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Some of the biggest challenges in SEO

Posted by on Oct 2, 2016 in Webmaster Resources | 0 comments

SEO can be very challenging, there is a lot of things to consider when embarking on this kind of projects and a lot of which can go wrong. Of course there are some basic principles and considerations but what I’m going to talk about in detail today are some of the biggest challenges you are likely to face when working on SEO projects.  Big choices As with many situations in Search Engine Optimisation you will be faced with multiple choices and there will be no single straightforward answer. There will be no such thing as the “right answer”. In fact, the answer you will hear most often will be: “it depends’. Subdomains vs Folders vs Separate Domains One of the main considerations will be the structure of your website. You will need to decide which format will be best for you, not just best for SEO but best for the users and what’s most important best for the business. Subdomains So let’s imagine we have an eCommerce shop operating in Germany, UK and Italy, your structure can look like so: de.example.com uk.example.com it.example.com There is a number of pros and cons to this solution, the main disadvantage from the SEO perspective will be that subdomains do not pass the links juice as well as subdirectories. In fact they can be considered as a separate websites. On the plus site, I think it makes it quite easy for the users to understand which version of your site they are on. Subdomains are also quite easy to set up Subdirectories example.com/de example.com/uk example.com/it There are even easier to set up than subdomains and have a big advantage from the SEO perspective when it comes to benefiting from inbound links. Links coming to pages in subdirectories will pass on the link juice to the domain as a whole. The cons of subdirectories are that they are no as user friendly as the ccTLD or a subdomains. ccTLD So in this scenario you are using different country specific top level domain for each version of your site, for example: example.de example.co.uk example.it The advantage here would be user experience, your visitors will clearly see which version are they on. Having a separate domain for each county could also positively affect your click through rates as it definitely add credibility. When I search, especially when it comes to shopping, I will almost always choose .co.uk(I live in UK). The disadvantage of this solution is that it would require the most work to implement and maintain the SEO campaigns. You will effectively have three different websites to do SEO on. So which one should you choose? There is no simple answer to thus question. You will need to consider all the factors and the choice will depend on your unique circumstances, and resources. Translation & Localisation This will be by far the most time and resource consuming challenge of international SEO, especially when it comes to big eCommerce sites. Just imagine translating 10,000 product descriptions. Cutting corners and using automated translation software will be terrible for user experience. Poor grammar and unnatural text is not going to help with user experience. This is why getting a proper, high quality translation is important, the best way is to get a native speakers to work on your project. Someone with a local knowledge can also help with localisation. Local rankings and local search engines Depending on which market will your website be located you may find yourself working with a different search algorithms. The way things work on the .co.uk version of Google may be slightly different...

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How to optimise your site to rank higher for local searches.

Posted by on Jun 28, 2016 in Search Engine Marketing, Webmaster Resources | 0 comments

Over the years, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has grown to encompass a number of areas that wouldn’t necessarily have been viewed as part of SEO in the past. Things like digital PR and content marketing are classic examples. Of course, achieving top rankings for websites was and still is the core of SEO campaigns, but even when it comes to SERPs (search engine results pages) we’ve seen a lot of change. The once-regular sight of 10 blue links is now ancient history and the task of optimising for local searches has evolved into a rather different beast. To fully appreciate the changes Google has made in the way it displays local search results we have to go back in time and look at two significant algorithm updates. The ‘Venice’ update, which rolled out in February 2012, introduced major changes to the way in which search results are displayed. A number of searches that would previously have displayed standard results, suddenly began showing up in local results. For example, someone searching for “hairdresser” before the update would have received the standard 10 blue link results. After Venice, the results from such a search would be more relevant to his or her location, i.e. local results. You can read more about the Venice update here. The other hugely important update that had a significant impact on local search was ‘Pigeon’, back in 2014. This update introduced a number of additional changes to the way in which Google evaluated and displayed results for local search queries. Fast-forward to 2016 and local search is now a big part of SEO. Over the years, SEO professionals have been able to identify a number of factors that correlate with higher rankings for local searches. Some of the factors are identical to those of standard, organic SEO, and the main two, (links and content) have been confirmed quite recently. However, there are a number of additional factors which you wouldn’t necessarily think of as important when it comes to organic (i.e. non-local) Search Engine Optimisation. In this post, I will walk you through some of the basic steps of local SEO. Google My Business Listing You need to verify your Google My Business Listings. You will find more info on how to complete this process here. It’s a pretty straight forward but essential task if you want to rank for local searches. Doing so will tell Google where your business is based so that they can display its location for anyone searching for services or products you offer within their local area. Keep your listing updated and encourage customers to leave reviews. Local Content Time for an obvious one; in order to rank well for local searches, your website needs to contain your address and (ideally local) phone number. Your location should also sit amongst the keywords on your homepage as well as any services pages. Optimising for this is no different to that of traditional SEO – you want your keywords in all the important places: your title tag, H1 title, within the body of your content, alt image tags and so on. It also pays to embed Google Maps on your contact page, as this will help visitors pinpoint your location and obtain route guidance. It is a good idea to have some local content on your blog, too (topics would vary depending on your niche). You could have a variety of guides, for example “The top 10 [somethings] in [your area].” Having a good variety of local content can help Google understand that your website is relevant to the area in which the...

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h.Energy 2015 from New Leaf – change the story of Herefordshire

Posted by on May 30, 2015 in Webmaster Resources | 0 comments

Time is ticking by for the sign up for this year’s h.Energy, you need to sign up by the deadline 19th June! You can sign up right here. I’m sincerely hoping that you all have plans up your sleeves that you are planning to register on the New Leaf website? just in case you need some encouragement, here are a few more ideas: Open Eco Homes – if you have thought at all about how to make your home a more energy efficient environment, and plan to achieve this via a process of hi-tec investment or (perhaps especially) via behaviour change and DIY measures, please consider opening your doors to talk to people about what you are doing for a couple of hours during this h.Energy. Repair Cafes – we have insurance for Repair Cafes around the county this h.Energy, so if your community would like to try one, please get in touch and we will help you get set up – drawing on the expertise of the Malvern Hills Repair Café team. h.Energy Coffee Mornings – consider hosting a coffee morning over the h.Energy weekend. Simply decide on a theme for your coffee morning (positive change / local climate action / helping our bees / insulating your home … etc? ), book a couple of tables for a couple of hours with your friendly local café owner, and register your event. Working Party – a new slant on the Eco-Home idea… if you would like to do something to make your home more energy efficient, and this would benefit from a few additional pairs of hands (to build a log store / create a compost patch / draft proof some of those gaps / insulate the loft…) why not host a Working Party over the h.Energy weekend for a couple of hours. Just let us know a bit about your home, and the work you would like to do, and how this would improve your home energy efficiency, and we’ll add you to the event list… Community Bunting Making – Jane Denny has very kindly said that she will lead a few communities in making their own community bunting! … Is this something your local community would like to take her up on? If so please get in touch… Or how about a Clothes Swap, or a pub quiz, or a bring and share meal, or a guided walk, or a bus safari…? There are lots more ideas here: http://www.herefordshirenewleaf.org.uk/page/henergy And you can register events by following the links here: http://www.herefordshirenewleaf.org.uk/node/110 We have great plans for this year’s h.Energy, keeping things small, local, and focused on meaningful actions and conversations that can help to change the story of...

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Blogging Opportunities Roundup – Make Your Site Stronger With Genuine Guest Blogging And Content Marketing

Posted by on Oct 6, 2014 in Webmaster Resources | 4 comments

Blogging Opportunities Roundup – Make Your Site Stronger With Genuine Guest Blogging And Content Marketing

At the beginning of 2014, Matt Cutts published on his blog that guest blogging is not working anymore. The main reason, according to Matt, is that such practice became more and more spammy. The main idea of guest blogging is to get quality content and not just a link. Then, Matt updated a post saying that quality guest blogging is still working, and there are many fantastic guest bloggers who write very high quality content. On the other hand, low-quality sites that accept guest posts should stop using this technique. I decided to find today whether top SEO specialists are still using guest blogging for SEO or not. At first, though, I will share my thoughts on this. What is the difference between guest blogging and content marketing? I think that, now, many people can’t exactly tell the difference. Content marketing is not about links. You should focus on creating quality content and then people will share your post. This means that you, of course, will get the links. Let me show you some examples. I found this post and, if you take a quick look, you will notice that it is a guest post and not a quality post. You should be careful with such submissions.   Reasons: The site accepts articles from everyone. The post is very small. But we know that longer content get more reshares online. The post is not unique. I just copied the first sentence and pasted into Google. First two sites have the same posts. It has only two links and both show rich targeted anchor and to the same site.   I think, now, you know what Matt Cutts has in mind when he was talking about spammy guest posts. Of course such posts do not have any quality content and will not get any citations, backlinks, etc. Zero, according to Majestic SEO. Now, let’s take a look at this post at SearchEngineJournal. It was submitted on the same date when I started to work on this article [25th of September] but has already received 324 social reshares. In addition, it has 4 backlinks, according to Ahrefs. There is not a big difference between guest blogging and content marketing. But when you do the last; you do not care about links. Author rank is what really matters. For example, if you read my latest SEO roundup here; you will see that I added links to the posts I liked.Those authors did not pay me as I wished and even asked.: ) Readers of temi.co.uk can read quality posts and, at the same time; I received some good social reshares from authoritative accounts. If you look at the anchor I used, you will see that they completely different and natural.That is the most important thing. Also, my post received 165 backlinks. Not bad. So you can forget about guest blogging and switch to content marketing. Last rank correlation analysis shows that backlinks with keyword lose their importance. You should focus on content more than on links. However, it does not matter if you completely forget about building even anchor links. Read what top SEOs think about links with targeted keywords.   Now, let’s take a look on what top SEO specialists think about guest blogging.   Neil Patel neilpatel.com I do not use guest blogging for SEO. Sure, you can use it to build links, but eventually it can hurt you if Google changes their algorithm. Instead, I use guest posting to drive relevant traffic and sales. If you can guest post on sites that are in the same industry as you,...

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Most Common Content Marketing Mistakes

Posted by on Sep 18, 2014 in Search Engine Marketing, Webmaster Resources | 0 comments

Most Common Content Marketing Mistakes

Content marketing has remarkable abilities in providing great value to a particular brand’s audience. While content marketing is not a new concept, the recent changes to Google’s algorithm require the digital marketers to rethink their idea of creating and publishing contents online. Nowadays, digital marketing is not complete without adjusting and reacting to the insights of analytics. Here are the most common mistakes content marketers do without knowing it. 1) Measure for conversions Oftentimes, we approach content creation and promotion based on the results of direct responses without focusing much on creating contents that should drive conversions. Other times, we focus too much on the bottom of the sales funnel (sale-sy contents and over-promotion), thinking that if the readers find your content useful then why they are not buying from you. What to do: Think of different contents differently. Each content is warranted for its engagement and conversion purposes. The contents should be about the people’s felt and immediate needs and how your brand can help them so they may engage with the contents actively and then become a customer. Engagement must be your first measure followed by conversion. Determine if people are discovering your website (visit). Next, determine if they are enjoying it (bounce rate, time on site and page views). Are they loving your contents (hitting favorite button and/or becoming fans, follower or subscriber)? Are they engaging with it (like, comment and share)? The key is to optimize to delight your readers first. If the content has enough actively-engaged traffic, this is the right time to optimize the engagement into conversion.   2) Treat engagement in aggregates Most of us is guilty with this. We have a tendency to compare traffic by merely looking at Google Analytics dashboard, comparing traffics from different sources. What we did not realize is the fact that our websites and each of its pages are unique. Thus, the nature of engagement for each page varies. Products page will certainly receive more traffic and time on site than the blog posts. Engagement results will be completely different for traffic sources driving traffic to the products page and to the posts more so when comparing figures such as page views, bounce rates, average session lengths, etc. The same holds true even when different traffic sources achieve optimal results. What to do: Resist the itch beyond the dashboard. In understanding the website’s performance effusively, comparing the traffic sources based on the engagement parameters is critical. This should be done for each page. Through this, you will be able to create page performance benchmarks and draw the appropriate conclusions. Determining which sources drive the best engagement results will be then possible. Another thing, when you compare traffic sources, discard all those pages that receive less than ten views. The process enables you to focus on comparing areas or web pages that attained minimum engagement. These are the pages that matter most.   3) Define social engagement ONLY Don’t take it wrongly, but social signals and social proofs are critical nowadays. These are great measures if you are writing contents for the social platforms. It’s a different story if you are not. Customer behaviors vary from one demographic profile to another despite communicating with them using the same branding voice and tone. What to do: Social sharing is important for any digital business. Thus, publish made-for-social contents. These contents are shorter, more precise, more visual and often have catchy titles. Traditional engagements, on the other hand, must be measured for longer and more in-depth contents especially those you publish on the corporate blog. 4) Compare CTRs between...

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Should You Use Anchor Text & Keywords in Link Building Post Penguin? Answers From Experts

Posted by on Aug 27, 2014 in Webmaster Resources | 8 comments

Should You Use Anchor Text & Keywords in Link Building Post Penguin? Answers From Experts

Without a doubt, on page optimisation has become a much more important factor in ranking well in search engines. The value associated with linking has declined, but even more importantly, linking with anchor text and keywords is a potentially delicate component of SEO these days. Various iteration of Penguin punishes webmasters who does not get the linking right. With Penguin 3.0 expected shortly (according to Barry Schwartz). I wonder how top SEO practitioners implement their linking strategy to ensure a Penguin safe linking campaign. Do they use anchor text in their link building or do they just link to a page with the website url? Here is what the leading SEO specialist who took part in my Link Building Roundup have to say. A BIG Thank you to SEO experts who participated in this link building strategy roundup, they are: Chris Gilchrist Zac Johnson Gianluca Fiorelli Dimitar Dimitrov Kane Jamison Neil Patel Patrick Coombe Bob Jones Simon Penson Richard Marriott Dan Stelter Viktoria Ignatieva Dan Sharp Bill Sebald Harris Schachter Robbie Richards The question I asked them was “Do You Use Anchors With Targeted Keywords For Link Building Today?” Chris Gilchrist   www.hitreach.co.uk Typically never nowadays. Assuming a domain had a decent profile volume though and didn’t include any anchors (unusual, yes) other than brand then I wouldn’t be too worried about including KW anchors within a sentence style link but going forward there’s far more important things to concentrate on to boost a domain. Zac Johnson  zacjohnson.com When building links (which isn’t as often lately), I’m usually focusing on getting backlinks with the domain name as the backlink. This is mainly due to the type of sites I am running and ranking for (ie: blogging.org and zacjohnson.com) — as you can see, the domains are both exact matches for keywords I want to rank for anyway. With all the changes and movements from Google lately, link building hasn’t been a main focus lately. Gianluca Fiorelli   www.iloveseo.net I do! Not using them editorially if justified is silly, as they are a recognized search entity and because they still have a strong correlation with rankings. The important is not using them in some manipulative “toxic” pattern. Dimitar Dimitrov inbound.bg – First I’d like to thank you for your time reading this interesting article! If I answer “No” I’ll lie. Me and my team we use targeted keywords for link building but in more holistic approach than ever before. We are doing more link baiting and we give our best to actually navigate people (with indirect messages and words) to use the desired keywords in anchors when linking to the desired page or domain. About an year ago it was damn hard to actually create something good as a result without paying real money for it (even for editorial links). People were using all sorts of keywords – from term-related to totally nonsense words in anchors. It was our fault because our campaigns were unclear as a message and call to action. Few months ago we finally managed to get a pretty good results with one eCommerce project. All we did was give clear message about the product and the desired keyword or phrase. We just used it in our bait message. Now we are doing it almost all the time because it simply works. Overall exact keywords are still a major factor when it comes to rankings. There are many, many proofs out there although search engines (especially Google) are getting pretty good at penalizing the bad manipulative tactics. But the usage of exact match keywords, combined with brand term...

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