Search engine optimization (SEO) strategy can be what sinks or floats the “ship” of a modern web-based business. SEO is at the heart of what allows a brand to thrive in an age that places such great importance on the web. The SEO consulting services you choose can make all the difference in your company’s success. Choosing between an individual contractor and an established agency can be difficult, especially if both appear to have attractive benefits. Here’s a look at some of the greatest differences you’ll find between the two. The Differences Between an SEO Consultant and SEO Agency The first step in making your choice is recognizing what makes an agency, an agency. SEO agencies use colla…Read entire entry »

Google Keyword Planner is an invaluable tool for business owners and website managers. It takes the mystery out of keyword research and makes search engine optimization (SEO) easier. In just a few easy steps, the Planner will give you new keywords and search volume data based on your inputs. You may then use these data-backed keywords in your content to increase site traffic and website ranking. To use the Google Keyword Planer to its fullest potential, use these six tips. Enter the Right Information After you open the Google Keyword Planner using your Adwords account, you’ll come to a page that allows you to input information about your product or service, landing page, audience targeting, and more. The most important element on this page is th…Read entire entry »

When it comes to search engine optimization, 80+% of it is working for better positions in Google.  Now Google loves to refine their algorithm and cause us all to do what is affectionally called ‘the Google dance’. Since 2000, Google has made many changes to the way it not only processes the billions of sites on the web, but also how it reviews the interconnectivity of sites on the web and presents these details to searchers.  This leads to new opportunities for everyone, typically due to the fluctuations that this causes for website owners and the shifts in exposure these cause. However, Google typically only provides hints of what each algorithm update includes and what factors it shifts priority of and lately, they are getting even more obfuscated with the slight openness they have shown in the past as perfectly illustrated by this tweet from Gary Illyes during a Twitter exchange between Barry Schwartz and him: …Read entire entry »

Recently, the two heaviest hitters in the search engine world – Google and Bing – jointly announced that they would increase the file size limit for sitemaps from 10MB to 50MB. A sitemap file contains all the URLs that belong to a particular site, and the maximum number of URLs a sitemap file may contain remains capped at 50,000. While the jump from 10MB to 50MB may seem insignificant at first glance, it is actually a big change for the search engine world. A sitemap helps search engines read, label, and index the content of your website’s pages, resulting in much better search result rankings. For example, imagine two websites that sell similar products, earn equivalent annual profits, and employ roughly the…Read entire entry »

We have all heard the phrase “Spring cleaning”, but when most of us think about it, we see that closet full of Winter stuff, the man cave or woman cave (apparently now known as “she shed” or “femme den”) that has been getting more and more cluttered as we find new “cool stuff” to put in them.  Who knows, maybe you ended up at a ton of marketing conferences last year and you are inundated with swag piles across a once work/gaming conducive desk area. Like the way this stuff builds up, websites also build up “stuff” over a year and some times that “stuff” results in assets desperately needing to be cleaned up due to potential new page duplication, linking to expired and now redirected links or, maybe the worst-case scenario, old site URLs that were never captured and redirected appropr…Read entire entry »

If a picture is a worth 1,000 words, a gif must be worth at least 10,000. These 15 gifs perfectly sum up search engine optimization (SEO) – its strategies, goals, and the trials and tribulations it gives today’s marketers. SEO rules are constantly changing, telling people what they can and cannot include on their websites. First keywords, then not too many keywords, next backlinks, but only high-quality backlinks… Navigating the rules of SEO isn’t easy, but it’s necessary. SEO can feel like taking one step forward and two steps back. Between the never-ending Google algorithm updates and new SEO trends making headlines, website managers might think they’l…Read entire entry »

First, let’s review what ‘taxonomy’ means when we apply the word to a website.  The basic definition of ‘taxonomy’, according to Merriam-Webster, is “the study of the general principles of scientific classification” and, more specific to the world of science, it is defined as “the process or system of describing the way in which different living things are related by putting them in groups.”  However, in the purpose of being used for a website, Google would define it simply as “a scheme of classification.”  Personally, I would define a website taxonomy as: “The hierarchical structure of a website as it relates to what is on the site (content, products, etc.) and how that is meant to be delivered to the site’s users.” Essentially, we mean that it looks at the highest level of messaging (think your homepage) and then gradually dissects the website based on consumer purpose and t…Read entire entry »

The organization of your website’s content and web pages plays an important role in search engine access, indexation, comprehension of information context, and user experience. In many industries and topic areas, standardized and logical taxonomies are publicly available—and when applied properly, they can be used as a component of your website’s information architecture. What Is Taxonomy? Taxonomy is the science of classification. While this may recall sessions of introductory biology, it goes beyond the classification of living things. When applied to information, taxonomy is most simply described as classification according to a predetermined system. The precise and deliberate organization of content eases information retrieval and informs contextual relationships between entities. Let’s look at an example before I lose ya in this jargon. Example Taxonomy: ICD-10 The Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services provides classification and coding of heal…Read entire entry »

In an era of instant gratification, the modern consumer expects brands to deliver what they want, when they want it. In the past, Google hasn’t penalized sites for slow mobile page speeds. This resulted in a plethora of companies ignoring the issue, and ultimately unhappy customers. Finally, Google has confirmed that mobile site page speed will be part of the algorithm for mobile search results – a relief for consumers, but a potential issue for brands. Why Optimize a Mobile Site? It’s important for brands to realize that a mobile site does not automatically inherit its desktop site search engine optimization (SEO) ranking. Instead, Google uses an algorithm that ranks mobile sites using the desktop rating with additional criteria for the final ranking. Goo…Read entire entry »

You can only optimize pages for so long before you must go back and optimize the entire website. Instead of relying on Band-Aids to keep your search engine optimization strong, consider making some holistic changes, and take the next step toward better online visibility. The Case for Holistic SEO Search engine optimization is much more than a set of tricks companies use to elevate their brands in search engine rankings. While some tactics do help websites get ahead, truly successful SEO in the modern world means looking at and optimizing every aspect of a website. Google and other search engines constantly change their algorithms to make search engines smarter. In year…Read entire entry »