Web Content Developer

Este blog foi criado com o objetivo de unir todo tipo de informação e material sobre esta nova profissão. Com este blog eu desejo aumentar meus contatos que são especialistas na área, assim como receber dicas, sugestões e críticas, sejam positivas ou construtivas sobre minhas postagens! Sejam muito bem-vindos!

quinta-feira, 10 de outubro de 2013

The Most Actionable SEO Tips Ever - Part 2

Community Building

When you publish content, it is read and shared by people. When your site attracts natural links, they are created by people. These people are your community, and they obviously play a critical role in your success. These SEO tips will help you make that community stronger.

21. Build Relationships With Companies Who Are Doing Great Things & Leverage Their Communities

Mack Fogelson
Mack Fogelson is the Founder and CEO of Mack Web Solutions. She is a firm and passionate believer in user experience and the building of community. She also really likes Phil Nottingham and is an avid Justin Timberlake fan. You can find Mack on Twitter and Google+.
It takes a really long time to build community. When we first started building the Mack Web community, we had nothing. When we created content, no one shared it (crickets). Comments? What are those?
It took more than 10 months to get any type of engagement, and then things (slowly) started to happen. We’re eighteen months in and certainly we have some traction, but it’s hard work. Every. Single. Day.
If there was one tip that I could give those who are looking to build a community, it would be this:
Don’t bother.
(totally kidding)
My advice to you is to co-market.

Build relationships with companies who are doing great things and leverage communities that already exist.

How do you find these companies and opportunities?
What’s worked for us is not only reading a ton, but going to conferences, events, and meet ups and listening for the companies that people are talking about and using as examples of companies who are doing great things.
Not the behemoth companies who are already ginormous brands, but companies who are in a growth stage and still working on building something.
These companies don’t even have to be related to your products or services, but they do need to have the same values, be a culture fit, and essentially offer some kind of benefit to your customers and your community.
So start looking for companies you respect. For example, Mack Web has a huge crush onWistia. They’re really creative, funny, and awesome people. And they also happen to make a great product.
Mack Web loves Wistia
We started hanging out online (we reached out to their community manager) and we just recently met in person at a conference for the first time. We hit it off and are working on some cool projects together that are going to help both of our companies get some exposure.
The best part (besides the friendship and the fact that they like to dance) is that both of our communities will benefit from the relationship. The members of the Mack Web community would very much benefit from using Wistia’s product.
And perhaps there are some super hip companies in Wistia’s community who will be inspired to talk to Mack Web about having us help them to build their communities.
This tip isn’t a “scale” thing. It’s a relationship thing. It’s a wanting-to-work-with-cool-people-and-do-great-things, thing. And in the end, everyone benefits.
If you want to learn more, here’s all kinds of community building guidance for you. Mack Web will also be launching a free online community building guide on October 15th, which you can sign up to receive here.

22. Build A Strong Community & Leverage That Community To Generate Great User Generated Content

Bill Sebald
Bill Sebald runs Greenlane Search Marketing, LLC, a Philadelphia SEO Company, and he’s been playing the SEO game since before Y2K. You can find Bill on Twitter (#sebald) and Google+.
Supposedly 2011–12 was going to be the year of social media marketing. Unfortunately most didn’t get the traffic, brand, and conversion explosion they were expecting. Myself included. But what I did end up with was a community that could be engaged if I found the right spark.
I always encourage clients to build a community with questions, engaging FB ads (a Like for an ad is a Like for the page), and brand representation – my simple formula. In many cases your audience are comprised of a decent chunk of content publishers. Maybe they have a WordPress or Tumblr blog, and maybe they have their own following where they can be valuable as brand advocates.
I recommend reaching out to this group en masse and requesting their expertise. Let them write for you. It’s a reverse guest post strategy. You can choose the fans (writers) based on their quality, Klout, followability of their blog – whatever (though I recommend quality be your criteria).
Here’s what I find: Most responses are poor, so you have to weed them out, but some are truly unique and great content for your site. Über-UGC. Additionally, the writers are often proud to be accepted and often brag in the form of links. At the very least this tactic does something for your brand recognition. Everyone wins.
To learn more about reverse guest posting and targeted outreach, check out these resources:

23. Build Relationships With As Many People As You Can

Danny Tran
Danny Tran is the SEO Manager at Single Grain, a digital marketing agency based in San Francisco, CA. You can find Danny on Twitter andGoogle+.
My most actionable SEO tip would be to build relationships with as many people as you can.
There has been a lot of talk in the SEO industry this past year about how link building is dead and content is king. A site can have the best content out there, but if you don’t have relationships with people/companies who can share that content and help it get discovered, then it isn’t valuable.
To be more specific and give you an example, we had a client that had an awesome software package for helping companies schedule shifts for their employees. Their website had lots of great content around the features of their software. They blogged regularly with very helpful articles around employment and time management.
The site was very optimized and getting steady traffic, but through working with us on outreach and building relationships through social networks, they saw significant improvements in organic traffic, rankings, and social shares. Here is a screenshot of their organic search traffic over the course of 5 months:
Organic search traffic improvement
When you’re building social relationships, Followerwonk is a great tool for Twitter, and you can use Facebook’s Graph Search to find people and groups with similar interests on Facebook.
For this particular company, LinkedIn groups and Google+ communities were also effective. Twitter ads and sponsored stories on Facebook also work well once you build an audience through those social networks.

24. Build Relationships By Supporting Your Peers & Helping Others

Tad Chef
Tad Chef helps people with blogs, social media and search both in German and English. Visit his SEO 2.0 blog to read more of his insights, and you can also find him on TwitterGoogle+, and Delicious for daily curated resources and articles.
What is my most actionable SEO technique? That’s really difficult I thought at first as SEO seems to encompass a huge number of little things that combined make success happen. Then I took a look at my blog’s backlink profile to see where my most important links came from.
Most of my valuable authority links based on domain authority (counted by Moz) are links from my peers, people that know who I am, like me or socialize with me online. Most of them are also people I like very much and supported in the first place. I have:
  • Shared their content on social media.
  • Linked out to them.
  • Commented on their blogs.
Guess what, they seemed to like me too. They even trusted me enough to link back to me.

So my most important links are not those from Moz, Search Engine Land or mainstream media, they are the links from my peers.

Some of them are not my peers anymore because they are industry leaders by now while I am what I always was for the last few years, a somewhat prominent SEO blogger.
When you look up my links you will notice the following people among the highest value links:
I am grateful I was able to connect with them while they were still able to notice me. These days they have so many followers and things to do they’d probably overlook me.
So don’t wait until your peers become high-profile influencers. Assist them while they are on the way up and still need the help. Of course you never know who will really succeed in the long run so just be helpful and support all your peers.
The links are of course just one benefit of such a mutal aid relationship.

Technical SEO

Technical site issues might not be sexy, and eyes will probably glaze over when you talk about things like “canonicalization” and “crawl budgets.” But these technical issues are often the source of a site’s biggest SEO problems (especially sites with a significant number of pages).

25. Crawl Your Own Site & Monitor How Google Crawls It

Will Critchlow
Will Critchlow is the Co-founder and CMO of Distilled, an online marketing agency that hosts the SearchLove conference series in the US and UK and produces the popular online training platform DistilledU. You can find Will on Twitter and Google+.
My favourite area of SEO is the technical side of things. I love creativity, content and seeing stuff spread, but from a pure SEO side of things, I’m a geek at heart, and I’m continually fascinated by the technical stuff. So that constrains the area.
Next, I need to decide on my “best” tip. That’s tough – it could mean “most widely-useful / having the biggest impact” or “the one fewest people know / do”. I’m going to give you one of each:
You should crawl your own site and watch how Google crawls it as well. I like the IIS crawler and Screaming Frog, but it’ll depend how big the site is and what problems you think might be out there.
It’s rare that crawling a site fails to throw up something that’s holding you back, and it can highlight serious issues – especially on big sites that have whole sections you haven’t visited manually for months.
Similarly for watching Googlebot’s behaviour – it’s always somewhat surprising to see where they’re expending crawl budget. In some ways Googlebot isn’t as smart as we’d like to think.
I also like to monitor for changes to my own robots.txt and monitor for the (accidental) inclusion of noindex or incorrect canonical information. Each of these things can cause serious issues if they go unnoticed for even short periods of time, and I’ve seen this kind of mistake get deployed accidentally far too often.

26. Optimize Your Site’s Architecture To Avoid Wasting The Site’s Crawl Budget

Jason Mun
Jason Mun is the Co-founder and Search Director of Bespoke, a Melbourne based agency specialising in SEO and content marketing. You can find Jason on Twitter and Google+.
This is a tough one because I enjoy all aspects of SEO, but if I had to pick one that is my absolute favourite, it would be Technical Audits.
What gets me going is when I get the opportunity to audit a large e-commerce website. I define large as having thousands and thousands of products and a consistently high volume of traffic.
Websites like these tend to benefit from controlling how the bots crawl and interact with the website, otherwise known as crawl optimisation.
Bigger isn’t always better – having a higher number of indexed pages in search engines isn’t always a good thing. A lean and crawl-efficient website tends to perform better, in my opinion.

Here are the most common things that I check for:

  • Number of “actual” pages on the website vs. a site: command in Google
  • URL parameters report in Google Webmaster Tools
  • Index status report in Google Webmaster Tools
I tend to look for discrepancies and any irregularities with the above.
For example, if there is a massive difference in the number of pages on the website versus the number of indexed pages using a site: command and in GWT, the site has URLs that aren’t meant to be indexed. These URLs tend to take up crawl budget.

Here are some of the most common scenarios where crawl budget gets wasted:

  • Internal search result pages
  • Paginated series
  • Miscellaneous URLs generated by plugins and web apps
  • Internal duplicate content (e.g., the same content on different URLs)
  • Product filtering options
To remedy these issues, the “nofollow” tag, rel=”canonical” tag and meta robots tags are your best friends. Cull any pages that add no value to the user, and canonicalize any duplicate content.
You can also utilise the URL parameters option in Google Webmaster Tools to inform Google how they should handle different URL strings. If you are uber geeky, you can even take it a step further and run some log file analysis.
Ultimately, the objective is to get the crawlers and bots to:
  • Not waste any time on URLs that have no value and shouldn’t even exist.
  • Crawl and index pages that make a difference to your bottom line.

27. Learning To Code Is A Prerequisite For Performing Thorough Technical SEO Audits

Glenn Gabe
Glenn Gabe is a digital marketing consultant at G-Squared Interactiveand focuses heavily on SEO, SEM, social advertising, and web analytics. You can read Glenn’s posts on his blog, The Internet Marketing Driver, and you can find him on Twitter and Google+.
I’ve always said that SEO technical audits provide the most bang for your SEO buck. One of the reasons I believe that is because thorough audits provide a deep analysis across a number of core areas.
Although I could write a book covering SEO tips (literally), I’ve only been asked to provide one tip here. So, I decided to provide one ultra-important recommendation for anyone looking to enhance their SEO audit skills…

Learn how to code.

I feel fortunate to have started my career in web application development. Technical SEO is a natural fit for anyone that’s been neck deep in writing code (both server-side and client-side).
There are so many things that can go wrong SEO-wise if a site isn’t coded properly (or if a site is developed without the proper understanding of various SEO elements and directives).
Learn to code
During audits, I’m often viewing the source code of client websites to hunt down problems. From analyzing metadata and on-page optimization to reviewing structured data to checking SEO directives like rel=”canonical” or meta robots tags, understanding the source code of a webpage is extremely important.
Tracking down coding problems can often uncover serious technical issues SEO-wise, which can be impacting rankings and traffic from organic search.

My recommendation:

Start learning how to code. I recommend beginning with HTML and CSS, since they are easy to learn and provide the building blocks for webpages. Test your knowledge by actually building webpages, even if they are rudimentary.
The goal isn’t to become an expert programmer. The goal is to clearly understand how to properly build a webpage, to learn the various HTML elements, and how to use CSS to organize and style those elements.
Once you graduate from HTML and CSS, I recommend moving to client-side code via JavaScript. Using JavaScript, you can begin to write scripts that provide added functionality to your webpages.
You can learn how to catch user actions, validate forms, trigger additional content, etc. The main goal would be to understand how a client-side scripting language works with your HTML.
And finally, you must learn how to write server-side code (like php, asp.net, etc.). This is what drives many of the websites you visit on a regular basis.
The ability for server-side code to dynamically process user-requests, build or retrieve information, and then publish that data to webpages is extremely powerful (and important to understand for an SEO).
In a nutshell, dynamic webpages enable developers to scale websites. And as you can guess, this is where many problems can occur SEO-wise. Any time you programmatically generate content, it leaves room for poor markup, the wrong directives, hidden content, broken links, unoptimized pages, etc.
Source code script
Many of the problems I pick up during audits are the result of botched server-side code. And on larger sites, botched code could impact millions of pages. And when Pandas and Phantoms are roaming the web hunting for low-quality content, you don’t want your server-side code to trigger an algorithmic hit.
But that’s exactly what could happen if your code generates 40K soft 404s, or 200K pages containing duplicate content, or the canonical url tag is being implemented incorrectly on 500K pages, or thousands of lines of excessive script code ended up in your HTML. I can keep going here, but I think you get the point.

Wrapping Up

The fact of the matter is that understanding how webpages are coded, and how those pages work with client and server-side code, is critically important to hunting down SEO problems.
To me, learning to code is a prerequisite to performing thorough technical SEO audits. You need to know what you’re looking at in order to identify and fix problems. I recommend getting started today.

28. Use Google’s Change Of Address Tool When Redirecting A Domain

Richard Baxter
Richard Baxter is the Founder and CEO of SEOgadget, a digital marketing agency based in London, UK and San Francisco, CA. You can find Richard on Twitter and Google+.
My best SEO tip is something I’ve come across recently, and I really think it’s got legs.
Go through your client’s domain portfolios, and find out if they’ve had any old domains 301 redirected to their current domain.
If any of these old domains *have not* been verified through Google Webmaster Tools,verify them.
Then, use Google’s Change of Address tool to tell Google the new address for these old domains.
I recently went through this process with seogadget.co.uk. The domain was already 301 redirecting so I set up a DNS TXT record and a new A record for www.seogadget.co.uk. Then, I verified the domains and changed their address to seogadget.com.
Change of Address
I think this process works better than just a 301 redirect – in fact, I think the value of 301’s has dropped considerably over the years. It feels like a Change of Address is quite a lot more powerful when executed in the right circumstances.

Strategic SEO

The advice in this section is more strategic in nature. These SEO tips are still very actionable, but they also adopt a more holistic approach than some of the others.

29. Use Competitive Analysis To Generate New Strategic Ideas & Emulate The Success Of Others

Gaz Copeland
Gaz Copeland is the owner and creator of Stoked SEO, the Stoke-on-Trent based SEO and Internet Marketing blog. You can find Gaz on Twitter andGoogle+.
In terms of my “best, most actionable tip” I think it has to be some good old fashionedcompetitor analysis. I’m not particularly talking just for SEO purposes either, I’m talking all areas of your internet marketing strategy.
I’ve noticed many SEO’s who discount competitive analysis as simply “copying your competitors,” but I’m not recommending you should be doing that. However, you should definitely know what it is they are doing well (and not so well) to incorporate it into your strategy if it works.

A few tools I like to use to see what competitors are up to:

Ahrefs: Currently my backlink analysis tool of choice, clearly this will give you information about sites which are linking back to your competitors.
But what strategies are they employing to gain these links?
Are they creating comprehensive resource posts on their own sites? Are they using guest posts? Are they buying links?
SEMrush: One of the best overall SEO competitor analysis tools available for unearthing your competitor’s popular keywords, organic vs. paid traffic and suggesting even more competitors you may want to investigate.
SEMrush organic keywords
Social Crawlytics: If you’ve yet to use this tool in your competitor analysis, you’re missing a trick. It pulls share data from across the major social networks for any of your competitors, and it gives you 2 major pieces of information.
First, it tells you which social networks your competitors (and their customers) are active on.
Social Crawlytics network break down
Second, it shows you which pages on your competitor’s website are getting the most traction via social media.
Social Crawlytics popular pages
Mentionmapp: If your Social Crawlytics analysis throws up Twitter activity for your competitors, Mentionmapp is always my next stop. You can get a fantastic visualisation of interactions, hash tags and mentions which could prove useful in your own Twitter usage, in terms of relationship building and exposure through popular hashtags.
Mentionmapp visualization
If you pop a couple of your competitors’ details into these sites and come up with some ideas for your own site, SEO or otherwise, it’s time to step away from your computer.

30. Establish A Home Base That You Own & Always Make It The Focus Of Your SEO Strategy

Selena Narayanasamy
Selena Narayanasamy is an SEO and marketing strategist by trade and a heavy caffeine drinker. You can find her writing on her own site or onTwitter and Google+.
My most actionable SEO tip (and boy, is it hard to isolate it down to one…) is something that is probably going to sound really basic but is the most often overlooked. It’s also kind of a two-part piece of advice because both go hand in hand.

1) Always put time and effort into a home base that you own and start planning your SEO from the beginning.

Don’t leave hosting in the hands of something like WordPress.com, Ning or Tumblr. Spend the time to buy a domain and host it yourself.
If you’re not running something complex like an e-commerce site, going with something simplistic that offers huge customization opportunities (WordPress, Genesis, etc.) will make managing it a lot easier.
The limitations of something like WordPress.com, Ning and Tumblr can hinder you from an SEO standpoint immensely, whether it be from plugin limitations or technical things like controlling redirects or canonicals.
From an equity standpoint, you’re going to have a tough time setting up redirects from something you don’t own, should you choose to migrate to a new domain that you’re personally hosting.
The migration process and reaching out to get links updated can be a huge PITA and a giant time sink, but also a necessary evil. Don’t set yourself back from the beginning by putting your efforts in the hands of something you don’t own.
Plan, plan, plan. Which leads me into…

2) Signal consolidation.

If you’re pushing things through social, posting on Google+, working with a PR company, writing guest posts, etc… make sure that you’re always linking back to and tying those efforts back to your main blog or website.
I’ve seen some articles in the past that encourage companies from small businesses to enterprise level to spend time building up their social networks and put things that could live as their own blog posts on Google+, Facebook or in multiple tweets…. yet they completely neglect the fact that the most powerful place you can put your efforts into is something completely owned and controlled by you, and then push that outwards.

Social is a great promotional tool, but always lead users back to your site.

There are many brands out there who are putting out content but failing to link back and give themselves credit, and this also goes for finding other sites that may have distributed your content and getting attribution where it’s due.
Make sure you’re properly consolidating signals and making it evident where your main business lives, and what should be properly served to those searching for you.

31. Rigorous Testing Is The Only Way To Quantify The True Impact Of SEO Changes

Micah Fisher-Kirshner
Micah Fisher-Kirshner is a Digital Analytics & Marketing Lead for Balsam Hill, and he blogs as The Data Marketeer. You can find Micah onGoogle+.
Whenever I think about my favorite area of SEO (and there are many), it always goes totesting.
By this, I don’t mean a change on a few pages to see anecdotally if there’s an impact. I mean making changes on 10,000+ pages for a single factor to determine the actual percentage shift and revenue gain.
The following actionable tip may not be for everyone or every site; however, if you’re working on a large site and the team is not doing SEO testing on top of everything else, I strongly believe it’s time for the company to find a new team if they don’t start implementing this tip.

The best kind of testing a large site can do is the creation of three groups: test, control, and noise (a second control group to basically determine the control error range).

Then, by randomizing your landing page data set (using hashing, even/odd numbers, etc.), you help to avoid bias, and with a doubly-cautious change of the control to the test, you can determine whether your specific SEO change led to a material impact on the business’s bottom line.
That testing should look something like this graph:
SEO testing
Thus, when you make a change (e.g., moving text from lower on the page to above the fold) and you see a ~3% lift in traffic for Binghoo two weeks later, you can pinpoint one of the many solutions to what plays a part in ranking better (and in turn providing a better user experience).

32. Optimize Existing Pages Before Creating New Ones

Paddy Moogan
Paddy Moogan is an SEO Consultant at Distilled and the author of The Link Building Book. You can find Paddy on Twitter and Google+.
Go through your list of referring keywords in Google Webmaster Tools, and pull out a list of the top 10 where you rank between 3rd and 10th.
Referring keywords
Then find the landing page that is ranking for these keywords and really focus on improving that page.
Make sure all of the on-page SEO elements are covered, make sure all the content is accurate and up to date, make sure the page load speed is good and then look for ways to build both external and internal links to that page.
By just focusing on these few pages, you have a good chance of pushing their rankings up.This is a lot easier than trying to get a page ranking for a brand new keywordand will give you a bump in traffic a lot quicker!

33. Leverage Remarketing To Maximize Your SEO & Content Marketing Efforts

Larry Kim
Larry Kim is the Founder and CTO of WordStream and the “industry baller” referenced in Tip #14. You can find Larry on Twitter and Google+.
My most actionable SEO tip is to leverage remarketing on the Google Display Network to get more out of your SEO and content marketing efforts. Here’s why…
SEO, by definition, is targeting people who know what they’re looking for but don’t know where to find it.
Consequently, sites that rely on SEO as their primary traffic generation source often have relatively low repeat visitor rates because they’re targeting people who aren’t as familiar with the site’s brand (otherwise, they would have navigated to the site directly).
Furthermore, numerous studies have shown that the typical conversion rate for whatever it is you’re driving traffic to, is generally in the low single digits.
By tagging your organic search visitors with a remarketing cookie, you can chase them around the Internet across millions of websites, including Google properties like YouTube and Gmail.
Remarketing will greatly improve brand recall (and increase user engagement metrics like repeat visitor rates) while simultaneously improving conversion rates (becauseremarketing is targeting people who didn’t initially convert to a lead or sale).
Sure, remarketing isn’t “free,” but neither is content marketing and SEO.
At WordStream, we’ve invested millions in our SEO/content marketing efforts over the last few years, and to maximize our results from those efforts, we invest half of our PPC budget in remarketing!
To learn more about remarketing, read these excellent resources:

34. Consistency Is The Key To Long-Term SEO Success

James Agate
James Agate is the Founder of Skyrocket SEO, a link building and content production agency. You can find James on Twitter and Google+.
This SEO tip might not be as actionable as some of the others in this post because I’m not going to give you a link building process hack (plenty of those on my blog if you are looking for those), but here is the one tip that I would give if I could only give one tip.
It will probably see you through most link building and ranking related challenges:

Be consistent.

“The difference between try and triumph is a little umph.”
There are an awful lot of campaigns however where the consultant is so busy being creative and dreaming up new big content projects that very little actually gets done.
Have confidence in the strategy you devised, the plan you laid out and your execution thus far. See it through to fruition.
You didn’t need a big new idea or a “creative committee,” you just needed to keep pushing forward in the direction you were going in. We all know SEO can be both challenging and long-term, which makes it even more important to remain focused on what is often a long journey.

How to avoid the distraction of the SEO bubble?

Limit your reading, limit your tweeting and think carefully about what is being said and who is saying it.
Google condemns it and suddenly everyone runs for the hills. If you look back at the types of links Google denounce, they tend to be the links that algorithmically they struggle to deal with. Paid links for example, are very hard for them to cope with at scale. (Source)
Focus on your own experiences, run small scale tests (whether with experiment websites or in a small way on a live project) and analyse what the data is telling you. There are more answers in the project you have in your hands than on any SEO blog out there.

35. Stop Using Risky SEO Tactics – Focus On Quality, Uniqueness, Authority, Relevance & Trust

Alan Bleiweiss
Alan Bleiweiss is an SEO consultant that focuses on forensic SEO audits, related consulting services, and training. You can find Alan on Twitterand Google+.
Stop. Whatever it is you are doing, or planning to do, for SEO, stop.
Whatever it is you’ve heard or read, or an SEO “expert” told you, stop.
Before you take another step, or thought or action. Stop and pause.
Long enough to ask yourself – given how risky SEO tactics have finally been proven to be riskier than they used to be, to the point where it’s more difficult to rebound from a penalty than ever:
“Am I willing to risk my future, my company’s future, my client’s future, my family’s housing and food and expense payments, our company’s families’ housing and food and expense payments, all because ‘I think I can get away with it long enough’ or ‘the SEO expert said it was safe’?”
People need to wake up. I’ve been saying that for years. Except until Panda and Penguin, few people listened. Well hello reality!
Manual penalty traffic graph
You can’t truly fake quality, uniqueness, authority, relevance or trust to enough of a degree for any long term success. Not anymore. And the price you pay for attempting to, is now real. It’s painful. It’s real life serious.

So whatever strategy or tactic you make use of, check it against those five “super signals” – quality, uniqueness, authority, relevance and trust.

And if you’re not faking those signals, you’re more likely to be on solid ground.
And if you’re not sure whether the SEO you’re working with or you’ve hired is faking any of it, get an outside opinion. Before you shoot yourself in the foot. Again…
For even more information about the importance of high-quality, long-term SEO activities, read these resources:

User Experience & Conversion Rate Optimization

Once you’ve attracted a visitor to your site, you’re not done. In fact, you’re just getting started. Your site should have two complementary goals: 1) provide the best user experience possible and 2) generate as many conversions as possible. The following SEO tips will help you accomplish those goals.

36. Focus On Your Users

Erin Everhart
Erin Everhart is the director of digital marketing at 352, a digital agencyspecializing in UX design, software development and digital marketing. You can find Erin on Twitter and Google+.
My absolute best, most actionable SEO tip is focusing on your users.
Yes, SEO is about getting traffic, but that traffic means nothing if it’s not converting for you.
Google doesn’t pay you to be #1 so if you really want to see the investment for SEO pay off, it’s time to start incorporating some UX into your SEO strategy.

Simple things like A/B Testing, CRO and usability testing will work wonders to convert that traffic into leads.

We use Visual Website Optimizer for all of this, and we can make design/styling changes ourselves without having to get a developer, which as we all know, is pretty difficult.
Plus, Google is focusing more on the quality of websites rather than the quantity of links. Providing a good experience for your users means they’ll share it. They’ll come back.

37. Incorporate UX Best Practices Into Your SEO Strategy

Harris Schachter
Harris Schachter is a Sr. SEO Product Manager at a Fortune 200 and a consultant at OptimizePrime. You can find Harris on Twitter andGoogle+.
Learn usability. Most of us by now can rank content if we try hard enough …but then what?

Incorporate as much usability and user experience best practices as you can into your SEO strategy.

You could build all the links, get all the shares, have the greatest content in the world and optimize until the cows come home. But at the moment of click through from the SERP, you simply have to provide a good experience.
As we know, Google uses click through rate and “the long click” as a ranking factor, and by incorporating UX principles at a foundational level, your efforts will go much further.
Trust me. Not only will your SEO become more effective, but you’ll become more knowledgeable and more marketable as a professional.
Plus, you’ll be skating to where the puck is going to be, when Google engineers add more advanced “UX detectors” as they relate to their organic search product.
For more information about usability and conversion rate optimization, read the following resources:

Local SEO

If you operate a business that caters to a specific geographical location, you should be very focused on your local search visibility. The following SEO tips will help you raise this visibility so you can be competitive in your local market.

38. Reviews Are Critical For Local SEO Success

Steve Morgan
Steve Morgan is a freelance SEO consultant based in Cardiff, South Wales, UK, trading as Morgan Online Marketing. He also runs a blog on the side called SEOno. You can find Steve on Twitter and Google+.
This tip is all about Local SEO, i.e. Google Places/Google+ Local optimisation.
I’ve worked with two clients who aren’t based close to a city centre (they’re in the city, but either in the suburbs or on the outskirts, so a few miles away from what Google deems to be the city centre), but I’ve managed to get them ranking pretty highly within the 7-set of Map results, meaning they’ve ranked higher than some of their competitors who are smack-bang in the centre of the city.
Given that distance to a city centroid is considered to be an important local SEO ranking factor, I’m pretty pleased with the result.
What did the trick? Reviews! Especially as their competitors each had very few reviews or none at all.
local SERP example
In each instance, I asked the clients to ask their clients/customers for reviews left against their Google Places listing, either:
  • People who are life-long, loyal clients, who adore the business. With them, my client could take the approach of saying, “Hey, would you mind doing us a quick favour, help us out?”
  • Any recent, happy clients, as it’s fresh in their minds.
One of my two clients is a recruitment agency, so they can be extra cheeky and ask their happy candidates for reviews, too! :-)
I then ask the client to incorporate asking for Google reviews as part of an on-going process, baked into their normal processes. So if they already ask their clients for testimonials and/or LinkedIn recommendations after they’ve done work for them, they know to also ask for a Google review as well/instead.
In industries/locales where not many people get reviews, an added bonus is that once you get 5 reviews, you get the stars appearing next to your listing, which is extremely eye-catching (and more-so if they’re all positive 4/5-star reviews)!
That said, in industries/locales that are more competitive, you might have to do additional Google Places optimisation work, but often-times – and in my experience – reviews alone are enough to make a big difference.
To learn more about getting online reviews, check out these resources:

39. Use GetListed.org To Clean Up Your Citations

Steve Webb
Steve Webb, Ph.D. is the Founder of Web Gnomes, where he spends most of his time performing SEO audits. You already found the Web Gnomes blog, but you can also find Steve on Twitter and Google+.
Every year, local SEO experts rank the factors that influence local search results, and every year, the quality, authority, and consistency of citations appear at the top of the list.
Citations are online mentions of your company’s Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP), and they play a fundamental role in how search engines list your business.
With that in mind, here’s my most actionable local SEO tip:

Clean up your citations.

Specifically, claim local listings on as many high-quality, authoritative sites as possible; eliminate duplicate local listings, and make sure all of your citations use consistent NAP information.
GetListed.org is a great tool to help you begin this cleanup process. It doesn’t cover every citation source (because there are hundreds of them), but it allows you to check your company’s most important local listings (and the citations found in those listings).
To illustrate, here’s a quick step-by-step walkthrough:
0. Make sure your company’s NAP is accurate, consistently displayed on your website, and compliant with quality guidelines.
1. Visit GetListed.org, and enter your business name and zip code in the appropriate fields. Then, click the “Check My Listings” button.
GetListed.org home screen
2. If multiple listings appear, choose the most accurate one.
GetListed.org most accurate listing
3. Take note of your “Listing Score” because this number approximates how well you’re managing your local listings (e.g., have you claimed your company’s listings, are the listings populated with appropriate information, is that information consistent across each of the listings, etc.).
Ideally, you want this score to be as close to 100% as possible.
GetListed.org listing score
4. Create listings for each of the sites that appear in the “Missing Listings” section. For a given entry, click the “Create Listing” button, and follow the instructions on the corresponding site.
GetListed.org missing listings
Note: When creating a new listing, be sure to use consistent information (especially for your company’s NAP).
5. Claim the listings that appear in the “Unclaimed Listings” section, and make sure each listing shows accurate and consistent information.
GetListed.org unclaimed listings
Note: You want your listings to be as consistent as possible, but don’t be overly concerned about small address variations (e.g., “Street” vs. “St.”).
6. Check the listings that appear in the “Found Listings” section, and ensure they display accurate and consistent information. Also, if you spot any duplicate listings, try to remove them.
GetListed.org found listings
Hopefully, once you’ve completed these steps, your Listing Score will be 100% (or close to it) and your local search visibility will be much higher.
But don’t stop there! Keep improving your local SEO by building more citations and cleaning up the rest.
Here are a few more resources to take your citation cleanup efforts to the next level:

40. Use Local Citation Finder To Discover Your Industry’s Most Important Citation Sources

Phil Rozek
Phil Rozek runs LocalVisibilitySystem.com, a resource for business owners who need more local visibility. You can find Phil on Twitter andGoogle+.
Here are my top-3 tips…
1. Use Whitespark’s Local Citation Finder to discover the citation sources that matter in your particular local market. List your business on those sites.
Bonus tip: use the tool’s citation-monitoring feature to track the citations that your local competitors get over time, so that you can also list your business on those sites as well.
2. Create a separate page on your website for each specific service you offer. (Don’t forget to have your business name, address, and phone number on every page!)
3. Ask every customer how you can do a better job, and ask every customer for an online review.

Lightning Round

As the name suggests, this section is full of shorter SEO tips that you should be able to digest very quickly. And the lightning round begins… NOW!
Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie – Portent

Build it right the first time. No amount of cajoling, tweaking, keyword-adding or link building will fix a site that runs slowly, crashes under load, repels users with a terrible interface or otherwise sucks eggs.
I don’t know that this is my favorite SEO area. But infrastructure is what I see wreck one SEO campaign after another. So please, for heaven’s sake, read the SEO requirements you pay for, and make sure you actually do them, before you launch your new site. Please. I’m begging.
Eric Enge

Eric Enge – Stone Temple Consulting

The true value of social media is not direct links out of social media sites but their ability to provide you with a built in PR channel that you can use to get people to link to your great content. You can see an illustration of how that works in the following:
Social PR channel
Kane Jamison

Kane Jamison – Content Harmony

Create as many exact-match landing pages for your topic universe as you can while still maintaining high editorial standards, and figure out a way to structure them effectively within your site without being redundant.
Avoid repeating yourself by interlinking well (but moderate amounts of duplicate content across pages is fine). Then build as many branded links as you can from sites that don’t suck.
Nick Eubanks

Nick Eubanks – SEO Nick

For any website with a geographic or local focus, instead of using internal links to flow PageRank and relevance between parent and child pages, use schema.org “item property” tags.
This will not only signal location-based results, but it renders your search listing with hierarchical sitelinks – providing up to 4 additional in-SERP links, all sending additional query-relevance and potentially additional traffic from Google.
Paddy Moogan

Paddy Moogan – Distilled

When coming up with content ideas that you think have a chance of getting links to your website, do the ten minute test before getting too far into the process.
The ten minute test is where you go and find ten websites that you think would care about your content idea and would probably link to it.
Penguin timer
If you can’t find ten websites in ten minutes, then perhaps it isn’t such a great idea! This can help keep you focused on link worthy ideas and save you a lot of time on developing content that no one will ever link to!
John-Henry Scherck

John-Henry Scherck – SEOgadget

Actually research your client’s industry, and set up industry-specificGoogle alerts. It’s not enough to just produce content. Your content needs to be timely, relevant, inspiring, educational or exceptional (and hopefully all of the above). Originality is key.
Barry Schwartz

Barry Schwartz – Rusty Brick

Make something Google would be embarrassed not to rank well.
Ross Hudgens

Ross Hudgens – Siege Media

Look at your competitors in PPC and see if you can siphon any tips on what’s working from a CTR perspective, and implement it in your own title tags and meta descriptions.
Keyword stuffed title tags don’t work anymore, so you should quickly adapt to a strategy of iteratively testing your title tags.
Andrew Shotland

Andrew Shotland – Local SEO Guide

1. Update all of the web pages you control today. Refresh the content a bit because Google is over-rewarding freshness these days.
2. If a site comment spammed your site in the past and contacts you asking for the comment spam link to now be removed, ask them to publicly post an apology on Twitter and Google+ before you take it down. If you can’t have fun in this business, what’s the point?
Peter Attia

Peter Attia – Cucumber Nebula

Take everything you read about marketing with a grain of salt.This includes all shades of hats and all levels of expertise. Try anything and everything that has low risk. Even if it fails, you’ll learn something along the way.

What Do You Think?

I would love to hear from you in the comments. Which of these SEO tips is your favorite? Do you have an actionable tip you’d like to share?

steve
About The Author:  is an SEO audit specialist at Web Gnomes. He received his Ph.D. from Georgia Tech, where he published dozens of articles on Internet-related topics. Professionally, Steve has worked for Google and various other Internet startups, and he's passionate about sharing his knowledge and experiences with others. You can find him on TwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn.