SiteLinks Can Increase The Quality of Your Paid Campaign

By | Link Building, Los Angeles Internet Marketing, Paid Advertising, SEO, SEO Company

Last year in June, when Google introduced enhanced campaign, they also introduced another feature called, enhancement to sitelinks, which enables site owners and SEO guys a chance to add descriptive test for exact sitelinks. Sitelink is a great feature really, the best way to increase your CTR if you ask us. This is also good for branding terms, as Google stresses upon.

There are two direct advantages of having this, enhancement to sitelinks. Firstly, it allows you to add direct link to multiple pages of your website when you are running your paid campaigns. Secondly, it gives you more real estate on the SERP screen for your paid search results, obviously.

Sitelinks directly influences ad rank and a better written sitelinks description can easily improve the rank of your advert on the search page. Ad rank used to be decided by the cost per click CPC and the quality score of the ad but the ad extensions and sitelinks are also being taken into the calculation.

So, how difficult is this to implement? Sounds easy, doesn’t it? However, the reality is little different. Firstly, what surprises me is that very few and rare companies are taking advantage of this, at least to the fullest possible extreme. This is the reason why Google was forced to actually note this thing publicly, in a blog post, last January. If you google, may be 1 out of three companies are using this and the two which are not using, they are also knee deep into the SEO as well. As surprising as it might sound!

These additional descriptions can actually be more handy in describing links to specific pages of the website. For example, if you are writing more about a link, then the user will understand more by simply reading the link structure. They are getting more useful information and relevant information. Google tested it and found the CTR is significantly improved once you start using these enhanced sitelinks over traditional sitelinks.

However, when we googled for products, we saw mostly the traditional site links are being used, instead of the descriptive text versions which are so much more effective.

Surprising as it might sound, implementing this feature is rather easy. When you add a new link, Google provides you with a field to write the descriptions. You can put the description here and use a call to action button here or even promote a special offer.

When this descriptive sitelinks are used, which many companies did when they became available, the CTR for branded links become significantly higher. Not only the companies were able to supply more information to the clients but they were able to actually gain ad ranking on the display page. The ad captured much more space and also the ad looked much more relevant to the search query as well.

Some major points which you should remember while utilising these links are:

  • Use call to action as much as you can. This is a great way to move traffic to your site’s internal pages directly which are more relevant.
  • Use information to entice users more, like free shipping or discounts.
  • Consider each site link as a different ad or an ad inside another ad. With each sitelink being described, you can gain from multiple ads.
  • Run tests regularly. Use this Pauline Jokober’s article and audit your sitelinks. This way you can know what is working and what needs a tweak.

Sitelinks can give the users much more information about your site and make them land on the exact page which has the things they want. When more information comes with ad, the user likes it more. We all should ideally be using this feature, shouldn’t we?

 

Three No-Brainer Ways to Optimize Your E-Commerce Site

By | eCommerce Marketing, eCommerce SEO

Optimizing your e-commerce site to drive more business there is an integral part of creating a thriving e-commerce business. Taking these three ‘no-brainer’ steps will ensure you’re making the most of your site’s traffic potential and leading customers toward the conversion you want.

Think Locally and Update Your Meta TagMeta tags help search engines understand what your site is about and how to place your site in search results. Make sure you’re clear on what a ‘meta tag’ does and why it’s important. Consider carving out some time to draft a concise, short description, complete with keywords.

If you haven’t already done so, make sure your meta tag includes what region or major metropolitan area the site is located in. For Google, knowing where a site is located helps differentiate how to index that site in ranking. Including the region or area your business is based in creates a human element for a potential customer, and this adds credence they’re going to do business with a site serviced by actual people. Sites that include their region fair better in search results, so they have the potential for increased business through local customers. For most sites, you can updated meta tags by doing one of the following:

  1. Select ‘Tools’ and then ‘Meta Tags’
  2. Select ‘Format’ and then ‘Page Property’
  3. Use a plug-in, like ‘Add Meta Tags’

ecommerce-optimization

Consider Mobile Design and Content

Most people are viewing your e-commerce site on a mobile device. If you make them work to find the information they need, chances are, they’ll leave the site fast. Many people still choose to think of mobile as a secondary part of optimizing their e-commerce sites, but this is one of the most costly mistakes you can make. So, one of the best use of time and money in optimizing your site is considering every facet of how that site shores up on a mobile device.

There are certain steps you must take to optimize for mobile:

1.Make sure your site can direct visitors to the mobile version. You should design your site so that if a consumer’s on a mobile device, they’re directed to the mobile version, ensuring they have a better user experience for their device. This is particularly crucial for an e-commerce site, where conversion is well-suited to a mobile site design, since the primary purpose is to click through to a cart for a product or service.

2. Bring the branding elements from your main site to the mobile site. It creates user confusion if the format, font or color choices are disparate from the main site. Many times, businesses focus on function forgetting form. They skimp on design elements and risk losing customers because their brand message is no longer clear. Instead, focus on a more streamlined, simple design. Keep sentences short and concise, font size larger and limit contact forms or flash elements, and highlight call to action buttons. In fact, doing so for your main site won’t hurt either.

Keyword Rich Content Counts

It’s tempting to overload your site with keywords. But resist the temptation. You should focus on five keywords for your brand and about two to three long-tail keywords for each page. This helps Google know that the site is legitimate and not spam. It helps the site rank faster and allows Google to index each page properly, according to keywords used.

If you take just these steps, you’ve set a sound foundation toward a sales generating s-commerce site. Paying close attention to your mobile design and content, your meta descriptions and well-researched keyword will help drive the traffic you want to your site for increased sales.

InternetMarketing

 

Track your Customers with Google AdWords Conversion

By | Paid Advertising Social Media, Pay Per Click, Pay per click Advertising

Build-Successful-PPC-Campaigns

Google, has become the favorite search engine of every web-user. Any questions or queries that pops up in our mind, we probably don’t even waste a single second to ‘Google it out’.

Google It out, has become a phrase that is happily enchanted by millions living on this universe. Of course is it the strongest of all other search engines. It seems to have captured our minds and souls. With so much fame already in its bucket Google AdWords recently announced the launch of Flexible Conversion Counting. Well you can imagine how pro-actively is this new launch going to rule the world of Internet marketing.

Flexible Conversion Counting, is relatively a new form of conversion that permits advertisers to determine the types of conversions that are the most profitable for their business.

This has significantly changed the manner in which conversions appear in the interface of AdWords. For example- Conversions (1-per-click) changed to ‘Converted Clicks’ and conversions (many-per-click) changed to ‘Conversions’.

Flexible Conversion Counting, is going to give a new platform for the advertisers to revise or rethink that which conversion perfectly suits the requirements of their business. While you take a look at the latest types of conversions that AdWords have brought, in this blog we see also take a dive into what types of conversions should you be using and why.

The conversions listed below have been divided into three broad categories- Hard Conversion, Estimated Conversion And Percent-Of-Conversions

1) Hard Conversion Types

They are basically hard numbers, bottom-line numbers and the numbers that you have been consistently been reporting on. Tracking is set up appropriately, after analyzing all of your conversions.

Converted Clicks

This indicates that how many clicks did you receive in one or more conversion actions. To avoid confusion, different conversions column are created for counting the actual number of conversions. The number of converted clicks gives you a fine idea about how many consumers are you likely to draw.

Let’s say for an example that a web-user clicked on your online advertisement and bought two goods. In this case you will see only one converted click in the column, anyhow you will see two separate conversions in the conversions column. So in this way converted clicks are of great help in tracking leads when the same consumer purchases more than one good, that perhaps serves no substantial value to your business.

Conversions

This particular column helps advertisers estimate the sum of conversions among all conversion actions. This type also makes a note of which method of counting have you chosen for your conversions, as it is believed to affect the number of conversions that are showcased in the column.

Phone Call Conversions

All those who own a set up for call extensions, their phone call conversions column will highlight the total number of calls that went on for longer duration than they might have mentioned in particular call extension. Make sure that you have access to a Google call forwarding number so that Google can easily trace your call extensions.

2) Estimated Conversion Types

Comparatively they are pretty new sort of conversions brought by Goggle and work on estimated data. You would not require any other additional conversion tracking to review these conversion types since they reckon upon Google’s reliable tracking systems, they successfully give more accurate details about consumer behavior.

Estimated Cross-Device Conversions

These types of conversions happen when a consumer clicks on an ad through one device and later switches to a different device or browser. This conversion type gives you the opportunity to witness how your advertisements affect conversions that take place over diverse devices as well as browsers.

You will not have to promote your ads on various devices to draw consumers to this column since it relies on how the web-users complete the conversion.

If you wish to develop a better understanding about the behavior of your consumers and get a hassle-free way to reach them, then this conversion type is the most suited for you. It would be no surprise if you are this encouraged by this type that you even begin advertising on cell phones.

Estimated Total Conversions

It is perhaps the finest estimate of the sum of conversions run by AdWords. This would consist of estimated cross-device conversions, conversions (previously called as many-per-click) and also phone call conversions. Every advertiser has the curiosity to know the returns on investment that they receive. So by using the conversion type you can derive all the information about ROI and further take more valuable decisions in terms of allocating the budget.

3) Percent-Of Conversion Types

More than often advertisers tend to optimize and adjust bids by taking some percent of these conversions. But it is seen that many advertisers do not trust this criteria, however gradually they will realize their importance and utilize them when need be.

Click-Assisted Conversions

It is widely used for search campaigns. It is actually a calculation of conversions that are counted by the keywords that lured the consumers to one or more assist clicks. Thinking what assist clicks are? They are the total number of clicks that are received by a keyword before the conversion takes place and the last click is likely to be excluded.

So as to adjust the bids and budget, an advertiser would ideally take into consideration nearly 50-80% of their assisted clicks.

Impression-Assisted Conversions

It helps in gaining the information about total number of conversions fostered by a keyword to assist impressions before the last click. It is almost similar to click-assisted conversions, the only notable difference is that it depends more on assist impressions in-spite of relying on assist clicks.

It enables the advertisers to understand the aspects that lead the user to perform an expected action.

View-through Conversions

This type of conversion takes place while a consumer is looking at your images or wealthy media advertisement prior to converting, but never really clicks on the ad. If later any such consumer converts, this would count their conversions and mark them as View-through conversions.

These conversions would on their own eliminate conversions from the visitors who have also clicked on the search ads posted by you.

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SEO & User Experience – A Happy Marriage

By | Search Engine Optimization, SEO, SEO Company

One of the things which I ran after during this whole SEO and instructional engineering career was to couple SEO aspects with aesthetics aka user experience. This means you need to think beyond the Google spider and think about ranking and traffic and happy users.

Every SEO campaign must take care of the objective of the site while being adaptive in gaining organic visibility. SEO is becoming much more obsessed with satisfying the end user than the Google bot.

However, the bot is still important and you need to listen to it and satisfy it. Thus there are times when you need to make deal. The bot needs to be satisfied without making the site unusable. So, the million dollar question is, where do we draw the line?

Do we really need that line? Probably no.

SEO, Meet Usability….

It might look difficult to blend SEO tricks and recommendations with best user experience but once this is done, the SEO and the site will be simply invincible.

There are a few factors which we work on, continuously, while working on sites for our clients. I have tried to list those factors here.

Issue

We need content above the fold, or the screen portion which is visible without scrolling, but that will push other important things like the products or services we offer below the fold. We can make the bot happy with the contents above the fold but what if it makes the user scroll a lot to find the products? Will he be happy?

Solution

Using tabs or the expanding element of HTML can help. You can choose to show a little amount of text to the user by default and keep your products listing above the fold as well. The interested reader can click on the [read more] or [+] to expand and see the full text.

This is not a black hat trick, if you are openly using an expanding function which is visible to the search engines, then you shouldn’t have any worries. However, avoid using framed texts, these texts aren’t visible to the bot.

Issue

Instead of posting a very lengthy text, we might want to make it more entertaining and post a video instead.

Solution

Video is a nice idea but you shouldn’t venture there without a plan. You should use every trick in the urn for video SEO. Proper titles, optimised descriptions, transcriptions or subtitles, video schema, placement and sharing them on video sharing sites, video sitemap and many other things to take care of before you can really go for it.

Now the transcript the we are talking about, place the same in an expandable area. This way, you can take care of the positioning issue. You can even place the transcription under the fold. It will not hamper your SEO much while improving the user experience by a good degree.

Issue

The PDF we keep on the site are many but we need to keep them easily accessible as users likes to read and print them while on the go.

Solution

PDF pages are not as good as the HTML pages when it comes to SEO. This is why so many SEO workers simply hate PDF pages on the site (while adoring it for off-page activities). PDFs don’t allow much tracking codes in them and thus we lose track of the traffic. However, PDF pages rank so very well.

If the “convert them to HTML” option is stuck down, make sure that they are optimised. They should have proper tiles and they should have embedded link to the site and also have relevant content.

Best thing is to keep a HTML version of those pages and then place a link to the PDF file on that page for the mobile crowd. The HTML version will take a few weeks but it will start ranking as well and will overtake the PDF version in ranking and using the robots.txt file, we can actually block the PDF which will then become duplicate.

Issue

Our client was required to keep a large chunk of ‘disclaimer’ texts, which was the very same, and this disclaimer needs to appear on many pages, as per the lawyer has told him. Now, Matt Cutts have said that this type of duplicate content shouldn’t harm the site and thus the notice should cause no big news.

While it is tempting to believe him about the point, Google also speak a lot about content quality. If the disclaimer texts make up a good portion of the total text on those pages then we are having a few pages with highly duplicated content.

Solution

Make the text available as an image. The purpose is served, the lawyers are happy and still we are not publishing any duplicate text.

SEO & Usability Can Coexist Happily

These are only a few very direct issues where we could blend SEO and user experience nicely. It doesn’t solve every problem but it proves that they can happily coexist. However, you need to be creative and think for unique solution. For every situation, there is a solution and I am sure of this.

You need to have the inputs from SEO managers and the user experience designers, make them sit together and do a little brainstorming. If there is a will, for sure there is a way.

One of the things which I ran after during this whole SEO and instructional engineering career was to couple SEO aspects with aesthetics aka user experience. This means you need to think beyond the Google spider and think about ranking and traffic and happy users.

Every SEO campaign must take care of the objective of the site while being adaptive in gaining organic visibility. SEO is becoming much more obsessed with satisfying the end user than the Google bot.

However, the bot is still important and you need to listen to it and satisfy it. Thus there are times when you need to make deal. The bot needs to be satisfied without making the site unusable. So, the million dollar question is, where do we draw the line?

Do we really need that line? Probably no.

SEO, Meet Usability

It might look difficult to blend SEO tricks and recommendations with best user experience but once this is done, the SEO and the site will be simply invincible.

There are a few factors which we work on, continuously, while working on sites for our clients. I have tried to list those factors here.

Issue

We need content above the fold, or the screen portion which is visible without scrolling, but that will push other important things like the products or services we offer below the fold. We can make the bot happy with the contents above the fold but what if it makes the user scroll a lot to find the products? Will he be happy?

Solution

Using tabs or the expanding element of HTML can help. You can choose to show a little amount of text to the user by default and keep your products listing above the fold as well. The interested reader can click on the [read more] or [+] to expand and see the full text.

This is not a black hat trick, if you are openly using an expanding function which is visible to the search engines, then you shouldn’t have any worries. However, avoid using framed texts, these texts aren’t visible to the bot.

Issue

Instead of posting a very lengthy text, we might want to make it more entertaining and post a video instead.

Solution

Video is a nice idea but you shouldn’t venture there without a plan. You should use every trick in the urn for video SEO. Proper titles, optimised descriptions, transcriptions or subtitles, video schema, placement and sharing them on video sharing sites, video sitemap and many other things to take care of before you can really go for it.

Now the transcript the we are talking about, place the same in an expandable area. This way, you can take care of the positioning issue. You can even place the transcription under the fold. It will not hamper your SEO much while improving the user experience by a good degree.

Issue

The PDF we keep on the site are many but we need to keep them easily accessible as users likes to read and print them while on the go.

Solution

PDF pages are not as good as the HTML pages when it comes to SEO. This is why so many SEO workers simply hate PDF pages on the site (while adoring it for off-page activities). PDFs don’t allow much tracking codes in them and thus we lose track of the traffic. However, PDF pages rank so very well.

If the “convert them to HTML” option is stuck down, make sure that they are optimised. They should have proper tiles and they should have embedded link to the site and also have relevant content.

Best thing is to keep a HTML version of those pages and then place a link to the PDF file on that page for the mobile crowd. The HTML version will take a few weeks but it will start ranking as well and will overtake the PDF version in ranking and using the robots.txt file, we can actually block the PDF which will then become duplicate.

Issue

Our client was required to keep a large chunk of ‘disclaimer’ texts, which was the very same, and this disclaimer needs to appear on many pages, as per the lawyer has told him. Now, Matt Cutts have said that this type of duplicate content shouldn’t harm the site and thus the notice should cause no big news.

While it is tempting to believe him about the point, Google also speak a lot about content quality. If the disclaimer texts make up a good portion of the total text on those pages then we are having a few pages with highly duplicated content.

Solution

Make the text available as an image. The purpose is served, the lawyers are happy and still we are not publishing any duplicate text.

SEO & Usability Can Coexist Happily

These are only a few very direct issues where we could blend SEO and user experience nicely. It doesn’t solve every problem but it proves that they can happily coexist. However, you need to be creative and think for unique solution. For every situation, there is a solution and I am sure of this.

You need to have the inputs from SEO managers and the user experience designers, make them sit together and do a little brainstorming. If there is a will, for sure there is a way.

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SEO Planning with Website Redesigns – Top Things to Consider

By | Search Engine Optimization, SEO, SEO Company, seo los angeles, Uncategorized

Search Engine Optimization (SEO), is one of the brilliant tools given to us by Internet marketing. It has been playing a significant role for various online businesses by helping their websites maintain high rankings in the search results. It is only through the techniques of SEO that one is able to draw the targeted traffic to his/her website.

You must have put in years of dedication and sincere efforts for making full use of SEO methods, but lately have been feeling that your overall website seems to be pretty outdated? Perhaps because it’s time to make certain changes in your websites design. It is rather wise to update the design rather than sticking to the same old one.

We are living in the Internet age, where people are active web-users. Not only on computers or laptops, people these days have access to it even on their cell phones. Imagine this situation, a web-user tries to open up your website on his/her cell phone but unfortunately it is not a mobile-friendly web portal and takes hours to load. The person will automatically close it and move ahead. You must have noticed that how you just lost a potential consumer. This states that your website has to be made not just mobile-friendly but needs to be revised in other aspects of designing too.

Most of us fear experimenting with the designing of a website or updating it, thinking that it might have a negative impact on the rankings. Well, you may not keep any qualms about this, since enhancing your website design will help accelerate your business and as a result will bring positive outcomes.

As you buckle up to redesign you website, take a look at the following steps that will make it easier for you to put your plans into action. And yes, you will not have to make compromises on years of hard-work that you have invested in SEO.

1) Make sure to examine your SEO master plan

Site redesigning gives you the ideal time to closely evaluate the SEO strategies. Easily you will be able to find out all the keywords that are fostering your websites growth, and which ones are serving no use. Once you being with the redesign, you will also get a clearer picture about which keywords and landing pages needed to be kept at priority.

You might come across keywords that surely have gained a good ranking but anyhow fail in the purpose of drawing worthy traffic. Seemingly there is no point in including those that only draw low-quality traffic. This gives you an amazing opportunity to place better keywords in your site that will deliver higher quality traffic.

During the process of evaluating your SEO techniques, you may also find landing pages that are incapable of entrancing the visitors. As a result of this you will have lesser sales. So if you do not want to trapped in a similar situation, you can consider solving the page level engagement problems while redesigning the site.

Site redesign allows you to kill two birds with one stone. Wondering how? See by revising the website design, you not just redesign it but also get to attend issues of SEO that you might have overlooked in the past. Thus, this will allow you to improve your SEO campaign along with enhancing your websites appearance.

2) Always use the same URL

SEO will be more favorable if you have keep the same URL structure. It is best advised to maintain the same URL structure even if you are redesigning your web portal. But at times it becomes impossible to do so. You might be planning to shift the site to a new platform, or changing the arrangements of its content, which will naturally calls for changing the URL structure. Well the alternative way is to use 301 redirects.

301 redirects, permits us to get a fixed redirect from one URL to another. It is the finest way to perpetuate rankings by directing the search engine from previous URL to the new one. 301 redirects also sustains the internal links and inbound links, even these help in retaining the rankings.

Providing a flawless experience to the users is as vital as preserving good rank. Since 301 redirects conserves the internal links and inbound links, so the users will never be disappointed with a ‘404 Not found’ kind of error.

3) Ensure to keep up with On-page optimization

Though on-page optimization might seem an obvious step to many but you should know that a site redesign involves updating the content, revising and so on. When you redesign make full use of this golden opportunity to not only maintain but also improve on-page optimization. Assimilate the keywords on appropriate pages, personally review the title and description on each page.

It would also be great if you review the URL structure of the site and cross-check if it is been optimized for every page or not. Finely examine that there are no broken links which might annoy the visitors.

4) Be smart to create HTML and XML site maps

 

It is necessary to create HTML and XML site maps because they guide the powerful search engines like Google, Yahoo etc in exploring the new as well as the existing content that might have moved to some new URL.

Once you are through with creating an XML site map, make it a point that you get it submitted to the most influential search engines in order to precipitate crawling of the moved or new content.

It will be even better if you blend this step with 301 redirects, it will profit you in numerous ways by systematic crawling and indexing of the moved or new content.

5) Analysis and Upgrade

Now that your redesigned website has gone live, do analysis that it is getting ranked and has been successful in drawing the traffic as you expected. Like other any other marketing strategy, where you monitor the results after implementing them, same should be the case here. The outcomes of redesigning should definitely be measured and boosted from time to time.

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What Small Business Owners Must Do For Successful SEO

By | Search Engine Optimization, SEO, SEO Company, seo los angeles, Uncategorized

SEO has changed considerably in the recent years and with these huge algorithmic changes from Google, hitting the market regularly, can make the life difficult for people interested in SEO.

 

People are even getting tired of SEO, especially the small business owners. They are going for marketing strategies which are simpler to understand and implement, rather than the risky SEO field. There are other people who will not believe that time has changed and the old tricks don’t work any more. As they continue to work using the old methods, the outcome is often catastrophic.

 

SEO alone can’t work

Although SEO services are still in demand, adding your marketing strategies with it might lead you to a better result. Eighty-three percent of companies who are successful in SEO have integrated SEO and social media together. This is easier said than done and it takes a lot more than simple link building, which was the trick for the last few years.

SEO strategy of 2014 means your concentration is on brand and audience. This shouldn’t be interpreted as discarding the ranking factor. But it tells you how the new SEO works in 2014.

 

Create Your Small Business Brand Using SEO

It was possible in the past to do SEO without ever mentioning about the brand. Using tricks like blog comments, widgets, infographics, article posting and on-page tactics, one can do those easily. People might disagree that it used work there are lots of people who will certify that it does. Many low budgeted SEO companies found them on first page using these tricks. However, these tricks don’t work any more.

Nowadays, its user experience optimisation which floats the SEO boat. Thus, the social shares, careful backlinking from selected places while caring for what the users are looking for and of course the use of citation. Content marketing is how you can keep your audience interested in you and that is why ninety-three percent marketers are planning to use content marketing in 2014.

 

When these small business wants to put their names in these contents which they produce, there is a funny thing to observe. Google can easily sniff these branding efforts, even if they are not hyperlinked, and considers it as a basis of legitimacy. This is why people still believe that press releases can really help ranking while there are some proofs against it.

 

Response to SEO Provider

Although the importance of social sharing and brand building can’t be stressed more half of the companies going for SEO still prefer to outsource the SEO work. However, the SEO agency and client interaction is going to play an important role in 2014. To be successful in SEO, the SEO companies will need much more knowledge about your target customer, their demography and their needs.

As the SEO company prepares the press release, not only the client company needs to give them a news which is worthy of a news but also needs to approve the final copy in a timely manner so that these press releases can flow out at regular interval. Mentioning the brand without hyperlinking is still good enough a job. While this might sound unbelievable, some client companies don’t even attend the phone calls from the SEO companies.

 

Conclusions

The small business owners might miss those simple days of link building and directory submission, the trend of SEO suggests that the days are gone. SEO is still very alive a profession but press release, branding and social integration are becoming impossible to deny.

SEO Los Angeles Agency

 

 

4 Ways Google Can Sniff Out Your Paid Links

By | Uncategorized

Webmasters love to hate Google when it comes to Google’s consideration techniques of backlinks. Webmasters know one thing, irrespective of backlinks, they need to get those backlinks to work well. Google, on the other hand, is there to remove any backlink which is paid so users can get only organic results.

Paid links remain a very shady area for all of us. Which links are exactly paid links and how can Google sniff those out. Matt Cutts recently answered, rather at length, about this question which is bugging the webmasters for a long time now.

The Clearly Clear Paid Links

There are so many cases where an experienced SEO can easily pick up a link as a paid link. This is the case even when some webmaster thinks he is being cunning about it.

“The vast majority of the time things are incredibly clear: people are paying money outright for links based on PageRank, flowing the PageRank, trying to get high the rankings, Ninety-nine percent of the time it’s abundantly clear that these are links that are being bought and paid and sold and all that sort of stuff,” Matt Cutts said.

But then there arises the question, what if the backlink isn’t really paid but the company has just bought lunch to the webmaster. Will that nice little gesture be considered as paid link as well? Where is the limit or the book of code of conduct? Cutts tries to explain it.

Cost of the Link

If you receive peanuts like a T-shirt or a pen at a conference, it will not help you to write exceptionally well for the company. But what you get might vary greatly in the monetary value and this is why the evaluation gets tricky. Let’s quote Matt Cutts

Sometimes people might say something like, “Hey, I’d like to send you a gift card.” You know what gift cards are pretty fundable you can convert them to money and back and forth… On the other hand, something like “I’m going to give you a free trial of perfume” or “I’m going to buy you a beer” or something like that, that’s less of a connection.But we do look at how close something is to actual money when we look at those kinds of things. If somebody goes and buys you a dinner and you write a blog post four months later, and the dinner wasn’t some huge steak dinner with 18 courses … that’s probably not the sort of thing we worry about, as you would guess.

Gift or Loan

What if the product you just reviewed was only loaned to you and was not really a gift? The item in discussion can be a very costly mobile phone.

“Another criterion we use is whether something is a gift or loan, So imagine, for example, that somebody loaned out a car for someone to try out for a week versus giving them a car. There’s a big difference there,” Cutts concluded.

This is truer when the reviewed product is even bigger like a car. Not many car bloggers can buy all those new models coming out every month to test and review them. The car companies are not willing to send out costly cars either, in return of a few backlinks. Just doesn’t make sense, right?

“If somebody’s giving you a review copy, and you have to return it, that a relatively well-respected thing where people understand, ‘OK I’m trying this out (I’m a gadget reviewer or whatever) and then see if I like this camera, but I do have to send it back.” Cutts said “Whereas if someone sends you a camera and said, ‘you know what, keep it,’ that’s something that’s much closer to material compensation in our opinion,”

Intention and Audience

It is very hard to judge intentions, and Google accepts it as well. However, if you translate it like, someone is paying you to get a backlink from your site, one intention is quit clear. And this is the case in most of the cases.

Cutts gave the example of a product with free trial offer. The intention here is not that the backlinks are given in return of the trial period but to sell it when the trial period is over and tell other people about it.

Cutts said, “The difference would be where we’ve encountered people who are supposed to be reporters, who would say if you give us a laptop then we will write nice story about you, and it’s giving me a laptop not borrowing a laptop,”

Expected Compensation or Pleasant Surprise

Lastly Cutts discussed the point whether the compensation which the webmaster might receive is expected or a pleasant surprise.

OK for a movie reviewer, getting a free ticket to watch the movie might not be that big a reward nor it is surprising. But if the reviewer is reviewing a laptop and he demands or gets to keep the laptop he is reviewing then that is a surprise. It is ever more surprising if the laptop is not what is being reviewed at all but is being accepted as a gift.

Cutts mentioned it rather flatly that they reserve the rights to take action against any such techniques which are trying to manipulate or influence the google search algorithm. These techniques are using to gain the trust of people and they are explicitly against Google’s guidelines.

Cutts said, webmasters better check with the FTC guidelines if they are accepting compensation and they are unsure whether those compensations will be make the links paid or not.

These rules can clear a lot of confusion about the principles Google is adopting here but still they will leave lots of grey areas and it will boil down to Google’s ability to judge the links, paid or organic as manually judging those links is certainly not possible.

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Los Angeles SEO Agency

12 On Page SEO Changes You Must Know!

By | Google SEO, Google Update, Internet Marketing Fundamentals, Link Building, Local SEO, Uncategorized

Link building is difficult but it is not the only way in which you can gain traffic from Google’s search engine results page.

There are people who can build links very easily, there are people who can write winning contents and then there are people who can do wonders in outreach campaigns. If you posses neither of those qualities yet want to become a prominent SEO then there are easier ways as well.

The off pages activities generally work better in influencing the ranking factors, compared to the on page factors. SEOs however, can use a combination of those tricks nowadays to make life easier for them and using the perfect combination they can get great ranking and traffic without ever building a single link.

These techniques are not new for experienced SEO people, in fact, many of these practices are well used. However, even the most well optimised sites might miss a few of these tricks as well.

1. In-depth articles

Mozcast graph decided that 6% of Google’s search results contain in-depth articles. Although this might not a be a huge number but the articles which qualify for this will see significant improvement over other competitors. If an article is included like that, the traffic can go up by as much as 10%.

If you add a few HTML techniques, the articles which you right can also qualify for this. There are a few mark ups, as suggested by Google, which are

While Google loves fresh contents, the old sites and their content might also come up if they use the proper semantic markups on their pages.

2. Improving user satisfaction

Can you really improve your ranking by making users ‘feel’ better at your site? The answer is yes, even if it might sound a bit surprising. If the experience of a few SEOs are to be trusted then the effect of user satisfaction might have a much bigger effect than we might imagine.

You know that Google Panda is there to punish the low-quality websites. We also know that Google uses user click as a signal to measure the user satisfaction on the site.

Let us quote Stephen Levy from his excellent book In the Plex

“… Google could see how satisfied users were. … The best sign of their happiness was the “long click” – this occurred when someone went to a search result, ideally the top one, and did not return.”
This idea is often called return to SERP of pogosticking, if you can keep the users there on your site without them returning to Google SERP to click on another result, there are people who strongly believe that you will be rewarded as you are providing the users exactly what they are looking for.

Tim Grice of Branded3 said they believe at their SEO agency:

“If you have enough links to be in the top 5, you have enough links to be position 1″

While it is very difficult to prove that the pogosticking effects Google’s search results, we have enough case studies and analysis and reports where the positive correlation between these two has been proved beyond doubt.

3. Rich snippets from structured data

Google is expanding the scope of the rich snippet in its SERP every day. Now you can see events, songs, videos and the traditional breadcrumbs as well.

Matthew Brown first presented the idea of structured data in a presentation, way back in 2011, at a MozCon. Matthew is now working with Moz and we are happy that he shares his knowledge most often. Try to study his Schema 101 if you can find time.

You can also check for Guide to Generating Rich Snippets from SEOgadget basic understanding. This is a very good kick starter. You should have at least two types of markups going for you, the videos and Google Authorship.

4. Video optimization

If we measure the pixels, the video results capture much more area on the SERP than any other search result with the rich snippet coming up. Not even the much hyped authorship photos can capture so much of space. Study shows that we look at the videos first.

Unlike Google authorship images, video snippets often are easier to display and they don’t require any special setting to get those rich snippet going. You can however use, video XML sitemap and adding schema.org video markup if you are using video snippets.

To make your life easier, there are many third party software which will help you in this. You can use Wistia, like the Moz employees use which does the sitemap creation and schema.org markup creation automatically.

You can easily define the thumbnail which can which is to appear using either schema.org and XML sitemaps. The thumbnail is the first impression about the video to the user. Thus wisely use these tools.

5. Google authorship

Getting the authorship photo appear in the search engine result page easily if you integrate the code. However, getting the image appear doesn’t get you many clicks. Getting the right image, however, will mean many important clicks and the click-through rate improves as well. There is no clear rule about what type of images might help but there are a few types which certainly help.

  • Using a real face over a cartoon or a company logo is preferred.
  • Use high contrast image as the photo is small, the background and foreground should be clearly stark to make it understandable or recognisable.
  • Target audience, an old man is less likely to click of a 14 years old kid wearing Bermuda shorts and tshirts, talking about pension schemes.

Google nowadays is more selective about which images to show and which are not, they have actually placed a few conditions about the authorship image. Mozcast says, if the authorship is set up properly, 20% of your searches will come up with the image.

6. Improving site speed

Improving the site speed not only makes the visitor satisfaction better but also directly influences the search ranking. Google itself has confirmed that a quicker loading site has more chances to rank better.

There is one vary important thing which we came to learn from the exciting Zoompf people this year. It is not the actual page load time which is most important but the Time to First Byte (TTFB) which is more important. TTFb is the time a server takes to respond to the ping and release the first acknowledgement byte.

While the page load factor, or TTFB, is very important for desktop sites, this factor gets even more important for websites for mobile. We all know how irritatingly slowly a website might load in our mobile device, especially if smaller screen and weaker signal. Google developers said “Optimizing a page’s loading time on smartphones is particularly important given the characteristics of mobile data networks smartphones are connected to.”

7. Smartphone SEO

Even if we forget the page load speed, the website must be at least configured to be displayed on mobile devices. Otherwise, the website will rank lower in Google SERP. Google openly admits that no smartphone- friendly version means the site will probably rank lower for a mobile customer.

There can be several common smartphone errors. Some are

  • The visitor is redirected to wrong mobile URL.
  • Embedding multimedia which are unsuitable for smartphone playback.
  • Annoying pop-ups which make mobile browsing difficult.
  • Very small or too large buttons, images or texts for a small mobile screen.

Although Google stresses on making your website responsive, many top sites, including apple.com, are not responsive it type. However, they still manage to provide a great mobile browsing experience.

8. Expanding your international audience

Do you have potential international audience? Do you desire to serve beyond your country and local language? While the international experts like Aleyda Solis stresses the importance of having your site ready for international visitors, many north American companies are still looking for improvement.

When you start for international exposure, we have seen it is easier to get ranked compared to the local SEO ranking. You might also face poor competition. You can check the International SEO check-list by Aleyda to see if your website is a candidate for internal SEO or not.

9. Social annotations with Google+

When you are using Facebook and Twitter as the platforms to share your contents, the network of friends, colleagues and buyers can only see it when they open these networks. On the other time, if you share on Google Plus, the content appears every time someone is searching on Google.

Google did a study and it was proven that users are habituated of noticing the social icons and this is true when the page is having other engaging elements like video and/or infographics.

The best way to exploit this is to expand Google+ friend circle and share content which matters, regularly and often. Rand Fishkin did a whiteboard Friday on how to make your Google Plus result appear at the top of Google SERP always. Moreover, the content which are shared via Google Plus often top the regular search results which means even if a user isn’t logged in, he can still see your content at the top.

10. Snippet optimization

This might sound like the good old meta tag and tittle tag optimization says but the practice is never out previously it used be the number of characters which decided the length of the snippet. However, recently Google removed this setting and thus the present restriction is of pixels. Presently, one snippet is getting around 500 pixels on SERP. However, this also might change.

As it is difficult to maintain characters which will convert into 500 pixels, it is still a safe practice to maintain the 60-80 characters of snippets. There are, however, online snippet optimization tools which can help you a lot as well.

Google is here as well, with its advice on meta description and confirmed what we always believed, duplicate meta descriptions are not a great idea. It goes to the extent where matt Cutts says that better not have any meta description than to have duplicate meta description.

“You can either have a unique meta tag description, or you can choose to have no meta tag description.”

You can see duplicate meta description tags in the Google Webmasters Tool and this is one of the few HTML errors which are shown there. Does this mean, they take actions against it? We need to be careful.

11. Updating fresh content

Websites start to lose ranking once they stop to make new links. At the same time, the sites lose ranking once they stop adding newer contents on the page and the pages go stale. Freshening up the content doesn’t guarantee a better ranking, which is the case with any other factor. For some queries, however, it helps a lot. Google has many different ways to judge the fresh content.

  • Date of posting.
  • Percentage of content change
  • Frequency of content change.
  • New page creation
  • Which content is changed, body, H1, footer or other.

12. Ongoing on-page SEO

The factors mentioned here only go good for earning more real estate on the Google SERP. The issues like canonicalization, site architecture, indexing, keyword research, crawling, image optimization, duplicate content, internal linking and many other factors can move the ranking, with cumulative effort.

SEO is getting much more technical every passing day but it also means that we have much more opportunities now to exploit than we ever had.

If we think that SEO is easy or the old tricks will work perfectly in SEO, you can’t be further from truth really. It will also be imprudent to think Google will rank the site automatically.

SEO Los Angeles Agency

 

Debunk Your Myths About SEO

By | Uncategorized

People always ask us about the “truth” on SEO and what really works. We have decided to break it down and share some myths as well…

Search Engine Optimization (SEO), has become an integral part of contemporary Internet marketing practices. This brilliant method helps websites in achieving better rankings, more online visibility and also makes it search engine friendly. SEO is the mantra chanted by every online business owner.

SEO has come across as a blessing for businesses whose websites had failed in gaining higher rankings, and as result lesser profits. It has helped in not only improving their websites rankings in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) but has consequently accelerated the growth of their business as well.

Are you aware of the fact that SEO can play a fundamental role in brining more credibility for your brand? By using SEO you can build one of those websites that everyone wants to beat.

So, yes we can rightly say that it is been successfully serving the needs of many. Anyhow people are less clear about how to aptly use SEO for their website, seems like they have certain misconceptions (read myths) in their mind. Well then, you ought to clear theses and get a finer picture about it.

Get ready to take a refreshing dive into some of the common myths that people associate with SEO, and let go the doubts about it-

1) Just content marketing will draw more traffic

People believe that building better content will attract more consumers and will fetch more clicks on their website. Are you kidding yourself? Had this been the case, then wouldn’t every SEO professional simply turn into a content writer and build fancy writings for a website.

Let’s not say that content isn’t vital, it surely is. But content alone will do no good to your website, you would also need links, quick loading of the page, nice designs and so on. While you build great content for your website, make sure that you do not underestimate other important aspects of SEO.

2) Link Building has become extinct

The concept of link building is going to remain ever-green, so do not make the blunder of considering it dead. You cannot afford to miss on the benefits of link building, it is inevitable if you want your website to get better rankings.

How do you build links?

Internet is no magical land, where links will automatically flow in. It is neither any farm, where you can bribe someone and buy links. Guys, you need to make efforts. It would be wise to hire a professional with ample experience, who would get a sound strategy planned for your websites link building. Though merely planning a strategy will serve no purpose until it is implemented as required, so make sure that whosoever you hire knows how to kill a bird with a single stone.

Another important point to keep in mind is that link building should appear natural. Supposedly you yearly donate money to an NGO, what you can do is tie in with a news channel and ask them to give coverage to your noble cause or may be press release in print media. And all these tied back to you. This of course is a natural way to acquire links through your link building campaign.

An expert link builder will do the needful for you and let it appear absolutely natural, which it actually is. So dear friends take note that, link building is very much alive only some the methods that were used to practice it are dead.

3) Google keeps an eye on you if you use Google Analytics

Most of the businesses often fear using Analytics and think that it raises the chances for Google to spy on their website. Really? Firstly you need to understand that no matter what any inexperienced chap says, above all it is imperative to use Analytics.

For example, you are outrageously creating plenty of domains that are been used for vicious things and to top it all you are applying the same Google Analytics code. Yes, in this case Google is smart enough to know that you are using the same domains. You are caught in your own web. You end up linking all the domains together and tell Google that you own them, Bad Idea!

Similarly if you your website has been penalized and without fixing the issues in it, you jump on to create a new site using the same Google Analytics code, you are likely to be trapped in the same situation mentioned above.

Yet again the same question arises is our mind that, is Google using Google Analytics for ranking our sites? NO it is not, so breath a sigh of relief now!

Feel free to use Google Analytics, it will not make things worse but yeah better for sure.

4) Care a damn about Ranking/Positioning

We hardly care about higher rankings, all we want is more and more traffic coming to our website”, this is common phrase to be heard from various online business owners. It is crazy to have a perception like this. You are not alone in this vast world of the Internet, there are many other websites nailing the competition.

While there are great chances that a web-user will click on the first few websites that appear on the first of SERPs, so certainly rankings do make a lot of difference. Even if you want more traffic, how that you expect that to happen if none clicks on your website? These clicks will increase only if your site has attained good rankings.

If your website ranks further back in SERPs, the web-users are going to be very skeptical about your site. They might not find you credible or reliable enough to work with. You definitely would not wish that any potential consumer keeps any qualm about your brand name.

If you do not like the term ranking much, then positioning might just sound better to you. On one hand where ranking is all about numeric order, on the other hand positioning is a loosely defined placement within the SERPs of giants such as Google. Positioning the keywords right, can do wonders for you. Meaning that ranking might not matter as much as positioning does. However, both have their own relevance.

5) Social media, a new window to link building

Many assume that simply sharing on various social media platforms will help in rolling more links. Who says this is true? Only sharing will be of no use.

Here comes out the reason- Google cannot accommodate Facebook and Twitter in its algorithm. Hopes might fade away for all those who thought social media would help them in link building,Social media presents an outstanding way to connect with your friends and build better relationships, so Let’s keep it that way rather than using it for link building. If have been using it for link building, pals you must rethink.

Once these myths are busted you will certainly get a clearer picture and improved understanding about SEO. It is crucial for one to understand each and every aspect of SEO techniques. Until you do not get all your doubts cleared, you would perhaps fail in making full use of the advantages that SEO brings along.

If you hire someone who is well-verse with all the methods of SEO, then the returns on investment you are going to receive, will make you jump with joy!

SEO Los Angeles

Common E-Commerce SEO Mistakes That Could Cost You Sales

By | eCommerce Marketing, Los Angeles Internet Marketing, Los Angeles SEO, Search Engine Optimization, SEO, SEO Company, seo los angeles, Uncategorized

We decided to put together a post that describes some of the pitfalls and missing key points that you should know when optimizing your eCommerce store. We get these questions all the time and decided to answer them once and for all!

Here we go!…

More and more consumers are choosing to purchase items on the internet, and there are many companies who think that simply putting a website online with merchandise is enough to get customers flocking in to purchase. The problem with that theory is that the internet contains millions of websites, and hundreds of thousands of them are selling the same exact merchandise. If you want your e-commerce website to stand out, you need to avoid these common SEO errors.

Missing Product Description

If you want search engines to locate your website and rank it highly in the search engine returns, you have to have text on the site that is optimized with keywords. Although a picture may be worth a thousand words, search engines cannot see pictures, only text. Therefore, include a short description of each item next to each merchandise photo. Be sure to include keyword optimization in the text as well.

Not Using Unique Descriptions

Another common mistake made by online retailers is simply copying the manufacturer’s description of a product onto their website. Search engines seek unique information, and if the descriptions on your site are exactly the same as 30 other online retail sites, it will not appear unique. In addition, manufacturer descriptions are usually not keyword optimized, making it even more difficult for search engines to find them. Write each product description yourself to make it unique, but remember that the copy should be of high quality, with no misspellings or grammatical errors. If writing is not your strong point, consider outsourcing website copy to a professional writing company.

Titles That Are Not Unique

Just as using the product description provided by a manufacturer is a poor SEO practice, so is using the title provided by them as well. In addition, many online retailers use the same title tag for similar products, and, for those who sell many products that are the same, it is difficult to come up with unique title tags for every product. Therefore, it is more important to focus on key phrases rather than keywords. A key phrase is a string of words that typical shoppers enter into search engines. Rarely does a shopper type in one single word, as online shoppers have learned that the results returned are far too vague. Instead, a shopper looking for a particular brand will include the brand name in the search. Consider using Brand-Model-Item-Type as the template for any items you plan to sell online.

Optimize Product Based on Demand

Much like the non-unique titles, you need to consider what people are entering into search engines when you write headlines and product descriptions as well. Include key phrases in both headlines and product descriptions so that when a consumer searches for a product, the search engines are more likely to find them. Never keyword stuff, however, as using the keyword or phrase will have the opposite effect on your website.

Unidentifiable URLs

It is important to use what are known as “speaking URLs” on your website as well. A speaking URL has the product name right in the site address. This makes it easier for a consumer to know what they will find when they click on a link. In addition, it makes it easier for another site to pick up the link and share it on their own website, increasing the visibility of your website. Whenever possible, include keywords in the URL for even more chance of recognition by search engines.

Allow Product Reviews

Research indicates that as much as 70 percent of online shoppers seek reviews of products before they purchase them. If your site does not allow customers to review products, you may be missing a significant portion of online shoppers. The good thing about product reviews is that it creates completely unique content and it costs nothing. In addition, the more often a site is update, the more a search engine will find it. Because product reviews are provided on a continuing basis, the site appears to have been updated more often, making it attractive to search engines.

In addition to these common SEO practices with e-commerce sites, some online stores use a considerable amount of duplicate content, which should be avoided. In addition, it is critical to make the site as usable as possible as the more time a customer remains on your site tells search engines that they are returning the right results to consumers and will continue including your site in their results.

 

Are you interested in speaking with us directly? Don’t be shy!

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