Month: May 2018

How to Choose the Right Domain Name

How to Choose the Right Domain Name

In SEO, all of the important elements must be aligned in order to generate positive results. Factors like finding the right keywords, creating quality content, and optimizing backlinks all help create a successful strategy. However, all of these can crumble down when one element does not meet the standard.

You might have quality content, and the right keywords, but this would all be put to waste when you do not have the right domain name. Surely, users will be able to find you through keywords, but not having the right domain can greatly affect the amount of traffic that you would be able to receive.

This is why choosing the right domain name matters a lot, as users would be able to identify your brand much better, which helps improve your visibility and authority. We at SEO Hacker ensure our clients that they get the right domain name for their brand, and here’s how you can do it too.

Make it easy to spell and remember

The goal of promotion and advertisement is having your audience remember your brand. This means it pays to have a catchy name that your audience would easily associate with your brand. The same must be applied to your domain name in order to instill a sense of familiarity.

When it comes to picking domain names, keeping it short and sweet is one of the best practices, as it makes it easy to remember. Have you ever encountered a situation wherein you wanted to know more about a brand, but can’t remember the name because it’s hard to remember? This is what you should avoid for your domain name. Sometimes, the simplest domain names are the most effective, and looking at famous examples makes this point even truer.

Apple

These famous examples include sites like Google (google.com), Apple (apple.com), and Facebook (facebook.com). While these brands have been recognized for the services that they have provided, their catchy and memorable names sure have helped in making them more memorable.

Keywords in domains

Since SEO is about making use of keywords to improve website visibility, using keywords in the domain name itself is also a viable strategy. We have had clients that use keywords as their domain name in order to make users find them faster. This approach works best for products and services, as it helps get users straight to what they would be looking for.

Having keywords as a domain name also boosts your search rankings much quicker, which helps increase website traffic, and create more conversions for the brand.

Area-specific domains

Other than keywords, using domain names that include your brand’s location is also effective, especially for local SEO strategies. This is another strategy that we use on the websites of our clients, as they have region-specific services that they want to target for their brand. Common types of locations that are used include cities, countries, and even provinces.

This not only helps generate more traffic within a certain area but also help users look for your business much better. With the upcoming Google Maps update, and the increasing number of users using voice search, expect area-specific domains to become more common in the near future.

No numbers and hyphens

While there are a good number of brands that include numbers in their names and are well-known for doing so, it is still advisable to avoid using them as much as possible. Going back to the first pointer of keeping the domain name memorable and easy to spell, adding numbers and hyphens would only add an unfamiliar element that can make it more challenging to remember.

Hyphen

Imagine having to remember a domain with a hyphen. One of the common problems would be that users tend to have a hard time trying to remember where the hyphen is placed in the domain. This type of confusion would end up with a lot of incorrectly typed domains, which would lead to less traffic. Eliminating these distracting elements would help make things more helpful for your users, as it makes recalling brand name domains much easier.

Social Media ready

You might have your website domain acquired and ready to use, however, can the same name be used for your brand’s social media accounts. If the answer is no, then you have a bit of a problem in your hands. Using similar domain name and social media handle helps push and reinforce your branding and makes it easier for social media users to look for these channels.

It is best to do some quick background research on your domain name and check if it’s available on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram before deciding on your domain of choice. Some social media handles and domains have copyrights and trademarks as well, which means using them can cause some legal ramifications that you definitely want to avoid.

Use tools like Ahrefs

Since some of the best domain names can also be keywords, one of the best places to look for possible domain names is on keyword research tools such as Ahrefs. This is one of the most effective keyword and content research tools available in the market, as it provides you with detailed statistical data on how well certain keywords perform.

Ahrefs Keyword Sample

You can use the same data to assess if your domain name can generate traffic as well. Assessing performance before purchasing the domain is crucial, and Ahrefs helps get the job done.

Key Takeaway

Choosing your domain name can be a very challenging task in itself. With so many websites present on the internet, the amount of domain name choices become fewer as each moment passes by. With these tips, you ensured that you would be able to find the domain that fits your branding and service, and generates the best amount of traffic.

If you have questions and inquiries about SEO, leave a comment below and let’s talk.

How to Choose the Right Domain Name was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

How Google’s Mobile-First Index Works: Important SEO Best Practices

SEO

With a Mobile-First philosophy, Google continues to update its search engine algorithms to meet the demands of technologically-savvy searchers. In fact, Google has rolled out a Mobile-First version of its search engine index–this is the massive catalog of data on every web page in existence.

With the index, Google will display relevant results to searchers. Previously, Google looked at web pages through a desktop searcher. Soon, Google will place the first priority on the mobile versions of each web pages and second in priority are the desktop versions.

In this scenario, mobile first means any page that can be correctly viewed on a mobile device. Since the mobile version is treated as the primary site for your business, it means businesses need to beef up content for this version. Here’s a complete guide to what this means.

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Challenges presented to SEO

With the Mobile-First indexing, Google may organize their index based on entities–this includes how keywords and language interact with entities. Google wants to understand the relationships between different ideas and their descriptions.

Here’s how Dave Davies, a columnist at Search Engine Journal, describes entities, “an entity is not simply a person, place or thing but also its characteristics. These characteristics are connected by relationships. If you read a patent, the entities are referred to as ‘nodes,’ and the relationships as ‘edges.’”

Think of the Knowledge Graph, and how Google organizes a hierarchy of relationships. It is not based on language, but, is rather a conceptual idea of understanding. And, entities can be depicted by feelings, concepts, keywords, pictures and more.

If Google’s updated index was based on entities, then it no longer has to search through languages and keywords. Google can, instead, look at entities and then move to varying languages as needed. Even domains and brands can be entities. For example, all of Google’s global offices and international websites can be grouped together and considered one entity.

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Taking it a step further, a brand’s entity could include videos, apps, podcasts, maps, and more. But, with search engine optimization, it’s keywords that matter. Yet, a more efficient form of search is to search by entity. Yet, entity indexing has been a modifier with Google for a while.

But, the Mobile-First indexing may mean that the index will be organized based on the Knowledge Graph–as opposed to the link graph. As they say, Google giveth and Google taketh away. Google may have created the link and keyword-building community, but they can also take it away. Entities are powerful because they offer a more efficient way to search, and they overcome language barriers.

With the Mobile-First indexing process, Google may evaluate content for its mobile functionality with the domain considered an entity. Old desktop content will remain on the index, but, won’t receive any value. Links will still play a role, but they won’t be as important for indexing. Over the long run, Google may replace the link graph with a version of a Real User Metric.

Instead of looking at how Mobile-First indexing will affect the crawling of your site, think about how the bot will render pages. If domains and URLs are simply facets of a domain entity, then crawlers can always look at deep links and regular web URLs. Google might even index CSS grid layouts.

Perhaps it will be like removing the paper version of documents and replacing them with their digital counterparts. With the digital version, you wouldn’t need multiple copies in multiple languages–just one version can be translated instantly.

Moving towards an AI-First strategy

The initial days of the Internet saw around 300 million people searching for basic queries and answers. Today, there are around 3 billion Internet users. Google CEO Sundar Pichai sees a logical transition from Mobile-First to AI-First. Google Assistant is already available, but that is only the beginning. Consider Amazon Echo, and self-driving cars.

In fact, all the tech giants, and startups are investing in AI. This is a world with universal computing, available on connected systems at home, in the car, and at work. Think of how smart appliances will affect search and so on.

You see, it won’t be just about devices–it will be about screens and the types of screens. Eventually, we’ll have holographic screens so, devices won’t really be needed either. How people access and interact with data will continue to evolve. And, your business should respond accordingly.

Cross-device data

Think of the impact Mobile-First indexing will have on the world. In the long run, it appears to be a push for multi-sensory data across a wide variety of devices that bridge the gap between on and offline resources. In terms of online shopping or mobile shopping, retailers might move from having to update their inventory every 24 hours to utilizing Just-In-Time (JIT) inventory processes.

Through product sensors, Google can pull information from many sources including driverless cars and home appliances. Through connected devices and Big Data, every company will become a tech company by default.

Think of AI, combined with voice search, cloud data, and more to create seamless shopping delivery for any product or service you can imagine. And, Google has been rumored to be working on a cross-device OS that supports both the Android OS and Chrome.

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Fully optimize your mobile site

When it comes to search, the objective is to have your entire site–fully available–for searchers to view. It can be a struggle to strip content that may clutter smaller screens. How do you decide what you can afford to strip down? Since Google announced its strategy to move forward with a Mobile-First index, the question remains how this action may affect the structure of the web.

In addition, stripped down content affects link structure–which, is what helps raise your rankings on the search engine results pages (SERPS). Furthermore, it is still unknown how Google will crawl with its bots. Will the bots also be Mobile-First? On the other hand, what if the bots are mobile-only?

In this context, it is critical to remember that Google isn’t eliminating the desktop index–they are just putting mobile first. And, it makes sense since most search traffic now comes from a mobile device. Google is in the business of ensuring high-quality and relevant results. As such, they have to meet the needs of the modern market.

At the same time, they want to find good content–and, that requires the desktop bots. Here is what Google wrote in their announcement:

If you are building a mobile version of your site, keep in mind that a functional desktop-oriented site can be better than a broken or incomplete mobile version of the site.

Google is stating that it’s better to have a fully functioning desktop than it is to have a broken mobile version.

In terms of links, this means that external links can be picked up in both the desktop and mobile site. If you have good, in-content links, they will show up in both the mobile and desktop crawl.

With Google’s index, the mobile version of your site will be the launch pad. For instance, when you view crawlbot traffic heading to your site, you should see an increase in the Smartphone Googlebot.

Even if you still only have a desktop version of your site, you can still be included in the index–but, the price is fully-optimized mobile sites may experience a rankings increase.

To put it another way, your mobile site may be considered the main version of your webpage. As a result, now is the time to fully optimize your mobile site.

Make sure your mobile site is equal to your desktop version

If you have implemented responsive design, then, Google’s Mobile-First change should not have a significant impact.

Yet, even with a responsive site, you want to verify that your mobile page speed, load times, and images offer a consistently good mobile experience. On the other hand, if you have a distinct mobile site, you should check for the following items:

  • Metadata–Make sure all titles and meta descriptions match your desktop.
  • Structured data–Include the same structured data markup. Use mobile versions of URLs shown in structured data.
  • Social metadata–Your mobile site should have the same social metadata.
  • App indexation–Make sure you’re using a verified mobile version.
  • Search Console verification–Add your mobile site.
  • Content–Add all your valuable content to your mobile site, and ensure it is crawlable and indexable.
  • Switchboard tags–Implement mobile switchboard tags.
  • Server capacity–Your servers should have the ability to handle a larger crawl rate.

Back in 2015 and 2016, released an updated called Mobilegeddon that was designed to make the web more mobile-friendly. But, for years, Google has been rewarding sites that offer full mobile compatibility. To Google, mobile-friendly means sites that can be viewed correctly on a mobile device.

Google wants to make sure that people can view your page nicely, along with all your content, without having to zoom or scroll down repeatedly. You should take a gander at Google’s mobile friendly test to see if any of your mobile pages can use an update.

Google wants your mobile site to convey the bare minimum of mobile-friendliness. Yet, with the Mobile-First index, it makes sense to go the extra mile.

When you consider the fact that most of the world’s information was created in the past several years, it makes Google’s efforts seem astounding in terms of cataloging all that information. Google wants the information, and, also, how to access that information. Yet, when you update your site, it is often the case that old content remains.

So, there is new content being added every second–to the index–and, this is on top of old content. At the same time, Google has warned us against removing old content so that archives remain for searchers.

Given the vast amounts of data, Google has to keep up by making their processes more efficient and applying more stringent standards to their algorithms. They use sorting signals such as micro-formats and Schema to help keep crawling simple.

What about the loss of the URL?

The Mobile-First strategy isn’t just about how things are admitted into the index, but how they are organized. The Mobile-First strategy seems to infer a future that isn’t as dependent on URLs for organization.

Google has consistently used metadata and URL structure to organize their index content. As a result, people too the one URL per piece of content strategy. Since the Internet is consumed by visiting URLs, this may change.

There are vast amounts of data that is online, but, cannot be conveyed through a browser–this is the data tied to Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT). Moreover, it is only accessible through APIs. But, Google wants the ability to use this information in their index and algorithms.

To illustrate, with Google Now on Tap, content is lifted through feeds and APIs–they don’t always have a URL. When the URL is no longer necessary, then apps can compete directly with websites. So, Google can then focus on mobile experiences, rendering, and speed. Google has also been emphasizing the use of things such as AMP and PWAs.

For example, AMP content lives on a URL generated and hosted by Google. The same is expected of Android Instant Apps. While Google did create the link-economy, it is now trying to distance themselves from it. Google has been moving towards XML feeds, Schema, and on-page structured markup.

Prepare for index launch

The top SEO companies have been preparing their clients for a couple years now. For those that still need to prepare for Mobile-First indexing, keep in mind that there will not be a new index or a separation between a mobile and desktop index. What Google is doing is changing how new content is added, with a Mobile-First perspective.

In June 2017, Gary Illyes stated it could take a few years before Google gets to an only mobile index. But, Google is already rewarding optimized mobile sites right now.

Here’s what you need to prepare for: Google rankings will be impacted if your mobile version is distinctly different from your desktop version or if it contains a lot less content. Since your mobile site will be treated as your primary site, it will affect how searchers view the value of your content and offerings.

Consider this: Google has consistently updated algorithms to place a priority on sites with mobile-exclusive functionality. These can include Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs), and more. Although, there will be instances where the desktop version will be considered for rankings, such as if you don’t have a replicate mobile version of a specific page. Nonetheless, you should track search results for both mobile and desktop.

There just isn’t a guarantee that Google will crawl your desktop site once they’ve seen your mobile site. What’s the takeaway? Don’t launch your mobile site until it is completely ready for crawling and indexing.

A broken mobile site will hurt your rankings. Make sure your mobile version contains the same valuable and relevant content as your desktop site.

Where does Voice-First stand in a Mobile-First world?

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There isn’t any question that modes of human-machine interaction are expanding into the spoken word. As people grow more accustomed to the trend, it will soon traverse from personal and home use to business and commercial use.

If you love science fiction, you may notice it has often turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you want to view the future, just watch any of the recent sci-fi movies and television series airing today. Voice-based computer systems have been introduced into popular culture through TV shows in the 60s such as Star Trek and The Twilight Zone.

We’re still waiting on flying cars, but that’s another topic. Anyway, using our voices have become as commonplace as we’ve seen of the Hal 9000 in Space Odyssey or Jarvis of Iron Man. Right now, voice search is often used for actions such as:

  • Searching for something on the Internet
  • Getting directions
  • Calling/texting someone
  • Checking the weather
  • Scheduling a reminder
  • Setting an alarm
  • Viewing sports scores
  • Finding jokes
  • Playing music
  • Opening an app
  • Checking email

This is just the start. Voice is simply a natural extension of our physical-based outputs from typing and tapping. Consumers are wanting this option to expand in more complex ways. Once you use voice, you just want to keep using it. As a result, it’s quite easy to see the potential.

This is transforming the end user experience by executing more than one task, quickly. For example, voice-first is hands-free so, users can give commands to multiple systems within a matter of seconds–there is no need for a physical interaction.

The Voice-First movement used to be screen-first, but that has changed with Google Home, which has no visual display. Google Home relies completely on audio. Taking the form of smart speakers, these devices may also utilize cameras for visual input.

Now, think of Google Actions, which is a digital option for ranking. Google Actions are part of the Google Assistant software that lets you interact seamlessly with Google Home. Through cloud-hosted utilities, users are taken through a series of questions to determine what they need and want.

It’s a trend worth your attention because it seems that Google is doubling-down on these types of technologies. Google has certainly made a strong push to incorporate Google Home and Google Assistant into many of its suites.

There are over 400 million devices that have Google Assistant. Google Assistant and Google Home can also work with or without a screen. So, they are ideal for the IoT. Companies can also take Google Actions and incorporate it into their systems.

Google Assistant does conflate searches for actions or commands. And, AI can be programmed to understand the varying preferences, based on voice.

This means the system can comprehend various intents. With this in mind, Google’s Mobile-First index may use different algorithms for search implementing those with AI feedback and voice-first choices. Then, the entire search experience could change significantly. Each device will have a different AI response and search intent.

The index will have to change in response. You’ve probably already noticed how Google is moving away from no-click search results with answer boxes, visual representations, and even sounds. What’s the point of click-free search results? They can be read out loud with or without a screen.

And, they are truly Mobile-First. It also means that many queries can be given an increasing number of click-free results–something altogether different from the reliance on URLs over the years.

Traditional web results may still be in place, and Mobile-First may still utilize the same ranking factors, but mobile-first options will rank higher. Google seems to be pushing for a screen-free, eyes-free type of interaction.

In terms of Google Actions, it can be activated by simply using a registered keyword. This then launches a verbal dialogue. And, it seems to be a point of entry for the future with the IoT. A question will find answers, and a command executes an action.

For instance, you can find out if a store carries organic, locally-grown strawberries, then voice a command to have them delivered to your preferred address. With the right technology, you can ask a question then direct a related action.

Since Google has been focusing their research and development on AI and the IoT, it makes sense that this would be where the push is directed. In January 2018, Google’s CEO said that AI is more innovative than electricity. Google had already integrated AI into Google Now-on-Tap.

Then, through entity understanding, these technologies can determine a user has a query or wants to take an action. Perhaps, Mobile-First indexing will place different ranking factors on the type of query and device. Google Assistant doesn’t need a screen to work. Think of results that are compatible with the technologies used.

A screen-free voice query would not need a URL. When using voice, people expect a quick response. Of course, voice search isn’t at the stages where it would be useful for writing an epic novel, and performing all the necessary research, but it will get there.

Nonetheless, voice searchers don’t want to hear about a long list of URLs. So, Google has started to offer more results in the form of questions and answers. This helps to increase the potential to have a conversation.

Take a look at Google Maps, and you’ll see the “business finder” already offers interactive questions and answers. There are many “yes” or “no” and “multiple choice” answers. And, multiple-choice is a good fit for AI. Yet, Google will also include more Featured Snippets that show several snippets at once.

You can then select the most appropriate snippet based on your query. The more you play with snippets, the better the AI can organize your options based on your previous clicks–incorporating machine learning.

The more you interact with Google, the better your results will be. Just as mobile phones can index your data such as purchases, travel, meetings, and more. With AI, personalization will increase dramatically. More personalization makes it difficult to predict how rankings may change from one day to the next.

On the other hand, if you have strict privacy settings, then accurate results may not come as quickly. Nonetheless, this makes it difficult to grasp in terms of SEO. Voice-first can truly change the dynamics with intuit meaning and personalization.

To illustrate, stressed words can show intent. Google would provide cards of different feeds, and the user chooses the card/feed of their preference. The AI system then catalogs those choices for future reference. It feels similar to the knowledge graph method of organization with hierarchies.

With the knowledge graph, you can extend your voice query to a conversation based on relationships to your feed choices. Say you want to learn more about cats, then you are sent a series of verbal prompts and perhaps receive this question, “Would you like to learn more about orange American tabbies, or something else?” The prompts and voice-only search will take you down a relational path to get the information you need.

Think of designing your content to meet the needs of voice-first devices. The removal of screens makes these devices appear almost magical.

In a decade, it’s safe to assume that over half of all computer-based interactions will be voice-first. How will you transition your SEO, business, advertising, and product models?

Get information straight from Google

Since Google designs their index, it is important to make your mobile updates based on Google’s guidelines. The rollout will continue in batches, some larger than others. During this time, many assumptions will be made regarding what types of features your mobile site needs to have and what to eliminate.

It’s your site and your decisions but always refer to Google before making any changes. Google made the move because, in 2015, more searches were made on mobile–including the U.S. and Japan. When searchers type in a query, Google needs to provide results fast.

To illustrate, many ask about rel=canonical/switchboard tags. According to Google, you should leave them as is.

The Internet has billions of pages, searching through every single one would be too slow. As a result, Google uses web crawlers to view the database or index. Google creates the index by saving pages. Previously, the index was tailored for the desktop. Now, it will cater to mobile.

Make sure your site is responsive

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To get through this indexing change as successfully as possible, the recommendation is to use responsive web design. It is a design that implements one model for both your desktop and mobile site that will fit almost any device screen. It also removes the obstacle of requiring searchers to type m. before your site’s URL.

The name “responsive” means the site automatically responds to a different screen size and configures its content to function seamlessly. It changes the layout to meet mobile usage. Since you are now aware of Google’s Mobile-First indexing change, the time to use responsive design is now. Take a look at the statistics for your mobile viewers, vs. your desktop viewers, and you won’t have a more convincing reason to switch to responsive design.

Then, take a look at your competitors’ sites on multiple devices. Are they easy to navigate? Updating your site with responsive design isn’t outrageously difficult. You either hire a web designer with responsive design experience–which, most have. Or, you can use a web hosting service that lets you create a responsively designed site on your own.

There are also responsive templates you can purchase through sites such as WordPress. There isn’t any excuse not to go responsive. While Google isn’t going to immediately purge your heavily-indexed desktop site, having a matching mobile site will ensure your pages continue to rank well.

Add to that dynamic serving where the server responds with varying HTML and CSS depending on the request, and this is all on the same URL. With dynamic serving, you get the best of both worlds. All you need is one URL for all devices.

Plus, consider the time savings you would accumulate when you no longer have to manage two completely different sites. If your site is responsive, you’re ready. And, Google may force all web pages to go responsive anyway.

URLs may not be the best for indexing

Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote this in his 2016 Founders Letter, “We will move from mobile first to an AI first world.” Since then, he has restated this sentiment several times. So, think of AI in terms of SEO. AI requires the processing of relationships and content. Chatbots are powered by AI. And, they don’t require a website to get the answers they need.

In fact, elements of AI can be plugged into any website or mobile app. In addition, AI can be incorporated into the Internet of Things (IoT). As Googles continues to develop the best AI systems in the world, the need to have access to big data in real time.

What does this mean for URLs? It means that URLs are holding that process back. Since websites have become much more sophisticated over the first days of the Internet, Google has had to focus more on user experience and the content offerings.

Since the web continues to grow at an astronomical pace, reliance on URLs becomes more inefficient. On the other hand, Google has been able to use cloud-computing to host pages of databases–this is much more cost-efficient than crawling URLs.

Google can just tap into APIs, XML feeds, ServiceWorkers, and JSON-LD feeds. Add to these facts, the prevalence of Google Home and Amazon Echo usage–these devices don’t have browsers and sometimes, they don’t have screens. Google has to embrace all types of devices in the way it presents results.

Consider developing a mobile app

If you want to dive headfirst into Google’s Mobile-First indexing strategy, then you might as well create a mobile app for your site. While this means managing two sites, there may also be a time when Google focuses on app streaming and goes “mobile-only.” Might as well get a head start.

You might have already noticed the number of mobile users is much larger than desktop users. Given that metric, your app stores are also filled to the brim with apps. Furthermore, research has shown that many users prefer mobile apps to mobile websites.

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When going the mobile app route, think of it in terms of the user experience. Since Google has been moving towards placing a prominence on user experience, then a mobile app offers a more personalized route.

Apps can be designed to provide geography-specific content in addition to monitoring user engagement and offering settings customizable based on user preferences. So, every user can create an experience unique to their needs. This is different from a responsive site that is optimized for mobile, but, may not offer as many personalized options.

Then, there is the notifications tool where you no longer have to use email to reach your customers–you still should, but you now have another avenue of communication through mobile app notifications.

You have either push or in-app notifications. This is one of the many reasons why so many businesses are making the move towards creating a mobile app. In-app notifications are only viewed when a user opens the app–so, you already have their attention.

Not to mention, apps can work even in offline mode–they still provide users with basic functionality, which is different from websites that need an Internet connection. And, there aren’t any restrictions such as a “back” or “refresh” button. Apps don’t really need to be refreshed. Users simply “tap,” or “swipe,” to get what they want.

The mobile app also offers a different branding experience. Your company can experiment with new styles and features or let your users customize the appearance based on their liking–this goes back to a positive user experience. And, keeping in line with Google’s Mobile-First indexing strategy, mobile users spend 86% of their time on mobile apps.

The mobile app gives enhanced brand presence for your business. Even when users aren’t actively engaged with your app, the icon serves as a small advertisement on their device screen. Plus, mobile apps can be designed to work a lot faster than a mobile website. Since data is often stored on the mobile devices, retrieval is much faster. Users enjoy faster load and access times. And, Google will notice.

Optimize your mobile check out process

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To increase conversions, your mobile site must be optimized for quick and easy checkout. Today, billions of dollars are spent on mobile e-commerce. As it stands, to improve their ecommerce SEO, every company must scrutinize their mobile checkout process. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Eliminate pinch and zoom. This seems pretty straightforward. The days of customers accepting “pinch and zoom” activities are over. You can expect more bounces and cart abandonment if your customers have to pinch and zoom their way through the checkout process.
  2. Make the checkout process easy. Even in the age of the Internet, customers still want to feel safe when purchasing something online or through a mobile app. One way to make them feel more secure about the process is to simply give them what they need.

Use only short forms, and, make it easy to check out–in just a couple of taps. The last thing you want is for customers to quit when they’ve almost completed the process.

  1. Incorporate security seals. Prove that you have implemented adequate security controls to keep financial data safe. With cyber-theft at an all-time-high, mobile customers will patronize sites that show security icons at checkout.

These security icons help to build trust, and trust leads to conversions. You can also incorporate credit card logos from global brands such as Visa, Amex, and Mastercard–as long as it doesn’t clutter your mobile space.

  1. Allow your users to check out as guests. You’ll get more conversions if you let people check out anonymously. There are many shoppers who don’t want to submit an email address and password, but, would still like to purchase your products or services. These people have been burned by other companies who have either spammed their inbox or sold their information to third parties.

So, give them the option to checkout without having to register. This speeds up the process, especially on a mobile device. They can always register later, at their convenience. If they like your products, they will usually end up registering anyway.

  1. Make your buttons readable. Ensure that your checkout buttons are readable and easy to tap. Also, space them well so that customers won’t accidentally tap on the wrong button.
  2. Eliminate pop-ups during checkout. Everyone hates popups. Don’t let them stand in the way of making another sale.

Take a look at how Google incorporates Google Wallet as a cross-device payment system. It is secure on any device too. It can hold multiple payment options from credit cards to PayPal. It can also be used for instant payments to services such as Netflix, and a variety of mobile apps.

Also, Google Home and Google Assistant offer cross-device shopping experiences both within and outside the Google world. All it takes is a voice command to make a purchase. This offers a secure and seamless shopping experience–as your checkout experience should be.

It’s important to adapt to the evolving landscape of this space. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel; just rely on Google’s existing systems.

Use accordion menus to save space

An accordion menu expands to show hidden information. As a result, mobile sites can include much more content without taking up more space.

In the past, many worried that Google will penalize their site for hidden content–with the Mobile-First indexing strategy that will no longer be the case for mobile sites. The reason is Google wants the mobile site to include as much valuable content as possible–that can be difficult when device screens are smaller.

So, the accordion design element can help to implement more content without displaying too much content all at once. The user gets to decide what they want to view. They also help to prevent mobile sites with too much information, that require users to keep scrolling. Users don’t want to interact with mobile sites that display too many disparate and unrelated pieces of content.

Moreover, they don’t want to scroll to the bottom of the page just to get the answer to a question. Instead, the accordion design element tells users exactly what the site is about and gives them easy access. Plus, they also function as section headings.

By condensing information, in limited spaces, mobile sites can enhance the user experience and please Google at the same time. By using jump links, and persistent accordion headings, mobile sites can effectively keep users engaged with the site. While accordion menus don’t work for every mobile site, they can work if you need to condense a lot of content.

Don’t even think about using Flash

Image source

Google simply prefers HTLM5. In fact, Google has been phasing out support for Flash for a while. In the past, Flash has worked for displaying rich media. But, HTLM5 offers lower power use with quicker load times. So, don’t even think about using Flash on your sites.

What about Java?

Java has massive open source support, with many libraries that make it easy to access what you need in terms of development. Plus, it offers protections for potential issues that come with native code such as bad pointer usage and memory leaks.

Furthermore, Java gives you the ability to create sandbox applications with heightened security. While many platforms decline after a while, it seems that Java continues to be a premier software and mobile app platform. It is already used substantially in big data, mobile, enterprise applications, and more. In addition, the number one platform in the world is Google’s Android platform.

And, many developers use Java to build Android apps. As apps move to smart and connected devices such as TVs, and refrigerators, you’ll notice they use Java too. Java’s current iteration also features JSON APIs, modularity, and more.

You also get support for the latest Web standards and the cloud. It appears to be a good language to use for a mobile-first outlook.

Should I follow the Web AMPs trend?

Launched in February 2016, web AMPs (accelerated mobile pages) are the latest and greatest in terms of web development. You get a remarkable UI with seamless in-app browsing. AMP results also tend to rank at the top of the page.

Google created AMPs to improve load times, rendering and more. In fact, these AMPs can be rendered either in the browser or in WebViews. This open-source design was built to improve mobile sites.

As a result, if you are seeing large amounts of traffic–switching to AMP will improve performance, as well as easing the load on your servers. Furthermore, it enhances the user experience since it provides faster loading times. So, you can achieve lower bounce rates and better engagement.

These are also independent documents as opposed to stores of metadata. There isn’t anything you can compare an AMP to anything since AMP does not have a dedicated client, besides the browser. It is basically a set of specifications and technologies infused into this product.

It is also a lighter version of HTML cached on Google’s cache. According to the AMP Project website, over 1,000 AMP articles are published each day and return mobile users have gone up from 51% to 63%. If an increasing number of your visitors are coming from mobile sites, then you should switch to AMP.

With regard to SEO buzz, AMPs have gone further than Facebook’s Instant Articles. When you consider that 53% of web pages are abandoned when they take over three seconds to load, it makes sense. In fact, conversions can go down by up to 7% with just a one-second delay in load time.

AMPs load your pages 4X faster. Also, because it is open source, it is consistently updated. Moreover, it can reduce document size. What’s most important? Google encourages publishers to use AMP.

Because of its speed, you will notice an improvement in your SERPs ranking. You’ll also achieve a better Google Page Speed Insights score. Since Google is on the path of Mobile-First indexing, then now is the time to get your mobile site in order.

PWAs vs. AMPs

To be clear, AMPs are fast-loading web pages built for mobile. Progressive web apps (PWAs), are mobile web pages that offer an app-like experience. So, you can access content while offline and even send push notifications. PWAs also offer fast loading times, and, are reliable regardless of Internet connection.

You can access both AMPs and PWAs via URLs. Some say PWAs may replace the standard mobile app. It’s highly possible since a PWA offers the benefits of a mobile page an app all at once. You can also manage all of it together.

So, why do we have mobile apps if we now have PWAs? Well, there is the ServiceWorker, which is JavaScript that can run outside of your webpage. It runs even when your browser isn’t up. In the past, web apps only worked with a live network.

The ServiceWorker has two parts, an app shell that controls the behaviors of the display and the part that controls what elements are cached in the mobile device’s local storage.

Thanks to the ServiceWorker, it can work offline and execute push notifications. Also, PWAs offer the power of an app without the need for installation. Not to mention, Google has already stated they will automatically index PWAs in their App store.

Google has struggled with indexing and crawling native app content. For starters, it’s already difficult with Android apps and even more difficult with iOS apps. As a result, Google uses APIs to translate the content. In addition, Google has to align web content with app content.

Here’s the kicker: The majority of native apps can be switched over to become PWAs. When a website has an app manifest, (which hosts the app icon), and a ServiceWorker, it is just like a PWA. The next steps are just to make modifications in design and to incorporate app behaviors.

The only difference is, while designing your PWA, it is crucial to think like a mobile developer. With PWAs, you get a seamless experience on any device that doesn’t require app-specific programming.

Plus, PWAs can store app-states in the cloud so that users can pick up where they left off on any device. Google Assistant has also improved its ability to interact with PWAs. Moreover, PWAs require less storage space, so that mobile devices won’t be drained.

So, regardless of OS, PWAs can work on more devices than other design types. They can be displayed on the desktop and mobile, including the iPhone. Then, there is the fact that Google has been switching many of their basic Android apps such as YouTube, Contacts, and News into PWAs. This seems to be a signal.

What you can do is use both the PWA and an AMP. You start the user with an AMP page. On the next click, they can then be taken to your PWA. How is that possible? Google introduced <amp-install-serviceworker>. Blending the two together is what Google calls PWAMPs.

Final thought

SEO is important to your business,  but don’t freak out. The information and tactics above will help with your preparation for Google’s continued Mobile-First rollout. For now, place a priority on your mobile experience. Nonetheless, Google consistently makes frequent changes. We’ll keep you up to date with the latest resources to ensure you’re always one step ahead.

How Google’s Mobile-First Index Works: Important SEO Best Practices was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Time-saving SEO Practices You Should Try

Time-saving SEO Practices You Should Try

SEO is one of the world’s fastest growing industries over the past few years. With a growing amount of companies looking to improve their presence and branding, it is best to look for the best and most effective SEO strategies and techniques that would help save your time.

Time-saving practices are present in different industries, especially in SEO, where complex processes can be simplified to generate quality results much faster. Here at SEO Hacker, we always aim to look for these types of practices, as it helps us find the best solutions that help our clients grow and establish their branding and presence. With that in mind, here are some of the best time-saving SEO practices that you should try out.

Shift Focus on Long-tail Keywords

Keywords are the most important elements of a good SEO strategy, as it is the key to getting more traffic to a website. With the rise of AI assistants and voice search, long-tail keywords have become more effective in generating more search traffic to websites. Long-tail keywords cater to more exact and phrased search terms, which has become more common in voice search.

Long-tail keywords contain at least 3 words and have become some of the more common keywords being used in search engines. While this may be a simple change and has become a more common practice, it is still important to keep this in mind and optimize your keywords for better performance.

Use Chrome Extensions

When it comes to SEO functionality, Google Chrome is the best browser to use. With a bevy of extensions to choose from, you can turn your browser into an SEO hub. Need a website audit tool? Install the Google Lighthouse extension. Do you want a list of all the links in a webpage? Get Link Grabber. Want to see some quick website stats? SimilarWeb is the right tool for the job.

SimilarWeb

These extensions are not only budget-friendly, but they also allow your browser to perform functions similar to some of the best SEO tools available. We have used a good number of these Chrome extensions, and I can say that it is definitely helping us perform tasks much faster.

Strategize with Mobile in mind

Mobile SEO has become more prominent than ever, with mobile ranking factors being updated by Google this year. With the increasing number of mobile users accessing the websites through their browsers, it is no surprise that mobile optimization is something that every website must do in order to gain more mobile traffic.

When it comes to mobile optimization, it is important to implement it as a major part of your SEO campaign. Having mobile optimization in mind would help ensure that whatever strategies that you are doing would be mobile-friendly. These strategies include implementing AMP and responsive design, along with improving loading speed to enhance user experience. SEO looks to become mobile in the next few years and doing these strategies will help prepare your website for the future.

Make use of Productivity Tools

One of the main reasons why work can end up getting disorganized and chaotic is because that there is no proper platform or tool that helps a team organize and delegate tasks properly. As a team leader myself, I make sure that our tasks are well-organized, and that I am able to communicate with my fellow teammates on a regular basis. Thankfully, I am able to perform these very well using some of the best productivity tools available.

Trello

One of the productivity tools that we use is Trello, which is a handy tool that can be used on desktop and mobile. Trello allows us to list down our tasks in detail, set deadlines and objectives, and share it with the rest of the team. The tool is also user-friendly, which means that you would not take too much time listing down and organizing your tasks. Other than tools like Trello, you can also use browser tools that block websites that are not related to work, which helps improve your focus. Overall, productivity tools can drastically improve your performance, and help your office become more efficient.

Key Takeaway

Working on SEO means having to be adaptive to numerous changes and updates, along with being quick and efficient with your work. While SEO really takes a good amount of time for it to work effectively, it is best to make full use of this time by doing some time-saving practices. With these practices, you would be able to become a more effective SEO team.

If you have questions or inquiries about SEO strategies or SEO in general, leave a comment below and let’s talk.

Time-saving SEO Practices You Should Try was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

4 Reasons Why SEO Courses Aren’t Taught in College and How to Learn It On Your Own

This is a post from our New York consulting intern Samiha Huque. For the past year Samiha has been juggling her time at college and working at Distilled. Samiha is now an alumna of St. John’s University, where she studied Marketing.

Samiha, take it away.


As a college student, you’ve probably noticed that you don’t have very many options for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) courses. During my undergrad experience I’ve had only one class even mention SEO—but after my internship at Distilled, I learned these four reasons why it’s not taught in college.

1. The industry is always changing

SEO is always changing—sometimes even a couple times a year. Why? Because Google is always improving. Google can come out with major changes to their algorithm and shift everything for search marketers. There have already been so many changes. At one point, SEO was all about ranking for the right keywords, sometimes even if it wasn’t relevant. Today that’s not the smartest move to make because as we enter the world of mobile revolution and voice searches, Google wants to focus on user experience and offer a more genuine interaction. The focus from when the industry first began to right now has completely shifted. It would be difficult for a professor to create a course if the rules and guidelines have a tendency to change or be updated.  

2. It’s a pretty broad industry

SEO is a pretty broad industry. It’s a technical business that depends on analytics and data but it can also get pretty creative. SEO can dive into things like creating content, blog post writing, social media, even PR and outreach. This is actually one of my favorite traits of SEO, I love being able to combine all the knowledge I have from all different places and being able to apply it to SEO. It would be hard to create a course that’s able to get into all the different aspects that are a part of SEO.

3. There isn’t one set method

There isn’t a set method or even a set guide to do things. There is no way for anyone to judge which tool to demonstrate with over another. It all depends on the site and what the problems are. During my internship I learned best from trial and error. The same recommendation and strategies can’t always be reused and it depends heavily on what is being optimized. SEO can also get pretty theoretical so it could be hard to determine one set method to teach a course.

4. You’re already learning…

Like I mentioned before, SEO is really broad and you can build your experience through classes you’re already taking right now! I was able to apply things I’ve learned in my computer, marketing, and statistics courses to work I’ve done at Distilled. I learned about VLOOKUPS and pivot tables in statistics which helps when analyzing data. Through my marketing classes, I learned about strategy development and problem-solving. In my computer classes, I learned about HTML and CSS which also came in handy during my time here at Distilled. Although there might not be an SEO course you can take at your college it doesn’t mean you’re not already being prepared!

So, is it for you? How can you learn it?

  • Don’t worry, no matter what your major is you can still get into SEO. After talking to many people at Distilled and at SearchLove San Diego, I’ve learned that you can come into the field through any major. I’ve met Journalism and English Majors who have entered SEO through content writing and copywriting. Computer Science majors and other technical and majors are valuable in SEO for analytics. It takes dedication and creative thinking to become an SEO expert.
  • Become a self-taught beginner SEO. Information is easily accessible online, there are also courses online that can help you learn on your own like DistilledU which offers knowledge in core skills every SEO needs to know whether your a beginner or an intermediate. It’s what I used to help me get my foot in the door and it gave me a good basic understanding of SEO. Once you get through the modules you can also take a look at Distilled’s blog to stay updated and continue learning!

  • Get some hands on experience. There are lots of local charities to reach out to who would love to have volunteers. Getting yourself an internship is another great way to get experience. At Distilled I had access to a lot of SEO tools, information and people who were more than willing to help me learn new things. You can also apply your SEO knowledge to your own social media platforms. Most platforms like Facebook and Instagram have their own analytics tracker and gives insights on data and engagement that you can use to your advantage! A quick hack to turn your Instagram Insights on is by switching your personal account to a business account in your settings. This doesn’t affect how others see your profile it just gives you more data to work with.
  • Check out local meetups. Check out local meetups. Conferences can get pricey, going to meetups is often free and they offer the perfect opportunity to improve your knowledge, learn more about the industry & meet the people who will point you in the right direction.
  • However if you can get some budget, try attending a SearchLove conference. SEO conferences are a great place to learn more about the field as well as meet the experts. The SEO community is very inviting and the professionals are always willing to meet up and share their knowledge and experience with others, all you have to do is be there and ask. At SearchLove I was able to network with people in the industry and learn a bunch of new things. It was definitely a valuable and fun experience for me and I would recommend at least attending one!

4 Reasons Why SEO Courses Aren’t Taught in College and How to Learn It On Your Own was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Search Goes Global: A Look Into Search Engines Around the World

Search Goes Global: A Look Into Search Engines Around the World

SEO is a rapidly growing industry that has gone global over the past few years, with various businesses and websites looking for the best SEO services to help improve their visibility and branding. The rise of SEO has put search engines into a bigger spotlight, as it is seen as a tool that not only provides reliable and quality information but also helps users search for the best products and services available locally and internationally.

While Google remains as the most widely-used search engine in the world, with over billions of search results being generated by the engine daily, there are a number of search engines that have become prominent in certain parts of the world as well. While these search engines have yet to reach the heights that Google has achieved over the past few years, these search engines have gained a strong following in their respective countries. Here is a look at some of the biggest search engines after Google.

Baidu

The largest search engine in China, Baidu also has the largest online presence in the country. With a population of over 1.3 billion people, this makes the search engine one of the largest in the world as well. Like Google, Baidu Inc. offers more than search engines, as they offer different services, such as mobile app development, a dedicated app store, and even AI systems for various services.

Baidu

At a glance, the search engine itself looks similar to Google and even offers similar features such as a map service, cloud data storage, and even image hosting. Like Google, the company has become a highly profitable tech giant and has even established partnerships with some of the largest technology and automotive companies. With its status as the second largest search engine in the world, Baidu looks to make its own mark in search and technology and compete with Google in the near future.

Yandex

If Baidu has an established online search presence in China, Yandex meanwhile, has an established presence in Russia and territories nearby. Like Google and Baidu, Yandex is a large technology company that offers more than search, as they also provide AI services to various companies, which is one of their top services.

Yandex

Looking at the search engine itself, Yandex has a similar layout to Google. Other than search, Yandex also provides image hosting, video streaming, a map service, and even a translation tool similar to Google translate. When it comes to user experience, Yandex is one of the more robust search engines out there, with an interface that is easy to navigate, along with other useful features that make it an effective search engine.

Bing

One of Google’s most significant competitors in the United States, Bing is the second largest search engine in the country. While it may have similar features that its competitors have, there are still some stand-out features that set it apart. For example, you can save search results that you want to go back to. There’s also a Rewards feature, which allows users to earn points by using services from Bing, which can be converted to purchase various products or receive discounts.

Bing

While the search engine may be a distant second to its stateside competitor, Bing is still one of the most popular search engines, with some digital marketing companies creating strategies to optimize websites for the search engine.

Naver

The largest search engine in Korea, Naver is also the company that manages LINE, which is one of the most popular messaging applications in Asia. Like the search engines on this list, Naver provides similar features to Google. While its interface may not be as clean and smooth as its competitors, Naver users are able to see trending news and videos, along with a shopping page and trending posts.

Naver

Naver’s features allow it to become a viable media platform that can stream music and video, such as TV dramas and cartoons. While its presence may not be as large compared to its regional neighbor, Naver is a search engine that is growing into one of the largest in Asia.

DuckDuckGo

Seen as an alternative to Google, DuckDuckGo provides users with a search engine that is safer and offers more privacy. Unlike other search engines, DuckDuckGo does not track its user’s search queries, which means that there is more privacy for users when using it.

The interface is clean and simple, and along with standard web search, you can also access images, videos, and news related to your search terms. There is also a Meanings feature, which acts as a glossary which provides you with a definition of terms related to your search query. If you are looking to do online search privately, this is the search engine for you.

Key Takeaway

Search has truly gone international, as evidenced by the growing number of search engines in different parts of the world. While Google may still be the undisputed king of search worldwide, it is worth looking at these search engines to see that search has become more diversified and varied in different countries. SEO is a growing industry and seeing more and more search engines is definite proof of that.

If you have questions and inquiries about search engines and SEO in general, leave a comment below and let’s talk.

Search Goes Global: A Look Into Search Engines Around the World was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Preparing for GDPR using Google Tag Manager

As your increasingly crowded inbox will attest, the GDPR deadline is fast approaching, and businesses have to make sure they are compliant with the new EU regulations – even those businesses not based in the EU. One aspect of this that marketers have to be aware of is the implication for analytics. Historic Google Analytics data is going to be restricted past 26 months by default, as of the 25th May 2018 (the day the GDPR regulations kick in).

What Happens If You Send Personally Identifiable Information to Google Analytics

Regardless of GDPR however, Google Analytics has for some time prohibited the sending of personally identifiable information (PII) to GA. The potential risks of this are high: if your GA account is found to be in breach of this policy, the guidelines specify:

“Your Analytics account could be terminated and your data destroyed if you use any of this information.”

The Google Analytics documentation specifies the types of data that it counts as PII. This includes:

  • email addresses
  • mailing addresses
  • phone numbers
  • full names or usernames

Importantly, this applies to data that has been collected in the past. This means that if you’ve ever accidentally (or intentionally) collected email addresses, full names or phone numbers in your GA account, the whole account and all of your historical data is at risk of being deleted. This is more common than you might think – it’s definitely worth checking all of your GA accounts. This is why it is also important to back up any historical data in your GA account, if you think you’re at risk of falling foul of the terms of service.

This also applies to data filtered out at the view level. This means that if you’re sending PII such as email addresses in Google Analytics hits, but filtering it out using filters set up within the GA interface, you are still in breach of the GA terms of service.

Find out whether you’re collecting PII in GA

If you’re sending PII to GA, you’re probably sending the same information to Adwords, Doubleclick, Bing, Facebook, Optimizely, Hotjar, etc., etc., etc. – any analytics, tracking or remarketing tools that are implemented on your site are potential PII holes.

One silver lining of this cloud is that the AdWords team tend to be more proactively communicative with advertisers than GA – the AdWords team may spot what you’re doing and warn you about it. The Adwords terms of service, as well as DoubleClick, have similar rules to Google Analytics on PII, and the consequences of breaching those terms are to remove access to Adwords features such as remarketing. The fix I’m outlining later in this post will stop PII from being sent to Adwords and DoubleClick, as well as any other marketing tags, as long as they’re being fired through Google Tag Manager.

This may be waiting for you in your inbox if you don’t fix any PII collection vulnerabilities on your site.

This notification from Adwords is rare, compared to the frequency of PII such as email address being inadvertently sent to Google Analytics. The most common way this happens is through URL parameters containing email address, phone numbers or usernames.

In order to find if/where this is happening on your site, you should pull up the Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages report, and use a custom filter for the “@” symbol (over as wide a time period as possible). This will unearth any URLs that have been visited on your site that contain that symbol.

An example of a GA account with email addresses captured in URL parameters.

As mentioned above, if you have been sending PII to GA, you’re at risk of your GA account and data being deleted, in which case you’d be wise to back up your data. My colleague Dom Woodman has been developing a python package to download data from the API and upload it to Google BigQuery – this won’t be a full backup of every hit in GA, but will give you the ability to have a record of key metrics and dimensions just in case the worst happens. Follow Dom on Twitter to hear more about this when it’s ready.

Once you’ve stopped PII from being sent to GA, it’s also a good idea to create a second clean GA account (as opposed to a property or a view) to start collecting data with no risk of losing that data. Unfortunately, that will only be possible for data after this has been set up as there is no way to retrospectively load data into GA.

Preventing PII from being sent to GA

Note: this solution requires a bit of knowledge of Google Tag Manager (GTM) and javaScript. I highly recommend Simo Ahava’s blog for anyone learning how to use GTM – he’s written the best article on pretty much every GTM topic out there.

This solution works for anyone who is using Google Tag Manager to implement Google Analytics (and any other tracking tools) code on their site, either through custom HTML tags or the inbuilt Universal Analytics tag.

Other people (including Simo Ahava and Brian Clifton) have recommended a similar fix in the past: their approach is to overwrite the page path variable that is sent to GA. While this approach definitely works, and is a good way to prevent PII from reaching GA, it does rely on the variable being amended for every different tracking tag that you’re using in GTM, whereas the approach outlined here will, by default, apply to every tracking tag in your GTM container.

The way my method works is by the following steps:

  1. Rewrite URLs to remove any offending parameters and redact email addresses
  2. Change the URL in the browser using history.replaceState()
  3. Rewrite page titles to remove any email addresses
  4. Send a custom event to the DataLayer
  5. Trigger all tracking tags off of this custom event.

In GTM, the way this is done is by introducing a new tag, a new trigger and a new variable. I’ll outline each of these below.

The Tag

The new tag used in this fix is a custom HTML <script> tag, which should be triggered to load on all pages, at page view. This tag performs the first four actions above:

  1. Rewrite URLs to remove any offending parameters and redact email addresses
    1. Firstly, it extracts all URL parameters form the URL
    2. It then checks these parameters to see if they have been whitelisted (see below) – if a parameter is not on the whitelist, the parameter will be deleted.
    3. If a parameter is whitelisted, the value of the parameter is checked for email addresses using a regular expression (regex). If this regex finds an email address, it will be replaced with “EMAIL_REDACTED”
  2. Change the URL in the browser using history.replaceState()

    1. If changes have been made to URL parameters, the code uses the javaScript history API to update the URL in the browser. It is important that no tags have fired by this point, this is why triggers need to be changed for all tracking tags in GTM.
    2. This has the secondary benefit of making URLs cleaner and more shareable, and ensuring that links are more likely to be to the canonical version of URLs.
  3. Rewrite page titles to remove any email addresses

    1. The code also checks for email addresses in page <title> tags using the same regex as above.
    2. If email addresses are found, the email address is overwritten with “EMAIL_REDACTED”
  4. Send a custom event to the DataLayer
    1. Once the above operations are complete, a DataLayer event with the name “parametersRemoved” is sent, that can be used to trigger other tags.

How the Custom HTML tag should be set up.

Below is the code to copy and paste as the Custom HTML tag.

Triggers

Once the above tag has run, the URL and title will have changed for the page if they contained PII, and all email addresses will have been removed. It is now safe to send tracking information to Google Analytics, and other tracking tools.

In order to do this, set up custom triggers for all of your tracking tags. These triggers should replace the standard pageview tag you would normally use for analytics tags, to ensure that the PII removal is in place before the tracking hits are sent. The trigger should fire on a Custom Event, with the name “parametersRemoved”.

You can create multiple triggers if certain tags are only to be fired on some pages. For example, you can add a hostname filter for a tag that is only to be fired on a certain subdomain.

How the trigger should be set up.

Whitelisted Parameters Variable

In order to not lose important tagging and tracking information, it is important to make a whitelist of parameters. This will consist of a javaScript array that includes all URL parameters that tracking tools such as GA need to see.

This list will vary depending on the functionality of your site and its analytics set up, but should generally include:

  • utm_source
  • utm_medium
  • utm_campaign
  • utm_content
  • gclid
  • Site search parameters (e.g. “search” or “q”)
  • Affiliate tracking parameters

This list of parameters should be set as a Custom JS GTM variable, which returns an array. See below for an example:

For the tag to work, this variable must be named “parameterWhitelist”.

How the parameterWhitelist variable should be set up.

When this won’t work

It’s important to note that this fix only works under certain circumstances. It won’t strip PII from any tracking tags fired using on-page code (including gtag.js) rather than through GTM, and it won’t work for any GTM tags fired using pageview triggers.

The version of the code above also only checks for email addresses. Deleting non-whitelisted parameters will generally deal with most other forms of PII, but there’s a chance that things like phone numbers, names and postal addresses will still be tracked in GA. If this is the case, deeper action will need to be taken on your site to prevent this.

Summing Up

With GDPR coming into force, everyone in digital marketing needs to be more vigilant of the data they’re collecting and where it’s being stored. This is a specific, slightly hacky fix for PII in Google Analytics, but if these sorts of issues are likely that’s probably symptomatic of a website or company’s wider attitude to user data not being up to scratch.

Here’s what you’ll need to do if you want to make sure you’re not risking your GA data:

  • Identify whether you’re collecting PII by checking for email addresses in URLs and titles
  • Backup your GA data
  • Implement the GTM fix to stop sending PII to GA and other tracking tools
  • Create a clean GA account just in case the worst happens

Let me know in the comments what you think of this method, and whether you have any other tips for keeping your site and its analytics GDPR compliant.

Preparing for GDPR using Google Tag Manager was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Four personality traits of a team and how to manage them

Managing people in the workplace can be very rewarding yet extremely challenging, depending on a whole host of factors- some within our control, others not so much.

I’ve had some great moments managing people, watching and helping them achieve their goals, but I’ve also made my fair share of mistakes over the years. I’m grateful for both sets of experiences and to quote a famous random saying,

“Mistakes are not a problem, not learning from them is.”

When you make that move into managing people, most organisations will send you on a whole host of courses to level you up and prepare you for the rocky road ahead. Some of these courses can become tiresomely formulaic, to say the least, however, now and then there will be something you learn that strikes a chord and introduces a new perspective.

That lightbulb moment for me was learning of different peoples’ colour temperament and learning how to manage them accordingly.

It’s not to say that this way of categorising people’s behaviour is revolutionary, and it’s something we all do subconsciously to a degree, however being aware of it and purposefully tailoring how you communicate because of it can be a very powerful tool in your arsenal.

The Premise

The basic premise is that a colour can summarise most people’s personalities, and with it, the colour carries a list of traits an individual would typically possess, which sets out a route for approaching that person to get the best result.

We’ve all had those moments when we’ve approached someone unprepared only to be caught out as we didn’t anticipate a certain line of questioning. Taking some time to think about your audience, tailoring your approach to what they will respond to, and being accordingly prepared will help you communicate with them in a far more effective manner.

Below is a very top level way in which I now analyse people that I have to manage or work with on a daily basis, it helps me tailor my approach accordingly.

Colour Temperaments

Blue

Traits: Empathetic, Patient, Personable, Encouraging,

Approach: 1 on 1 meetings and regular catch ups are ideal. Take time to not always dive head first into a work conversation, ask them how they are, how they are feeling, build a friendly rapport.

Approach tough subjects with sensitivity, be tactful.


Green

Traits: Analytical, Formal, Questioning, Precise,

Approach: Be prepared and armed with the facts and figures to back up your point unless you want to get caught out. A free flowing conversation may not always be easy so a little more prompting may be needed although they will produce good focused work when set on the right path.


Orange

Traits: Creative, Freethinkers, Resourceful, Enthusiastic,

Approach: Include them in the decision making process, have a joint conversation, try to solve the issues together but be careful to keep the conversation on track as it can tend to wander. They are great at coming up with new ideas and ways to tackle issues but don’t like being dictated to..


Red

Traits: Competitive, Purposeful, Strong Willed, Driven,

Approach: Get to the point and produce the headline facts or figures promptly with actions to take away and get moving on. The story behind it all is sometimes irrelevant, they want to know what’s happening and how we make it better going forward.. They are not afraid to speak their minds or challenge you.


You & your team

As soon as I’d learnt of the colour temperaments, I couldn’t resist categorising both myself and everyone in my team to see what colour or combination of colours best fitted all our personalities. The next step was to discuss my analysis with them and ask for their assessment of me. It was a great tool for instigating an honest conversation with the group and we had a great deal of fun, plus came away armed with valuable insights into how we could all communicate more effectively.

Thinking outside of your immediate team you will start to notice certain departments in your workplace will have more of a certain colour temperament, demonstrating certain job roles attract a certain type of personality.

Self Realisation

I can safely say that within the group where I learnt this technique certain individuals displayed a reluctance to ever assign themselves to the red category. Maybe it’s the negative connotations associated with the colour red, who knows, but people tended to see even the positive attributes as slightly negative. Traits such as driven and competitive seemed to be less desirable than those traits associated with the blue (empathetic, personable) and orange (creative, enthusiastic) colours. I put myself in both the blue and orange categories only to be shocked when told by my team that they saw me as red. There was a great sense of self-realisation in this, comparing what I thought I was projecting and what people in my team actually saw. Not only did I learn how to tailor my approach towards my team depending on who I was interacting with, but also to look at myself to assess what I projected on a daily basis and whether I was comfortable with this or desired to change.

Conclusion

Colour temperaments are a great way to quickly assess your team and give you a great point of reference if you are ever stuck with how to get the best out of someone. It’s not just managers who can benefit from them either, everyone in the workplace can get something from this to help them to deal with fellow colleagues or even situations outside of the workplace.

Do remember that this is just a point of reference and should be used in conjunction with good judgement, it’s not a complete one size fits all, unfortunately. It will aid you in better management of your team and could also come in very handy when stepping into the boardroom with your manager pitching for that next pay rise.

Four personality traits of a team and how to manage them was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

How to Optimize for “Near My Area” Search Results

How to Optimize for “Near My Area” Search Results

Search has been evolving over the past few years, with numerous updates and new applications that helped enhance the experience and provide users with the best results. 2018 is another year of many changes, with Google shifting its focus to mobile and voice search and testing out new AI technology in the form of Google Duplex.

These Google updates aim to not only optimize search results but also make search more accessible across all devices. With the development of AI technology, voice search will also be optimized, which means that we will be seeing more exact and phrased search terms that enables AI assistants to look for the best results on search engines.

“Near Me”

One of the most popular voice search terms that people use is “Near Me” or “Near my area”, which allows voice search to look for the places near your immediate vicinity. When it comes to using voice search and AI assistants, this is one of the most convenient ways to receive the best local results.

Google Allo Results

When using Google Assistant on the Allo app, I gave the command to search for the best Japanese restaurant near my area. Upon inputting the command, I was able to view a detailed list of results of the best Japanese restaurants, along with reviews and even articles that mention these restaurants. When it comes to local SEO, one of the most important elements that you need to optimize if you have a business is your Google My Business account.

Having an account means that your Business is recognized on Google and that people would be able to look for it on Google Maps. Users would also be informed about important details such as contact number, address, and business hours. With the improved services of Google Maps, users now have the ability to look for places they want to go instantly, which makes local SEO even more important.

Optimizing for “Near Me”

Along with optimizing your Google My Business account, it is equally important to show up on “near me” search results as well. There are many ways to do this, and here are some of the most effective techniques:

Localized Content and Keywords

When it comes to local SEO, one of the best ways for search engines to have an idea of where your business is located is by creating content related to the area that your business is located. This not only helps with identifying the location of your business but also provide some free promotion as well. Some great examples of local content that helps promote your business include “Best Restaurants Near (City Name)” or “Best Places to go Near (Business Location)”.

Best Restaurant Content

When it comes to keywords, It is best to use geo-targeted keywords that specify the location, as these would help people find your business in search engines much faster. In fact, some of our clients request a number of geo-targeted keywords for their businesses, which has definitely helped increase their traffic and target their intended audience. Here are some keyword examples that are local SEO-friendly:

  • Health Care Service Near Me
  • Italian Restaurant Near My Area
  • Business School (City Name)

These samples might seem straightforward and simple, but this helps generate the best local search results and help target your intended audience.

Online Reviews

Review Sample

When it comes to looking for businesses and establishments near your area, Google takes into account the review scores for these places to asses which results are of the best quality. It is best to observe proper online reputation management in order to show up in search results more often. Reviews are a great indicator of what a business offers, and a good review makes your business a much more attractive option for users. If you are looking for a guide for proper Online Reputation Management, we got you covered.

Business Directory and Link Building

One of the best places to look for different kinds of establishments is online business directories, which provides you with a list of various businesses within a specific area. This is a great opportunity to provide outbound links to your businesses. Most websites, like city and tourist websites, provide a list of recommended places that people can visit, which is a nice link building opportunity that brings in traffic to your website.

Another way to bring in traffic to your website is to guest blogging, which allows you to build more links from different websites, which helps increase your visibility while generating quality content that is helpful. You can also directly contact different websites and ask their owners if they can post your website link to their website. Social media is another tool you should use, as there have been numerous businesses that have become famous after being constantly recommended by social media users. Social media platforms have millions of registered users and tapping into the right audience help generate a lot of buzz and traffic that helps your business grow.

Mobile Optimization

With the increasing accessibility of the internet over the past few years, the use of mobile devices has now become more prominent. With that in mind, more users now look for the nearest businesses using their mobile devices, and it is best to help optimize their experience.

Mobile optimization is one of the standard practices that you should do for your business, as more and more people are accessing the internet using their portable devices. A great starting point would be applying responsive design and AMP to your website, which allows it to become more mobile friendly as the size and layout of your website adjust accordingly while retaining the same functionality. If you have applied these and want to asses your website’s performance, you can use tools such as Google Lighthouse and Woorank to identify the best steps to help improve your website.

Key Takeaway

With the rise of voice search and mobile usage, the use of exact and phrased search terms have now become more important than ever. By optimizing your “Near my area” keywords, your audience would be able to discover your business much better and generate traffic that helps your brand grow.

If you have questions and inquiries about voice search and SEO in general, leave a comment below and let’s talk.

How to Optimize for “Near My Area” Search Results was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Best Tools to Monitor Keyword Search Rankings

SEO
For post audio:

Editor’s Note: This post originally published in June 2012 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

The importance of monitoring keyword search rankings is only growing, so more and more people are asking the inevitable question: How do I do it? Because so many people want to monitor keyword search rankings, there are many different tools that have surfaced over the past few years. Although it’s great to have choices, this can be overwhelming for those new to keyword search rankings. Are free tools as great as paid? Are results 100% accurate? Are some tools easier to use than others?

Finding the answers to these questions isn’t too difficult once you really understand what it means to monitor keyword search rankings. For those who are unfamiliar, a keyword ranking tool will help you understand where you are ranking on a SERP for a specific keyword. This will help you see whether or not you are optimizing your pages correctly, how well your competition is ranking for that keyword, and how your rankings change over time.

Although ranking well on a SERP doesn’t necessarily mean conversion or success for your website, your website will improve its visibility and likely generate more clicks. Search Engine Watch reports that according to a study from Optify, 58.4 percent of all clicks from users hold the top three organic positions on a SERP. In other words, monitoring your position and changing your strategy to make sure you end up on page one is crucial.

14  Keyword Search Ranking Monitoring Tools You Should Consider

There are both paid and free tools that can help you monitor your keywords’ position. Depending on how granular you want to go, sometimes the free tools work just as well as the paid tools. Although they may not have quite as many features, they are typically easy to use and can get you the information you need.

Free monitoring tools:

  • Rank Checker by SEOBook – This tool comes from SEOBook and is one of the most popular free tools for keyword monitoring. This is a Firefox extension (and only Firefox) allows you to see your rankings for Yahoo and Bing as well as Google. You can add up to 100 keywords and export them easily in order to really analyze the results.

rank-checker-637x409

  • Web CEO – This tool allows you to compare your results and your competitors results side by side. It makes it easy to see your history of rankings and how they have changed over time once you setup the tool.

webceo

Paid Monitoring Tools:

For the companies with a little bit of room in the SEO budget, paying for a tool to help monitor your keyword rankings is one option. Paid tool generally have more advanced features and customer service should you have any questions. Below is an example of a few paid tools:

  • Get Stat – With Get Stat, you can access unlimited daily rank tracking. According to their site, you can track as many keywords as you want–every day. And, you only pay for what you need. As a result, you can stay on top of Google’s algorithm changes instead of playing endless defense. What’s more is you can also track images, plus search volumes, CPC, news, and maps.

There is no additional cost if you want to track through both Google and Bing. In addition, you get the option of custom tagging so that you can view your keywords in a way that makes the most sense to you. There is even an option for smart, dynamic tags.

The insights you receive from massive rank tracking is a lot different from smaller tracking analytics. Even if you only want to track 200 search terms, that number could easily explode when you consider different markets, devices, and locations. For instance, with their new SERP features tab, you can get insights on every aspect of your tracking results. Furthermore, there is new data daily.

  • SERPS – With this tool, you can track thousands of keywords every day regardless of device, language, search engine, and location. You’ll also get results up to the 250th position. If you’re trying to boost your local presence, you can get rankings at the zip-code or city level.

It works for both Google and Yahoo rankings with more than 400 country and language combinations. And, you get unlimited domains and users. With daily data, you can see when there are any major changes to your rankings. SERPS also has a keyword research database of over 1 billion terms. Not to mention, you can organize your keyword with their keyword tagging system.

And, you can generate bulk reports for up to 250 keywords each. You’ll also notice the user-friendly and straightforward dashboards that make it easy to find what you need quickly.

  • SEMrush – This application states it is the “all-in-one marketing toolkit.” When it comes to monitoring your search rankings, it looks at more than just on-page SEO. For instance, you get features such as position tracking, a technical SEO audit, competitive intelligence and even a backlink audit. SEMrush is also available for Enterprise clients with team-based projects and customized reporting.

Many users like SEMrush because it has an option to execute competitor research. To illustrate, you can take a look at your competitor’s top keywords. You can also view the top 20 pages ranking for specified keywords. And, you can look at both organic and paid keywords. Furthermore, SEMrush will display a side-by-side comparison of up to five domains.

You can see what keywords are similar, as well as how other domains rank for both paid and organic searches. Not to mention, SEMrush has a keyword difficulty tool that shows how difficult it would be for your website to rank for that keyword. Moreover, you can see which products are selling the best for your competitors. With these types of insights, your site can become profitable rather quickly.

  • Moz Pro – Many companies invest heavily in powerful SEO tools, that make it difficult for the novice to compete. Sure, you can implement SEO without spending any money – but, there is a question whether the payoff is worth the time. This is where Moz Pro can come in to alleviate any doubt and automate tasks that would normally take hours to complete.

Moz Pro makes SEO simple by helping you to understand your visitors. With the Moz Pro keyword explorer, you get an overview of keyword research metrics to help you make better decisions overall. You can also track both your rankings and the rankings of your competitors. As a result, you have an insider’s view of how your site ranks for keywords relative to that of your competition.

Under one hub, you get keyword research, link-building opportunities, competitor comparisons, on-page grader, crawl test, and mention alerts. Imagine trying to perform all those tasks manually. And, Moz Pro offers a 30-day free trial to get you started.

  • Ahrefs – When it comes to SEO, you must take it further than just building links and incorporating a few keywords. Ahrefs Rank Tracker offers the ability to check your rankings from any location and device. Not only does it check for backlinks, but you are also privy to competitor research.

You can also search for both your desktop and mobile rankings, side by side. Ahrefs also plots your keywords so that you get a complete history of every position. If you’re busy, Ahrefs sends email reports to keep you up to date, you don’t even have to open the interface.

With dozens of features, Ahrefs is one of the most popular SEO research tools available. Some of the options include Mentions Tracker, Domain Comparison, SEO Reports, Backlink Checker, and Site Explorer. In fact, Ahrefs crawls 6 billion web pages every day. And, you will get notifications of web mentions, new or lost backlinks, and updated keyword rankings.

  • SE Ranking – This is a cloud-based SEO application that will improve your SEO efforts immediately. If you have any doubts, SE Ranking does offer a free trial. SE Ranking offers 100% accurate keyword ranking checkers from Bing, YouTube, Google, and Yahoo. As you can see, there are a wide variety of sites and search engines where you can receive keyword rankings.

You can also track rankings in all locations, and all any device. If you need to verify the data, SE Ranking will provide a cached copy. In addition to rankings, you can track search volume, relative traffic, paid rankings, and SERP features. Furthermore, you can track up to five of your top competitors. Moreover, SE Ranking has a flexible pricing model that starts at $4.20/month.

  • SerpBook – Like SE Ranking, SerpBook offers tracking capabilities from Yahoo, Bing, Google, and YouTube–along with one more: Google Maps. If you would like to give it a test run, SerpBook offers a 14-day free trial too. In a matter of minutes, you can convert the data into sharable reports. You can also customize your reports by adding your logo and export them in PDF or CSV format.

It also only takes minutes to configure your keywords. You can track from anywhere, and track globally or locally. If any of your keywords enters/leaves the 1/10/100 position, you’ll get an instant alert. Not to mention, you can grant user access to anyone for specific categories.

  • Agency Analytics – This platform is designed exclusively for agencies. Nonetheless, that should stop anyone from testing out its features–especially with plans that start at $49 per month. This platform is so powerful, it is already utilized by over 2,000 marketing agencies–that should give it enough in terms of credentials. Features include automated reports, brandable reports, and a custom dashboard with drag-and-drop utility.

You can also integrate the platform with over 30 sites include Google AdWords, Instagram, Facebook, Google Analytics, Bing ads, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube. Agency Analytics also provides critical SEO tools such as a Rank Tracker, Backlink Monitor, Site Auditor, and Competition Analyzer. You just plug it in and forget it.

  • Rank Tracker – What makes Rank Tracker so great is the ability to track all your keywords instantly across all search engines and then have it automatically go into a clear, concise report. This tool also allows you to compare your rankings with competitors on just about every different search engine.

check-rankings

  • SEO Ranking Monitor – This tool also allows you to choose which search engine you want to track (including Google local versions) as well as upload keywords to track in bulk. You can compare your rankings with the rankings of your competitors, and the tool will even generate graphs for you to help make the numbers easier to read. For the basic package, it’s only $19 per month.

seorankmonitor

 

  • RankTrackerThis tool offers keyword ranking tracking throughout multiple search engines and web sites. RankTracker was first launched in 2012. Today, the platform boasts over 13,000 companies as clients. If you need to make quick changes, you can since RankTracker provides on-demand updates on your keyword positions. All you have to do is click the “refresh” button.

As a result, you can easily determine how to outrank your competition. Plus, you can tailor your keywords to different languages and locations. RankTracker offers multilingual tracking. For example, you can use RankTracker to help create a language-specific SEO campaign. Still, it can also be used for local tracking to help grow your local presence.  

  • Data for SEO – This tool offers SEO data through API tailored for agencies and software companies. For instance, you can get SERP API, keywords finder API, keywords data API, and Competitor API. To go a bit further, their OnPage API displays detailed on-page data.

All you need to do is to pull up a website domain; Data for SEO will start scanning right away. You can even view API usage in real time. Then, you can filter the results or even get data on bad meta tags and duplicate pages. In terms of cost, one scanned page is charged at .25 credits.

Final Thoughts

Knowing where you fall when it comes to certain keywords will help you understand how your strategy needs to change (or remain the same). Although your position on a SERP doesn’t necessarily mean that you will gain any more clients or customers, it is the first step. Ranking well on a SERP gives your company the chance to show off what you know, and the rest is up to you.

Best Tools to Monitor Keyword Search Rankings was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

SEO Hacker’s Guest Blogging Guide for 2018

SEO Hacker's Guest Blogging Guide for 2018

Guest blogging is one of the fundamentals of an effective content marketing and link building strategy. If you have a website that is looking to get more traffic, starting out by guest blogging is usually one of the best ways to go. This helps expand your online presence, promote useful content, and establish quality and authoritative links.

The practice of guest blogging has become standard for various websites all over the internet, and with 2018 being a year that will bring in more changes to how we all do search and SEO, there are some new techniques and strategies that will help you get ready for the year.

The main goal of guest blogging will always be helping a website gain traffic through quality content, and while this objective has remained the same for quite a time, here is a handy guide that will help your content become relevant and visible in 2018.

Quality above all

A guest post brings in a good amount of traffic, but only when the content is something that is relevant, useful, and has good quality. With the abundance of choice in the internet, users want to make sure that they are getting the most out of what they are accessing on a regular basis. Guest blogs won’t bring in traffic unless people click and read them, so ensure that your content is something worth reading from start to finish.

Our blog management teams are in charge of our content marketing, and they ensure that the articles that they send in are of top quality, and beneficial for our client’s readers. We ensure this using top grammar checking software like Grammarly and using keyword and content research tools like Ahrefs to look for the best content ideas.

There are many elements when it comes to writing quality content, and combining these elements is guaranteed to help you craft a guest blog worth sharing and reading. Here are some of them:

Doing your homework: Informative articles are some of the most abundant types of articles around, and users will always want to read content about something that the author has substantial knowledge on. Doing some background research on what you will be writing about will help make sure that you have accurate and reputable information worth taking a look.

Interview

Make use of interviews: Interviews are the best way to pick someone’s brain on certain topics and bring valuable insights that you will not be able to get elsewhere. Thanks to the internet and social media, conducting interviews can now be done online, and finding them is usually just a few clicks and keyboard taps away.

Create an identity: One reason why a lot of users go back to articles from the same website or author is that of their distinct writing style. Having a unique or accessible writing style helps bring in familiarity to readers and adds more personality to your posts. Having character adds more color and dimension and makes things much more interesting.

Choose your words wisely: First impressions count a lot, and if the user is greeted by an uninspiring topic title, the chances of getting a good amount of traffic lessen even more. Using actions words and strong statements help get to the point and make help increase interest and pique the curiosity of a lot of readers. Asking a question in your title also helps bring the same effect, and adds a sense of wonder that makes them click.

Google Assistant

Experiment and explore: With so many articles scattered across the internet, you can expect that a lot of the topics that you are thinking of have already been written in one form or another. With that in mind, a great way to find topics, or make your own twist on a familiar topic is to explore different sources and write a topic in a way that it may not have been written before. You can also use different tools, practices, and applications to help you learn more. For example, when I wrote about the potential of Google Assistant to be the most intelligent AI assistant, I tinkered around Google Assistant myself to gain a better idea of what it can do.

The Right Pitch

After finishing a guest post, the next challenge is to be able to pitch it to a website of your choice. Doing a pitch may seem difficult at first, especially when a blog that you have been writing about has been rejected, but these experiences help you learn and refine your process to a point that it will come off as second-nature.

The most important thing to know when doing your pitch is to learn about the site or person that you are pitching to. Doing some background research on the website that you want your post to appear on helps you know if your topic fits their interests, and helps you get to know about the people behind it as well.

Link Responsibly

With guest blogging being an important part of link building, it is best to ensure that people click on them. This means placement and the amount of links are key. Most websites provide an allowance to at least one dofollow link to your website, along with the request that they provide a guest post of their own in return.

When it comes to link placement, having an anchor text that piques interest and curiosity is the best way to go. This might be simple for certain links, but it can take a while to find that anchor text that can make people click.

More Sources

We have written about content marketing and guest blogging before, and it is worth taking a look again to help expand your knowledge on how to create quality blogs. Here are some of them:

Good Content Marketing Means Avoiding These Types of Content – This is a guide that helps you know what types of content you should avoid when writing your guest blogs.

SEO Hacker’s Content Strategy for SEO – This article discusses some of our best practices and techniques when it comes to crafting and distributing content.

Why Content Is King and How It Can Benefit SEO – This is a handy guide to how to write SEO-friendly articles, and why content is still king in the SEO world.

Key Takeaway

Guest blogging remains as an SEO fundamental. While there have been many changes and Google updates that have changed the way we do SEO, this simple yet effective practice still generates a great amount of traffic when done right.

If you have any questions and inquiries about guest blogging and SEO in general, leave a comment below and let’s talk.

SEO Hacker’s Guest Blogging Guide for 2018 was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing