Why & How to Tackle Technical SEO Before Link Building

My Post - 2019-07-18T162401.876.pngWhen you consider a link building campaign, you may not be completely reaping the benefits of your SEO efforts if you ignore technical SEO.

The best results happen when you consider all the points of your website’s SEO:

  • Technical SEO.
  • Content.
  • Links.

In fact, there are situations when you must tackle technical SEO before ever thinking about getting links.

If your website is weak in technical SEO areas, or extremely confusing for search engines, it won’t perform as well regardless of the quality and quantity of backlinks you have.

Your top goals with technical SEO is to make sure that your site is:

  • Easily crawled by search engines.
  • Has top cross-platform compatibility.
  • Loads quickly on both desktop and mobile.
  • Employs efficient implementation of WordPress plugins.
  • Does not have any issues with misconfigured Google Analytics code.

These five points illustrate why it’s important to tackle technical SEO before link building.

If your site is unable to be crawled or is otherwise deficient in technical SEO best practices, you may suffer from poor site performance.

The following chapter discusses why and how you should be tackling technical SEO before starting a link building campaign. – Read more

Three reasons PPC campaigns fail that nobody seems to care about

My Post - 2019-07-18T160931.230.pngGoogle “how to make your PPC ads convert better” and your search results will be littered with blog posts like this:

Don’t worry, they’ll tell you. It’s “quick and easy”. Use these “rapid growth hacks”. Here are some “tricks”. Here’s how to copy the best-converting PPC campaigns.

And, honestly, I get it. I’m not criticizing fellow writers for doing their jobs. These posts are great for SEO. Google wants you to put out quality content that answers people’s questions as quickly as possible. Writers are going to do that.

Perhaps these guides will help you, perhaps they won’t. But I’ll tell you this for free: they are selling you a dangerous lie.

Here’s the truth: optimizing your PPC campaigns is not easy. Sometimes it’s not even that quick!

But it’s incredibly powerful if you do it right.

“Be first, be smarter or cheat”

In the brilliant 2011 film Margin Call, bigshot investment banker John Tuld says: “There are three ways to make a living in this business; be first, be smarter or cheat.”

Copying your competitors is cheating. Following “ten tips” guides – even if you see some success – is cheating too. It could work – but it probably won’t work that well. And what if it doesn’t? What do you do next?

It’s why understanding and deploying what comes next is essential. There are no lies here: my way is harder, and it might take longer. But it’s smarter. It gives you the mindset you need for success.

Reason one: don’t follow the herd, be a wolf

I’ve been helping businesses run PPC campaigns for a long time. Generally, businesses are run by busy people who don’t have enough hours in the day. This time pressure forces them to rush. They scramble around looking for best practices to apply.

But here’s the problem: general best practices aren’t specific enough to your business.

See, what works for Shoe Salesman might not work for High High Heels. And “10 quick PPC ad hacks for any business” are unlikely to work well for either business.

It’s why free tools like the Adzooma Performance Score Report are much more valuable than generic lists. They look at data that’s specific to your business and provide actionable feedback – Read more

4 Tips to Write Your Best Google Ads Ever

My Post - 2019-07-16T174210.459.pngFor those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, summer’s in full swing.

If you’re anything like me, the warm temperature and glorious sunlight has erased the appeal of anything that doesn’t involve drinking outdoors and listening to OutKast’s catalog on repeat.

As tempting as it is to grab an overpriced sixer and throw on Stankonia, you’ve still got leads to generate and sales to make. Even if you’ve created watertight keyword lists and razor-sharp lookalike audiences, something still stands between your prospects and your business: ad copy.

At the end of the day, you need people to click on your ads—awareness campaigns on YouTube and the GDN notwithstanding. To be more precise, you need the right people to click on your ads. In order to make that happen, you need to elevate your copywriting game.

Writing ad copy for Facebook isn’t quite the same as writing ad copy for Google—different platforms favor different techniques.

1. Align your messaging with the customer journey

Google strives to serve users the most relevant search results possible. When judging the relevance of the various ads competing in a given auction, Google relies on keywords. In a nutshell, keywords help Google determine which ads are relevant to a particular query. That’s why it’s considered best practice to target specific keywords with your ad copy.

Now—I’m not about to argue that you shouldn’t include target keywords in your ad copy. However, I am of the opinion that keywords shouldn’t be your main focus when writing ads. Instead, you should be focused on meeting the unique needs of whoever’s searching for something related to your business—and that means aligning your messaging with the various stages of the customer journey.

Here’s what I mean by that. Across the pool of search queries triggering your ads, the users making those searches are at different stages in the customer journey—the path people take from the realization of a problem to the purchase of a solution. Whereas someone at the very beginning of their customer journey—known as the awareness stage—is mostly interested in learning more about the options they can choose from, someone nearing the end of their customer journey—known as the conversion stage—is far more likely to make a purchase. – Read more

How to Achieve Long-Term SEO Success for Your Business

My Post - 2019-07-16T170314.352.pngIn the past, SEO was considered optional, or at the very least, more important for newer businesses without substantial referral business. Over the past five years that has changed; small business owners know they need SEO. The thought of not being on page one of Google’s search results keeps most small business owners up at night as they need a steady stream of new customers to keep the lights on.

The biggest challenge facing most small business owners is understanding which strategies to implement as the internet is replete with how-to articles showcasing the latest SEO trends and fads. We recommend that you ignore the vast majority of articles positioning individual tactics as a solution to all your search presence challenges. Small business owners who typically refrain from following a disjointed strategy in other areas of their business will make an exception when it comes to SEO because of the dynamic nature of Google’s ever-changing algorithm.

We ask that you maintain your discipline and not lurch wildly when it comes to optimizing your company’s website. We will review three tips that will work for you over the long haul and produce the kind of results you’ve always wanted.

Tip 1: User intent

Google’s primary mission is to understand the search intent of each search engine user and translate their intent into relevant search results. If Google failed to deliver relevant search results for their users, searchers would quickly turn to other search engines like Yahoo or Bing as well as Amazon and Facebook. If you implement any of the tips in this article, make sure you implement this tip.

The most important thing that you can do is create content that Google views as a valuable resource to show users on their search engine. For example, if you are a dry cleaner you may want to create a blog or video demonstrating how to remove a troublesome cherry pie stain. Equally important is to show up for what we call category searches.

Category searches are typically keywords that include the service you offer and the city in which your business is located. In our dry cleaner example, a typical category search could be “dry cleaner Clearwater” or “dry cleaner in Clearwater.” To understand the kinds of keywords people type in to reach websites in your business category, we recommend that you check your AdWords account if you are running one, use tools such as SEMRush.com and ahrefs.com, and lastly, check Search Console to view keyword phrases searchers used to find your website.

Now that you have completed keyword research, understand which keywords carry searcher intent, we recommend that you create keyword-rich content to help attract users to your website. – Read more

Why Last-Click Attribution Is Killing Your PPC Performance

My Post - 2019-07-12T174202.673.pngDo you sometimes find yourself frustrated by the lack of results when trying a new automation, whether it’s Smart Bidding from Google or something you created yourself using a script or a macro in a spreadsheet?

You aren’t alone.

When the engines share case studies about amazing results from their latest automated account management system, what’s often left unspoken is all the work that went into creating the right conditions for the automation to shine.

For automations to be effective, some prerequisite conditions have to be met.

Here’s a simple way to illustrate the point that the effectiveness of automation depends on external factors. I picked up this concept from a presentation given by Russell Savage who founded FreeAdWordsScripts.com (which Optmyzr now owns).

Why Last-Click Attribution Is Killing Your PPC Performance

Savage said that for an automation, like a self-driving car, to be effective, it helps if the roads are clearly marked.

Seems pretty obvious, right?

But now what if we had this perfect road but our GPS was off and tried driving to the wrong place?

We need clear goals and the correct measurements and sensors to get us there. – Read more

SEO that Google tries to correct for you

My Post - 2019-07-12T170202.531.pngPatrick Stox explains the processes to pay attention to and the ones to leave to Google.

Search engines have seen the same SEO mistakes countless times, and as Patrick Stox, SEO specialist at IBM, said during his Insights session at SMX Advanced, “Are you going to throw millions of dollars at a PR campaign to try to get us [SEOs] to convince developers to fix all this stuff? Or are you just going to fix it on your end? And the answer is they fix a ton of stuff on their end.”

During his session, Stox outlined a number of common SEO responsibilities that Google is already correcting for us. You can listen to his entire discussion above, with the full transcript available below.

Meta descriptions? There are best practices for that. Title tags? There are best practices for that. Redirects? There are — you guessed it — best practices for that. Welcome to the Search Engine Land podcast, I’m your host George Nguyen. As you’re probably already aware, the internet can be a messy place, SEOs only have so many hours a day and — as IBM SEO specialist Patrick Stox explains — Google may have already accounted for some of the more common lapses in best practices. Knowing which of these items a search engine can figure out on its own can save you time and allow you to focus on the best practices that will make the most impact. Here’s Patrick’s Insights session from SMX Advanced, in which he discusses a few of the things Google tries to correct for you. – Read more

When to switch to standard delivery in Google Ads (hint: you should have switched yesterday)

My Post - 2019-07-12T162843.716.pngLong thought to be an easy, one-click optimization, accelerated delivery might be doing more harm than good (if it’s doing anything at all). Here’s why that is and what you should do about it.

In the world of Google Ads, there’s a choice for each and every campaign’s ad delivery method: standard or accelerated. Do you want to spend your budget evenly over time (standard), or do you want to spend your budget more quickly (accelerated)?

I understand the impulse to go accelerated. It sounds better in some ways. For years, that “sounding better” squishiness has led to all sorts of people recommending accelerated delivery as a no-brainer optimization. It’s time for those days to come to an end. It’s safe to say that you should only use standard delivery for your budgets in Google Ads.

The downsides of accelerated delivery

Accelerated delivery only comes into play when your campaigns are limited by budget. Since most campaigns aren’t limited by budget, accelerated delivery is usually superfluous. The sixth toe of Google Ads, if you will.

If your campaigns are limited by budget, though, you should update your ad delivery settings as soon as possible – right this very second, even. Standard delivery is better. You’ve all heard that patience is a virtue, and that applies to your daily budgets in a big way.

To start, there’s no guarantee that the first part of the day is the best time for you. In most cases, I’d imagine it’s actually a worse time of day for your business. If you’re spending an entire day’s budget by 8 a.m. on a given day, think about the geographic effects of that. If you’re in the US, your ads might only be seen by night owls on the West Coast and early risers on the East Coast. Maybe that’s what you want, but I’d argue there are far better ways to control for location and time of day than accelerating your budget. Also, if certain auctions have a number of advertisers on accelerated delivery, CPCs may even be higher in the morning. When you and your other accelerated peers all jump in en masse at midnight, competition is hotter than it otherwise would be. – Read more

Google Analytics and why you should have it

My Post - 2019-07-12T142634.201.pngOne of the reliable reporting tools is Google Analytics which is free and easy to use. Google analytics was acquired by Google and launched in November 2005. 

The tool is designed to ping your website by adding a java code that drops a  cookie on the users’ browser that records all user’s interactions on your website.

Do you know what shoe size you wear? Do you know how many pairs of shoes you have in your closet?

I am a size five wide or six in some countries and I have 15 pairs of shoes in my closet. Why is this important?  With the information, I am able to make quick decisions on what to wear and when.

Using the same principal Publishers are expected to understand their users and what interests brings them to their site. This is achieved by using third-party tools such as google analytics, Chartbeat or any other analytical tool that captures users interests and journey on your website.

One of the reliable reporting tools is Google Analytics which is free and easy to use. Google analytics was acquired by Google and launched in November 2005.

The tool is designed to ping your website by adding a java code that drops a  cookie on the users’ browser that records all user’s interactions on your website.

Why is this important to publishers? By understanding a users journey to your website and within your website will influence the website design and the content written for user consumption.

Google Analytics records the who, how, where and when of every user interaction within your website using metrics such as page views, sessions, time spent on the site and dimensions such as City, Language, Devices or traffic source. – Read more

SEO vs. PPC: A Few Forgotten Truths

My Post - 2019-07-11T151519.302.pngFor years, people in this industry debated the merits of paid search advertising versus organic search marketing.

Which was better?

Which one should you put your resources into?

Honestly, I thought we’d settled this argument a long time ago:

You need both!

But recently, the topic came up again amongst some of my clients.

I can see why. If you weren’t part of the original discussion, this conclusion might not seem so obvious.

Therefore, allow me to use this article to express a few forgotten truths in the SEO versus PPC debate.

1. Paid Search Can’t Replace Organic (& Vice Versa)

Paid search and search engine marketing are different beasts.

One is not a substitute for the other.

Each comes with its own strengths and weaknesses.

Paid search, for example, is really good at driving non-branded traffic to your website.

Here’s a classic PPC scenario: The user knows nothing about your brand. They search for a product they want to buy.

Your ad displays at the top of the search results page. The user clicks on your ad to see what you have to offer.

In so doing, they get more familiar with your brand and move further along the conversion path.

Can organic search do this? Perhaps.

But even the highest ranked organic search result won’t display at the top of the page.

At best, your organic listing will display in the middle of the page.

At worst, your listing will be many pages deep.

Similarly, organic search is really good at driving branded traffic to your website.

A classic SEO scenario: The user knows your brand. They search for your brand name.

Your site shows up at the top of the organic search results. The user clicks on your listing and goes to your website.

Can PPC do this? Yes, which is why you should also bid on brand in PPC.

But what if your ad is the only thing that displays – with no organic listing? That could cause the user to question the legitimacy of your brand. So ideally, you’d have both.

Both of these tools bring strengths to the table. Why wouldn’t you want both of them working for you?

2. Neither SEO nor PPC Is Free

A common argument against PPC is that it’s expensive. You have to pay every time someone clicks on your ad. And if your accounts are professionally managed, you have to pay for that too.

But as any SEO expert will tell you, SEO also takes time, money and expertise.

If you want it done well, you’re going to have to pay for it – whether you’re paying an in house SEO manager or an outside consulting firm. – Read more

Holy Grail SEO: High Volume, Low Competition Keywords

My Post - 2019-07-11T145154.461.pngIf there is one thing about SEO that most people do wrong it has got to be keyword research and implementation.

Even those who consider themselves experienced SEO pros are still doing keyword research using tools that don’t help to formulate complete content marketing strategies.

For example, I still see the primary keyword research being done in the Google Keyword Planner where your reference points for competition are “high, medium, or low. ”

These criteria are just not good enough to help you plan your content marketing strategy around, especially when you consider how relevant link building is to ranking.

Keyword research should identify opportunities for ranking with a strategy that is aligned with your website’s ability to rank for them.

Instead of targeting keywords or topics that have high volume, we need to target keywords and topics that we actually have a chance to rank for, making the best use of our time and SEO efforts.

So what if there were a way to guarantee that the content you write would actually rank with little or no link building efforts?

A way that purely relied on very systematic keyword research to find topics, sub-topics, and long-tail keywords that could be used to create resounding content marketing strategies and drive loads of traffic to the content you produced?

There is a way and I have aptly named it “Holy Grail SEO.”

We know the Holy Grail in Arthurian literature as a cup that has magical powers to provide happiness and infinite abundance. You, too, can do SEO that uses Holy Grail SEO tactics: target high volume, low competition keywords.

Keep reading to learn more about Holy Grail SEO and:

  • The importance of low competition keywords and who should be going after them.
  • Where to find high volume, low competition keywords.
  • How to use keyword competition data together to create complete topics.
  • How to generate happiness and abundance through your SEO and content.