesting point is that business pages will be able to analyse what content their followers and fans dislike and then tailor their future posts around that.

Since the announcement two weeks ago there haven’t been any further updates from Facebook so all we can do is wait and see, you can expect to see Facebook roll out this new functionality to personal profiles for testing before they are added to business pages though.

Related: Improving Your Facebook Organic Reach in 2015

 

The post What Will The ‘Dislike’ Button Mean For Facebook Business Pages? appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
Why You Need To Make Canva Your #1 Image Tool http://performancing.com/why-you-need-to-make-canva-your-1-image-tool/ http://performancing.com/why-you-need-to-make-canva-your-1-image-tool/#comments Fri, 18 Sep 2015 14:28:02 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=13154 Canva has been around for some years now but I only discovered it a few months ago and since then it has quickly become my go-to image and graphics tool and has saved me a lot of time asking our in-house designer to knock me up custom images for blog and social media posts. What […]

The post Why You Need To Make Canva Your #1 Image Tool appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
Canva has been around for some years now but I only discovered it a few months ago and since then it has quickly become my go-to image and graphics tool and has saved me a lot of time asking our in-house designer to knock me up custom images for blog and social media posts.

What is Canva?

Canva is a web and iOS app that lets you create custom images using templates based on standard image sizes that we use everyday such as for Instagram, Facebook, blog posts, Pinterest and so on. It also has templates for offline printing such as A4, letterheads and resumes, the best part though is the drag and drop functionality along with the hundreds of free images, graphics and illustrations that can be used.

canva
Templates for pretty much every media platform

Even though it is very simple to use you can still make some very powerful and eye catching images and they have hundreds of free photos, graphics and illustrations that you can use or you can upload your own images and if you have some budget to spend then there is also n extensive library of premium images and illustrations all for only $1 each!

canva1
Vibrant images for your content are very easy to make with the Canva illustrations library

Even though Canva has ben around for a few years now but it has seen a large portion of its growth surge in the last 2 years with a 65% traffic surge early this year. $3 million in venture capital funding was raised in early 2013 from Matrix Partners, InterWest Partners, Bill Tai, Lars Rassmusen and Ken Goldman, then in spring of 2014 Guy Kawasaki joined the company as chief evangelist and then had this to say about why he joined and how important he sees Canva:

“Macintosh democratized computers; Google democratized information; and eBay democratized commerce. In the same way, Canva democratizes design,”

Just last month Canva also launched a premium version for businesses called Canva for Work which will allow teams and contributors to edit and upload design images in a shared space within the cloud.

 

The post Why You Need To Make Canva Your #1 Image Tool appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/why-you-need-to-make-canva-your-1-image-tool/feed/ 11
Using Google Data Highlighter To Improve Your CTR http://performancing.com/using-google-data-highlighter-to-improve-your-ctr/ http://performancing.com/using-google-data-highlighter-to-improve-your-ctr/#comments Tue, 08 Sep 2015 14:14:04 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=13140 Google’s data highlighter tool has been around a couple of years now but it’s surprising how many of our clients that we work with have never heard of it let alone use it. With page one and the top 5 rankings in the SERPs becoming more and more crowded it’s crucial to polish your pages […]

The post Using Google Data Highlighter To Improve Your CTR appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
Google’s data highlighter tool has been around a couple of years now but it’s surprising how many of our clients that we work with have never heard of it let alone use it. With page one and the top 5 rankings in the SERPs becoming more and more crowded it’s crucial to polish your pages as much as possible to give them the edge needed to stand out from the rest of the pack and get more click throughs. You only a few seconds to grab a searchers attention and to get them to click your result in the SERPs over a competitor you really need to help the Google crawler bots understand the information that is on your page and which bits of information on the page it needs to focus on.

apple tv google rich snippets
Which one of these is more likely to be clicked?

If you have never tried this tool before then here’s a quick and easy guide on how to get started.

Open the data highlighter tool here (you need to have a Google Webmaster Tools account already though so make sure you are signed up for that first).

Select your web property and then the url that you want to highlight. You can then choose to make these changes for either this page or many other pages after, for now it’s probably best if you just do a single page.

Next you can select the type of content or information that your page has.

 

type of information to highlight

 

Once the above is completed you can begin highlighting the data on your page, it’s pretty straight forward, just highlight all the crucial information on the page e.g. in the below example for an article its the title, author, date etc and then make the selection from the drop down list.

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 2.21.31 PM

 

You can also add data for things such as number of reviews and/or stars awarded, however do not spam this! It may be tempting to give all your products 5 stars to entice people in but they will quickly leave when they see that there are no real reviews (if that is the case) thus giving the page a very high bounce rate and a negative affect on its ranking. Once you have highlighted and tagged all relevant data you can ‘publish’ this to Google.

Later if you wish to tag data on many pages at once you can select ‘tag this page and others like it’ at the first step and then once that page is completed you can choose to have those settings applied across multiple pages.

groups

Any pages that have been highlighted and tagged with this tool can be revised and edited or even removed later on also in the WMT dashboard under search appearance > data highlighter

wmt dashboard

 

Google and other major search engines are bringing more information and data into the search results themselves so that a user isn’t going to click on a result unless they can see within the results that the page has the information they need, make sure your page is the one that gets that click!

Related: Google To Penalize Sites That Have App Download Pop-ups

The post Using Google Data Highlighter To Improve Your CTR appeared first on Performancing.

]]>
http://performancing.com/using-google-data-highlighter-to-improve-your-ctr/feed/ 2