Social Media Signals And SEO Success

It has been debated for quite a while now whether SEO and Social Media have any relationship to one another.

Matt Cutts has specifically said that social signals are not currently part of the Google Algorithm. But is that really true?

I mean let’s think about it.

Social media is playing an ever increasing role in terms of blog post engagement and really has a lot to say about the quality of a post.

Sure, social signals can be gamed a little more easily than a link, but surely they deserve to be used as a metric like any other. Even the more difficult to measure ones like bounce rate or quality.

Social Media is Popular with Businesses

One big argument for using social signals in SEO in my mind is that businesses are now, more than ever, take social media very seriously.

Businesses big and small are participating in social media of all kinds, from Facebok to Instagram and incorporating it into their processes and internal departments. Sometimes not very deeply, perhaps only in the marketing department. Other times it goes across the board, even to customer service. Something that Twitter excels at.

When it becomes more built-in, companies like Coca Cola and Starbucks are using social media more and more creatively, with the TwTweet a Coffee campaign from Starbucks sticking in my mind as one of the more memorable ones. This was an ingenious way to get user retention by allowing friends to gift other friends a coffee. Talk about a viral effect.

So when social media becomes this mainstream, you know that Google has to take a long hard look at what affect it is having on SEO>

Google Plus Is Important

Another important element in this very complex equation is Google’s own participation in the social media game. They have had Google Plus on the go now for a number of years, and it is certainly gaining traction with over 300 million active Google Plus users currently registered.

Google has not stopped there of course. Like with all their other tools, they have incorporated Google plus into search results and until not too long ago, they were even making the blog post author more prominent by displaying a photo. This was more recently removed, but the image still remains (for now) on Google Plus posts that are listed in search results.

So with Google always favoring their own properties over others (there are always Youtube videos in most search results on page one) then you have to think that Google is also taking Google Plus and people’s interaction and engagement on that platform seriously. Even in terms of SEO.

There were a few hiccups lately when the boss of the Google Plus team left (or was pushed?), but for now it is still a social media platform to be reckoned with.

Conclusion

Google claims that social signals are not part of SEO, but logically we all know they must have some influence on the results. It is just a question of to what degree and how exactly this is done.

But the moral of the story is that you should always take Social Media seriously for engagement, post promotion and SEO reasons.

Video Can Improve Your SEO

video-seoOne of the most mysterious things about SEO to some people is that video can improve your SEO in amazing ways.

I know many people do not believe me when I talk about this, so in this blog post I am going to explain to you the many ways that video can help your website’s SEO or help you rank in Google in general.

Videos and SEO

Just by producing a video for your website you can improve the SEO enormously. Sounds crazy I know.

In fact, if you need some video marketing ideas check out this post with some great tips for your next video production.

But here is the thing. Google likes to display videos in the top ten of many search results, so why not have that video be yours.

You just need to produce a compelling video and do the standard on page SEO you would for any video and you can rank on Google in no time.

The video you produce and the keywords that you target are obviously an important factor, because you cannot rank for very competitive words just because you have a video. But it certainly can help.

YouTube Videos and SEO

As you might be aware, Google owns Youtube. In fact it was one of the biggest and most successful purchases they have made in their history, after conquering online advertising.

Another important thing you might be aware of as well is that Youtube is one of the world’s biggest search engine. And we are not talking about discovering videos on Google, but Youtube’s private search.

So by having your videos on Youtube you can get people to your website by getting found on Youtube’s search.

But what is also interesting is that quite often, Google will not only feature video in the top 10 of their search results, but they will prefer to feature videos hosted on Youtube.

After all, they own Youtube as we just discussed. So it kinda makes sense to have a link between their different divisions.

How can you leverage this fact?

Start hosting some of your videos on Youtube. Even if you are having trouble competing for s specific keyword in Google, if you can instead get a youtube video to rank highly (hopefully number one) then perhaps you can get it into the top ten search results as well. Just because it is on Youtube. Fantastic right?

Other SEO Factors

Google is also favoring interactive websites with a lot of visuals today because they hold people’s attention.

So it also pays to have not only amazing visuals (graphics, images etc) but also video. As often as you can in your blog posts, or product pages. Put a video in there, and Google will look favorably on you. Trust me, It is worth a shot.

Summary

So now you know the many ways that SEO is affected by Video. Creating your own video, having a video on your blog post or hosting a video on Youtube are all options that can help you improve your rankings and SEO in general.

So why not get started with video today and see what a difference it can make to your website’s SEO.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to add them in the comments below or of course get in touch via our contact page.

LeadPages and SEO – Does it Work?

When you are trying to increase conversions on your website, one of the tools you might try using is conversion rate optimization.

You could add some opt-in forms to your homepage and blog posts, or you could create some specific landing pages to capture leads.

One of the best tools for this kind of things is LeadPages.

By the way, if you need to learn more about this tool, here is a great LeadPages review that provides lots of great information, pricing and tips.

How Can Landing Pages Work With SEO

LeadPages SEO and landing pages

The first decision you need to make is whether or not you even want your landing pages indexed.

If you are driving traffic directly from advertising campaigns like Facebook, Twitter or Google Adwords, then this might not be a great idea.

The content on the lead pages might not be worthy of indexing if you are only capturing email addressed.

On the other hand, if you are using such tools as LeadPages to create sales pages or other useful content, then SEO might be worth considering.

Luckily great tools like this have seriously considered this in their creation, and are fully SEO compliant.

They have the fields you need to fill in to do perfect SEO, so that is not concern at all.

Of course, if you are using WordPress and including your lead pages that way, you can always use the standard WordPress plugins like Yoast or All in one.

So then you would obviously have no SEO related problems.

Creating a new Website with Leadpages or Launch Pages

Leadpages Launch Page

If you are just starting out and have not yet created a complete website or found a place to host it, a tool like LeadPages can also save the day.

You can create coming soon landing pages and also get those indexed with Google too. Great for SEO, even if you don’t have a website yet.

Of course, you need to purchase your domain name from somewhere like NameCheap or GoDaddy, so that you are not using the generated subdomain that LeadPages provides:

youraccount.leadpages.net

This would obviously not help your SEO and getting started. So please at the very least, go out and get your own domain name, even if you are not ready for the investment or hosting of website.

In the future, once you have the time and money, you can then go out and develop your website, and your domain will already be available in Google and starting to earn some SEO.

Working with External Tools for Websites

So in general when we are talking about on page SEO you need to be careful what exactly you have control over when you are using external tools like these.

But if you go with a well developed tool and a professional company that understands the importance of SEO elements within the site and pages, then you should have no problems at all.

Making sure that this is the case though is something that only you can do. Once you have paid for the tool, and perhaps used it extensively, it will be too late to roll everything back without losing something.

Off Page SEO Factors

The second major part of any SEO campaign that you undertake as a website owner is off page SEO.

Unlike on page seo, off page is mostly outside of your control.

Why?

Because you are looking to get links to your site from other powerful sites, that you normally do not own. There are exceptions of course, but most of the time you have little chance to influence this part of the process.

Easy Places to Get Links

Of course there are some websites where you do have a chance to get some links and below I will give you a few ideas to start with.

Social Media Websites

social media channelsThe first and probably most common place is Social Media websites.

For any serious website that you are going to develop, you will also create accounts on related social media websites. For example:

And in many of these cases, if you are also running a business, you can create a specific page on these websites as well. This will further help to strengthen your links from these sites. Especially with Google, because they control the search results in most cases, of course.

Blog Commenting

In most cases the links from these sites will be nofollow (which means that the owner is not passing any of their site’s power to you via a link) but still it is worth getting some bog comment links in your portfolio.

So when you create a new website, I recommend heading out and finding authority websites in your niche and where possible (when they allow website links) add a comment and receive a link to your site in exchange.

This is a heavily spammed technique, so the opportunities are not what they used to be and Google does not encourage them like they used to, but it is still worth having a go.

Web Directories

Another place where you can apply to get a link without knowing the website owner or influencing them in any way is on website directories.

You can look for sites like blog directories or if you have a local business, business directories in your country or area.

These are again places that do not have the power of specific links to your site, but they are worth having a few of in the beginning and give your site a kind of respect from Google.

Direct Links – the Most Powerful

This is what you are really looking for. Direct, in context, keyword relevant anchor text links to your website. However, they are actually quite rare.

Firstly you need to be known and trusted by the person creating the content and the link. Also you need to normally have a name for yourself or at least respected content that someone wants to link to. Both things take quite a look of time to establish but that is in many ways why they are the most difficult and yet powerful types of links. Google also gives them the most influence in the rankings.

Infographics

One currently very popular way to get these types of links is to create great media like infographics or videos that are on your website.

It does of course take a lot of effort to create these types of media, so again they are rarely used.

But if you want to get a jump start on the competition, then this is a great way to do it.

You could pay someone on Fiverr some money (probably $5) to do a graphic for you, or you could do it yourself if you are good with programs like Photoshop and Illustrator.

But there is another way. There are some easy to use programs on the web that can help you make Infographics without much skill.

One such program is Canva. Canva is a great way in general to create graphics for your blog, especially if you want to include other graphics in that image. THey have a vast library of elements and images you can access to help you along too.

Another option, is a very specific tool for infographics. There are many of them around such as:

  • Picktogram
  • Infogram
  • Visually

And a lot more if you look on Google.

So you really don’t have a reason for not trying this technique.

Summary

Link Building or Off Page SEO is the most difficult part of SEO, but it does not have to be.

You can get some links from places that you would not expect or did not think about.

So head out and try some and see if you can rank you pages as a result

Importance Of Web Design in SEO

Not everyone understands what an influence web design has on SEO.

In fact they are so strongly coupled together that I wanted to go over them in detail in this post.

I have also consulted with a few companies to get this information including Web Design Zürich.

But back to the point, let’s break down all the elements of web design that have an affect on SEO.

Page Load Speed

page load speeds - faster than a bulletGoogle favours sites that are fast.

Why? Because customers will not wait for websites to load, so Google will not put sites at the top of their search results that take a long time to load.

So when you are optimising your webste, you need to seriously think about website load speed for your SEO. But when you think about it, you are also making your future customers happy too, when they finally land on your website.

There are a number of tools that you can use to test how well your site is doing, but here are a few to get you started:

So take a look at these tools and see how your site goes. I would aim for a load speed of under 4 seconds, 2 is perfect, and then move on to the next problem.

Website Navigation

It is also extremely important that your users can find all of your content, even your older blog posts. And Google likes this as well.

So one of the things that you want to be doing is displaying your older content in as many different places as makes sense.

You might want to create navigation that highlights your best categories or content. Or you might want to display this information in the sidebar in related or recent posts. Showing the categories is also another option.

Graphics and Images

Another thing that customers and Google love is including images in all of your content.

The world has moved into a visual phase, and you have to move with them.

So make sure that you include images in all of your blog posts (2 or 3 if they are longer and it makes sense(. Make sure these images are as unique as possible too. It is not always easy, but with so many duplicates used form stock imagery, Google is happier if you use your own.

Another great thing about images is that Google handles them in a separate search. So if you tag your images correctly (alt, title and image name) they will also rank them in image search and you could also be found there too

Videos on Site

Video can also be very useful and help you rank well. But images alone can be enough. Try both though.

The reason that video is so great is that Google owns Youtube. So they favor the use of Youtube videos. Whether you create one on your account or use another one in your blog posts.

Either way, video is helpful in your web design in some fashion or another.

Remember, the video does not have to be a documentary, but just a few minutes long and it is enough.

You can even use animation services like Animoto to do the work for you. But if you have enough skill and a good camera, it is preferable to make your own videos.

Summary

So when you are thinking about your website and SEO, you have to take the big picture into account at all times. This means designing and thinking about your site with both in mind, and not just how sexy your design is.

On Page SEO Ideas

on page seo

One of the first things you need to be careful to take care of when you are creating a website, and ranking for SERPS, is on page or on site SEO.

The great thing about such a technique, is that unlike other types of SEO, you have complete control over it because it is all on your own site.

The Fundamentals of On Page SEO

There are quite a few things you can do on your website to improve your on page SEO.

If you are using something like WordPress, this can be a lot easier because there are plugins like WordPress SEO from Yoast.

However, if you are not using WordPress you will have to enter these values in the correct SEO places by hand.

The Title Tag

On every page or post one of the most important elements is the title tag.

This tells the reader and Google what the page is about and usually appears at the top of the page when it is displayed.

You should have keywords within the title and they should preferably be at or towards the front of the title.

Do not over-optimize the title, but be sure to include you keyword phrase once.

The URL

This is another area where you have a lot of control when you create a page or post.

The URL should not be too long or complex but should also contain the keyword phrase you are targeting towards the front.

I would recommend only using about 5 word maximum. This is not a set rule but will help improve your site in general.

Headings (h2, h3 etc)

You should also be sure to use at least one or two of these elements in your page and if you can also use the keywords within them.

Again, it pays to also write for your reader, because this is what Google is focused on at this time, but having your keywords in your content 1-3% of the time is ideal.

So try to get some headings in your content, also to break it up and organize it better.

General Content

As mentioned above, your content should be well organized and contain headings and sub-headings for easier reading.

People like to scan rather than read in this day and age.

But what is also important is to break your content up with images and also have some bullet points (and possibly bold and underline text) within your content.

Again, the keywords should be throughout your text, but ideally in the first paragraph and potentially at the end.

And not more than 1-3% of the time in the text in general.

Categories and Tags

I recommend that you keep your content well categorized into the main areas you wish to cover in your website.

Then when you write some blog posts you should allocated 1.2 categories to this content so that it can be found and is also indexed by Google.

Tags can be used more liberally, but do not go overboard. I think 10 is a maximum you should use. I usually use a lot less.

Interlinking

To help your content pass on link juice and be indexed more efficiently you should always be interlinking your content on your site.

So if you are writing something that is talking about a topic you have written before, find a way to reference that older material within the new content.

Not only does this help Google and search rankings, but also your reader to find some of your older and more relevant content.

Final Words on On Page SEO

As you can see there are lots of things you can and should be doing on your site to improve your SEO.

And most if not all of this should before before you run off and chase links to your site.

I hope you found this information useful, and will start using it soon.

 

This image is courtesy of Backlinko.com

on-page-seo

The Most Effective SEO in 2014

In this post I am going to tell you about the most effective techniques for SEO in 2014

SEO in 2014 has turned into something completely different to what SEO was back in past years.

If you have been in SEO for a while you will know that it is SEO is constantly changing. In fact, some say that it is changing rapidly due to such factors as Google algorithm changes, which are rolled out sometimes on a weekly basis.

So if you’re looking to get high search results for your website and its pages, you really need to stay updated on the latest SEO techniques.

With that being said, this article will look into the top SEO techniques any webmaster can use for their website.

Black Hat is Out

black hat seoSEO in 2014 is a lot different than before. Many people used to use lots of black hat techniques in order to rank their pages.

Such black hat techniques as:

  • large link spamming
  • keyword stuffing
  • blog comment spamming
  • guest post spamming

do not work at all now. Even worse, using practices such as link spamming will often get your website penalized and even sandboxed by Google. This means they will rank you lower, or even de-index you. Something you definitely don’t want.

Thus, it is important to stay away from such black hat techniques if you want to make sure that your website stays safe for years to come.

Private Blog Networks Are In

One of the top SEO techniques right now is to build your own private blog network, or to hire someone else’s private blog network services. By using a private blog network, you allow yourself to get the largest amount of link juice from your personally owned websites. It’s known that Google likes website links from inside an article far more than any other type of link.

Building a private blog network is actually a very long and pain staking process. You will have to get a lot of expired domains with good PR and PA and then turn them into legitimate websites. Once you have got the websites up and running you need to update the website with articles that contain links back to your money site, making sure the anchor text contains a variation of the keyword you’re trying to rank for. Although it is a long process, private blog networks are by far one of the best techniques to use for SEO in 2014.

Blog Commenting Still Works

Another great technique any webmaster can use to rank their website is by using blog commenting. I am not talking about automated blog commenting, as that kind of thing will definitely hurt your website rankings.

What I am really talking about  is blog commenting manually on very relevant websites in your particular niche.

It’s also important to establish a personal connection with many of your competitors and or peers. Because these connections with pay off in the long run when they start linking to you because they know and trust what you blog about.

I have manually commented on many of my competitors websites with lots of positive and helpful messages. Sooner or later the webmaster of these bloggers became friendly towards me and even started linking back to my site.

So the positive result: I also got the link juice from a relevant blog comment, I also got a link from a competitor in my niche.

This is a top overlooked technique for SEO, and I highly recommend anyone to do this.

Relevant Directories are Still Ok

 
Something else small business or local business should still be doing is putting entries in relevant directories for their business.

Google sees this as a common and worthwhile thing to be doing.

However, do not over do this technique, because like anything SEO related, you will get slapped and lose rankings.

Be Careful Out There

These are only a few the tops highly relevant SEO techniques you can use for SEO in 2014.

Make sure that you always stay up to date on Google algorithm changes and act accordingly so you don’t get penalized and continue to make money from your website!

SEO Techniques For Your Blog

Google and SEO

There is a lot of misinformation out there regarding the best techniques you can use to rank your page highly on the Google SERPS.

Rest assured I have tried and tested all of them, and have figured out what SEO techniques truly work in boosting your blogs ranking.

Many people seem to be making the mistake of using SEO techniques that were used back in 2008 for today.

This is a really bad move as SEO techniques used in 2008 will often result in your page getting penalized, not boosted.

As such, I’ve created this article to inform you on the best SEO techniques you can use ñ that actually works!

Youtube Will Rank You Well

First of all, many people don’t realize how pivotal YouTube can be for boosting your sites Google rankings.

If you haven’t heard already, Google owns YouTube. And it is a known fact that having even one YouTube video in an article or on your site will boost your rankings significantly.

So if you create a YouTube channel dedicated to your website and fill it with great content, you will see a huge increase in rankings and organic traffic that comes with it.

Yes, it’s a lot of effort; however the effort you put in will allow you to get greatly rewarded with a rise in rankings. One that most people could never imagine.

Here are some specific tips that you might want to try:

Private Blog Networks

Another technique which is known to be one of the best in terms of boosting rankings is using a private blog network. Using PBNs is known to allow you to essentially manage your links with a few clicks.

What you do in a PBN is create a bunch of websites and link the articles that they contain to your money site (which is your most important site).

Doing solely this will allow you to get a very nice boost in rankings, however there is even more you can do. So please read on…

If you’re looking to really use the PBN route, you need to go and buy relevant expired domains for your niche.

This means you will have to buy an expired domain which is relevant to your niche and also has a high page rank and domain authority.

Buying such a domain will definitely set you back up to $100 or more, however building a site on these expired domains means that you are essentially creating a authority site that will be used purely to link to your websites.

Having such a site will greatly improve your rankings in such ways that any other method cannot hope to match.

You Need More Sites To Rank

Having just one site in your PBN however won’t change many things. The key to most SEO techniques is by having sheer numbers.

Thus, the more sites you have in your PBN, the greater the impact you will see in your websites SERPS.

It’s a good rule of thumb that for every 10 sites linking in your PBN you will be able to get one low competition keyword to the front page of Google.

This is a very good deal, especially if you are trying to rank for relatively low competition, high CPC keywords.

These SEO techniques are a few of the best techniques you can use to boost your blogs Google rankings.

Feel free to use these techniques as much as you want, and please report back if they help you reach page one of Google!