Category Archives for Search Engine Optimization

How I doubled traffic to my blog

Webenso TrafficThis year I got serious about increasing the traffic to my blog. The result? Over three months I saw traffic double. For the month of June I got 1200 visitors, 1000 of that was organic traffic. Here’s the five things that I did:

  • Blogged twice a week. Used to be I would sporadically and inconsistently blog. Knowing that search engines love frequent and unique content. I started blogging twice a week. There have been weeks when it’s been once a week, like recently; but on the whole I’ve kept the discipline. Additionally for most posts I researched the best keywords to use in my page title and URL using the these Google Keyword Tool tips. I found that if I could blog on something relatively new, like my Pagemodo review and avoid “me too” content, those posts did well in traffic.
  • Be social To engage in the online community, most posts I tweeted. I also wrote a guest post on Panda that brought in some traffic and even some email signups and of course created a new backlink. Occasionally I would also comment on other blogs. I’m getting more comments and questions on my posts and I would respond to those. It’s great when the interaction gives you ideas for new posts. Special mention should go to Ann Evanston’s Blogger Monday, although that was more of a factor in traffic for me last year than this year. Who says no follow links from guest blog commenting don’t matter?
  • More linkbuilding. I submitted my blog to several Blog Directories.
  • Addressed duplicate content Google had more than 100 of my tag pages indexed, which was diffusing my good unique content with duplicate low value pages. So I noindexed my tag pages.
  • Improved bounce rate User engagement with your website is now a signal the search engines pay attention to. My blog had a high bounce rate (84% for the first three months of the year). So I installed two plugins: Yet Another Related Posts and Random Posts which suggest other posts a visitor might want to read. I also added a few nav bar items. My bounce rate is still high, but has come down to 73% for the last 30 days.

There is definitely more work to be done. I need to guest post more and get more of a Facebook strategy. I have additional blog configuration items to tackle and I need to focus more on linkbuilding overall. But it’s nice to get the feedback that I am on the right path.

Nofollow links seem to matter after all

SEO doesn't always makes sense

We’ve all been told that only followed links matter for the SEO of your website. As the conventional wisdom goes, links tagged with the nofollow tag prevents page rank from flowing to the target website and doesn’t help that website to rank better in the organic search engine listings.

Or does it?

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All in One SEO noindex settings

Blue WordPress LogoThe All in One SEO WordPress plugin is a very popular plugin. Many install it so that they have the ability to customize their post’s page title. This is very useful to do from the SEO perspective. Your post title should be written for your reader and be catchy, your page title for your post should be more oriented towards keywords.

But the plugin has other settings that require attention. Out of the box the plugin configuration will noindex your category pages but not your tag pages. This isn’t necessarily what you want and I’ve had to fix a couple of blogs that had the default settings.

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Conversations About Google’s Panda

SEO TeachingsI’ve been working with Eric Enge on his interview series. The topics vary, but he has recently interviewed a number of SEO industry thought leaders including Rand Fishkin and Bill Slawski on the February Google algorithm change known as Panda. The interviews are lengthy reading but full of interesting insights into what Panda actually was and how it might shape our online activities now and in the future.

Bill Slawski, who writes the frequently referenced SEO by the Sea blog, gleans insights on what the search engines might be up to by studying the whitepapers and patents published by Google’s and Microsoft’s engineers. In the interview, he theorizes that “Panda may be a filter … where some web sites are promoted and other web sites are demoted based upon some type of quality signal score” that was placed on top of the existing algorithm.

Rand Fishkin, co-founder of seomoz.org, thinks this quality score was based on work done by human quality raters, and “in combination with machine learning algorithms, Google is using the aggregated opinions to filter and reorder the results for a better user experience”.

At this point, some of you might be putting your hands up and saying “umm, translation please”.

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Google Keyword Tool – Three Must Know Tips

The Google keyword tool is relied on by many marketers and SEOs to do keyword research. Originally created for research for Google AdWords campaigns, it is a useful keyword tool whether you plan to do an AdWords campaign or not. However to get the full benefit of the tool, here are three tips to keep in mind:
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What Organic SEO Firms Actually Do

When you meet new people one of the first questions that is asked is “What do you do?”. When I tell people that I am a SEO consultant, about half of them know what Search Engine Optimization is and half don’t. It used to be that no one knew what SEO was, however these days, over the last 2 years, awareness of this new discipline has certainly grown.

SEO is the art and science of getting websites ranked in Google

When we say Organic SEO we are talking about getting sites to rank “naturally” without having to pay for a sponsored listing. This is done by aligning the website to the queries that people are typing in and by establishing the website as an authority.

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Panda: The Google Algorithm Change That Everyone is Talking About

Yarn Panda

It looks so innocent ....
Flickr Image by TheBrassPotato

I’ve been asked by a couple of people why I haven’t written about the Google Panda algorithm change which was a major event in the SEO world. I like writing useful articles, and when practically everyone in the search industry (not to mention mainstream media) has written about it, what more could I contribute? And actually, I have written about it, but as guest author.

From the Huffington Post, to the Wired Interview with Matt Cutts and Amit Singhal, to every SEO pundit; there is no shortage of reading you can do about Panda. So instead of getting into the weeds like everyone else, I’ll write about it from a more overview perspective for the non-search geek.

For steps to take, check out my guest post on Panda.

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Long Tail Keywords of Search … Video

70 percent of search queries are classified as long tail searches, those specific several keyword phrases that are more easier to convert and easier to rank for.

This video has some interesting statistics in it. Eric calculates that it is 4 times easier to rank for a long tail term than a head term and the conversion is at least two times easier.

Listen as Ralph Wilson interviews Eric Enge, SEO Expert on ‘How to Leverage the Long Tail of Search’.

Avoid the Duplicate Content Penalty from Google

Here’s a question I got today…

I want to submit my recipes to yummly.com. I’ve noticed that the big, well known recipes sites have submitted their recipes to this site as well. Wouldn’t this cause duplicate content issues?

Well yes, any content that is duplicated across domains would fall into the duplicate content definition and would present to Google and the other search engine with a duplicate content issue (see below for the definition of duplicate content). But the real question being asked here is: Will it adversely affect my site?
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WordPress SEO plugins to improve bounce rate

One of my goals has been to address my high bounce rate on this blog, which has been above 80%. To do that I’ve been working on features that increase my website stickiness.

Bounce Rate is a SEO factor

Bounce RateWhy would I want to do this? Let’s put the SEO factor aside for a moment. As a blogger you of course want people to get value from your blog, read several posts and return. A high bounce rate means that most of your visitors just visited the single page they originally landed on and then left your blog. Of course if the article answered their question completely that would be a good thing, even if they left without browsing further. This is more difficult to measure, but you can look at time spent on the site as another clue.

Most SEOs would agree that Google and the other search engines are taking bounce rate into account. Google might be looking at Google Analytics for the bounce rate, but even if you don’t have Google Analytics installed, Google and Bing can collect bounce rate data by looking at how quickly the user returns back to the search engine results page and clicks on the next result. A quick return and click on the next website on the list means the user didn’t find what they are looking for on your website.

So from both the SEO and user engagement / conversion perspective you should care about your bounce rate and website stickiness.

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