Tag Archives: SEO

Analysing SEO Performance with Google Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster Tools Guide

I have been so busy lately but I have used my spare time to get acquainted with Google Webmaster tools.  Take a look at some of the things it has helped me to understand about my blog.  You can also use this as a guide to analyse your site too.

Understanding the search queries leading to your website: 

When you log into webmaster tools and select the search traffic tab then go to the search queries box.

You’ll come across a dashboard showing all the keywords people are looking for to get to your site and how many times your webpage is displayed in search results when people enter in those particular keywords in Google.  This is known as impressions. Clicks are recorded when people actually click your webpage within the search results.

I have selected Impressions because I want to see the keywords that are showing up more in the search results.

Impressions do not mean that people will click on your link but it’s a good way of figuring out what people are searching for within your market.

search queries

 

 

 

Key insights:  Do these keywords reflect what my blog is about?  Why am I not getting enough clicks? Why am I not getting enough impressions for more than relevant keywords like link building tactics?  How can I optimise my pages further?

 

Further analysis: The post on Google’s flight comparison is getting some attention.  The actual blog post is located in the social media category. It seems like the data is showing that this is not very relevant for the blog as people reading it want to read about SEO not about a flight comparison tool error.

Possible Solutions:

  • Blog more regularly & write more about SEO. Post more SEO related ‘hot topics’.
  • Pay attention to keywords that people actually search for in real time. What is going on now?
  • Pay attention to the posts that gets the highest number of impressions. Write more posts on these themes.
  • Research thoroughly & write from a new angle on topics that people are discussing in the Digital marketing sphere.

Positive points:  At least the most relevant post is showing as keyword unavailable and this has a great deal to do with the current issue with Google Analytics & how SEO is measured.

Top Pages & Getting some social media love:

You can also select from top pages and date range to see where your impression led to clicks.   From here I can see that a lot of these posts actually did get clicks but wonder why these weren’t recoded in the search query section. I’ll look into this and report it in my next post.

 

Top pages

 

I also did some digging and looked into what posts received some social love on twitter.   Take a look at the tweet below directed at my post about the PC world logo error on Google which happened a few months ago. It goes to show that writing about real time events is the way forward.  I’ll try and do more of this.

Google Index: 

Find out about the number of pages Google have indexed.  As you can see less pages are being indexed compared to last year because of an update. In this update Google now focuses on indexing the non-secure pages of the site.  These are the pages people can access without having to login.

Index status

You can also remove URL’s that you don’t want to display in search results.  Find out more about how I removed the tagged pages and category pages from search results.

Content Keywords:  This is something I have found useful to use.  It shows how many times I’ve mentioned a specific term on my blog and how significant it is to the blog. (or how significant Google sees it anyway)

 

content keywords

 

Search Appearance

Data highlighter:  Now this tool is very interesting as it affects the way your pages show up in the search results. If you have an events page on your website you can add the information into Google highlighter within Google webmaster tools and your event will be displayed in a different way from standard search results.   I haven’t done this before but I’d sure love to. I am pretty sure Cinema outlets use this.  Take a look at the search for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’.

Search Appearance

These are the tools I’ve used within Google Webmaster Tools.  There are still a few more I am yet to use extensively.  I’ll explore that at a later date.

Thanks for reading.

I’d love to hear know your thoughts about Google webmaster tools.  Have you used it to monitor your website or blog?  Leave your comments below.

 

Google Hummingbird Update & Conversational Search

On Thursday 26th of September Google celebrated their 15th Birthday  with a Happy Birthday Google doodle on Google search and coincidentally that same day, they made an announcement about their algorithm which they have updated and named ‘hummingbird’. This is something that has already taken effect since about a month ago.  As Google like to do, they have kept it a secret and just announced it without giving too much detail.  Apparently it wasn’t much of a shake up like Panda or Penguin but this update is just a way of improving conversational search.

Conversational Search

So when searching a lot of people have started using conversational searches instead of just short term phrases.

For example looking at the screenshot below (I tried this search out on Google Trends) and discovered that more searches for terms such as ‘How to fix a car’ instead of shorter terms such as car fixing and mechanical tips. This means two things to me; the search engines are a lot smarter than they were years ago and people have started to realise this and more people like to be specific with their search queries

conversationalsearch

What does this mean for SEO Practitioners?

Ethical SEO has never been ever more important than it is now.  That means no more phoney ways of getting links and even practising SEO. It does not mean that SEO is dead! With advances such as people searching on their mobile (where you can search by speaking into your phone),  longer tailed searching is getting even more popular.  Google therefore want to show more precise data and here is where content marketing plays a huge role.

I do not need to go into the details of content marketing, as I have already done so before; however I will like to add that ensuring that anchor texts are more precise is a good idea. It would therefore be a good idea to go for longer tailed anchor texts rather than shorter tailed ones.

Content marketing efforts should now include tactics such as being conversational in an effort to engage readers further.  So the sites that will be ranking well on Google with have updated content that people will usually want to read everyday. A great way to ensure this is done successfully is revamping old content..  mentioning them in relevant new posts and adding new things that will be beneficial to readers today rather than last year. If you do have information that is relevant to last year update it and state that the content has been updated to include factors for this year.  Find out more about how to do this by reading an article on Moz.  

Furthermore some of the points I have mentioned have been summarised in the following tweets;  

Did you notice anything spectacular with the hummingbird Google Update? Feel free to voice out your thoughts on it in the comments below. Thanks for reading.

By Ibukun Sodipe

Are You Carrying Out Enough Research Before Reaching Out To Bloggers?

Today I am going to be discuss a topic that has been on my mind for a while.  As a lot of you will have gathered from my recent posts, I do a lot of blogger outreach on behalf of my clients. I am  a big fan of finding creative ways to improve my methods and believe me it is not an easy task to put it into practice. The whole process is very time-consuming and can seem a bit crazy at times, but the results are amazing. Carrying out extensive research before approaching site owners, bloggers, editors etc for a link is something that needs to be done. It is essential as you have to know that you are putting in a considerable amount of pressure for something that is actually worth the while. Furthermore, with the recent updates and Penguin refreshes now is the time to perfect the link building strategies you have been using. One has to be on top of their game now more than ever.  Read on for more information on the things that should be checked before reaching out to a blogger.

Relevance

Okay, I have mentioned this many times before on this blog so I won’t go into too much detail. Relevance is key, everyone knows that.  Make sure that the blog you are targeting at least mentions the sort of thing you working to promote.  I have gone into more detail on this topic in my recent post about; effective SEO tactics to use in 2013

Outgoing Links

This in itself is a very important metric when it comes to measuring how effective the links you’ve gotten are. The more outgoing links a page has the less value your link will have. Basically if it’s easy to get a link on the site then you have not earned it,  you’ve built it.  We should all know by now, that in this day and age we have to earn our links not build it.

Authority

By all means target the blogs that have a high authority and are well-known for that.  Matt Cutt’s recently stated in his video that authority sites will be ranking more highly in the SERP’s and the signals will be getting a lot better at identifying these sites. Of course these sites will have a good rage rank and high domain authority. These metrics are  good way of indicating that a site is good has a high authority. So I am sure you’ll be looking out for these metrics anyway.

Traffic

Is there a way to find out how much traffic this blog gets?  Remember,  it’s a blog and you’d want to get meaningful content on that blog.  The blog has to have some visits after all you are not just aiming at getting a link on a blog that’s not going to do anything or refer readers, right?  This is why looking at the site’s traffic metrics is important.

Tools for measuring Traffic  – Semrush –  now here is a tool that shows how much traffic each site gets from search engines in each country. For instance one blog may get 1000 referrals from Google UK,  whilst it only gets 500 referrals from Google US search engine. I will probably prefer the blog with more visits from the UK search engine just because my client is a UK-based client who can only sell to UK residents.  This is the sort of thing that many people overlook just because they want to get a link at the end of the day. Well link building has evolved too much for that sort of thinking and one has to make sure they think things through before targeting random sites that don’t make a difference to the brand they are representing. 

Blogger Engagement  On Social Media 

Is there person behind the blog?Are they engaging with their followers?  Believe me,  this sets apart a serious blogger from one who isn’t very serious.  A serious blogger writes passionately,  and engages readers within the posts in any way they can. Do they tweet their content? Of course they should.  Do they have a lot of followers and blog with low domain authority?  If they do then don’t push them aside just because they don’t have a high domain authority.  They may not be very big yet but if they have a huge following on twitter then chances are they are working their way towards this. People care about what they have to say, that’s why they follow them, right? It is a well-known fact that ‘social signals are now paving a way for the future of search’,  so you should definitely take it seriously and use it when researching prospects. 

Social media channels to check;  Twitter; Google+, Facebook, Pintrest etc.

Verified Authorship: 

Now this is something that I look at when I am doing outreach. We must have all heard about the verified authorship that comes up on search results.  Right now, I am still waiting for my blog to be verified and it’s taking a while. It helps when you have your own domain. I have explained that in my last post about managing SEO for my blog.  Being a verified author means that your posts will get a higher click-through rate than normal search results and that results in an increased traffic.  So it all counts, doesn’t it?

Domain Age 

The older the age of the domain the more trustworthy it is.  As stated by Jim Boykin: “I’d much rather get a link from a site registered in 1995 that has 100 quality backlinks, than get a link from a blog registered in 2005 with 1000 quality backlinks.”

For more information about link value factors refer to this link building factor guide

By Ibukun Sodipe

ClickMeter – A Great Method To Monitor Link Building Tactics

There are so many ways of doing creative link building and also on a really low-budget.  I mentioned some of these in my last post about creative link building,  however, today  I am going to discuss one of the ways I’ve been monitoring these tactics.

Clickmeter

I recently came across this online tool called ClickMeter   when my work colleague was using it to monitor some of my link building tactics.  I got to know that it was a good way of showing which tactics worked the best and I’ve since started using it on a regular biases.

As can be seen below in the image before starting  to post any information about a deal or discount, just post the original link into ClickMeter and then it would shorten the link.  The shortened link will then be used and refer anyone who clicks on it to the original URL.  The whole point of doing this is so the link building tactics can be monitored.

Clickmeter

So after creating the campaign, I can now post deals on relevant forum sites that accept and refer them to the original url with the shortened link provided from ClickMeter.  I did this and then checked the results and the success of these links by checking which of the forums I got my referrals from.

Clickmeter - Monitoring Campaign Sucess and List Of Clicks

Looking at the stats in the image above (if you can’t see it properly click on the image itself)  you will see that some of the referrals came from the Money-Saving Expert forum. This shows that Money Saving Expert Forum is a great place to add great discount deals. Basically it is a great place to get a link on as there are going to be a lot of guaranteed referrals.  So if you are running a discount deal on at your company be sure to stop by at the money saving expert forum and inform everyone about it in the discount codes section. There are so many people looking for free deals and this is a great way of gaining targeted traffic to your website or e-commerce brand.

Are there any other tools that you have used to monitor link building efforts (apart from Google Analytics)? Don’t get me wrong,  Google Analytic is a great tool that I also use. However,  I was just concentrating on using other  online tools that are also very easy to use.  Feel free to leave your comments below. It’s always great to read your feedback about my posts.

By Ibukun Sodipe

How To Use Content Marketing To Engage Effectively

Recently, I have been doing a bit more of content marketing and would like share a few things I found useful in the process. I also started thinking about the content I come across that captures me and keeps me reading until the end and I thought to myself  ‘I hope my blogs are engaging too’. If not, you could always leave a comment and advise me on what you think about my content.  Here are some of the ways I have discovered to use content marketing to engage with readers.

Using Experience As The Best Teacher

Have you ever heard of the phrase, ‘experience is the nest teacher? well, it certainly is. Think about it, when you experience something you usually can explain it better and much more effectively than when you hear about  someone.  You can also apply this concept into your content marketing efforts. I have done this with my post titled: The Power Of Social Media (Especially In The Case Of HMV) where I showed real examples about the power of social media and used pictures on real tweets that went hand in hand with what I was trying to explain. To me,  that was an experience on its own, it was not my first-hand experience but I saw this incident occurring and discussed it with my peers at work.  I thought about it and tried to imagine myself in the victim’s position, I then thought about how I would react to the situation.  These are the sort of things you can put into practice when writing content.

Be Passionate About Your Content

When you are passionate about something and you write about it,  chances are it will show in the tone of your message.  You will elaborate about the key facts of your passion and you will make an effort to persuade others to become interested in it. Here are some of the bloggers that meets this criteria.

One blogger that really puts this into practice is;  Sean  Si –  especially with his blog post titled; SEO Without Boundaries which I found extremely helpful as an SEO practitioner. It is clear from all his posts that he is passionate about SEO and proves his knowledge through his content.

Remind Yourself Why You Started Writing In The First Place

Some people write to remind themselves of their passion, some to attract clients and to keep them informed on product and service updates,  for others it’s to share their knowledge.  Anyway, whatever your reason for blogging and writing content in general remind yourself of it once in a while.  It will motivate you to keep on blogging, writing and to be engaging in the content.

By Ibukun Sodipe

Why Link Building Requires A Creative Flair

Ever since the panda and penguin updates a lot has changed in the way many people do things when it comes to link building.  No more automatic directory submissions,  blog commenting just for the purpose of getting a link back and general black hat SEO  practices.  The way to earn links now is to be as creative as possible. These are some of the ways that one can be creative to earn the best links.

Creating Sharable Content

Some of the most sharable content out there are as straightforward as a YouTube video or an info-graphic explaining stats and important facts in a particular industry.

Here is an example of an info graphic shared on Twitter which has already acquired 11 re-tweets because it is indeed sharable content.

Infograp

It’s amazing to see these things in action because sometimes your sharable content can go absolutely viral and then you’ll be sure to earn some great links in return. One way to make absolute certain of this is to place the original sharable content on your domain so you’ll be the one getting of visits.

Link Baiting

Link baiting is when content is created within your website purposely to attract attention and prompt third parties to link to your website. Creating sharable content is a great way to do just this.  Other examples other than using info graphics is to blog about things people are searching for by using Google trends.  This SEO blog post explains just how to do that. I found it especially insightful myself, so give it a read.

I hope you found this blog post interesting and if you have other ideas on how to create sharable content then feel free to leave your comments below.

By Ibukun Sodipe

Why Content Curation Is A Great Way To Increase Back links Over Time

Ever heard of the phrase ‘create, publish and share’ well I have and I think its awesome.  Just thinking about the last couple of months when I didn’t make use of this technique makes me annoyed.  Trying new things is definitely a good way of learning and in the past couple of weeks I have definitely learned a lot.  Okay let me get straight to the point.

Last month or so I came across this tool called scoop.it and I started to include it into my usual link building strategy. So when a new article or blog post was written I shared it on Scoop.It which is a content curation site that also allows one to write a short snippet of text summarising the content in a paragraph.  That way the content is seen as unique and not just copied from the original source. I did this with a number of clients blogs and the next month I realised a rise in incoming links for those clients.

Increased Shares On Twitter

Another good thing about using a great platform such as scoop it for content curation,  is that it allows you to share your scoop with a tweet.  In each case I made sure I tweeted at the client with their twitter name so that they could also re-tweet the post and share it with their niche community of followers.

scoopit demo

The screen shot above shows that with each content scoop,  users can easily tweet their  content to their followers. I also used this feature to tweet at relevant parties as mentioned above. Think about it all that sharing is bound to get someone interested sharing your content too. As well as doing this I also started scooping other author’s content and they followed me and scooped my content too.

Increased Back links Over Time

After following this method for about a month or so,  I looked over the back link profile and noted that the external links had shot up a lot. Especially for one website as can be seen in the screenshot below.  As long as the content is interesting and one builds their community by following others and sharing their content,  others will be led to follow your content and scoop your content too.

xternallinksovertime

See how the number of links has risen, very steadily at first and  then climbing up further and further.  It’s an interesting sight to see and I am happy that I’ve included content curation into my link building strategy.   Thanks for reading.  If you have any comments feel free to add them below.

By Ibukun Sodipe

A Link Builders Handy Tool: Looking Out For Typo Errors On Another Website

It is not everyday that I get to come across a site that has a typographical error and when I found the following I couldn’t resist emailing the site owners in order to rectify the mistake.  Can you spot it? Okay, here it is instead of spelling accepting they have spelled the word as ‘excepting’ can you see it now? in the screen shot below;

Pic1
I quickly emailed the site owners and informed them of this typographical error and asked them for a guest post opportunity in exchange.  After all, I will be contributing to their website by supplying then with insightful and interesting content. Anyway, I’ll keep my fingers crossed and hopefully they’ll reply accepting my proposal for a guest post opportunity.

When practising white hat SEO techniques this kind of thing comes into play, so don’t be shy to ask the website for a link opportunity especially when you have done your part to help their website.

By Ibukun Sodipe

SEO From A Beginners View

Before I start blogging about the latest developments in the search engine market I should start with a brief introduction about what search engine optimization (SEO) is really about.

I do get a lot of questions such as’ ‘what is SEO?’ and ‘what do you do and SEO consultant?’ and my reply to this is usually something like; ‘SEO is the process of optimizing a websites html elements in order for it to rank well on search engines’. My answer to the question about my job role as an SEO consultant is usually along the lines of; ‘my aim is to provide recommendations and practice methods for websites to rank well on search engines’.

Now if you are new to SEO, or are only reading this blog for a school project of some sort, your reaction to the previous statement made above may be something like; ‘… I need more information, this is not enough’. So please try and follow as I try to squeeze some of the on-page SEO factors into one post.

Title Elements

Since SEO involves managing the HTML elements of a website, the first thing to ensure with the title tag of a webpage is that it includes the keyword and the theme of the website. The title elements of a page are very vital with SEO as it shows along with the search results as the search listing title. Therefore paying special attention to this HTML element is very important. The page title can either follow the format; keyword 1 – keyword 2 followed by | Name of Brand or Name of Brand | followed by Keyword 1 – Keyword 2.

The keyword title should be 66 characters at most as Google ( the leading search engine in the search engine market) will only show this amount of characters. Anyway enough with the rules let me attempt an example on how to optimise a sample website.

If my website was a basketball website, I will aim to mention the term ‘basketball’ in my page title. For competition and keyword research I will advise that the SEO practitioner researches their chosen keywords that they’d like to rank for. One amazing tool for this is Google’s Keyword tool; for which you can select keywords based on their competition. Usually you should select keywords that are neither too high or too low. Targeting keywords with medium keyword competitions or mixing low competition keywords and very high competition keywords is a also a good technique.

Meta Tags

Meta is often described as data about data and meta tags in a web pages HTML elements basically descibes what the page is abot

These tags are the tags that describe a web page and are usually edited by the website owner. These can go something like meta content description = ‘IBK SEO is a blog about search engine optimisation.  Find out more by visiting today’  Okay I’ll admit that  meta description was a bit vague but it explains the basic gist of the meta description tag right?

Headings 

The headings on a page also have to be optimised well to include the keyword you are targeted for each page.  It is common practice to include keywords in the headings of your articles anyway so this wouldn’t come as a shock to many of you.  The headings in a HTML will be tagged h1,  h2, h3 so make sure you include these in your content on your webpages.

That’s all I am going to mention for today. This post is long overdue anyway.

By Ibukun Sodipe

About this blog!

In this day and age where search has become a very important part and parcel of the consumer’s lifestyle (i.e. searching for desired products and comparing prices and reviews), search engine optimisation (SEO) has become a vital part of every websites strategy.
Those that have not taken SEO on board will definitely do so in the near future.

Sorry for that long intro just wanted to ensure that the importance of SEO is understood. I am very passionate about this you see. Anyway, I’ll be writing about SEO and the latest developments in the sector.

So I have used this as my first post to set the scene. My next post will be along the lines of what search engine optimisation is really about, in my own personal view.

By Ibukun Sodipe