SEO World

From Search Engine News to SEO tips and advice. It’s all in here.

9 Tips to Help SME’s Get More Bang for Their Bucks

Every month I get calls from SME's looking to improve their web presence. A typical call would start off like this, “I have a website [probably built on WordPress] and I'm having having trouble updating it, is this something that you can help you with?”. These types of call are usually from people who are a little bit disgruntled by the fact that they have to pay their web developers to make minor changes or have possibly forgotten how to update their sites themselves.

When you dig a little deeper you find this is not the only issue that they are having. And, more often than not, and after asking a couple questions, you can find out that there are probably a whole raft of tools they could be using and techniques they could be employing to improve their website presence.

So, here are a list of simple tools and techniques that SME's can be employing to maximise their web presence.

1. Website page titles and meta descriptions.

Page titles can be seen in the search results when you do a Google search and the in the tab of your browser:

They are often generated from page/post headlines (especially if you're using WordPress) but can be changed to be more focused for your target audience. Try to make sure the focused keywords for that page appear here. If you want advice on keywords, try Ubersuggest or Google's Keyword Planner. Meta descriptions (which often but not always) appear under the page title can give the searcher more detail about the link they are about to click. It is hard work but it is worth working on Page Titles and Meta Descriptions on your key pages. (more…)


Marketing Tom Book Competition

Our latest book offer is from one of the most well-known faces of SEO, Rand Fishkin, who set up the SEO company Moz, a company that "is the world's most popular provider of inbound marketing software (Crunchbase)."

Everyone knows how a startup story is supposed to go: a young, brilliant entrepreneur has an cool idea, drops out of college, defies the doubters, overcomes all odds, makes billions and becomes the envy of the technology world.

This is not that story.

Rand Fishkin, the founder and former CEO of Moz, is one of the world's leading experts on SEO. Moz is now a $45 million a year business, but Fishkin's business and reputation took 15 years to grow, and his startup began not in a Harvard dorm room but as a mother-and-son family business that fell deeply into debt.

In Lost and Founder Fishkin pulls back the curtain on tech startup mythology, exposing the ups and downs of startup life that most CEOs would rather keep secret. For instance: a minimally viable product can be destructive if you launch at the wrong moment. Growth hacking may be the buzzword du jour, but initiatives to your business can fizzle quickly. Revenue and profitability won't protect you from layoffs. And venture capital always comes with strings attached.

"This book is an honest, generous and useful look at what actually happens when you build a company, including the downs as well as the ups... I wish I had read it thirty years ago" Seth Godin

'Rand Fishkin is like the industry friend we all wish we had - funny, warm, and refreshingly honest about the rollercoaster ride that is founding your own company" Julie Zhou, VP of Product Design at Facebook

Enter the competition

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Lost and Founder is published by Penguin and will be released on April 26th, 2018. Our draw will take place on May 4th, 2018 at 12.00 pm and we will announce the winners on this site and by email. Good luck!


A Selection of Whiteboard Friday Videos From MOZ

In February of this year Rand Fishkin stepped down as the CEO of the company he founded 17 years' ago after  he " dropped out of college to work with my mom, Gillian, on the business that became Moz. For 7 years (from 2007-2014), I was that company’s CEO." For those who are not familiar with the company, Moz started out as a blog written by Fishkin, developed into a community for SEO folks, then became a SEO consultancy and finally ended up selling SEO tools to folks from around the world.

During this time Rand began filming a series of videos, called Whiteboard Friday, which attempted to demystify the subject of Search Marketing and offer practitioners some great insights into how they could improve their Search efforts. A quick look at this section of their site indicates that there are 41 pages of top tips, with around 14 videos on each! Boy, do I wish that this sort of information, in this format, had been around when I first delved into the world of SEO all those years ago.

Though Rand Fishkin will be stepping down, he will still be contributing videos for Whiteboard Friday. Make sure you bookmark the page!

Here are a selection of the most recent videos which I think are worth taking a close look at. I'm pretty sure that our CIM students and many of those who attend our 1-day workshops will find this resource of interest (that's assuming that I haven't told you before -unlikely!).

What Does It Mean to "Write for SEO" in 2018?

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12 websites digital marketers should be reading

Photo by Ewan Robertson on UnsplashThe Internet is awash with blogs, news sites, and social media outlets but which websites can give you new insights and help to steal a lead over your competitors? We have compiled a list of 12 sites which we think will give you the competitive advantage. Bookmark them, follow them, Flip them or just visit them!

Wired

Wired has been around since the early 1990's and continues to offer cutting-edge articles on a range of subjects from business to culture. It is well-known for articles on the latest developments in technology. Gotta be one of my favourites!

Sample article: The Blockchain Explained

Harvard Business Review

An excellent read especially if you're looking for articles on strategy, working effectively and HR, to name but a few. Many of the articles are free though sometimes, for more in-depth articles, you will need to subscribe.

Sample article: Why a Gen-X CEO Hired a Millennial to Help Him Keep a Learning Mindset

Fortune

There was a time when Fortune had a pure focus on "C-suite" business news. Like many other publications/websites it now seems to offering wider reading options, though many of its articles are aimed at chief executives, chief financial officers, etc.

Sample article: Here's Why Twitter Won't Suspend or Delete Donald Trump's Account

MIT Sloan Review

Fascinating articles on a range of subjects aimed at "academic researchers, business executives and other influential thought leaders about advances in management practice, particularly those shaped by technology, that are transforming how people lead and innovate." A very good read for those doing level 4 and level 6 CIM qualifications, along with marketing and business under/post graduates.

Sample article: Are You Taking the Wrong Approach to Digital Transformation?

Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Bloomberg produces titles on subject like markets, tech and business. Though quite a lot of the articles are US focused, often on US politics/business, there are still interesting reads to be found here.

Sample article: Facebook Is Still In Denial About Fake News

Entrepreneur

This magazine seems to have a focus on start-ups, franchisees and would-be entrepreneurs. You will find the usual "get rich" and investment articles but you'll also find interesting articles on digital marketing and interview tips, networking and tips on growing your business.

Sample article:  The Face of Intelligent Marketing? Your Customer

Inc.

A quick look at the sections of this American website/magazine will give you an idea of the primary focus of its articles: Startup, Lead, Grow, Innovate and Technology. Articles are often varied, relatively easy and short to read.

Sample Article5 Productivity Tips to Get Your Work Done (Now That It's Dark at 4 P.M.)

AdWeek

Guess what? It's about advertising! Anything and everything to do with advertising. It also has a healthy mix of articles relating to digital marketing which is always of interest to our clients. Stats and case studies make it of interest to students.

Sample articleThese Digital Billboards From McDonald’s Change Depending on How Bad the Traffic Is

Fast Company

This is one of my favourite magazines (alongside Wired) and, as their site says, "Fast Company is the world’s leading progressive business media brand, with a unique editorial focus on innovation in technology, leadership, world changing ideas, and design". So, there you have it!

Sample article: For Amazon, The Future Of Alexa Is About The End Of The Smartphone Era

Entrepreneurship - NY Times

Entrepreneurs, start-ups, innovation, funding and small business - these are the topics you will find on this website. Like its parent site, the Entrepreneur section offers meaty and interesting articles which are also well-written. Not as frequent as others but worth a read.

Sample articleA Paintbrush in One Hand, and a Drink in the Other

VentureBeat

If Big data, Cloud, Deals, Dev, Enterprise, Entrepreneur, Gaming, Mobile, Security, Small Biz, and Social float your boat then Venture Beat may be the place for you to check out. Definitely worth a read.

Sample article: AI Weekly: Digital assistants are changing business, but they still need human help

TechCrunch

TechCrunch covers the business side of technology. When news breaks about the latest digital innovations/disruptions TechCrunch is often the first to break it. Its Crunchbase offers great insights into people, investments and companies in the tech industry. Another "must-read" publication.

Sample articleTwitter fixes another important problem with support for 50-character usernames


Win a Free Book This November!

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Everybody Writes is a go-to guide to attracting and retaining customers through stellar online communication, because in our content-driven world, every one of us is, in fact, a writer.

This month we are offering two free copies of this book*. All you have to do is enter your name and email address below and we will enter your name into the draw. This draw takes place on November 18th at 12.00 pm.

"If you have a web site, you are a publisher. If you are on social media, you are in marketing. And that means that we are all relying on our words to carry our marketing messages. We are all writers."

In Everybody Writes, top marketing veteran Ann Handley gives expert guidance and insight into the process and strategy of content creation, production and publishing, with actionable how-to advice designed to get results.

These lessons and rules apply across all of your online assets — like web pages, home page, landing pages, blogs, email, marketing offers, and on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media. Ann deconstructs the strategy and delivers a practical approach to create ridiculously compelling and competent content. It's designed to be the go-to guide for anyone creating or publishing any kind of online content — whether you're a big brand or you're small and solo.


A Keyword Research Tool for Digital Marketers

Quite a few students will be carrying out keyword research for their CIM/CAM assignments and others will be doing research on behalf of their companies for SEO/PPC/Social Media reasons. Whatever the reason, I'm sure that you might well find an use for the Answer the Public keyword tool. What it does is take your keyword combinations and adds questions and prepositions to them. Also, in a similar way to Google Suggest it comes up with alphabetical combinations which can be added to the end of your keyword query. Why not give it a whirl and test out the various visual and data table options?

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The Content Marketing Matrix

Are you looking for ideas to help you develop your content marketing strategy? Well, you just might find this matrix, created by First 10 and Smart Insights, to be of use. I'm sure it will start you thinking of the huge number of ways you can get your target audience to engage with your content (and hence your company or brand) and to think of the types of content that exist out on the internet. As Danyl Bosomworth says, the matrix "is structured to help you think through the dimensions of different content based on how your audience might think and what you're trying to achieve as a business".

content-matrix

Students on the CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing and the digital electives of the Certificate in Professional Marketing and the Diploma in Professional Marketing will be familiar with the term content marketing and its many applications. For those who are new to content marketing here is a definition from the Content Marketing Institute:

Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

I'm sure that for this looking to develop content marketing strategies or students looking to get some inspiration/ideas on how to answer exam papers, this will prove to be very useful. So,  why not download this useful template today and use it to kickstart your content marketing strategy?


Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

You may be familiar, or just heard, of the periodic table of chemical elements but I thought I'd share with you the Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors. We have started to introduce this useful Search Engine Optimisation framework to students on both the Digital Marketing Planning and Digital Marketing Essentials courses that we run. As Search Engine Land authors note: "SEO seems like alchemy to the uninitiated" but this useful diagrammatic representation of the key factors will hopefully offer you some clues as to what you should be focusing on for success. They divide the table into "On-The-Page-SEO" and "Off-The-Page-SEO" and each element is ranked from -3 to +3. The on-the-page SEO includes areas such as: content, HTML and architecture, whilst the "off-the-page SEO" includes links, trust, social and personal. Each of these are further broken down to give you, if you're not familiar, a glimpse of what you might want to adjust.We hope that it will help you to look at SEO in a slightly different way.

SearchEngineLand-Periodic-Table-of-SEO-2013-medium-3


New Search Analytics Reports in Webmaster Tools

Google is currently rolling out a new (beta) tool within Webmaster Tools. Replacing Search Queries, the Search Analytics tool allows you to analyse your search queries in more detail. The search box within Search Analytics lets you measure 'Clicks', 'Impressions', 'CTR' and 'Position' against Queries, Pages, etc (see below). This update is certainly an improvement over the previous version and offers SEO and Webmaster folk more detail, especially as they can apply various filters. This set up very much reminds me of the dimensions and metrics elements within Google Analytics.

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So, let's take a quick look at its latest functionality. Notice how the selection of 'Clicks' brings in the keywords with the highest amount of clicks for the stated time period. Should you wish to add a filter, Webmaster Tools will allow you to filter in/out certain aspects (USA in countries) or compare. The date selector allows you to select a date range or compare date periods - again a very useful tool.clicks3

Let's say that you wanted to analyse the clickthrough rate for a given keyword and its relative position in Google searches, you simply select "Query" and apply "Clicks", "CTR" and "Impressions" against it. This can allow you to measure your performance against competitors or even try and see how you could improve the CTR - possibly through meta description/content or page title mods.
clicks
If you're looking at opportunities that might be going a begging, select "Clicks" and "Impressions" and measure them against "Queries". If you run down the list of keywords you will then find Google Organic queries where you're not appearing. You'll obviously need to look at the "Impressions" to work out which ones you'll wish to target. Then you'll need to work out how to optimise pages around these words to get more clicks for those keywords.

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So, as we can see this tool can be quite useful for different insights into how your web pages are performing for certain searches on Google.

Related Pages
Google Analytics Training Course (London and Cardiff)