How to increase conversions in just 45 minutes!
Redesigning a website, or even a single page, can be a tedious and time-consuming process. Re-opening a project that you so happily completed can take major mental willpower. However, improving a website doesn’t need to take weeks, or even days. I’m a believer in baby steps: making incremental progress, small victories, minor adjustments with big results.
Using microformats to improve local SEO performance.
Microformats are gaining popularity, and if you’re not using them, you should be. Google’s introduction of Rich Snippets in May 2009 is just another indication that microformats will continue to gain popularity. And as more sites make use of this structured content, small businesses can capitalize on the use of microformats to help feed relevant information about their business to other websites by using microformats.
Employing the 80/20 mantra for increased effectiveness.
By doing an 80-20 optimization of your website — whittling your pages down to the 20% of things that produces 80% of the results — you’ll not only have a simpler site that’ll convert better, but you’ll have less work in developing and managing it since there’ll be less to think about.
Analyzing your reach and traction has become job one in the social universe as pretty much everyone and their grandmother sign up for the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and now Google Plus. (Yes, my grams is on Google Plus.) So how do you stay on top? Well, for a quick overview of your social metrics, you can use the Wildfire webapp, which offers a myriad of features at just a few keystrokes and/or clicks.
Measure Your Performance
Use the Wildfire Social Media Monitor to glean insights about the growth of your social media fanbase on the leading social networks. With daily tracking, you have visibility into growth trends small and large.
Track Your Competitors
No company is an island. Gauge your social media success against others in your industry by comparing your follower bases across the leading social networks. Quickly find out if you’re gaining traction or leaving your competitors in the dust.
Whether you’re just starting out or already an expert in social media, Wildfire’s alert system will inform you of meaningful trends and activity that’s relevant to your social presence.
You’ve probably seen the Google Plus One button (a button that allows users with a Google account to instantly recommend a website’s content to their social network) fairly often in your daily internet dealing the past month as Google has been rolling it out on their own and select partner websites; but this week it spread like wildfire after Google went public and started to allow webmasters to place it on their own websites.
Google Plus One was launched with AddThis, the social bookmarking scriptlet that is a must have for any webmaster nowadays. In order to add it to your existing AddThis setup, you need to add the addthis_button_google_plusone (google_plusone for those using the WordPress plugin) to your configuration. It’s early enough to take advantage of the bandwagon as the use of Google Plus One continues to spread virally.
Read more about the Google Plus One Button or install the Plus One scriptlet on your website!
We recently made a change to the Remove URL tool in Webmaster Tools to eliminate the requirement that the webpage’s URL must first be blocked by a site owner before the page can be removed from Google’s search results. Because you’ve already verified ownership of the site, we can eliminate this requirement to make it easier for you, as the site owner, to remove unwanted pages (e.g. pages accidentally made public) from Google’s search results.
Once you’ve requested to have a URL removed from the search engine’s result pages, your account will be flagged for a 90 day grace period, during which you can revoke the removal request. Google will continue to spider your website but not display it in results page during this period.
For permanent removal, you must ensure that one of the following page blocking methods is implemented for the URL to be removed:
- indicate that the page no longer exists by returning a 404 or 410 HTTP status code
- block the page from crawling via a robots.txt file
- block the page from indexing via a noindex meta tag
For more information, read more about Easier URL Removals on Google Webmaster Central.
While definitely not considered a best practice, and it is definitely looked at as not the whitest of hat by some, the technique of breaking out of the Google Images “frame” (modal window over your website showing just the image) and showing the entire content of your website is becoming more and more popular. I’m going to say it’s OK, since both Facebook and Google employ this technique.
Happy Friday, everyone! Here’s some good SEO reading for you all to digest throughout the weekend! I’m going to be at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival this weekend, so see you Monday!
Have you ever searched for the latest gizmo on Google and seen a link to a relevant Amazon search page with the same Amazon Affiliate tag you saw the LAST time you were searching for a random gadget. Who the heck is googhydr-20? Is he some sort of super affiliate, raking in millions of dollars in commission revenue from the Amazon Affiliate program? Is it a bot made by Google that uses their own services to automatically generate links, and thus revenue, based on trending products? What could it be?
Well, to put it short, the Amazon Affiliate tag googhydr-20 is not owned by some sort of elite affiliate marketer, and it’s certainly not owned by Google. It actually belongs to Amazon itself. Whether they did it to effectively launder their own money (I doubt it) or to maintain control of how their brand is presented in paid search results (more likely, I think), I can’t tell you. But what I can tell you is that since the appearance of the infamous googhydr-20, Amazon has made it apparent that advertising direct affiliate links using PPC will warrant you no referrals for any sales made through those clicks, effectively discouraging anyone from purchasing PPC advertisement space directly linking to Amazon through their affiliate tag. (Which supports the second of my hypotheses.)
Anyways, fear no more, there is no super secret affiliate bot network that automatically generated Google AdWords campaigns with Amazon Affiliate links based on trending products; and if there was, they can’t make money any more.
So, sleep safe, and until next time, cheers!
Search engine optimization is an ever evolving game, but there’s several fundamentals that are pretty key to any strategy for tuning your website for search engine takeover. Here’s a few rules I make sure to follow on any of my websites:
- Choose a memorable and relevant domain name.
- Carefully choose a few keywords and keyphrases to optimize your website for.
- Optimize TITLE tags on all website pages, aim for ~70 characters in your TITLE.
- Make unique and relevant ALT tags for all of your website’s images.
- Carefully craft META description tags and META keyword tags for each of your website’s pages, keep descriptions at ~150 characters or less, and keywords at ~10 or less.
- Employ proper use of H1, H2, and H3 tags to draw reader and search engine attention to important text on each page.
- Optimize the URL structure of your website through URL rewriting.
- Keep your keyword density between 2% to 6%, you can use Textalyser to weigh keyword density.
- Create and maintain quality backlinks, from relevant websites and web registries.
- Don’t rush to totally adopt and switch over to new metrics and audience measurement tools, but certainly do not be afraid to test them, as new ones often have new methods of measurement that eventually get standardized, if not by that application.
- Use Google Alerts to monitor search results for people talking about your website and specific topics in your niche. Being the first person to respond to comments or questions can often lead to a great influx of traffic to your website, as well as do wonders for your brand recognition
Information originally from a post on Ahmed Belal’s blog called Ultimate SEO Checklist, that I have paraphrased and appended to.
Google’s Analytics team has just rolled out a new beta feature called “In-Page Analytics” which is a heat map of your visitors clicks and browsing session. Sometimes browsing the visitor reports can be quite overwhelming, especially when trying to gain insightful knowledge into your users browsing patterns; Google Analytic’s new In-Page Analytics can help you keep a visual grasp on this data as you compare it with other audience metrics.
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Google has been making some big moves lately, both in SEO related fields and not. Mostly hum-drum acquisitions and the usual Google to-do, however a couple items stand out: