Ep 11 | YouTube Optimization for SEO

SEO is for the peopleEp 11 | YouTube Optimization for SEO

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last few years you know that video has become a huge part of marketing and the internet in general.  Business owners are encouraged to create videos and upload them to YouTube as a means of marketing their businesses.  And so they do.  They have no idea what to do from there.

The most popular search engine for millennials, and the second most popular overall, is YouTube.  YouTube used correctly is a very powerful tool in your SEO strategy but how do you optimize your video for SEO?

That was the topic this week.  We quickly discussed some optimization opportunities for YouTube.

Your Channel

  • Get a custom URL
  • Add Cover Photo
  • Add link back to your website and social profiles
  • Add a thorough about section (did not discuss in video)

Your Videos

  • Include a descriptive title with a long tail keyword as the focus
  • Include a thorough description using long tail keyword variations in the description, and a link to your website
  • Include relevant tags.  Think of these as meta keywords for YouTube

Your Website

  • Embed the video on your website (blog post or page)
  • Include a description or transcription of the video
  • Optimize the post/page for On-Page SEO just like any other web page

There is certainly more you can do.  For example sharing the video is an important part of your SEO strategy.  Start with these steps and we will revisit at a later date.

Episode 10 Two SEO Hacks You Can Crush Your Competition With

the SEO Tear Down with Scott GombarEpisode 10 Two SEO Hacks You Can Crush Your Competition With

I wrote a blog post about an SEO hack that you can use (ethically) to increase traffic by 95% (or in some cases 200-300%).  I discovered some other hidden benefits to this SEO hack so that was the focus of this weeks episode.  Then I remembered that I wanted to talk about another SEO hack that I have used successfully several times now.

The first SEO hack involved repurposing existing website blog.  Read the blog post here to learn more about what I did and what the results were.

The second SEO hack involved your domain purchase and keyword strategy.  Basically if you research your long tail keywords before domain purchase you can get a domain with exact match keywords.  I have successfully ranked #1 within a few days on all major search engines.  I launched a new site 6 days ago with the same strategy and so far I am number 15 on Google, and number 1 on Yahoo and Bing.

I also talked about Google separating their index into 2 indexes.  One for mobile and one for desktop.  What will that mean to your business and website.

Can I build SEO friendly websites on Wix?  You can but you don’t get access to everything you need to win the SEO battle.

 

One Hack to Improve Website Traffic

This One Hack Will Increase Your Website Traffic by 95%

This One Hack Will Increase Your Website Traffic by 95%

Google Analytics Hack

I have read case studies of a trick that increases traffic by 200 or 300%. It’s an ethical method of increasing traffic so of course the nerd in me was intrigued.  I put the theory to test.  Here are the one trick and the results.  You may get better (or worse) results than I did.  I certainly would have liked a 300% increase in traffic but I got 95%.  I will take it.

The Hack

It’s really quite simple.  If you’ve been blogging on your site for a while then you probably have dozens, if not hundreds, of blog posts.  Go back to a blog post from a year or more ago.  The blog post should be primarily evergreen content.  Evergreen content is content that can be shared or used over and over again because the content is not outdated.

Once you find an appropriate blog post go through the post and update it.  Remove or update content that has a date.  Change a few images around.  Remove any content that is not longer relevant.  Add new content if there is any available.

In my case, I also found that I needed to update some of the on-page SEO elements.  I also modified the title but left the URL structure alone.  Remember if you change the URL structure you will have to add a 301 redirect.

OK, after reviewing and editing the blog post I shared it across most major social media channels.  I was moderately impressed with the results.

[button color=”accent-color-tilt” hover_text_color_override=”#fff” size=”large” url=”http://52.91.7.33/google-search/” text=”Want To Increase Your Website Traffic?” color_override=””]

The Results

1 hack to improve website traffic by 95%I had a traffic increase of almost 95% compared to the same time frame a week earlier.   I also had an increase of 67% over the same time period a year earlier. 

Compared to the week earlier there were also some other impressive, and more telling, statistics.

Page Views increased by 157%.  That means people were looking at more pages as a result of the updated blog post.  This is awesome.  You want people to look at more pages on your site.  This shows they are interested in knowing more about you and what you do.

Pages per Session increased by 32%.  Again, this is great.  More pages being viewed every time someone came to the site means they want to know more.

Average Time on Site increased by 5735%.  Wow..just wow.  People read the blog post and likely much more.

Bounce Rate decreased by 19%.  Great as well.  As indicated above people visited more pages while on my website.  This is truly awesome.

One Hack to Improve Website Traffic

An interesting stat was the new versus returning visitors.  The pie chart on the top is the newer results while the one on the bottom is from the previous period.  It makes sense that people who have been to my site before would return to read the article but when you combine that with the increase in page views and time on the site this equates to remarketing.  Most marketers and business owners know that you have to touch someone 7-10 times before you can close.  Instead of touching 16.7% of my audience for at least the second time, I reached 40% of my audience for at least the second time.

Awesome Website Traffic Increase

My quick case study shows what most marketers have probably suspected for some time.  You don’t always have to create new content.  Repurposing and sharing old content works well to drive qualified traffic to your site.

How do I know the traffic is qualified?  Well if it wasn’t qualified traffic the bounce rate would not have decreased and Page Views/Average Time on Site would not have increased so dramatically.  I drew the right audience by repurposing a blog post from over a year ago.

Practicing this one hack consistently will obviously have positive results on your traffic and on your business.  I would love to hear back from anyone who does this to hear their results.

[button color=”accent-color-tilt” hover_text_color_override=”#fff” size=”large” url=”http://52.91.7.33/google-search/” text=”Want To Increase Your Website Traffic?” color_override=””]

 

Twitter 2017

Twitter Cards-When 140 Characters isn’t enough in 2017

Twitter Cards in 2017

 

Twitter is under fire.  High-level executives are leaving in droves.  Potential suitors have all bailed on buying the social media platform.  The NFL is not getting the ratings they hoped for.  And Twitter recently shut down Vine, a move that leads some to believe the end of Twitter is near.

A lot of anti-Twitter people claim the problem with Twitter is it’s 140 character limit.  I am of the belief that this is what makes Twitter attractive.  With the extremely rapid evolution of technology and content being readily available at the click of a button or the touch of a screen our attention spans have decreased dramatically.  If you don’t hook someone in 7 or 8 seconds you’re not going to hook them at all.

Even though images and video no longer count towards your character limit it seems that some people still struggle with the character limit.  Four years ago Twitter launched something that eliminated the 140 character limit but so many Tweeters are still not aware of it, or don’t know how to set it up and use it.

 

ReIntroducing Twitter Cards

It’s actually a pretty simple explanation.  You spend hours, maybe even days writing a blog post.  When you share it to Twitter you probably write a clever one line explanation and then add the link.  By the time you add this and a few other keywords, you have used up the 140 characters.

Or maybe you want to include a video or audio file as part of the tweet.  With a standard tweet, that would mean adding a link back to the original source.  Using Twitter Cards you can add a video or audio file to the tweet.

If you’re anything like me you will sometimes find yourself editing and shortening your original tweet just to make it work.  With Twitter Cards you can now include more content with your tweet.  The tweet will have a view summary option that will display whatever information you want  including an image and a link back to the source.

A Twitter Card looks something like this when properly set up:

Expand Your Tweets Beyond 140 Characters Scott Gombar

Types of Twitter Cards

Summary Card-This is the default card and one that is most commonly used.  This can include , including a title, description, thumbnail, and Twitter account attribution.

Summary Card with Large Image-Similar to the Summary Card but includes a larger image

Photo Card-A Tweet sized photo card

Gallery Card-A Twitter Card that highlights a photo-gallery

App Card-A card used to provide information about an application

Player Card-A card used to include an audio or video player

Product Card-A card used to highlight a product and relevant content

Twitter Cards are very easy to setup, and even easier if you are using WordPress.  There are 4 steps in the setup process and a very quick approval process.  This site was approved within minutes.  You can review the steps by clicking here.

Analytics:  Because You Want To Know What Works

Twitter Card Analytics were also added to Twitter Analytics  as of January 23rd, 2014.  Now you can see what is effective and what is not.   As you can see from the image below, Twitter added a separate tab for just Twitter Cards.   You can see how many tweets used Twitter Cards, what types were used and your overall engagement.

Twitter Card Analytics

Use Those Twitter Cards

While some Twitter purists will think this goes beyond what Twitter is meant to be, I would have to disagree.  You are not forced to see all of the content of the Twitter Card.  You can click on it if you choose to.  That means marketers need to get even more creative to encourage engagement.  That seems like a Win/Win to me.

WordPress makes it easy to set up Twitter Cards.  You just need to set up Twitter Cards using this link and then add the WordPress plugin.

Not sure how to get started with Twitter Cards?  Need help with Twitter Analytics?  I can help..just call 203.806.0736

https://youtu.be/15u2G-L07x8

Episode 9 | 7 SEO Trends That Will Dominate 2017

the SEO Tear Down with Scott GombarThis week I reviewed an article on Forbes “7 SEO Trends That Will Dominate 2017“.  I also received a question during the show.

What is the most important aspect of SEO currently?

I spent some time on the answer.  Content is still the most important part of SEO but not quite the way it was even a few years ago.  Keep the focus on developing content (of all types) for your audience.  Make your content engaging and unique.  Use all types of content in your plan (Video, Audio, Blog).

Here are the 7 SEO Trends the article talked about:

  1. The Increased Importance of AMP
  2. Creating Deeper Content
  3. Artificial Intelligence/Rankbrain
  4. Personal Branding
  5. User Experience/UX
  6. Mobile Apps
  7. Personal Digital Assistants like Siri, Cortana and OK Google

If you want to feature your business website on my show fill out the form and we will talk to you about your website and business on a future episode.

 

Episode 8 | 5 Things Your SEO Forgot About

the SEO Tear Down with Scott GombarEpisode 8 | 5 Things Your SEO Forgot About

I recently wrote a blog post about the 5 Things Your SEO Forgot & Why It’s Hurting Your Business.  In that blog post I discussed what SEO providers who are not staying current with best practices may be overlooking some things, what those things are and how to correct them.

I followed up with Episode 8 of the SEO Tear Down so here you go.

The 5 Things Your SEO Forgot About

  1. Other Blogs
  2. Engagement on your blog
  3. Fast Website
  4. Other Types of Content
  5. Keyword Variations

A lot of what goes into today’s SEO best practices is a result of artificial intelligence.  RankBrain accounts for around 15% of all Google Search results (according to Google) and we can only expect this to increase.  Therefore it is imperative that we adjust our thinking when it comes to SEO best practices.  Stay ahead of the curve and be prepared when the next foot drops.  Let me know what you think.

If you want to feature your website on the SEO Tear Down fill this form out and we will get you on a future episode.  The SEO Tear Down is live every Wednesday at noon.

 

SEO is for the people

5 Things Your SEO Forgot to Do, & They’re Hurting Your Business

Almost daily I am asked what a business owner or web designer do as it relates to SEO.  The truth is there is no one simple answer.  There are tons of guides out there including my own on-page SEO checklist.  Some of the guides are great and some not so much.

There are some things that SEOs are overlooking especially if they’re not staying up to date.  The SEO world evolves at a very rapid pace.  That leads me to this blog post.  Hope you find it useful.

  1. Share with Other Blogs-It is critical to have an ongoing content plan for your website (usually in the form of a blog) and most business owners and marketers know this. If your marketer doesn’t know this then stop reading right now and find a new marketer.What a lot of business owners and marketers miss is the opportunity to share that content to other blog sites.  Now this is the part where I get attacked for having duplicate content on multiple sites.  Yes, it is true that Google will only favor one site (usually the one with the most authority) for a piece of content but here’s how to navigate around that.Create an awesome blog post and add it to your site.  Now, wait a few days or weeks.  Check to see if Google has indexed it.  Checking to see if Google has indexed a page is very simple.  Use Google.com and search using the info search operator.

info:http://52.91.7.33/one-simple-step-eliminate-marketing-funnel-immediately/

info search operatorIf the blog post or page has been indexed Google will return a search result.  Now that you’ve confirmed your content is indexed you can add it to other blog platforms.  I am including a list of a few to get you started.  This is not an all-inclusive list and a quick Google search will reveal much more.

  • Medium
  • LinkedIn
  • Business2Community
  • Blogger

You should also look for industry related sites that will accept your content.  For example, I also add my blog posts to Inbound.org and Social Media Today.

  1. Develop Content That Encourages Engagement-This should seem like a no-brainer but it’s easier said than done. Again, having a blog is the first step but let me reintroduce you to RankBrain.  RankBrain is the artificial intelligence arm of the Google Search Algorithm.  RankBrain takes into consideration several items that were not considered on the Google SERP before.Create Engaging PostsOne of those things is engagement.  Engagement is simply the interactions that occur with your content.  This includes shares, comments, and likes.  It also includes page views and time spent on the page (meaning people read the content).How Do You Encourage Engagement?  Well, I am glad you asked.  Write content that doesn’t suck while thinking about your audience.  If your audience is not technically savvy as it relates to your industry then you have to talk to them in their language.

    Here’re More Ways to Encourage Engagement:

  • Ask questions
  • Ask for feedback
  • Using interesting images
  • Ask people to share (yes, it’s OK)
  • Use bullet points
  1. Make Your Website as Fast as Possible-I still believe it’s coming. Google will eventually make the next big algorithm update all about speed.  More and more people are browsing on mobile and we live in a very fast-paced world.  Even a few seconds can seem like an eternity in our instant gratification society.  People do not want to wait.  Your website needs to be fast.There is a ton of ways to increase the speed of your website.  First, check it using Google’s PageSpeed Insights to check for opportunities within your website.Google has already launched the Accelerated Mobile Project (AMP) so the first step would be to set this up on your website.  It’s quite simple if you’re using WordPress.  In short, AMP creates a stripped down version of your web pages and stores them on the Google servers for faster loading on mobile devices.

Side Note:  You should also set your site up for Facebook Instant Articles

Some other items that can speed up your site:

  • Minify CSS and HTML
  • Use as little JavaScript as possible
  • Optimize images
  • Don’t use the cheapest host/server you can find
  • Minimize the amount of external content that loads on your website
    Make Your Website Fast
  1. Other Types of Content-There is a lot being said about video lately. Furthermore, podcasts are on the rise so people are also consuming audio content.  I’ve talked about this before.  Different people consume content in different manners.  I personally prefer video/audio/written in that order.  I don’t like to read and usually when I do I skim.  With that being said I sometimes prefer to read or I am somewhere that I cannot use the volume.It is very easy to create video and audio content now.  A few years ago this was a huge undertaking and most business owners avoided it because of the cost, time commitment, and equipment requirements.  Today a laptop with a microphone, or a Smartphone with a microphone, goes a long way.  I have used both successfully and still do.My podcast series, Growth Success Radio, is done using a laptop and a microphone that was very inexpensive.  We record live using Huzza.io and then the content is uploaded to most major podcast platforms, YouTube and GrowthSuccessRadio.com.  I have also used my Smartphone to create short videos and screen capture software (Camtasia) to create tutorials to add to my content.Because people consume content in different ways you are more likely to get people to engage.  Images and infographics are also great pieces of content.  If your site is set up properly the images will be added when shared to social media, and this will encourage even more engagement.
  2. Keyword Variations-So much is made of keywords still and rightfully so. People still search using keyword phrases (long tail keywords).  Here’s a question for you.

How often do you try different variations of your search query before you find what you’re looking for?

Google recognized that this happens often and that in part is the reason for RankBrain.  RankBrain takes a searchers input and tries to identify the intent of the searcher.  In other words, you may enter “What Do I Do After a Car Accident” and Google might return “Personal Injury Lawyers” in your area.  RankBrain tries to return what it thinks you really meant to search for.

That means you should not be developing content with a single long tail keyword in mind.  You should be developing content with different variations of that long tail keyword.  If you download my on-page SEO checklist you will get a list of ways to check on those keyword variations.

An easy way to ensure you’re not focused on the single keyword/single post method is to just develop the content for your audience, not Google.  Google has stated this multiple times.  Don’t try to game the system, just write for your audience.  If you write content for the people who are reading it then you have already won.

SEO Is For The People

You may have heard that SEO is dead.  I have written about this as well.  SEO is not dead, it has just morphed into what it should have been all along.  You should no longer create an SEO plan for Google.  You should be creating an SEO plan for your intended audience.  After all, SEO is for the people!

SEO is for the people