seo whiteboard

Little Used On Page Optimization Tactics

Least Known On-Page Optimization Techniques

These little used on page optimization tactics can significantly increase your organic traffic when added into your overall grassroots SEO strategy.

1. Readability level

Readability level is a measure of how easy or hard it is to read a webpage. Internet users range from young primary school pupils to retired and elderly people. If your webpage language resembles that of a legal document, how many users would read and understand it? Many would have to sit with a dictionary and still have doubts. Therefore as you write, consider the readability level of your articles and make sure that they are easy to read and understand. Note that Google arranges search results according to reading level scores among other factors. Use a reliable tool to weed out spelling, punctuation, vocabulary and grammatical errors.

2. Embed content related videos

The human mind can remember visual information more easily than text. Videos increase the average time that users spend on a webpage. Consider if you embed a 2-minute video in your article. Some users will watch that video and also spend time to read the article. This means that the average time spent by a user on that particular webpage is increased. The good thing about sites on which visitors spend more time is that Google gives them a lot of importance. So before you publish an article, check for interesting videos on popular video sites like YouTube. You should only embed videos that are directly related to your content.

3. Reader comments and reviews

Readers will leave comments on a website if they found it helpful. Comments are important in helping Google to understand the context of a website. Thus go through the comments, look for and approve those that contain your target keywords. Comments that contain one or two keywords are very valuable because they add up to the content of the article. This will consequently increase the organic traffic to your site.

4. Internal linking structure

Internal site linking or sidebar linking involves adding a link to a webpage from the sidebar. Creating a sidebar link that points to an internal article is a form of interlinking that is fully supported by Google. A site wide link is such a valuable interlink because it has the potential of drawing traffic from all the other webpages of a website. Thus you should have an increase in organic traffic of the webpage that the sidebar link points to.

On Page Optimization Beyond The Basics

Using the above on-page optimization techniques will go a long way in helping you capture more organic traffic from your competitors.

Mobile Optimization – Location Factors

Mobile optimization: Location Variables That Influence Mobile SEO

Mobile optimization location variables are one set of factors that make the mobile experience different. The vast majority of searches performed on mobile devices are task completion driven or location specific; and Bing, Yahoo and Google continue to refine their mobile search results to generate a more positive mobile experience that accounts for this time sensitive search behavior. Understanding that these mobile queries have constraints from device screen size, OS platforms, predictive search, and the browser search bar limits, it’s not a bad idea at all to make results more readily accessible to your mobile audience.

Some of the top performing searches on mobile include the phrase “near me” such as; “restaurants near me,” “pizza near me,” “auto repair near me,” and “lawyer near me.” Google has even recently suggested including “near me” in active Adwords campaigns with a click to call extension because these types of mobile searches deliver excellent ROI. Learn more here

Important Mobile Optimization Variables

mobile-seo-tacticsMobile users are driven to task resolution as quickly as possible, and speedy results leave less time for a deeper dive into browser results. This means second page results suffer and are rarely viewed. The enhancements to mobile predictive search functionality as mentioned above, strive to deliver quick accurate results using *location* and *category* biased search parameters in the algorithm. These mobile location variables are only one way that mobile search differs from desktop search. Account for these variables in your mobile SEO.

Screen Size Drives Design Layouts

Mobile devices have smaller screen sizes than their desktop counter parts and this directly impacts the size of the browser search bar and the returned search engine results page. The major search engines compensate for these challenges by altering the results page layouts into new location-based and category-based designs. This criteria bolsters the need to correctly deploy micro-formatting to all location content and whenever possible to category content as well. Learn to use micro-formatted content to your advantage and represent your brand in the best light possible to your mobile customers and clients. Embrace and use structured data to push your site up the mobile ranks.

The Many vs The Few

Yet another unique mobile seo variable includes the mobile browsers themselves. Laptop browsers have standardized themselves over time and consolidated into a few major platforms like Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome and Firefox. Mobile search browsers are numerous, and they remain a “Wild West” of offerings, with multiple features and options with little standardization. Add in the many apps that incorporate “in-app” search functions, and it becomes clear that new search parameters are needed to provide the best search engine results.

Ranking For Mobile SEO
What mobile SEO conversation doesn’t have a reference to rank? Add up mobile browsers, mobile user behavior, predictive search,  results page mobile designed layouts, page speed and location and category algorithm bias, and it becomes evident that mobile page rank is different from desktop / laptop search. These new mobile search dimensions “urgency,” “nearness,” and “category”  are key elements in mobile search relevance.

Awesome mobile optimization begins after “normal” search engine optimization ends. Mobile search engine optimization starts with the assumptions that your site has an established baseline of clean code, architecture that invites craw-ability, search guideline compliant and your content is high quality. Only then can you factor in the mobile variables that take advantage of the current algorithm biases that help your brand be competitive in the mobile space. Continue developing your mobile SEO strategy, with a standards compliant site featuring markup for location and category. All of your mobile users will love you for it!

#mobileoptimization #mobileSEO

social media

SEO Scare Tactics Versus Today’s Reality

Here are 6 SEO myths perpetuated by less than ethical professionals and lazy optimizers that does not fit play well in today’s digital marketing environment. These six SEO scare tactics can hold your business back from potential growth and valuable ROI.

Scare Tactic #1 – SEO Is An Event

SEO is a process, not an event. You cannot just SEO the site, launch it, and think optimization is done. With constant changes that evolve the digital landscape, being stuck in the past is dangerous and downright foolish. Many business do not keep up with the changes either in thoughts or actions, and do not embrace the change as an opportunity to be better than competitors. These businesses create systems and process that strongly cling to what use to work, a last grasp at the past. Looking forward to the future is not done by looking backwards. Effective SEO demands forward thinking and flexibility to engage with new ways of doing optimization. This does not mean that your business can skip the fundamentals of search engine optimization, rather it assumes that the SEO basics are in place as a solid foundation to build on. If your business is simply doubling-down with commitment to last years tactics, then you are exposing yourself to many missed opportunities that best in class SEO offers.

Scare Tactic #2 – Focus Only On Keywords To Win Business

The singular obsession with keyword phrases is too granular.  Old SEO goals focused on rankings for keywords; not only getting the phrase ranked, but keeping it at all costs. That thought encouraged all efforts to get the top spot on page one as the priority, no matter how it was done. This old SEO mentality of the past, would drive focus on one principle keyword or keyword phrase. The SEO practitioner researched a targeted keyword where they wanted to rank, and then focused on that keyword only. This singular approach exposes those types of tactics to the whims of algorithm changes and is extremely reactive SEO.

  • Keyword density is important – keyword density makes content unreadable. There’s a reason SEO’s laugh at this joke; “An SEO walks into a bar, bars, saloon, whiskey bar, pub,  and orders a drink, beer, shot, liquor, wine…”. Natural semantic phrases used in search work better in moderation.
  • Abundant redundant keywords – usually found in links, footer, page titles, anchor text, alt text, are aggressive over-optimization and once again reads and looks like spam. Avoid doing this.

This is no longer the world of effective SEO. Exceptional digital markers look beyond the keyword and into the mind of the people that are doing searches. Today’s SEO is about user intent and user engagement with the brand. Focusing on intent highlights the need to optimize for semantic phrases and long tail searches. Semantic SEO is all about understanding what the person is actually trying to accomplish with their search and how best to present your brand for that intent. Alignment of the brand and how people engage with the brand is the new focus. How your brand is viewed is the improvement that will drive organic success and ultimately more business results.

Scare Tactic # 3 – Rank As a Success Metric

bad seo strategySending this little red flag up the flagpole opens all kinds of doors.  When that long list of unsolicited keywords that your business does not rank for suddenly becomes important, it’s time to just stop. What’s the economic benefit of these terms when most have zero relevance to user intent?  Then in the next business discussion with that client, they hand you a 20 page ranking report tracking hundreds of utterly useless keyphrases?  Been there too? Then ask this question, “How are your analytics? What’s the correlation between the ranking report and your actual business results?”  Even though your business may rank for hundreds of terms, the key phrases from an unwanted solicitation become the focus and urgently require immediate action. Rarely does this fear tactic ever benefit your business. If your definition means SEO is chasing rankings, then note that SEO style is dead. Omni-channel marketing is the here and now in the current marketing environment.  Brand marketing across multiple channels offers the best chance for success.

Rankings are dangerous because they are assumptive:

  • Assumption #1- the ranked key phrase has an audience that’s relevant to my business
  • Assumption #2 – the ranked term is aligned with searcher intent
  • Assumption #2 – the searcher will actually click on the search results to my website
  • Assumption #2 – the keyword is aligned with my landing page
  • Assumption #2 – the entire engagement listed above will result in a conversion to a client or sale

These ranking reports are easy but often manipulate the truth of the business ROI. It’s always a bit awesome to for a client to say “We’re #1 in Google for bounce house injury lawyer in Tupelo, MS!” or “We’re the top of page one for Red Widgets In Wichita!!”

Rank is easy to sell, because it’s easy to understand. It’s even a bit sexy because it appeals to ego and vanity. However it’s the responsibility of professional marketers and savvy business people to move the rank conversation from the old way of thinking into a more meaningful discussion, one that will benefit the business.  Focus on measurable KPI’s for Brand, Audience, Engagement, and Outcomes. These are metrics that when improved, increase contacts, promote sales and drive real money to the bottom line. Don’t fall into the easy trap of taking the path of least resistance, plan an SEO strategy that will target the right keyword phrases that target the relevant audience, at the right time, that presents the business or brand in the best possible light. That it key to long term growth in a new SEO environment.

Scare Tactic #4 – The Sun Rises And Sets On Google

For those businesses that perpetually wear “Google-goggles”, you may not know this, but you have a problem. If you are super excited that so much of your organic traffic comes from Google and you think that means you are “winning”, please think again. It means that with all of your eggs in the Google basket, your business is actually at risk. The next Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, or other animal update can put a serious pinch on your online presence.  Just as smart investors never put all of their money into one single stock to mitigate their risk, smart SEO strategies create diverse traffic mediums with multiple inbound channels.

Progressive SEO strategies look for opportunities to promote your business or brand in many places.  Your plan needs to be as diverse as your audience, to maximize success opportunities.  Omni-channel marketing (always on, always everywhere) is the new normal to get your value proposition to the masses.

Scare Tactic # 5 Content Is King

Guess what? Content is king, but crap content is not. Developing thin, anemic content focused on ranking for a keyword is not only a bad SEO technique that just won’t go away, it can actually do way more harm than good. There was a time that using the right keywords in the correct amount, could lead to improved rankings. Google’s Panda algorithm filters absolutely loves to crush that junk content into oblivion.

The key was simple, content was always supposed to be written for readers first. Many people chose to write content for the search engines first, and human readers second. This type of content is exactly what the search engine algorithms try to minimize. The best content is well written, filled with relevance to the search and delights the targeted audience with a “WOW’ factor that’s very engaging and highly shared.

negative SEO facepalmIt’s time to move away from creating thin content for search engines. Start developing your brand and business by writing your audience. Understand the who and the why and it’s becomes easier to create great content. Writing quality high value content for your audience does not mean it’s mutually exclusive from writing for search engines. Quite the opposite, awesome content is generally shared and can drive meaningful back links. If you are not excited about your content, how will your audience be excited?

How About Some Article Submissions?
Please no. Going hand in hand with low quality content is  generating Article Submissions as link bait. Long past it’s prime, stop doing this right now before Panda seeks you out. Article submissions consisting of thin content might be any easy way to create some quick back links to your domain, but is this really the best use of your marketing efforts? The time and effort to be consistent in article submissions might be better applied elsewhere.

For example, why not try to build some actual relationships by networking within your industry and sharing stories and blog posts that can real value to their website and the online community of your audience? What better way to build quality and authority for your own web properties?

What About Some Press Releases?
Seriously, no. Now for the other thin content tactic to never use again, press releases without real news. Please just stop. As a true method for public relations, blasting your business or name on the newswire on the slim chance to get some links from a legitimate news channel is not a sound practice.  Issuing non-newsworthy Press Releases as a links promotional tool mirrors the waste of time like article submissions.  Again, in a post Panda and Penguin world, this practice puts your business at risk when done incorrectly. How would you like your back link profile to show the submitter as the authority in the anchor cloud instead of your business? This happens more often than you may think. If you do something truly remarkable, newsworthy that adds real value to your community, a press release MAY be in order and MAY be effective to promote your brand. If this is not the case, just keep building relationships with trust over time.

Scare Tactic #6 – SEO Works The Same For Every Site

This is a big one, but clearly not true. SEO is not the same for every site. Content profiles differ, back links differ, anchor clouds differ, code base, site architecture, site design, domain tenure, all of these things differ site to site. Applying sound solid SEO principles will benefit every website, but results will vary greatly. A single SEO magic trick will not be “the silver bullet” to drive results. Search engine optimization is really a series of a thousand little details done well in context to each other that maximizes value and generates performance results.

whitehat SEOSo how do you move forward with a SEO strategy for your business? Start by understanding exactly where you are today. Use your analytics to establish business critical goals and KPIs. Make your KPIs DUMB – doable, understandable, manageable and beneficial. Focus on effective – what are the metrics that actually grow your business and creates positive ROI? Understand that search engine algorithms remain dynamic and in a constant state of refinement. With this awareness refine your focus to only do the right things, the right way, all the time. It’s not always pretty, sexy or fun, but it still works. SEO tactics must support your business goals, either economic or strategic in nature.  SEO strategy success simply comes down to working towards established goals. The goals must align with the actions that make money and have KPIs for each of those actions. Your focused efforts here helps ease concerns about Panda, Penguin or any other algorithm shifts.

Meta Data Optimization For Professional Services Websites

Generally professional legal service websites are heavily Google centric and do not receive much organic search traffic from other search engines like BING or Yahoo. Another KPI, conversion rate of organic traffic, was also lower than expected. Reviewing the top performing attorney websites in several major metro markets in diverse practice areas, from many competitors websites like Justia, iLawyer marketing and SLS marketing, highlighting the use of unique meta data to maximize their organic audience and improve search engine indexation and page relevance to search user queries. The websites that showed up well in SERP’s page with greater visibility and frequency had a common characteristic of unique Meta keywords, unique Meta descriptions and unique title tags.

paid-search-marketingHow Search Engines Use Meta Data

While it is common marketing knowledge that Google does not read meta keywords for use in their algorithm as stated frequently by Matt Cutts from Google, there are 1,00’s of other search engines that do use this information to help establish page relevance and better indexation. Consider these two points about how search engines use Meta data.

  • While Google may not read Meta data, why do they stress it in their webmaster tool? In Google Webmaster tools under HTML improvements, WMT commonly lists and shows duplicative Meta data. Google actually recommends through their Webmaster tools to go “old school SEO” and improve your website by remove duplicative Meta data and provide unique titles, keywords, and descriptions for greater relevancy to user queries.
  • Recently Google has gone back to indexing news sites with Meta data.  Google recommends news sites and news articles identify story topics with by using unique Meta keywords to gain better relevancy and topic clarification.

Professional search engine marketers that used consistent quality guidelines to build websites, have continued to include unique Meta content in every site build. Many SEO’s focused on rank tend to ignore quality guidelines while reacting to the latest SEO trend. All the domains that ignore the practice of building page relevancy now have to play catch up, and here’s why.

Algorithm Changes In Google

In April 2012 Matt Cutts in one of his blog posts mentioned Google’s upcoming efforts to improve the site quality and user experience.  At that time, Google was looking to increase the quality of SERP’s by penalizing sites that were openly over-optimizing their domains with questionable SEO practices. This particular algorithm update was called Penguin. Penguin 1.1 was launched around April 24, 2012 and adjusted search results for a number of spam factors including non-diverse back link profiles, aggressive redundant anchor text, keyword stuffing and over-optimized title tags to name a few. This “over-optimization” of title tags includes titles that well exceed the standard character limitations. One common misdiagnosed SEO problem from Penguin is that it’s only link problem, when in fact it might be an poor optimization or over-optimization problem.

Most Meta data has a standard number of characters that will be displayed across the search engines. For example, title tags of 70 characters or less will show up in a Google search and 72 characters or less will show up in a BING or Yahoo search. When you research top performing sites you will see that many of these sites use no more than 70 characters to identify what each page is all about. Most websites that exceed 70 characters and use an abundance of keywords in the title tags tend to perform at a less than optimal level along with being poorly indexed.

SEO Industry Standards “Old School” Style

When it comes to keyword usage in the Meta keywords, the general rule of thumb is 3 to 5 unique keywords that support the relevancy of the page. A common SEO “black hat” tactic is to stuff a bunch of keywords in the string, repeat keywords in this string, or simply ignore the keywords because “Google doesn’t read it”. All of these are bad ideas. The Meta keywords help explains what the page is about, especially when the primary keyword of the page topic being the first phrase listed. The remaining keywords need to be relevant and non-duplicative to the primary keyword. Semantic indexing further reinforces the quality of the on page topic and improves the search engines understanding of what the page is truly all about. The outcome is that this page is easier to index because it is easier for search bots to understand. The byproduct of helping the search engines identify and understand the content on the page is with correct and consistent basic optimization is better placement in the results pages.

Build Your SEO Friendly Website

Build Your SEO Friendly Website

  • Do not make your website blink, flash, dance and jump,
  • Use a simple clean design and easy to read relevant content with pleasant color schemes
  • Use images if required for the product, highlight features or show examples show, but no longer use
  • Use the correct font sizes for your page, people will skip things that are too small or too big , using average counts font
  • Do not know HTML or fancy coding language? Try a SEO tool website building program like Frontpage, Dreamweaver, or CoffeeCup HTML Editor for WYSIWYG editing of point, click, drag and drop editing
  • Try to use WordPress, it may be your main site works the engine and not just for blogs. You can set a static front with it and easily add content and more pages
  • Select a shopping cart in advance if you need one, Click2Pay, Google Checkout and PayPal all offer easy to use and administer elections
  • Choose complementary colors, if you need help try a color scheme programs (free ones like wwwcolorschemercom   online html)
  • To make pages accessible to readers through the waterway, either on a sidebar or top menu no more than two clicks to get to a place is a pretty standard measurement
  • Use a text menu instead of a graphic-based one for better SEO results in the future

Know Your Website Statistics

Website Statistics

If you want to know how to track the success of your site, and need to know how many visitors are coming to your site, you’ll want to know about website statistics. These measurements will let you know what you need to do about improving your website marketing, and will give you indications about what to change in terms of your website design.

One of the first things you’ll want to do when you’re looking for website statistics is to find analysis companies that will be able to help you make sense of the results you receive. One of the best companies to get website statistics from is Google Analytics. The service is free to use, and Google is one of the main search engines that people use to find websites. You’ll get three reviews when you use this service; a webmaster report, a marketer report, and an executive report. This way, you’ll be able to see the stats as a person that is operating the functions of the site, and you’ll get the answers you need for marketing your site to more people. The only drawback to using Google Analytics is that the reports are not offered in real time. While the reports are current, they don’t let you know each time that a visitor logs on, and you don’t know which parts of your site need to be updated on a daily using this service. However, you will get an idea of how popular your site is, and you may have to get website statistics on a weekly basis and don’t want to spend a fortune on reports, this is probably the way to go.

Another free service that you may want to check out for website statistics is You’ll just need to insert a code onto your web page or blog in order to get the stats that you need, and you’ll be able to track all the visitor patterns on the site. You’ll even be able to see visitor paths, as well as the length of time that visitors stay on your site using this website statistics tool.

WebTrends is another source you can get website statistics from. When you visit, you’ll get information on tracking solutions that are used for larger companies like IKEA and US Bank. You may also want to try out the company’s newest produce, Dynamic Search. This way, you can use search engine marketing software to increase your search results based on online marketing campaigns. There is a fee for using this service, which may be a little expensive for you if you are just starting out, but some medium-sized businesses are able to purchase all the features that the company has to offer. You may want to start with a basic ‘package’ and then work your way up once your finances are in order, since many business owners have lots of positive things to say about the company and its products. Good luck!