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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

accelerated mobile pages Google AMP

Google AMP & It’s Impact on Your Website

Google Makes More Changes to Speed Up the Web

What Is Google AMP, and What is the Impact to Your Business Website?

My last blog post was about Google AdWords eliminating ads on the right side of your search page. Well Google has made another change to Google Search that will impact site owners. It’s called Google AMP.  AMP is short for accelerated mobile pages.  AMP is an open-source initiative that allows Google to show optimize pages that will load instantly from the Google search engine. Here’s what site owners need to know.

Google launched AMP in the last week or so. The idea is when you search for something on using the Google Search Engine, Google will show the accelerated mobile pages before they show any other pages on the Internet. This is good and bad news for most of us.  The good news is if you are prepared for and have taken the necessary steps to make sure that your web pages are amplified (get it AMPlified) and you verify that this is working then you will not move up the Google Search Results for some of the queries related to your website.  Conversely if you have not taken care of ensuring that your website is taking advantage of AMP then you reap the rewards.  

Standard Web Page vs AMP on Scott Gombar

Left side is this blog post without AMP. The right side is the same post with AMP.

From what I have gathered there is no plan to penalize websites that are not using Google AMP but if other sites do and yours does not then you may see your competitors leap frog over your site in the Google Search Results.

With that being said there’s a few things you should understand.  I’m going to try to keep this in in terms that are not very technical so that everybody can understand. If your web page comes up on a Google search as an accelerated mobile page and the user that performed the search clicks on the link it will not take them to your website.  It will actually take them to a version of your website that is now stored on Google servers. In the past if you searched for something on Google, you would click on it and be taken to an external website not on a Google server. With amp these pages are going to be stored on a Google server so that’s important to know. I’m still researching on how they plan to provide analytics for these pages so there will be more on that. I’m actually running amp now to see how things look and work as a result of using AMP.  There will be a follow up post to this one.

If your site is using WordPress (as my site is) then there’s good news. There is a plugin called AMP that you can install in Wordpress.  It will automatically add an extension for your blog posts however it will not add it to your web pages.  This means your  pages will not have the amp extension but your blog post will be able to be found on Google’s new search results with AMP.

So what is Google’s intention with Accelerated Mobile Pages?  It is simple really.  Google wants to speed up the internet for mobile devices.  If you have ever tried to load a large website on your mobile device you’ve probably noticed that some of them will take a while to load.  Even those sites that are optimized for mobile may take a little while to load.  AMP basically strips down your webpages removing code that will slow down your web pages and provides an optimized link to the content without all the extra stuff.  As an example when I post blog entry  there will be an AMP version of this post on my website and if you type / amp end of the URL you will see that version of the web page.  I mentioned in blog post a while back that Google’s next step after their algorithm update that essentially made it a priority to make your website mobile friendly that they’re next algorithm update would involve the speed of your website.  If you have unnecessary things, for example you’re using several different analytics providers that means you have JavaScript code for all the different analytics providers. You’re going to want to try to eliminate some of that because Google is trying to speed up the web. Some steps you can take include:

  • create optimized images
  • remove JavaScript that you don’t need
  • make sure your code is compliant

accelerated mobile pages Google AMPTo get a complete list of the necessary steps to speed up your specific website you can log into Google Search Console.  There you can get pointers on how to speed up your website and take the necessary steps to do so.  If you feel the actions needed to speed up your site are above your knowledge of web development I would strongly encourage you to hire someone to take care of the items needed.  I did say almost a year ago that Google’s next algorithm major algorithm update would have to do with the speed at which a website loads and now you’re  starting to see signs of that with the accelerated mobile project and I anticipate more coming down in the future.  It’s probably best to get started on removing unused or irrelevant items from your website now.  After all, it will provided a better user experience and ultimately that is what Google is trying to accomplish.

That’s all I have for you on this blog post on AMP.  There has been some information floating around the internet over the last week or so.  I shared some other blog posts on AMP, just check out my Twitter (@scottgombar). I think it’s critical that you understand the plan is to speed up the internet, speedup how websites load on mobile devices and that’s really the important thing to understand.  I know it can be a hassle whenever a major Google update is released.  Now you have to go through and make sure your website is compliant.  Just remember it is about the user experience.  In this case Google is looking for ways to have content load “instantly” on mobile devices.  If you made the change over to a mobile friendly site last year (or if you have been mobile friendly all along) then this update will be an easy one.   If you have any questions/comments 203-806-0736 or info@52.91.7.33.