Category: SEO Advice

#MikeArmstrong #KingofMarketing #Podcast – Search Marketing and SEO Advice – #MikeArmstrongPodcasts

Listen to the most recent episode of my podcast: #KingofMarketing #MikeArmstrong talking about Search Marketing and Search Engine Optimisation / SEO😎 https://anchor.fm/mike-armstrong9/episodes/KingofMarketing-MikeArmstrong-talking-about-Search-Marketing-and-Search-Engine-Optimisation–SEO-ef97r3

#KingofMarketing #MikeArmstrong talking about Search Marketing and Search Engine Optimisation / SEO 👑 😎💪🙌🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿🇬🇧🌍 – Another King of Marketing Episode #KingofMarketing – The Importance of getting your search marketing right for those switching to online 🐺🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 #MikeArmstrong #YouCanDoIt #PositivityPodcast #Motivation #MotivationalPodcast #Entrepreneurship #PersonalDevelopmentPodcast #SalesPodcast #MarketingPodcast 😎 #Sales #Marketing #PersonalDevelopment #WOLFofWALES #WOW #WOWPodcast #SalesTraining #LifeCoaching #BusinessTraining from #MikeArmstrong Teaching people how to achieve their goals and dreams via various motivation, education and personal development teachings! #MikeArmstrongSalesTraining #MikeArmstronarketingTraining #MikeArmstrongBusinessTraining #MikeArmstrongEntrepreneurTraining #MikeArmstrongTraining #MATraining on his #YouCanDoItPodcast – #MikeArmstrongPodcast / #MikeArmstrongPodcasts – Rapid Business Growth, Personal Development and Sales & Marketing Training & Advice From #MikeArmstrong on the #YouCanDoItPodcast #YCDI #YCDIPodcast featuring the #Awesome Mike Armstrong #AwesomeArmstrong – #Motivation #Motivated #Motivational #MotivationalPodcast – #10x #20x #Infinityx  #BusinessGrowth #RapidBusinessGrowth #PersonalGrowth #PersonalDevelopment 🚀😎 – #MikeArmstrongYouCanDoItPodcast – More About Mike;  Mike is “The Awesome Mike Armstrong” – A #Philanthropic #Entrepreneur who loves to help people. He’s also an Author, Speaker, Mentor, Coach, Blogger, Vlogger & Podcaster who lives to help people especially; Struggling Business Owners and Entrepreneurs who need a lift and those suffering with Mental Health issues #MentalHealth #MentalWellbeing #MentalHealthSupport. Mike has spent years cultivating an awesome global network, and is currently building an #AwesomeArmy of similarly minded #Philanthropist #Entrepreneurs and is happy to share the contacts and the love with those who are deserving. If that’s you please get in touch with Mike. Mike Armstrong of Mike Armstrong Ltd | MA Group | MA Consultancy | MA Web | MA Training | Marketing Wales / WelshBiz | Tourism Wales | Things To Do In | MA News | MAN Media | MA Property | Mike Armstrong News & Mike Armstrong’s You Can Do It Podcast.

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Google’s 200+ Ranking Factors: The Complete List as of 2020

Google’s 200+ Ranking Factors: The Complete List as of 2020 🌍💼📰

http://mikearmstrong.me/googles-200-ranking-factors-the-complete-list-as-of-2020-%f0%9f%8c%8d%f0%9f%92%bc%f0%9f%93%b0/
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The 10 Most Important SEO Tips You Need to Know

The 10 Most Important SEO Tips You Need to Know 🌍📲📰

http://mikearmstrong.me/the-10-most-important-seo-tips-you-need-to-know/
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Google’s 200+ Ranking Factors: The Complete List as of 2020

Interesting Article on Google Search Engine Ranking Factors as of 2020. Great read for those looking for SEO Tips are ways to improve their websites’ internet page rankings:

You might already know that Google uses over 200 ranking factors in their search engine algorithm…

But what are they?

Well, you are in for a treat because I’ve put together a complete list.

Some Factors are proven.

Some Factors are controversial.

Others Factors are SEO speculation.

But they are all here.

And the search ranking factors were recently updated. The entire 200 Google Ranking Factors list is updated for 2020.

Let’s dive right in.

The 200 Google Search Engine Factors are split in to the following 10 Sections:

Domain SEO Factors
Page-Level SEO Factors
Site-Level SEO Factors
Backlink SEO Factors
User Interaction Factors
Special Google Algorithm Rules
Brand Signals
On-Site Webspam Factors
Off-Site Webspam Factors

Domain SEO Factors

1. Domain Age:

Google’s Matt Cutts states that:

“The difference between a domain that’s six months old versus one year old is really not that big at all.”
In other words, they do use domain age. But it’s not that important. There is much more of a difference between a domain that 10 years old versus one that is just 6 months old though.

2. Keyword Appears in Top Level Domain:

Having a keyword in your domain name doesn’t give you the SEO boost that it used to. But it still acts as a relevancy signal for your page SEO.

3. Keyword As First Word in Domain:

A domain that starts with their target keyword has an SEO edge over sites that either don’t have that keyword in their domain (or have the keyword in the middle or end of their domain).

4. Domain registration length:

A Google patent states:

“Valuable (legitimate) domains are often paid for several years in advance, while doorway (illegitimate) domains rarely are used for more than a year. Therefore, the date when a domain expires in the future can be used as a factor in predicting the legitimacy of a domain.”

5. Keyword in Subdomain:

Moz’s SEO expert panel agrees that a keyword appearing in the subdomain of a website can boost your search engine rankings.

6. Domain History:

A site with volatile ownership or several drops may tell Google to “reset” the site’s history, negating links pointing to the domain. Or, in certain cases, a penalised domain may carry the penalty over to the new domain owner.

7. Exact Match Domain:

Exact Match Domains may still give you a slight SEO edge. But if your EMD happens to be a low-quality site, it’s vulnerable to the EMD update.

8. Public vs. Private WhoIs:

Private WhoIs information may be a sign of “something to hide”. Googler Matt Cutts is quoted as stating:

“…When I checked the whois on them, they all had “whois privacy protection service” on them. That’s relatively unusual. …Having whois privacy turned on isn’t automatically bad, but once you get several of these factors all together, you’re often talking about a very different type of webmaster than the fellow who just has a single site or so.”

9. Penalised WhoIs Owner:

If Google identifies a particular person as a spammer it makes sense that they would scrutinise other sites owned by that person.

10. Country TLD extension:

Having a Country Code Top Level Domain (.cn, .pt, .ca) can help the site rank for that particular country… but it can limit the site’s ability to rank globally.

Page-Level SEO Factors

11. Keyword in Title Tag:

Although not as important as it once was, your title tag remains an important on-page SEO ranking signal.

12. Title Tag Starts with Keyword:

According to Moz , title tags that starts with a keyword tend to perform better in search engine rankings than title tags with the keyword towards the end of the tag.

13. Keyword in Description Tag:

Google doesn’t use the meta description tag as a direct page ranking signal. However, your description tag can impact click-through-rate, which is a key SEO ranking factor.

14. Keyword Appears in H1 Tag (main page title):

H1 tags are a “second title tag”. Along with your title tag, Google uses your H1 tag as a secondary relevancy signal, according to results from one correlation study:

15. TF-IDF:

A fancy way of saying: “How often does a certain word appear in a document?”. The more often that word appears on a page, the more likely it is that the page is about that word. Google likely uses a sophisticated version of TF-IDF.

16. Content Length:

Content with more words can cover a wider breadth and are likely preferable in the algorithm compared to shorter, superficial articles. Indeed, one recent ranking factors industry study found that content length correlated with SERP position.

17. Table of Contents:

Using a linked table of contents can help Google better understand your page’s content. It can also result in sitelinks:

18. Keyword Density:

Although not as important as it once was, Google may use it to determine the topic of a webpage. But going overboard can hurt your Search Engine page ranking.

19. Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords in Content (LSI):

LSI keywords help search engines extract meaning from words that have more than one meaning (for example: Apple the computer company vs. Apple the fruit). The presence/absence of LSI probably also acts as a content quality signal.

20. LSI Keywords in Title and Description Tags:

As with webpage content, LSI keywords in page meta tags probably help Google discern between words with multiple potential meanings. May also act as a relevancy signal.

21. Page Covers Topic In-Depth:

There’s a known correlation between depth of topic coverage and Google rankings.

Therefore, pages that cover every angle likely have an edge vs. pages that only cover a topic partially.

22. Page Loading Speed via HTML:

Both Google and Bing use page speed as a ranking factor. Search engine spiders can estimate your site speed fairly accurately based on your page’s HTML code.

23. Page Loading Speed via Chrome:

Google also uses Chrome user data to get a better handle on a page’s loading time. That way, they can measure how quickly a page actually loads to users.

24. Use of AMP:

While not a direct Google ranking factor, AMP may be a requirement to rank in the mobile version of the Google News Carousel.

25. Entity Match:

Does a page’s content match the “entity” that a user is searching for? If so, that page may get a rankings boost for that keyword.

26. Google Hummingbird:

This “algorithm change” helped Google go beyond keywords. Thanks to Hummingbird, Google can now better understand the topic of a webpage.

27. Duplicate Content:

Identical content on the same site (even slightly modified) can negatively influence a site’s search engine visibility.

28. Rel=Canonical:

When used properly, use of this tag may prevent Google from penalising your site for duplicate content.

29. Image Optimisation:

Images send search engines important relevancy signals through their file name, alt text, title, description and caption. Not keyword describing your images can affect your page rank.

30. Content Recency:

Google Caffeine update favors recently published or updated content, especially for time-sensitive searches.

Highlighting this factor’s importance, Google shows the date of a page’s last update for certain pages:

31. Magnitude of Content Updates:

The significance of edits and changes also serves as a freshness factor.

Adding or removing entire sections is more significant than switching around the order of a few words or fixing a typo.

32. Historical Page Updates:

How often has the page been updated over time?

Daily, weekly, every 5 years? Frequency of page updates also play a role in freshness.

33. Keyword Prominence:

Having a keyword appear in the first 100 words of a page’s content is correlated to first page Google rankings.

34. Keyword in H2, H3 Tags:

Having your keyword appear as a subheading in H2 or H3 format may be another weak relevancy signal. In fact, Googler John Mueller states:

“These heading tags in HTML help us to understand the structure of the page.”

35. Outbound Link Quality:

Many SEOs think that linking out to authority sites helps send trust signals to Google. And this is backed up by a recent industry study.

36. Outbound Link Theme:

According to The Hillop Algorithm, Google may use the content of the pages you link to as a relevancy signal.

For example, if you have a page about cars that links to movie-related pages, this may tell Google that your page is about the movie Cars, not the automobile.

37. Grammar and Spelling:

Proper grammar and spelling is a quality signal, although Cutts gave mixed messages a few years back on whether or not this was important.

38. Syndicated Content:

Is the content on the page original? If it’s scraped or copied from an indexed page it won’t rank as well… or may not get indexed at all.

39. Mobile-Friendly Update:

Often referred to as “Mobilegeddon“, this update rewarded pages that were properly optimised for mobile devices.

40. Mobile Usability of your web content:

Websites that mobile users can easily use may have an edge in Google’s “Mobile-first Index”.

41. “Hidden” Content on Mobile: Hidden content on mobile devices may not get indexed (or may not be weighed as heavily) vs. fully visible content.

However, a Googler recently stated that hidden content is OK. But also said that in the same video, “…if it’s critical content it should be visible…”.

42. Helpful “Supplementary Content”:

According to a now-public Google Rater Guidelines Document, helpful supplementary content is an indicator of a page’s quality (and therefore, Google ranking).

Examples include currency converters, loan interest calculators and interactive recipes.

43. Content Hidden Behind Tabs on a web page:

Do users need to click on a tab to reveal some of the content on your page? If so, Google has said that this content “may not be indexed”.

44. Number of Outbound Links:

Too many dofollow OBLs can “leak” PageRank, which can hurt that page’s rankings.

45. Multimedia Content:

Images, videos and other multimedia elements may act as a content quality signal. For example, one industry study found a correlation between multimedia and rankings:

46. Number of Internal Links Pointing to Web Page:

The number of internal links to a page indicates its importance relative to other pages on the site (more internal links=more important).

47. Quality of Internal Links Pointing to a Web Page:

Internal links from authoritative pages on domain have a stronger effect than pages with no or low PageRank.

48. Broken Links:

Having too many broken links on a page may be a sign of a neglected or abandoned site. The Google Rater Guidelines Document uses broken links as one was to assess a homepage’s quality.

49. Reading Level:

There’s no doubt that Google estimates the reading level of webpages. In fact, Google used to give you reading level stats:

But what they do with that information is up for debate. Some say that a basic reading level will help you rank better because it will appeal to the masses. But others associate a basic reading level with content mills like Ezine Articles.

50. Affiliate Links:

Affiliate links themselves probably won’t hurt your rankings. But if you have too many, Google’s algorithm may pay closer attention to other quality signals to make sure you’re not a “thin affiliate site“.

51. HTML errors/W3C validation:

Lots of HTML errors or sloppy coding may be a sign of a poor quality site. While controversial, many in SEO think that a well-coded page is used as a quality signal.

52. Domain Authority:

All things being equal, a page on an authoritative domain will rank higher than a page on a domain with less authority.

53. Page’s PageRank:

Not perfectly correlated. But pages with lots of authority tend to outrank pages without much link authority.

54. URL Length:

Excessively long URLs may hurt a page’s search engine visibility.

In fact, several industry studies have found that short URLs tend to have a slight edge in Google’s search results.

55. URL Path:

A page closer to the homepage may get a slight authority boost vs. pages buried deep down in a site’s architecture.

56. Human Editors:

Although never confirmed, Google has filed a patent for a system that allows human editors to influence the SERPs.

57. Page Category:

The category the page appears on is a relevancy signal. A page that’s part of a closely related category may get a relevancy boost compared to a page that’s filed under an unrelated category.

58. WordPress Tags:

Tags are WordPress-specific relevancy signal. According to Yoast.com:

“The only way it improves your SEO is by relating one piece of content to another, and more specifically a group of posts to each other.”

59. Keyword in URL:

Another relevancy signal. A Google rep recently called this “a very small ranking factor“. But a ranking factor nontheless.

60. URL String:

The categories in the URL string are read by Google and may provide a thematic signal to what a page is about:

61. References and Sources:

Citing references and sources, like research papers do, may be a sign of quality. The Google Quality Guidelines states that reviewers should keep an eye out for sources when looking at certain pages:

“This is a topic where expertise and/or authoritative sources are important…”.

However, Google has denied that they use external links as a ranking signal.

62. Bullets and Numbered Lists:

Bullets and numbered lists help break up your content for readers, making them more user friendly.

Google likely agrees and may prefer content with bullets and numbers.

63. Priority of a Page in your web Sitemap:

The priority a page is given via the sitemap.xml file may influence the ranking of that page.

64. Too Many Outbound Links:

Straight from the aforementioned Quality rater document:

“Some pages have way, way too many links, obscuring the page and distracting from the Main Content.”

65. UX Signals From Other Keywords Page Ranks For:

If the page ranks for several other keywords, it may give Google an internal sign of quality.

In fact, Google’s recent “How Search Works” report states:

“We look for sites that many users seem to value for similar queries.”

66. Page Age:

Although Google prefers fresh content, an older page that’s regularly updated may outperform a newer page.

67. User Friendly Layout:

Citing the Google Quality Guidelines Document yet again:

“The page layout on highest quality pages makes the Main Content immediately visible.”

68. Parked Domains:

A Google update in December of 2011 decreased search visibility of parked domains.

69. Useful Content:

As pointed out by Backlinko reader Jared Carrizales, Google may distinguish between “quality” and “useful” content.

Site-Level Factors

70. Content Provides Value and Unique Insights:

Google has stated that they are happy to penalise websites that don’t bring anything new or useful to the table, especially thin affiliate sites.

71. Contact Us Page:

The aforementioned Google Quality Document states that they prefer sites with an “appropriate amount of contact information”. Make sure that your contact information matches your whois info.

72. Domain Trust/TrustRank: Many SEOs believe that “TrustRank” is a massively important ranking factor.

And a Google Patent titled “Search result ranking based on trust”, seems to back this up.

73. Site Architecture:

A well put-together site architecture (for example, a silo structure) helps Google thematically organise your content. It can also helps Googlebot access and index all of your site’s pages.

74. Site Updates:

Many SEOs believe that website updates — and especially when new content is added to the site — works a site-wide freshness factor.

Although Google has recently denied that they use “publishing frequency” in their algorithm.

75. Presence of Sitemap:

A sitemap helps search engines index your pages easier and more thoroughly, improving visibility.

However, Google recently stated that HTML sitemaps aren’t “useful” for SEO.

76. Site Uptime:

Lots of downtime from site maintenance or server issues may hurt your rankings (and can even result in deindexing if not corrected).

77. Server Location:

Server location influences where your site ranks in different geographical regions (source).

Especially important for geo-specific searches.

78. SSL Certificate: Google has confirmed that they use HTTPS as a ranking signal.

According to Google, however, HTTPS only acts as a “tiebreaker“.

79. Terms of Service and Privacy Pages:

These two pages help tell Google that a site is a trustworthy member of the internet. They may also help improve your site’s E-A-T.

80. Duplicate Meta Information On-Site:

Duplicate meta information across your site may bring down all of your page’s visibility.

81. Breadcrumb Navigation:

This is a style of user-friendly site-architecture that helps users (and search engines) know where they are on a site:

Google states that: “Google Search uses breadcrumb markup in the body of a web page to categorise the information from the page in search results.”

82. Mobile Optimised:

With more than half of all searches done from mobile devices, Google wants to see that your site is optimised for mobile users.

In fact, Google now penalises websites that aren’t mobile friendly.

83. YouTube:

There’s no doubt that YouTube videos are given preferential treatment in the SERPs (probably because Google owns it ):

In fact, Search Engine Land found that YouTube.com traffic increased significantly after Google Panda.

84. Site Usability:

A site that’s difficult to use or to navigate can hurt rankings indirectly by reducing time on site, pages viewed and bounce rate (in other words, RankBrain ranking factors).

85. Use of Google Analytics and Google Search Console:

Some think that having these two programs installed on your site can improve your page’s indexing. They may also directly influence rankings by giving Google more data to work with (ie. more accurate bounce rate, whether or not you get referral traffic from your backlinks etc.).

That said, Google has denied this as a myth.

86. User reviews/Site reputation:

A site’s reputation on sites like Yelp.com likely play an important role in Google’s algorithm. Google even posted a rarely candid outline of how they use online reviews after one site was caught ripping off customers in an effort to get press and links.

Backlink SEO Ranking Factors

87. Linking Domain Age:

Backlinks from aged domains may be more powerful than new domains.

88. # of Linking Root Domains:

The number of referring domains is one of the most important ranking factors in Google’s algorithm, as you can see from this industry study of 1 million Google Search results.

89. # of Links from Separate C-Class IPs:

Links from separate class-c IP addresses suggest a wider breadth of sites linking to you, which can help with rankings.

90. # of Linking Pages:

The total number of linking pages — even from the same domain — has an impact on rankings.

91. Backlink Anchor Text: As noted in this description of Google’s original algorithm:

“First, anchors often provide more accurate descriptions of web pages than the pages themselves.”

Obviously, anchor text is less important than before (and, when over-optimised, work as a webspam signal). But keyword-rich anchor text still sends a strong relevancy signal in small doses.

92. Alt Tag (for Image Links):

Alt text acts as anchor text for images.

93. Links from .edu or .gov Domains: Matt Cutts has stated that TLD doesn’t factor into a site’s importance. And Google has said they “ignore” lots of Edu links. However, that doesn’t stop SEOs from thinking that there’s a special place in the algorithm for .gov and .edu TLDs.

94. Authority of Linking Page:

The authority (PageRank) of the referring page has been an extremely important ranking factor since Google’s early days and still is.

95. Authority of Linking Domain:

The referring domain’s authority may play an independent role in a link’s value.

96. Links From Competitors:

Links from other pages ranking in the same SERP may be more valuable to a page’s ranking for that particular keyword.

97. Links from “Expected” Websites:

Although speculative, some SEOs believe that Google won’t fully trust your website until you get linked to from a set of “expected” sites in your industry.

98. Links from Bad Neighborhoods:

Links from so-called “bad neighborhoods” may hurt your site.

99. Guest Posts:

Although links from guest posts still pass value, they likely aren’t as powerful as true editorial links (plus, “large-scale” guest posting can get your site into trouble).

100. Links From Ads:

According to Google, links from ads should be nofollowed. However, it’s likely that Google is able to identify and filter out followed links from ads.

101. Homepage Authority:

Links to a referring page’s homepage may play special importance in evaluating a site’s — and therefore a link’s — weight.

102. Nofollow Links:

This is one of the most controversial topics in SEO. Google’s official word on the matter is:

“In general, we don’t follow them.”
Which suggests that they do… at least in certain cases. Having a certain % of nofollow links may also indicate a natural vs. unnatural link profile.

103. Diversity of Link Types:

Having an unnaturally large percentage of your links coming from a single source (ie. forum profiles, blog comments) may be a sign of webspam. On the other hand, links from diverse sources is a sign of a natural link profile.

104. “Sponsored” or “UGC” Tags:

Links tagged as “rel=sponsored” or “rel=UGC” are treated differently than normal “followed” or rel=nofollow links.

105. Contextual Links:

Links embedded inside a page’s content are considered more powerful than links on an empty page or found elsewhere on the page.

106. Excessive 301 Redirects to Page:

Backlinks coming from 301 redirects dilute some PageRank, according to a Webmaster Help Video.

107. Internal Link Anchor Text:

Internal link anchor text is another relevancy signal. That said, internal links likely have much less weight than anchor text coming from external sites.

108. Link Title Attribution:

The link title (the text that appears when you hover over a link) may also be used as a weak relevancy signal.

109. Country TLD of Referring Domain:

Getting links from country-specific top level domain extensions (.de, .cn, .co.uk) may help you rank better in that country.

110. Link Location In Content:

Links in the beginning of a piece of content may carry slightly more weight than links placed at the end of the content.

111. Link Location on Page:

Where a link appears on a page is important. Generally, a link embedded in a page’s content is more powerful than a link in the footer or sidebar area.

112. Linking Domain Relevancy:

A back link from a site in a similar niche is significantly more powerful than a link from a completely unrelated site.

113. Page-Level Relevancy:

A back link from a relevant page also passes more value.

114. Keyword in Title:

Google gives extra love to links from pages that contain your page’s keyword in the title (“Experts linking to experts”.)

115. Positive Link Velocity:

A site with positive link velocity usually gets a SERP boost as it shows your site is increasing in popularity.

116. Negative Link Velocity:

On the flip side, a negative link velocity can significantly reduce rankings as it’s a signal of decreasing popularity.

117. Links from “Hub” Pages:

The Hilltop Algorithm suggests that getting links from pages that are considered top resources (or hubs) on a certain topic are given special treatment.

118. Link from Authority Sites:

A link from a site considered an “authority site” likely pass more juice than a link from a small, relatively unknown site.

119. Linked to as Wikipedia Source:

Although the links are nofollow, many think that getting a link from Wikipedia gives you a little added trust and authority in the eyes of search engines.

120. Co-Occurrences:

The words that tend to appear around your backlinks helps tell Google what that page is about.

121. Backlink Age:

According to a Google patent, older links have more ranking power than newly minted backlinks.

122. Links from Real Sites vs. “Splogs”:

Due to the proliferation of blog networks, Google probably gives more weight to links coming from “real sites” than from fake blogs. They likely use brand and user-interaction signals to distinguish between the two.

123. Natural Link Profile:

A site with a “natural” link profile is going to rank highly and be more durable to updates than one that has obviously used black hat strategies to build links.

124. Reciprocal Links:

Google’s Link Schemes page lists “Excessive link exchanging” as a link scheme to avoid.

125. User Generated Content Links:

Google can identify UGC vs. content published by the actual site owner. For example, they know that a link from the official WordPress.com blog is very different than a link from besttoasterreviews.wordpress.com.

126. Links from 301:

Links from 301 redirects may lose a little bit of juice compared to a direct link. However, Matt Cutts says that a 301s are similar to direct links

127. Schema.org Usage:

Pages that support microformats may rank above pages without it. This may be a direct boost or the fact that pages with microformatting have a higher SERP CTR:

128. TrustRank of Linking Site:

The trustworthiness of the site linking to you determines how much “TrustRank” gets passed on to you.

129. Number of Outbound Links on a Web Page:

PageRank is finite. A link on a page with hundreds of external links passes less PageRank than a page with a handful of outbound links.

130. Forum Links:

Because of industrial-level spamming, Google may significantly devalue links from forums.

131. Word Count of Linking Content:

A link from a 1000-word post is usually more valuable than a link inside of a 25-word snippet.

132. Quality of Linking Content:

Links from poorly written or spun content don’t pass as much value as links from well-written, content.

133. Sitewide Links:

Matt Cutts has confirmed that sitewide links are “compressed” to count as a single link.

User Interaction Ranking Factors

134. RankBrain:

RankBrain is Google’s AI algorithm. Many believe that its main purpose is to measure how users interact with the search results (and rank the results accordingly).

135. Organic Click Through Rate for a Keyword:

According to Google, pages that get clicked more in CTR may get a SERP boost for that particular keyword.

136. Organic CTR for All Keywords:

A site’s organic CTR for all keywords it ranks for may be a human-based, user interaction signal (in other words, a “Quality Score” for the organic results).

137. Website Bounce Rate:

Not everyone in SEO agrees bounce rate matters, but it may be a way of Google to use their users as quality testers (after all, pages with a high bounce rate probably aren’t a great result for that keyword). Also, a recent study by SEMRush found a correlation between bounce rate and Google rankings.

138. Direct Web Traffic:

It’s confirmed that Google uses data from Google Chrome to determine how many people visit site (and how often). Sites with lots of direct traffic are likely higher quality sites vs. sites that get very little direct traffic. In fact, the SEMRush study I just cited found a significant correlation between direct traffic and Google rankings.

139. Repeat Website Traffic:

Websites with repeat visitors may get a Google ranking boost.

140. Pogosticking:

“Pogosticking” is a special type of bounce. In this case, the user clicks on other search results in an attempt to find the answer to their query.

Results that people Pogostick from may get a significantly rankings drop.

141. Blocked Sites:

Google has discontinued this feature in Chrome. However, Panda used this feature as a quality signal. So Google may still use a variation of it.

142. Chrome Bookmarks:

We know that Google collects Chrome browser usage data. Pages that get bookmarked in Chrome might get a boost.

143. Number of Comments:

Pages with lots of comments may be a signal of user-interaction and quality. In fact, one Googler said comments can help “a lot” with rankings.

144. Dwell Time:

Google pays very close attention to “dwell time“: how long people spend on your page when coming from a Google search.

This is also sometimes referred to as “long clicks vs short clicks”. In short: Google measures how long Google searchers spend on your page. The longer time spent, the better.

Special Google Algorithm Rules

145. Query Deserves Freshness:

Google gives newer pages a boost for certain searches.

146. Query Deserves Diversity:

Google may add diversity to a SERP for ambiguous keywords, such as “Ted”, “WWF” or “ruby”.

147. User Browsing History:

You’ve probably noticed this yourself: websites that you visit frequently get a SERP b oost for your searches.

148. User Search History:

Search chain influence search results for later searches.

For example, if you search for “reviews” then search for “toasters”, Google is more likely to rank toaster review sites higher in the SERPs.

149. Featured Snippets:

According to an SEMRush study, Google chooses Featured Snippets content based on a combination of content length, formatting, page authority and HTTPs usage.

150. Geo Targeting:

Google gives preference to sites with a local server IP and country-specific domain name extension.

151. Safe Search:

Search results with curse words or adult content won’t appear for people with Safe Search turned on.

152. Google+ Circles:

Even though Google+ is soon to be dead, Google still shows higher results for authors and sites that you’ve added to your Google Plus Circles.

153. “YMYL” Keywords:

Google has higher content quality standards for “Your Money or Your Life” keywords.

154. DMCA Complaints:

Google “downranks” pages with legitimate DMCA complaints.

155. Domain Diversity:

The so-called “Bigfoot Update” supposedly added more domains to each SERP page.

156. Transactional Searches:

Google sometimes displays different results for shopping-related keywords, like flight searches.

157. Local Searches:

For local searches, Google often places local results above the “normal” organic SERPs.

158. Top Stories box:

Certain keywords trigger a Top Stories box:

159. Big Brand Preference:

After the Vince Update, Google began giving big brands a boost for certain keywords.

160. Shopping Results:

Google sometimes displays Google Shopping results in organic SERPs:

161. Image Results:

Google images sometimes appear in the normal, organic search results.

162. Easter Egg Results:

Google has a dozen or so Easter Egg results. For example, when you search for “Atari Breakout” in Google image search, the search results turn into a playable game (!). Shout out to Victor Pan for this one.

163. Single Site Results for Brands:

Domain or brand-oriented keywords bring up several results from the same site.

164. Payday Loans Update:

This is a special algorithm designed to clean up “very spammy queries“.

Brand Signals

165. Brand Name Anchor Text:

Branded anchor text is a simple — but strong — brand signal.

166. Branded Searches:

People search for brands. If people search for your brand in Google, this shows Google that your site is a real brand.

167. Brand + Keyword Searches:

Do people search for a specific keyword along with your brand (for example: “Backlinko Google ranking factors” or “Backlinko SEO”)? If so, Google may give you a rankings boost when people search for the non-branded version of that keyword in Google.

168. Website Has Facebook Page and Likes:

Brands tend to have Facebook pages with lots of likes.

169. Website has Twitter Profile with Followers:

Twitter profiles with a lot of followers signals a popular brand.

170. Official Linkedin Company Page:

Most real businesses have company Linkedin pages.

171. Known Authorship:

In February 2013, Google CEO Eric Schmidt famously claimed:

“Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results.”

172. Legitimacy of Social Media Accounts:

A social media account with 10,000 followers and 2 posts is probably interpreted a lot differently than another 10,000-follower strong account with lots of interaction. In fact, Google filed a patent for determining whether or not social media accounts were real or fake.

173. Brand Mentions on Top Stories:

Really big brands get mentioned on Top Stories sites all the time. In fact, some brands even have a feed of news from their own website, on the first page:

174. Unlinked Brand Mentions:

Brands get mentioned without getting linked to. Google likely looks at non-hyperlinked brand mentions as a brand signal.

175. Brick and Mortar Location:

Real businesses have offices. It’s possible that Google fishes for location-data to determine whether or not a site is a big brand.

On-Site Webspam Factors

176. Panda Penalty:

Websites with low-quality content (particularly content farms) are less visible in search after getting hit by a Panda penalty.

177. Links to Bad Neighbourhoods:

Linking out to “bad neighborhoods” — like spammy pharmacy or payday loan websites — may hurt your search visibility.

178. Redirects:

Sneaky redirects is a big no-no. If caught, it can get a website not just penalised, but de-indexed.

179. Popups or “Distracting Ads”:

The official Google Rater Guidelines Document says that popups and distracting ads is a sign of a low-quality website.

180. Interstitial Popups:

Google may penalise websites that display full page “interstitial” popups to mobile users.

181. Site Over-Optimisation:

Yes, Google does penalise people for over-optimising their site. This includes: keyword stuffing, header tag stuffing, excessive keyword decoration.

182. Gibberish Content:

A Google Patent outlines how Google can identify “gibberish” content, which is helpful for filtering out spun or auto-generated content from their index.

183. Doorway Pages:

Google wants the page you show to Google to be the page that user ultimately see. If your page redirects people to another page, that’s a “Doorway Page”. Needless to say, Google doesn’t like websites that use Doorway Pages.

184. Ads Above the Fold:

The “Page Layout Algorithm” penalises websites with lots of ads (and not much content) above the fold.

185. Hiding Affiliate Links:

Going too far when trying to hide affiliate links (especially with cloaking) can bring on a penalty.

186. Fred:

A nickname given to a series of Google updates starting in 2017. According to Search Engine Land, Fred “targets low-value content sites that put revenue above helping their users.”

187. Affiliate Sites:

It’s no secret that Google isn’t the biggest fan of affiliates. And many think that sites that monetise with affiliate programs are put under extra scrutiny.

188. Autogenerated Content:

Google understandably hates autogenerated content. If they suspect that your site’s pumping out computer-generated content, it could result in a penalty or de-indexing.

189. Excess PageRank Sculpting:

Going too far with PageRank sculpting — by nofollowing all outbound links — may be a sign of gaming the system.

190. IP Address Flagged as Spam:

If your server’s IP address is flagged for spam, it may affect all websites on that server.

191. Meta Tag Spamming: Keyword stuffing can also happen in meta tags. If Google thinks you’re adding keywords to your title and description tags in an effort to game the algo, they may hit your site with a penalty.

Off-Site Webspam Factors

192. Hacked Site:

If your site gets hacked it can get dropped from the search results. In fact, Search Engine Land was completed deindexed after Google thought it had been hacked.

193. Unnatural Influx of Links:

A sudden (and unnatural) influx of links is a sure-fire sign of phony links.

194. Penguin Penalty:

Websites that were hit by Google Penguin are significantly less visible in search. Although, apparently, Penguin now focuses more on filtering out bad links vs. penalising entire websites.

195. Link Profile with High % of Low Quality Links:

Lots of links from sources commonly used by black hat SEOs (like blog comments and forum profiles) may be a sign of gaming the system.

196. Links From Unrelated Websites:

A high-percentage of backlinks from topically-unrelated sites can increase the odds of a manual penalty.

197. Unnatural Links Warning:

Google has sent out thousands of “Google Search Console notice of detected unnatural links” messages. This usually precedes a ranking drop, although not 100% of the time.

198. Low-Quality Directory Links:

According to Google, backlinks from low-quality directories can lead to a penalty.

199. Widget Links:

Google frowns on links that are automatically generated when user embeds a “widget” on their site.

200. Links from the Same Class C IP:

Getting an unnatural amount of links from sites on the same server IP may help Google determine that your links are coming from a blog network.

201. “Poison” Anchor Text:

Having “poison” anchor text (especially pharmacy keywords) pointed to your website may be a sign of spam or a hacked site. Either way, it can hurt your website’s ranking.

202. Unnatural Link Spike:

A 2013 Google Patent describes how Google can identify whether or not an influx of links to a page is legitimate. Those unnatural links may become devalued.

203. Links From Articles and Press Releases:

Articles directories and press releases has been abused to the point that Google now considers these two link building strategies a “link scheme” in many cases.

204. Manual Actions:

There are several types of these, but most are related to black hat link building.

205. Selling Links:

Getting caught selling links can hurt your search visibility.

206. Google Sandbox:

New sites that get a sudden influx of links are sometimes put in the Google Sandbox, which temporarily limits search visibility.

207. Google Dance:

The Google Dance can temporarily shake up rankings. According to a Google Patent, this may be a way for them to determine whether or not a site is trying to game the algorithm.

208. Disavow Tool:

Use of the Disavow Tool may remove a manual or algorithmic penalty for sites that were the victims of negative SEO.

209. Reconsideration Request:

A successful reconsideration request can lift a penalty.

210. Temporary Link Schemes:

Google has caught onto people that create — and quickly remove — spammy links. Also know as a temporary link scheme.

You can read more on this article and other marketing tips and advice.

— Read on backlinko.com/google-ranking-factors

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Six Reasons to Invest in Search Marketing or SEO Services…

Business owners are constantly working on business improvement, always looking to make their business better, more profitable, and more relevant.  With that in mind they should be looking to invest in search marketing or SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) services.

The information below should help you to understand the most important reasons to invest in Search Marketing or SEO services.

1. Customer Acquisition

 

Usually the most important factors in running any business is in the acquisition of new clients, customers, or users.

Website customer acquisition…

 

Your website is usually a fundamental piece of the puzzle, and without it, your efforts could be completely wasted.

Whether your website is just there to help your customers find your contact information, or if it is actually used to directly generate leads, appointments or sales, it is likely that you could be doing additional things in order to help you to reach more people and investing in search marketing or SEO services can help.

 

2. Search Marketing, SEO & Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is, of course, a big area of interest at the moment for many businesses and website operators, and modern search marketing and seo combined more traditional seo services with social media marketing and this should be at the core of your business marketing strategy.

Search Marketing & SEO is forever changing…

Unfortunately, search marketing or SEO is something that is becoming more and more difficult all of the time, and most businesses and web operators do not dedicate enough time to the search marketing, seo or social media marketing and a good SEO Agency will do this for you as well as keeping up to date with all of the changes.

3. Link Building

Google and the other major search engine providers have extremely complex algorithms that help them to determine where various websites, landing pages, and videos should rank in their search results.

This information is proprietary, and so they simply can’t share exactly how each individual site is ranked.

One thing that has been known since the search industry was born, however, is that links are an extremely crucial measurement tool.

Links are valuable…

Having a lot of links pointing to your site is a signal to the search engines that your site has something valuable.  However, getting links to your website from other places on the internet is also quite complex.

 

but the wrong links could be harmful…

Backlinks can also potentially harm your site if those links come from the wrong places.

Quality over quantity…

 

Also, the number of backlinks is not generally viewed to be as important as the quality of a given backlink.  So while link building is important, it’s equally crucial to hire an SEO agency that understands how to do this properly.

4. Content Marketing

You may have heard this phrase before, and it’s likely to be heard many more times as currently within the world of search marketing and SEO content is King.

High Quality Content is Crucial to your success…

 

Having high-quality content on your website is crucial to its success. In most cases, this content consists of informative articles that actually help people in the industry in which you operate.

How, though, does having all of this content actually help your search ranking?

Having high quality articles helps you out in more ways than one.

  • First of all, high quality content makes it much more likely that your content will be viewed, read and shared by others, and this can help you to generate additional backlinks.
  • Secondly, quality content helps you ensure that visitors spend more time on your website, and this is also a very important signal to search engine providers that your site is worthy of a good ranking.

5. New Markets

Often businesses aren’t always covering all of the markets they could be for their products and services and a good search marketing company or SEO agency can help you to find new markets for your products and services via detailed keyword researching and good keyword marketing toward those new markets.

6. Consistent results that can last a long time

There are SEO tactics that can help a website to rank highly fairly immediately, however, many of these tactics will not last, and some will actually cause you to be penalised later on.

Just as is true in most other areas of life, the easy way is generally not the best way.  A search marketing expert or Good SEO agency will help you by using proven strategies that will help you earn traffic for years to come and these results can be far better and more reliable than alternative web marketing strategies such as Adwords.

For all of your digital marketing needs, please consider looking into the services offered by us, MA Consultancy, a specialist Cardiff SEO agency – maconsultancycardiff.com.

For more about what we can do to help you please feel free to contact us on: 07517 024979 or email: maconsultancy1@gmail.com or feel free to complete the online contact form.

MA Consultancy can provide Search Marketing or SEO Services to Businesses across the UK including England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales

Search Marketing or Seo Services in England…

We provide search marketing or seo services to businesses throughout England including those in London, Oxford, Reading, Brighton, Portsmouth, Southampton & Winchester in the South East, Bristol, Gloucester, Cheltenham, Bridgewater, Taunton & Exeter in the South West, Birmingham, Coventry, Nottingham, Leicester, Derby & Stoke in the Midlands, Manchester, Liverpool, Blackpool, Bolton, Wigan & Preston in the North West and Newcastle, Leeds, York, Sheffield, Doncaster and Hull in the North East.

Search Marketing or Seo Services in Ireland…

We provide search marketing or seo services to businesses throughout Ireland including those in Belfast in Northern Ireland and Dublin in Eire or the Republic of Ireland.

Search Marketing or Seo Services in Scotland…

We provide search marketing or seo services to businesses throughout Scotland including those in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Fife, Aberdeen, Dundee & Motherwell.

Search Marketing or Seo Services in Wales…

We provide search marketing or seo services to businesses throughout Wales including those in Newport, Caerleon, Langstone, Cwmbran, Pontypool, Caldicot, Magor, Undy, Chepstow, Monmouth or Abergavenny in the South East, Cardiff, Bridgend, Ogmore vale, Maesteg, Porthcawl, Portalbot, RCT, Vale of Glamorgan, Penarth, Barry, Cowbridge, Merthyr in South Wales, Swansea, Mumbles, Neath, Llanelli, Carmarthen, Tenby, Narbeth, Ammonford, Haverfordwest and Fishguard in South West Wales, Powys & Brecon in Mid Wales and Rhyl, Wrexham and Bangor in North Wales.

The “Six Reasons to Invest in Search Marketing or SEO Services…” post was written “By Mike Armstrong” from UK SEO Agency MA Consultancy, WelshBiz Marketing Brand and UK Web Design Company 333 Websites.

Technical Website Audit Checklist for 2015

New post on Online Marketing Hub
Technical Website Audit Checklist: 2015 Edition

by christopherjanb
Posted by GeoffKenyon

Back in 2011, I wrote a technical site audit checklist, and while it was thorough, there have been a lot of additions to what is encompassed in a site audit. I have gone through and updated that old checklist for 2015. Some of the biggest changes were the addition of sections for mobile, international, and site speed.

This checklist should help you put together a thorough site audit and determine what is holding back the organic performance of your site. At the end of your audit, don’t write a document that says what’s wrong with the website. Instead, create a document that says what needs to be done. Then explain why these actions need to be taken and why they are important. What I’ve found to really helpful is to provide a prioritized list along with your document of all the actions that you would like them to implement. This list can be handed off to a dev or content team to be implemented easily. These teams can refer to your more thorough document as needed.

Quick overview
Check BoxCheck indexed pages
Do a site: search.
How many pages are returned? (This can be way off so don’t put too much stock in this).
Is the homepage showing up as the first result?
If the homepage isn’t showing up as the first result, there could be issues, like a penalty or poor site architecture/internal linking, affecting the site. This may be less of a concern as Google’s John Mueller recently said that your homepage doesn’t need to be listed first.
Check BoxReview the number of organic landing pages in Google Analytics

Does this match with the number of results in a site: search?
This is often the best view of how many pages are in a search engine’s index that search engines find valuable.
Check BoxSearch for the brand and branded terms

Is the homepage showing up at the top, or are correct pages showing up?
If the proper pages aren’t showing up as the first result, there could be issues, like a penalty, in play.
Check BoxCheck Google’s cache for key pages
Is the content showing up?
Are navigation links present?
Are there links that aren’t visible on the site?
PRO Tip:
Don’t forget to check the text-only version of the cached page. Here is a
bookmarklet to help you do that.
Check BoxDo a mobile search for your brand and key landing pages

Does your listing have the “mobile friendly” label?
Are your landing pages mobile friendly?
If the answer is no to either of these, it may be costing you organic visits.
On-page optimization
Check BoxTitle tags are optimized
Title tags should be optimized and unique.
Your brand name should be included in your title tag to improve click-through rates.
Title tags are about 55-60 characters (512 pixels) to be fully displayed. You can test here or review title pixel widths in Screaming Frog.
Check BoxImportant pages have click-through rate optimized titles and meta descriptions
This will help improve your organic traffic independent of your rankings.
You can use SERP Turkey for this.
Check Box

Check for pages missing page titles and meta descriptions

Check BoxThe on-page content includes the primary keyword phrase multiple times as well as variations and alternate keyword phrases

Check BoxThere is a significant amount of optimized, unique content on key pages

Check BoxThe primary keyword phrase is contained in the H1 tag

Check Box

Images’ file names and alt text are optimized to include the primary keyword phrase associated with the page.

Check BoxURLs are descriptive and optimized
While it is beneficial to include your keyword phrase in URLs, changing your URLs can negatively impact traffic when you do a 301. As such, I typically recommend optimizing URLs when the current ones are really bad or when you don’t have to change URLs with existing external links.
Check BoxClean URLs
No excessive parameters or session IDs.
URLs exposed to search engines should be static.
Check BoxShort URLs
115 characters or shorter – this character limit isn’t set in stone, but shorter URLs are better for usability.
Additional reading:
Best Practices for URLs
URL Rewriting Tool
mod_rewrite Cheat Sheet
Creating 301 Redirects With .htaccess
Content
Check BoxHomepage content is optimized
Does the homepage have at least one paragraph?
There has to be enough content on the page to give search engines an understanding of what a page is about. Based on my experience, I typically recommend at least 150 words.
Check BoxLanding pages are optimized
Do these pages have at least a few paragraphs of content? Is it enough to give search engines an understanding of what the page is about?
Is it template text or is it completely unique?
Check BoxSite contains real and substantial content
Is there real content on the site or is the “content” simply a list of links?
Check BoxProper keyword targeting
Does the intent behind the keyword match the intent of the landing page?
Are there pages targeting head terms, mid-tail, and long-tail keywords?
Check BoxKeyword cannibalization
Do a site: search in Google for important keyword phrases.
Check for duplicate content/page titles using the Moz Pro Crawl Test.
Check BoxContent to help users convert exists and is easily accessible to users
In addition to search engine driven content, there should be content to help educate users about the product or service.
Check BoxContent formatting
Is the content formatted well and easy to read quickly?
Are H tags used?
Are images used?
Is the text broken down into easy to read paragraphs?
Check BoxGood headlines on blog posts
Good headlines go a long way. Make sure the headlines are well written and draw users in.
Check BoxAmount of content versus ads
Since the implementation of Panda, the amount of ad-space on a page has become important to evaluate.
Make sure there is significant unique content above the fold.
If you have more ads than unique content, you are probably going to have a problem.
Additional reading:
How to Write Magnetic Headlines
SEO Copywriting Tips for Improved Link Building
The Ultimate Blogger Writing Guide
Tips to Earn Links and Tweets to Your Blog Post
Duplicate content
Check BoxThere should be one URL for each piece of content
Do URLs include parameters or tracking code? This will result in multiple URLs for a piece of content.
Does the same content reside on completely different URLs? This is often due to products/content being replicated across different categories.
Pro Tip:
Exclude common parameters, such as those used to designate tracking code, in Google Webmaster Tools. Read more at
Search Engine Land.
Check BoxDo a search to check for duplicate content
Take a content snippet, put it in quotes and search for it.
Does the content show up elsewhere on the domain?
Has it been scraped? If the content has been scraped, you should file a content removal request with Google.
Check BoxSub-domain duplicate content
Does the same content exist on different sub-domains?
Check BoxCheck for a secure version of the site
Does the content exist on a secure version of the site?
Check BoxCheck other sites owned by the company
Is the content replicated on other domains owned by the company?
Check BoxCheck for “print” pages
If there are “printer friendly” versions of pages, they may be causing duplicate content.
Site architecture and internal linking
Check BoxNumber of links on a page
100-200 is a good target, but not a rule.
Check BoxVertical linking structures are in place
Homepage links to category pages.
Category pages link to sub-category and product pages as appropriate.
Product pages link to relevant category pages.
Check BoxHorizontal linking structures are in place
Category pages link to other relevant category pages.
Product pages link to other relevant product pages.
Check BoxLinks are in content
Does not utilize massive blocks of links stuck in the content to do internal linking.
Check BoxFooter links
Does not use a block of footer links instead of proper navigation.
Does not link to landing pages with optimized anchors.
Check BoxGood internal anchor text

Check BoxCheck for broken links
Link Checker and Xenu are good tools for this.
Additional reading:
Importance of Internal Linking
Internal Linking Tactics
Using Anchor Links to Make Google Ignore The First Link
Successful Site Architecture for SEO
The SEO Guide to Site Architecture
Information Architecture and Faceted Navigation
Technical issues
Check BoxProper use of 301s
Are 301s being used for all redirects?
If the root is being directed to a landing page, are they using a 301 instead of a 302?
Use Live HTTP Headers Firefox plugin to check 301s.
Check Box”Bad” redirects are avoided
These include 302s, 307s, meta refresh, and JavaScript redirects as they pass little to no value.
These redirects can easily be identified with a tool like Screaming Frog.
Check BoxRedirects point directly to the final URL and do not leverage redirect chains
Redirect chains significantly diminish the amount of link equity associated with the final URL.
Google has said that they will stop following a redirect chain after several redirects.
Check BoxUse of JavaScript
Is content being served in JavaScript?
Are links being served in JavaScript? Is this to do PR sculpting or is it accidental?
Check BoxUse of iFrames
Is content being pulled in via iFrames?
Check BoxUse of Flash
Is the entire site done in Flash, or is Flash used sparingly in a way that doesn’t hinder crawling?
Check BoxCheck for errors in Google Webmaster Tools
Google WMT will give you a good list of technical problems that they are encountering on your site (such as: 4xx and 5xx errors, inaccessible pages in the XML sitemap, and soft 404s)
Check BoxXML Sitemaps
Are XML sitemaps in place?
Are XML sitemaps covering for poor site architecture?
Are XML sitemaps structured to show indexation problems?
Do the sitemaps follow proper XML protocols?
Check BoxCanonical version of the site established through 301s

Check BoxCanonical version of site is specified in Google Webmaster Tools

Check BoxRel canonical link tag is properly implemented across the site
Make sure it points to the correct page, and every page doesn’t point to the homepage.
Check BoxUses absolute URLs instead of relative URLs
This can cause a lot of problems if you have a root domain with secure sections.
Site speed
Check Box

Review page load time for key pages

Is it significant for users or search engines?
Check BoxMake sure compression is enabled
Gzip Test
Check Box

Enable caching

Check Box

Optimize your images for the web
Google’s guide to optimizing your images
Check Box

Minify your CSS/JS/HTML

Check BoxUse a good, fast host
Consider using a CDN for your images.
Check Box

Optimize your images for the web
Google’s guide to optimizing your images
Additional reading:
Google Page Speed Insights
Best Practices for Page Speed

Mobile
Check BoxReview the mobile experience
Is there a mobile site set up?
If there is, is it a mobile site, responsive design, or dynamic serving?
Check Box

Make sure analytics are set up if separate mobile content exists

Check Box

If dynamic serving is being used, make sure the Vary HTTP header is being used

This helps alert search engines understand that the content is different for mobile users.
Google on dynamic serving.
Check BoxReview how the mobile experience matches up with the intent of mobile visitors
Do your mobile visitors have a different intent than desktop based visitors?
Check BoxEnsure faulty mobile redirects do not exist
If your site redirects mobile visitors away from their intended URL (typically to the homepage), you’re likely going to run into issues impacting your mobile organic performance.
Check BoxEnsure that the relationship between the mobile site and desktop site is established with proper markup
If a mobile site (m.) exists, does the desktop equivalent URL point to the mobile version with rel=”alternate”?
Does the mobile version canonical to the desktop version?
Official documentation.
International
Check BoxReview international versions indicated in the URL
ex: site.com/uk/ or uk.site.com
Check BoxEnable country based targeting in webmaster tools
If the site is targeted to one specific country, is this specified in webmaster tools?
If the site has international sections, are they targeted in webmaster tools?
Check BoxImplement hreflang / rel alternate if relevant
Documentation
Check BoxIf there are multiple versions of a site in the same language (such as /us/ and /uk/, both in English), update the copy been updated so that they are both unique

Check BoxMake sure the currency reflects the country targeted

Check BoxEnsure the URL structure is in the native language
Try to avoid having all URLs in the default language
Analytics
Check BoxAnalytics tracking code is on every page
You can check this using the “custom” filter in a Screaming Frog Crawl or by looking for self referrals.
Are there pages that should be blocked?
Check BoxThere is only one instance of a GA property on a page
Having the same Google Analytics property will create problems with pageview-related metrics such as inflating page views and pages per visit and reducing the bounce rate.
It is OK to have multiple GA properties listed, this won’t cause a problem.
Check BoxAnalytics is properly tracking and capturing internal searches

Check BoxDemographics tracking is set up
Check BoxAdwords and Adsense are properly linked if you are using these platforms
Instructions for linking AdWords
Instructions for linking AdSense
Check BoxInternal IP addresses are excluded
Official documentation
Check BoxUTM Campaign Parameters are used for other marketing efforts
Google URL Builder
Check BoxMeta refresh and JavaScript redirects are avoided
These can artificially lower bounce rates.
Check BoxEvent tracking is set up for key user interactions
Event Tracking Documentation
This audit covers the main technical elements of a site and should help you uncover any issues that are holding a site back. As with any project, the deliverable is critical. I’ve found focusing on the solution and impact (business case) is the best approach for site audit reports. While it is important to outline the problems, too much detail here can take away from the recommendations. If you’re looking for more resources on site audits, I recommend the following:

Helpful tools for doing a site audit:
Annie Cushing’s Site Audit
Web Developer Toolbar
User Agent Add-on
Firebug
Link Checker
SEObook Toolbar
MozBar (Moz’s SEO toolbar)
Xenu
Screaming Frog
Your own scraper
Inflow’s technical mobile best practices

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

For more including images see:
https://omhub.wordpress.com/2015/01/19/technical-site-audit-checklist-2015-edition/

Technical Website Audit Checklist for 2015 page posted “By Mike Armstrong”

Business Consultancy Cardiff & Newport, South Wales

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Our Business Consultancy Cardiff & Newport, South Wales services include:

  • Sales Consultancy Cardiff & Newport, South Wales (Telesales Consultancy Cardiff & Newport, South Wales, Call Centre Consultancy Cardiff & Newport, South Wales, Field Sales Consultancy Cardiff & Newport, South Wales, Solutions Sales & E-commerce Sales Consultancy Cardiff & Newport, South Wales),
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Long Tail CTR Study: The Forgotten Traffic Beyond Top 10 Rankings

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Long Tail CTR Study: The Forgotten Traffic Beyond Top 10 Rankings
by christopherjanb
Posted by GaryMoyle

This post was originally in YouMoz, and was promoted to the main blog because it provides great value and interest to our community. The author’s views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of Moz, Inc.

Search behavior is fundamentally changing, as users become more savvy and increasingly familiar with search technology. Google’s results have also changed significantly over the last decade, going from a simple page of 10 blue links to a much richer layout, including videos, images, shopping ads and the innovative Knowledge Graph.

We also know there are an increasing amount of touchpoints in a customer journey involving different channels and devices. Google’s
Zero Moment of Truth theory (ZMOT), which describes a revolution in the way consumers search for information online, supports this idea and predicts that we can expect the number of times natural search is involved on the path to a conversion to get higher and higher.

Understanding how people interact with Google and other search engines will always be important. Organic click curves show how many clicks you might expect from search engine results and are one way of evaluating the impact of our campaigns, forecasting performance and exploring changing search behavior.

Using search query data from Google UK for a wide range of leading brands based on millions of impressions and clicks, we can gain insights into the how CTR in natural search has evolved beyond those shown in previous studies by
Catalyst, Slingshot and AOL.

Our methodology
The NetBooster study is based entirely on UK top search query data and has been refined by day in order to give us the most accurate sample size possible. This helped us reduce anomalies in the data in order to achieve the most reliable click curve possible, allowing us to extend it way beyond the traditional top 10 results.

We developed a method to extract data day by day to greatly increase the volume of keywords and to help improve the accuracy of the
average ranking position. It ensured that the average was taken across the shortest timescale possible, reducing rounding errors.

The NetBooster study included:

65,446,308 (65 million) clicks
311,278,379 (311 million) impressions
1,253,130 (1.2 million) unique search queries
54 unique brands
11 household brands (sites with a total of 1M+ branded keyword impressions)
Data covers several verticals including retail, travel and financial
We also looked at organic CTR for mobile, video and image results to better understand how people are discovering content in natural search across multiple devices and channels.

We’ll explore some of the most important elements in this article.

How does our study compare against others?
Let’s start by looking at the top 10 results. In the graph below we have normalized the results in order to compare our curve, like-for-like, with previous studies from Catalyst and Slingshot. Straight away we can see that there is higher participation beyond the top four positions when compared to other studies. We can also see much higher CTR for positions lower on the pages, which highlights how searchers are becoming more comfortable with mining search results.

A new click curve to rule them all
Our first click curve is the most useful, as it provides the click through rates for generic non-brand search queries across positions 1 to 30. Initially, we can see a significant amount of traffic going to the top three results with position No. 1 receiving 19% of total traffic, 15% at position No. 2 and 11.45% at position No. 3. The interesting thing to note, however, is our curve shows a relatively high CTR for positions typically below the fold. Positions 6-10 all received a higher CTR than shown in previous studies. It also demonstrates that searchers are frequently exploring pages two and three.

When we look beyond the top 10, we can see that CTR is also higher than anticipated, with positions 11-20 accounting for 17% of total traffic. Positions 21-30 also show higher than anticipated results, with over 5% of total traffic coming from page three. This gives us a better understanding of the potential uplift in visits when improving rankings from positions 11-30.

This highlights that searchers are frequently going beyond the top 10 to find the exact result they want. The prominence of paid advertising, shopping ads, Knowledge Graph and the OneBox may also be pushing users below the fold more often as users attempt to find better qualified results. It may also indicate growing dissatisfaction with Google results, although this is a little harder to quantify.

Of course, it’s important we don’t just rely on one single click curve. Not all searches are equal. What about the influence of brand, mobile and long-tail searches?

Brand bias has a significant influence on CTR
One thing we particularly wanted to explore was how the size of your brand influences the curve. To explore this, we banded each of the domains in our study into small, medium and large categories based on the sum of brand query impressions across the entire duration of the study.

When we look at how brand bias is influencing CTR for non-branded search queries, we can see that better known brands get a sizable increase in CTR. More importantly, small- to medium-size brands are actually losing out to results from these better-known brands and experience a much lower CTR in comparison.

What is clear is keyphrase strategy will be important for smaller brands in order to gain traction in natural search. Identifying and targeting valuable search queries that aren’t already dominated by major brands will minimize the cannibalization of CTR and ensure higher traffic levels as a result.

How does mobile CTR reflect changing search behavior?
Mobile search has become a huge part of our daily lives, and our clients are seeing a substantial shift in natural search traffic from desktop to mobile devices. According to Google, 30% of all searches made in 2013 were on a mobile device; they also predict mobile searches will constitute over 50% of all searches in 2014.

Understanding CTR from mobile devices will be vital as the mobile search revolution continues. It was interesting to see that the click curve remained very similar to our desktop curve. Despite the lack of screen real estate, searchers are clearly motivated to scroll below the fold and beyond the top 10.

NetBooster CTR curves for top 30 organic positions

Position

Desktop CTR

Mobile CTR

Large Brand

Medium Brand

Small Brand
1 19.35% 20.28% 20.84% 13.32% 8.59%
2 15.09% 16.59% 16.25% 9.77% 8.92%
3 11.45% 13.36% 12.61% 7.64% 7.17%
4 8.68% 10.70% 9.91% 5.50% 6.19%
5 7.21% 7.97% 8.08% 4.69% 5.37%
6 5.85% 6.38% 6.55% 4.07% 4.17%
7 4.63% 4.85% 5.20% 3.33% 3.70%
8 3.93% 3.90% 4.40% 2.96% 3.22%
9 3.35% 3.15% 3.76% 2.62% 3.05%
10 2.82% 2.59% 3.13% 2.25% 2.82%
11 3.06% 3.18% 3.59% 2.72% 1.94%
12 2.36% 3.62% 2.93% 1.96% 1.31%
13 2.16% 4.13% 2.78% 1.96% 1.26%
14 1.87% 3.37% 2.52% 1.68% 0.92%
15 1.79% 3.26% 2.43% 1.51% 1.04%
16 1.52% 2.68% 2.02% 1.26% 0.89%
17 1.30% 2.79% 1.67% 1.20% 0.71%
18 1.26% 2.13% 1.59% 1.16% 0.86%
19 1.16% 1.80% 1.43% 1.12% 0.82%
20 1.05% 1.51% 1.36% 0.86% 0.73%
21 0.86% 2.04% 1.15% 0.74% 0.70%
22 0.75% 2.25% 1.02% 0.68% 0.46%
23 0.68% 2.13% 0.91% 0.62% 0.42%
24 0.63% 1.84% 0.81% 0.63% 0.45%
25 0.56% 2.05% 0.71% 0.61% 0.35%
26 0.51% 1.85% 0.59% 0.63% 0.34%
27 0.49% 1.08% 0.74% 0.42% 0.24%
28 0.45% 1.55% 0.58% 0.49% 0.24%
29 0.44% 1.07% 0.51% 0.53% 0.28%
30 0.36% 1.21% 0.47% 0.38% 0.26%
Creating your own click curve
This study will give you a set of benchmarks for both non-branded and branded click-through rates with which you can confidently compare to your own click curve data. Using this data as a comparison will let you understand whether the appearance of your content is working for or against you.

We have made things a little easier for you by creating an Excel spreadsheet: simply drop your own top search query data in and it’ll automatically create a click curve for your website.

Simply visit the NetBooster website and download our tool to start making your own click curve.

In conclusion
It’s been both a fascinating and rewarding study, and we can clearly see a change in search habits. Whatever the reasons for this evolving search behavior, we need to start thinking beyond the top 10, as pages two and three are likely to get more traffic in future.

We also need to maximize the traffic created from existing rankings and not just think about position.

Most importantly, we can see practical applications of this data for anyone looking to understand and maximize their content’s performance in natural search. Having the ability to quickly and easily create your own click curve and compare this against a set of benchmarks means you can now understand whether you have an optimal CTR.

What could be the next steps?
There is, however, plenty of scope for improvement. We are looking forward to continuing our investigation, tracking the evolution of search behavior. If you’d like to explore this subject further, here are a few ideas:

Segment search queries by intent (How does CTR vary depending on whether a search query is commercial or informational?)
Understand CTR by industry or niche
Monitor the effect of new Knowledge Graph formats on CTR across both desktop and mobile search
Conduct an annual analysis of search behavior (Are people’s search habits changing? Are they clicking on more results? Are they mining further into Google’s results?)
Ultimately, click curves like this will change as the underlying search behavior continues to evolve. We are now seeing a massive shift in the underlying search technology, with Google in particular heavily investing in entity- based search (i.e., the Knowledge Graph). We can expect other search engines, such as Bing, Yandex and Baidu to follow suit and use a similar approach.

The rise of smartphone adoption and constant connectivity also means natural search is becoming more focused on mobile devices. Voice-activated search is also a game-changer, as people start to converse with search engines in a more natural way. This has huge implications for how we monitor search activity.

What is clear is no other industry is changing as rapidly as search. Understanding how we all interact with new forms of search results will be a crucial part of measuring and creating success.

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The Danger of Crossing Algorithms: Uncovering The Cloaked Panda Update During Penguin 3.0
by christopherjanb
Posted by glenngabe

Penguin 3.0 was one of the most anticipated algorithm updates in recent years when it rolled out on October 17, 2014. Penguin hadn’t run for over a year at that point,
and there were many webmasters sitting in Penguin limbo waiting for recovery. They had cleaned up their link profiles, disavowed what they could, and were
simply waiting for the next update or refresh. Unfortunately, Google was wrestling with the algo internally and over twelve months passed without an
update.

So when Pierre Far finally
announced Penguin 3.0 a few days later on October 21, a few things
stood out. First, this was not a new algorithm like Gary Illyes had explained it would be at SMX East. It was a refresh and underscored
the potential problems Google was battling with Penguin (cough, negative SEO).

Second, we were not seeing the impact that we expected. The rollout seemed to begin with a heavier international focus and the overall U.S impact has been underwhelming to say the least. There were definitely many fresh hits globally, but there were a number of websites that should have recovered but didn’t
for some reason. And many are still waiting for recovery today.

Third, the rollout would be slow and steady and could take weeks to fully complete. That’s unusual, but makes sense given the microscope Penguin 3.0 was under. And this third point (the extended rollout) is even more important than most people think. Many webmasters are already confused when they get hit
during an acute algorithm update (for example, when an algo update rolls out on one day). But the confusion gets exponentially worse when there is an extended rollout.

The more time that goes by between the initial launch and the impact a website experiences, the more questions pop up. Was it Penguin 3.0 or was it something else? Since I work heavily with algorithm updates, I’ve heard similar questions many times over the past several years. And the extended Penguin 3.0 rollout is a great example of why confusion can set in. That’s my focus today.

Penguin, Pirate, and the anomaly on October 24

With the Penguin 3.0 rollout, we also had Pirate 2 rolling out. And yes, there are some websites that could be impacted by both. That added a layer of complexity to the situation, but nothing like what was about to hit. You see, I picked up a very a strange anomaly on October 24. And I clearly saw serious movement on that day (starting late in the day ET).

So, if there was a third algorithm update, then that’s three potential algo updates rolling out at the same time. More about this soon, but it underscores the confusion that can set in when we see extended rollouts, with a mix of confirmed and unconfirmed updates.

Penguin 3.0 tremors and analysis
Since I do a lot of Penguin work, and have researched many domains impacted by Penguin in the past, I heavily studied the Penguin 3.0 rollout and published a blog post based on analyzing the first ten days of Penguin 3.0 which included some interesting findings for sure.

And based on the extended rollout, I definitely saw Penguin tremors beyond the initial October 17 launch. For example, check out the screenshot below of a website seeing Penguin impact on October 17, 22, and 25.

But as mentioned earlier, something else happened on October 24 that set off sirens in my office. I started to see serious movement on sites impacted by Panda, and not Penguin. And when I say serious movement, I’m referring to major traffic gains or losses all starting on October 24. Again, these were sites heavily dealing with Panda and had clean link profiles. Check out the trending below from October 24 for several sites that saw impact.

A good day for a Panda victim:
A bad day for a Panda victim:
And an incredibly frustrating day for a 9/5 recovery that went south on 10/24:

(All on the link below)!

I saw this enough that I tweeted heavily about it and
included a section about Panda in my Penguin 3.0 blog post. And that’s when something wonderful happened, and it highlights the true beauty and power of the internet.

As more people saw my tweets and read my post, I started receiving messages from other webmasters explaining that they saw the same exact thing, and on their websites dealing with Panda and not Penguin. And not only did they tell me about, they showed me the impact.

I received emails containing screenshots and tweets with photos from Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. It was amazing to see, and it confirmed
that we had just experienced a Panda update in the middle of a multi-week Penguin rollout. Yes, read that line again. Panda during Penguin, right when the internet world was clearly focused on Penguin 3.0.

That was a sneaky move Google… very sneaky. 🙂

So, based on what I explained earlier about webmaster confusion and algorithms, can you tell what happened next? Yes, massive confusion ensued. We had the
trifecta of algorithm updates with Penguin, Pirate, and now Panda.

Webmaster confusion and a reminder of the algo sandwich from 2012
So, we had a major algorithm update during two other major algorithm updates (Penguin and Pirate) and webmaster confusion was hitting extremely high levels. And I don’t blame anyone for being confused. I’m neck deep in this stuff and it confused me at first.

Was the October 24 update a Penguin tremor or was this something else? Could it be Pirate? And if it was indeed Panda, it would have been great if Google told us it was Panda! Or did they want to throw off SEOs analyzing Penguin and Pirate? Does anyone have a padded room I can crawl into?

Once I realized this was Panda, and started to communicate the update via Twitter and my blog, I had a number of people ask me a very important question:

“Glenn, would Google really roll out two or three algorithm updates so close together, or at the same time?”

Why yes, they would. Anyone remember the algorithm sandwich from April of 2012? That’s when Google rolled out Panda on April 19, then Penguin 1.0 on April 24,
followed by Panda on April 27. Yes, we had three algorithm updates all within ten days. And let’s not forget that the Penguin update on April 24, 2012 was the first of its kind! So yes, Google can, and will, roll out multiple major algos around the same time.

Where are we headed? It’s fascinating, but not pretty

Panda is near real-time now
When Panda 4.1 rolled out on September 23, 2014, I immediately disliked the title and version number of the update. Danny Sullivan named it 4.1, so it stuck. But for
me, that was not 4.1… not even close. It was more like 4.75. You see, there have been a number of Panda tremors and updates since P4.0 on May 20,
2014.

I saw what I was calling “tremors”
nearly weekly based on having access to a large amount of Panda data (across sites, categories, and countries).
And based on what I was seeing, I reached out to John Mueller at Google to clarify the tremors. John’s response was great and confirmed what I was seeing.
He explained that there was not a set frequency for algorithms like Panda. Google can roll out an algorithm, analyze the SERPs, refine the algo to get the desired results, and keep pushing it out. And that’s exactly what I was seeing (again, almost weekly since Panda 4.0).

When Panda and Penguin meet in real time…
…they will have a cup of coffee and laugh at us. 🙂 So, since Panda is near-real time, the crossing of major algorithm updates is going to happen.
And we just experienced an important one on October 24 with Penguin, Pirate, and Panda. But it could (and probably will) get more chaotic than what we have now.
We are quickly approaching a time where major algorithm updates crafted in a lab will be unleashed on the web in near-real time or in actual real time.

And if organic search traffic from Google is important to you, then pay attention. We’re about to take a quick trip into the future of Google and SEO. And after hearing what I have to say, you might just want the past back…

Google’s brilliant object-oriented approach to fighting webspam
I have presented at the past two SES conferences about Panda, Penguin, and other miscellaneous disturbances in the force. More about those “other
disturbances” soon. In my presentation, one of my slides looks like this:

(See link below)!

Over the past several years, Google has been using a brilliant, object-oriented approach to fighting webspam and low quality content. Webspam engineers can craft external algorithms in a lab and then inject them into the real-time algorithm whenever they want. It’s brilliant because it isolates specific problems, while also being extremely scalable. And by the way, it should scare the heck out of anyone breaking the rules.

For example, we have Panda, Penguin, Pirate, and Above the Fold. Each was crafted to target a specific problem and can be unleashed on the web whenever Google wants. Sure, there are undoubtedly connections between them (either directly or indirectly), but each specific algo is its own black box. Again, it’s object-oriented.

Now, Panda is a great example of an algorithm that has matured to where Google highly trusts it. That’s why Google announced in June of 2013 that Panda would roll out monthly, over ten days. And that’s also why it matured even more with Panda 4.0 (and why I’ve seen tremors almost weekly.)

And then we had Gary Illyes explain that Penguin was moving along the same path. At SMX East, Gary explained that the new Penguin algorithm (which clearly didn’t roll out on October 17) would be structured in a way where subsequent updates could be rolled out more easily.
You know, like Panda.

And by the way, what if this happens to Pirate, Above the Fold, and other algorithms that Google is crafting in its Frankenstein lab? Well my friends, then we’ll have absolute chaos and society as we know it will crumble. OK, that’s a bit dramatic, but you get my point.

We already have massive confusion now… and a glimpse into the future reveals a continual flow of major algorithms running in real-time, each that could pummel a site to the ground. And of course, with little or no sign of which algo actually caused the destruction. I don’t know about you, but I just broke out in hives. 🙂

Actual example of what (near) real-time updates can do After Panda 4.0, I saw some very strange Panda movement for sites impacted by recent updates. And it underscores the power of near-real time algo updates.
As a quick example, temporary Panda recoveries can happen if you don’t get out of the gray area enough. And now that we are seeing Panda tremors almost weekly, you can experience potential turbulence several times per
month.

Here is a screenshot from a site that recovered from Panda, didn’t get out of the gray area and reentered the strike zone, just five days later.

(See link to article below)!

Holy cow, that was fast. I hope they didn’t plan any expensive trips in the near future. This is exactly what can happen when major algorithms roam the web in real time. One week you’re looking good and the next week you’re in the dumps. Now, at least I knew this was Panda. The webmaster could tackle more content problems and get out of the gray area… But the ups and downs of a Panda roller coaster ride can drive a webmaster insane. It’s one of the reasons I recommend making
significant changes when you’ve been hit by Panda. Get as far out of the gray area as possible.

An “automatic action viewer” in Google Webmaster Tools could help (and it’s actually being discussed internally by Google)
Based on webmaster confusion, many have asked Google to create an “automatic action viewer” in Google Webmaster Tools. It would be similar to the “manual
actions viewer,” but focused on algorithms that are demoting websites in the search results (versus penalties). Yes, there is a difference by the way.

The new viewer would help webmasters better understand the types of problems that are being impacted by algorithms like Panda, Penguin, Pirate, Above the
Fold, and others. Needless to say, this would be incredibly helpful to webmasters, business owners, and SEOs.

So, will we see that viewer any time soon? Google’s John Mueller
addressed this question during the November 3 webmaster hangout (at 34:54).

http://ift.tt/1zj066n

John explained they are trying to figure something out, but it’s not easy. There are so many algorithms running that they don’t want to provide feedback
that is vague or misleading. But, John did say they are discussing the automatic action viewer internally. So you never know…

A quick note about Matt Cutts
As many of you know, Matt Cutts took an extended leave this past summer (through the end of October). Well, he announced on Halloween that he is extending his leave into 2015. I won’t go crazy here talking about his decision overall, but I will
focus on how this impacts webmasters as it relates to algorithm updates and webspam.

Matt does a lot more than just announce major algo updates… He actually gets involved when collateral damage rears its ugly head. And there’s not a
faster way to rectify a flawed algo update than to have Mr. Cutts involved. So before you dismiss Matt’s extended leave as uneventful, take a look at the
trending below:

Notice the temporary drop off a cliff, then 14 days of hell, only to see that traffic return? That’s because Matt got involved. That’s the
movie blog fiasco from early 2014 that I heavily analyzed. If
Matt was not notified of the drop via Twitter, and didn’t take action, I’m not sure the movie blogs that got hit would be around today. I told Peter from
SlashFilm that his fellow movie blog owners should all pay him a bonus this year. He’s the one that pinged Matt via Twitter and got the ball rolling.

It’s just one example of how having someone with power out front can nip potential problems in the bud. Sure, the sites experienced two weeks of utter
horror, but traffic returned once Google rectified the problem. Now that Matt isn’t actively helping or engaged, who will step up and be that guy? Will it
be John Mueller, Pierre Far, or someone else? John and Pierre are greatly helpful, but will they go to bat for a niche that just got destroyed? Will they
push changes through so sites can turn around? And even at its most basic level, will they even be aware the problem exists?

These are all great questions, and I don’t want to bog down this post (it’s already incredibly long). But don’t laugh off Matt Cutts taking an extended leave. If he’s gone for good, you might only realize how important he was to the SEO community
after he’s gone. And hopefully it’s not because your site just tanked as collateral damage during an algorithm update. Matt might be running a marathon or trying on new Halloween costumes. Then where will you be?

Recommendations moving forward:
So where does this leave us? How can you prepare for the approaching storm of crossing algorithms? Below, I have provided several key bullets that I think every webmaster should consider. I recommend taking a hard look at your site now, before major algos are running in near-real time.

Truly understand the weaknesses with your website. Google will continue crafting external algos that can be injected into the real-time algorithm.
And they will go real-time at some point. Be ready by cleaning up your site now.
Document all changes and fluctuations the best you can. Use annotations in Google Analytics and keep a spreadsheet updated with detailed
information.
Along the same lines, download your Google Webmaster Tools data monthly (at least). After helping many companies with algorithm hits, that
information is incredibly valuable, and can help lead you down the right recovery path.
Use a mix of audits and focus groups to truly understand the quality of your site. I mentioned in my post about aggressive advertising and Panda that human focus groups are worth their weight in gold (for surfacing Panda-related problems). Most business owners are too close to their own content and websites to accurately measure quality. Bias can be a nasty problem and can quickly lead to bamboo-overflow on a website.
Beyond on-site analysis, make sure you tackle your link profile as well. I recommend heavily analyzing your inbound links and weeding out unnatural links. And use the disavow tool for links you can’t remove. The combination of enhancing the quality of your content, boosting engagement, knocking down usability obstacles, and cleaning up your link profile can help you achieve long-term SEO success. Don’t tackle one quarter of your SEO problems. Address
all of them.
Remove barriers that inhibit change and action. You need to move fast. You need to be decisive. And you need to remove red tape that can bog down
the cycle of getting changes implemented. Don’t water down your efforts because there are too many chefs in the kitchen. Understand the changes that need to be implemented, and take action. That’s how you win SEO-wise.

Summary: Are you ready for the approaching storm?
SEO is continually moving and evolving, and it’s important that webmasters adapt quickly. Over the past few years, Google’s brilliant object-oriented approach to fighting webspam and low quality content has yielded algorithms like Panda, Penguin, Pirate, and Above the Fold. And more are on their way. My advice is to get your situation in order now, before crossing algorithms blend a recipe of confusion that make it exponentially harder to identify, and
then fix, problems riddling your website.

Now excuse me while I try to build a flux capacitor. 🙂

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For more on this Article including the images and graphs see:
http://omhub.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/the-danger-of-crossing-algorithms-uncovering-the-cloaked-panda-update-during-penguin-3-0/

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How to Be the Best Answer with Topic Targeting
by christopherjanb

This weekend I had the good fortune to present at the Minnesota Blogger Conference where nearly 300 local bloggers gathered to learn, get inspired and network.

For my part, I gave a presentation on how blogs are still an incredibly useful tool for marketing. Keeping the reason for blogging top of mind as well as empathy for reader preferences in how they find, consume and act on information are essential if a blog author expects marketing outcomes from their efforts.

When a blog or any content hub can become “the best answer” for the topics that are important for buyers, the return on blogging goes way, way up. One way to execute a content plan to become known as an authority is through topic targeting.

For experienced multi-channel and integrated marketing pros, this kind of approach is going to be fairly common. But for the vast majority of bloggers, whether they be corporate or enthusiasts, the shift from writing for yourself (or your brand) to writing to satisfy specific audience needs is a fundamental shift.

Topic targeting starts by answering a few key questions:

How do you want to be known? How do you want your product or service to be known? What are you, your brand, product or serve the “best answer” for? That singular distinction is essential in order to stand out.
What questions relevant to your area of expertise do buyers have? What information do they need in order to move from curiosity to specific interest to transaction?
As you come to find the sweet spot between how you want to be known and what customers care about, that’s the focus of your topic targeting plan.

Topic targeting is an approach that involves creating resources, experiences and connections that result in an undisputed affinity between a target topic and your brand.
On a large scale for large companies, this is essentially brand marketing. For a small or medium business without massive budgets or resources, these 3 phases below represent a practical approach to becoming the “best answer” wherever customers are looking.

Inspire:
When starting out from a position without prominent authority on your desired topic, one of the most effective ways to close the gap between where you are and where you want your brand to be is to connect with those that already have the authority and community you desire. Recognizing topical influencers in a creative and qualitative way with an emphasis on inspiring readers to think in new ways about the topic is a good start. Co-creating content with topic influencers is also particularly effective. Your target topic will drive which influencers you engage with, the questions and interactions you have, and the titling of the resulting content.

Additional inspire tactics include speaking events that are “on topic” in the conference scope, track and/or title of your presentation. Social engagement promoting target topic content and events should also align. Comments made on industry articles (blogs and online magazines) are also opportunities to create affinity. Blogging about the target topic from different perspectives (what would a buyer need to know from start to finish) is also an effective directed content effort that will contribute to becoming the best answer.

Lastly, a limited number of guest posts on relevant, high profile blogs and contributed articles to industry magazines and websites on your target topic will provided added support for your brand and the target topic.

Desire:
Anticipation is a gateway to topical authority. Continuing to blog on the target topic and growing influencer relationships will lead to even more community engagement opportunities. Consistent creation of useful and entertaining blog content as well as alignment with industry influencers will create a very powerful mental state amongst your blog readers: anticipation. A community that can’t wait to see what you’re going to publish next will be instrumental for amplifying content and stimulating new perspectives on your target topic. That desire leads to advocacy, evangelism and scale for reaching a target audience in a highly credible way.

Acquire:
Demand for information and expertise leads to demand for your solutions. As authority is built on your target topic represented by the content you create on your own websites, third party references to your brand as an authority, growth of your community around the topic and advertising activities, there are several opportunities to show more tangible evidence of expertise: Some examples include:

Case studies
Definitive topic resource/guide
Events – online and off
Industry survey and report (annual)
Lists recognizing experts in the topic (annual or quarterly)
All of these tactics provide opportunities for readers to move from awareness and learning about the topic (with your brand at the forefront) to consideration and action – leads and transactions. Consumers increasingly expect to be able to educate themselves to a purchase decision and making it easy to find, experience and act on your content isn’t just good content marketing, it’s what buyers want.

Specificity is essential with topic targeting as are patience and persistence. This is an earned achievement that also needs to be maintained. But once consensus and momentum are achieved, the ability to attract those actively seeking what you have to offer will expand the value of your content beyond lead generation and sales to other means of monetization – sponsorships, advertising, syndication.

To apply the approach mentioned in this post will require some homework – research in your market or industry to see what kinds of content and messages resonate with the target audience. That’s where the audience Discovery, Consumption and Action model for understanding your audience comes in to play. It is also a continuous effort that can start simply and scale based on what works and what doesn’t.

But the most important thing if all, is to start: How do you want to be known? How does that fit with what your customers want to know?

For more on this SEO Tips /SEO Advice / Blogging Advice post or content marketing in general see:
http://omhub.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/how-to-be-the-best-answer-with-topic-targeting/

The SEO Tips / SEO Advice / Blogging Advice page was posted “By Mike Armstrong”

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Popular Cardiff Blog Posts from Yesterday, Tuesday and Last Week!

Networking Breakfast in Cardiff Bay:

http://maconsultancycardiff.com/business-networking-events/networking-breakfast-event-at-the-stunning-cote-brasserie-in-the-heart-of-cardiff-bay-for-this-friday/

Twitter Training Cardiff:

http://maconsultancycardiff.com/social-media-training-cardiff/twitter-training-cardiff-2/

Record Demand for England Rugby World Cup 2015 Tickets:

http://maconsultancycardiff.com/rugby-world-cup-2015/record-demand-for-england-rugby-world-cup-2015-tickets/

*If you like these popular marketing blog posts from yesterday you may also like these other marketing blog posts from Tuesday and Last week:

Tuesday’s popular marketing blog posts:

How to be above average on Twitter:

http://maconsultancycardiff.com/social-media/how-to-be-above-average-on-twitter/

Twitter Training Wales:

http://maconsultancycardiff.com/twitter-training/twitter-training-wales-2/

Content Marketing / Content Writing for Search Engine Optimisation

http://maconsultancycardiff.com/content-marketing/content-marketing-content-writing-for-search-engine-optimisation-2/

How Users view and interact with Google Search Engine Results Page

http://maconsultancycardiff.com/marketing/a-recent-post-about-how-users-view-and-interact-with-google-search-engine-results-page/

*If you like these popular blog posts from yesterday and Tuesday you might also like these popular posts from last week:

Popular Blogposts from last week:

Business Woman Networking Event in Cardiff:

http://maconsultancycardiff.com/business-networking-events/business-woman-networking-business-event-in-cardiff-south-wales/

Would you like to find out how to increase your website or blog traffic by 100% to 500%+???

http://maconsultancycardiff.com/web-marketing-training/would-you-like-to-find-out-how-to-increase-your-website-or-blog-traffic-by-100-to-500/

Does your website work for you? – If not engage with a website consultant

http://maconsultancycardiff.com/business-news/does-your-website-work-for-you-if-not-engage-with-a-website-consultant/

Christmas Party Venue in Cardiff, South Wales

http://maconsultancycardiff.com/cardiff-business-news/christmas-party-venue-in-cardiff-south-wales/

Website Marketing Tip

http://maconsultancycardiff.com/business-marketing/website-marketing-tip/

Twitter Marketing Tip

http://maconsultancycardiff.com/business-marketing/twitter-marketing-tip/

Networking Event in Cardiff:

http://maconsultancycardiff.com/business-event-in-cardiff/networking-event-in-cardiff/

8 things you might not know about UK SME’s – An Infographic

http://maconsultancycardiff.com/business-news/8-things-you-might-not-know-about-uk-smes-an-infographic/

Rugby World Cup 2015 Fixture Schedule:

http://maconsultancycardiff.com/welsh-sport/rugby-world-cup-2015-fixture-schedule/

Beaujolais Day:

http://maconsultancycardiff.com/business-networking-events/beaujolais-day-in-south-wales-2/

Networking Event in Cardiff:

http://maconsultancycardiff.com/cardiff-business-event/business-networking-event-in-the-heart-of-the-city-of-cardiff-for-thursday/

30 Actionable Content Marketing Tips:

http://maconsultancycardiff.com/business-advice/30-actionable-content-marketing-tips-you-can-use-right-now/

5 Expert Tips regarding the Hashtag #

http://maconsultancycardiff.com/business-marketing/5-expert-tips-regarding-the-hashtag/

Some popular Welsh Business Hashtags

http://maconsultancycardiff.com/social-media/some-popular-welsh-business-hashtags/

Twitter Marketing Tip:

http://maconsultancycardiff.com/business-marketing/twitter-marketing-tip-5/

SEO Tip / Search Engine Optimisation:

http://maconsultancycardiff.com/blogging/seo-tip-search-engine-optimisation/

The popular Cardiff blog posts from yesterday and last week page was posted “By Mike Armstrong”

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A recent post about how users view and interact with Today’s Google Search Engine Results Page

New post on Online Marketing Hub

Eye Tracking in 2014: How Users View and Interact with Today’s Google SERPs
by christopherjanb
Posted by rMaynes1

In September 2014, Mediative released its latest eye-tracking research entitled “The Evolution of Google’s Search Engine Results Pages and Their Effects on User Behaviour”.

This large study had participants conduct various searches using Google on a desktop. For example, participants were asked “Imagine you’re moving from
Toronto to Vancouver. Use Google to find a moving company in Toronto.” Participants were all presented with the same Google SERP, no matter the search
query.

Mediative wanted to know where people look and click on the SERP the most, what role the location of the listing on the SERP plays in winning views and
clicks, and how click activity on listings has changed with the introduction of Google features such as the carousel, the knowledge graph etc.

Mediative discovered that, just as Google’s SERP has evolved over the past decade, so too has the way in which search engine users scan the page before
making a click.

Back in 2005 when
a similar eye-tracking study was conducted for the first time by Mediative (formerly Enquiro), it was
discovered that people searched in a distinctive “triangle” pattern, starting in the top left of the search results page where they expected the first
organic listing to be located, and reading across horizontally before moving their eyes down to the second organic listing, and reading horizontally, but
not quite as far. This area of concentrated gaze activity became known as Google’s “Golden Triangle”. The study concluded that if a business’s listing was
not in the Golden Triangle, its odds of being seen by a searcher were dramatically reduced.

Heat map from 2005 showing the area known as Google’s “Golden Triangle” (see link below).

But now, in 2014, the top organic results are no longer always in the top-left corner where searchers expect them to be, so they scan other areas of the
SERP, trying to seek out the top organic listing, but being distracted by other elements along the way. The #1 organic listing is shifting further down the
page, and while this listing still captures the most click activity (32.8%) regardless of what new elements are presented, the shifting location has opened
up the top of the page with more potential areas for businesses to achieve visibility.

Where scanning was once more
horizontal, the adoption of mobile devices over the past 9 years has habitually conditioned searchers to now scan
more
vertically—they are looking for the fastest path to the desired content, and, compared to 9 years ago, they are viewing more search results
listings during a single session and spending less time viewing each one.

Searchers on Google now scan far more vertically than several years ago (see link below)

One of the biggest changes from SERPS 9 years ago to today is that Google is now trying to keep people on the result page for as long as they can.

An example is in the case of the knowledge graph. In Mediative’s study. when searchers were looking for “weather in New Orleans”, the results page that was
presented to them showed exactly what they needed to know. Participants were asked to click on the result that they felt best met their needs, even if, if reality, they wouldn’t have clicked through (in order to end that task). When a knowledge graph result exactly met the intent of the searcher, the study found 80% of people looked at that result, and 44% clicked on it. Google provided searchers with a relevant enough answer to keep them on the SERP.
The top organic listing captured 36.5% of pages clicks—compared to 82% when the knowledge graph did not provide the searcher with the answer they were
looking for.

It’s a similar case with the carousel results; when a searcher clicks on a listing, instead of going through to the listing’s website, another SERP is
presented specifically about the business, as Google tries to increase paid ad impressions/clicks on the Google search results page.

How can businesses stay on top of these changes and ensure they still get listed?
There are four main things to keep in mind:

1.
The basic fundamentals of SEO are as important as ever Create unique, fresh content, which speaks to the needs of your customers as this will always trump chasing the algorithm. There are also on-page and
off-page SEO tactics that you can employ that can increase your chances of being listed in areas of the SERP other than your website’s organic listing such as front-loading keywords in page titles and meta descriptions, getting listed on directories and ratings and reviews site, having social pages etc. It’s important to note that SEO strategy is no longer a one-size-fits-all approach.

2.
Consider using schema mark-up wherever possible
In Mediative’s 2014 Google SERP research, it was discovered that blog posts that had been marked up using schema to show the picture and name of the author
got a significant amount of engagement, even when quite far down the first page—these listings garnered an average of 15.5% of total page clicks.

Note:

As of August 2014, Google removed authorship markup entirely. However, the results are still a good example of how schema mark-up can be used to make
your business listing stand out more on the SERP, potentially capturing more view and clicks, and therefore more website traffic.

In the study, participants were asked to “Imagine that you’re starting a business and you need to find a company to host your website. Use Google to find
information about website hosting companies”. The SERP presented is shown below:

Almost 45% of clicks went to 2 blog posts titled “Five Best Web Hosting Companies” and “10 Best Web Hosting Companies”.

In general, the top clicked posts were those that had titles including phrases such as:

“Best…”
“Reviews of…”
“Top 5…”
“How-to…”
According to Google, “On-page markup helps search engines understand the information on webpages and provide richer results…Google doesn’t use markup
for ranking purposes at this time-but rich snippets can make your web pages appear more prominently in search results, so you may see an increase in
traffic.”

Schema markup is probably the most under-utilized tool for SEO, presenting a huge opportunity for companies that do utilize the Google approved tool.
Searchmetrics reported that only 0.3% of websites
use schema markup, yet over a third of Google’s results contain rich snippets (additional text, images and links below the individual search results).
BruceClay.com reports rich snippets can increase CTRs of listings between
15-50% and that websites using schema markup tend to rank higher in search results.

Schema mark-up can be used to add star ratings, number of reviews, pricing (all shown in the listing below) and more to a search results page listing.

3.
Know the intent of your users
Understanding what searchers are trying to discover when they conduct a search can help determine how much effort you should try and put into appearing in the number one organic listing, which can be an extremely difficult task without unlimited budget and resources—and, even if you do make it the number one organic listing, traffic is not guaranteed as discovered in this reaserch. If you’re competing with big name brands, or ratings and review sites, and
THAT is what your customers want, they you are going to struggle to compete.

The importance of your business being the first listing vs. on the first page therefore, is highly dependent on the searcher’s intent, plus the strength of your brand. The key is to always keep
user intent top-of-mind, and this can be established by talking to real people, rather than guessing. What are they looking for when they are searching for your site? Structure your content around what people really want and need, list your site
on the directories that people actually visit or reference, create videos (if that’s what your audience wants)—know what your actual customers are
looking for, and then provide it.

There are going to be situations when a business can’t get to number one on the organic listings. As previously mentioned, the study shows that this is still the key place to be, and the top organic listing captures more clicks that any other single listing. But if your chances of getting to that number
one spot are slim, you need to focus on other areas of the SERP, such as positions #4 or higher, which will be easier to obtain ranking for—businesses that are positioned lower on the SERP (especially positions 2-4) see more click activity than they did several years ago, making this real estate much more valuable. As Gord Hotchkiss writes about, searchers tend to “chunk” information on the SERP and scan each chuck in the same way they used to search the entire SERP—in a triangle pattern. Getting listed at the top of a “chunk” can therefore be effective for many businesses. This idea of “chunking” and scanning can be seen in the heat map below.

To add to that, Mediative’s research showed that everything located above the top 4 organic listings (so, carousel results, knowledge graph, paid listings,
local listings etc.) combined captured 84% of clicks. If you can’t get your business listing to #1, but can get listed somewhere higher than #4, you have a good chance of being seen, and clicked on by searchers. Ultimately, people expect Google to continue to do its job, and respond to search queries with the most relevant results at the top. The study points out that only 1% of participants were willing to click through to Page 2 to see more results. If you’re not listed on page 1 of Google for relevant searches, you may as well not exist online.

4.
A combination of SEO and paid search can maximize your visibility in SERP areas that have the biggest impact on both branding and traffic Even though organic listings are where many businesses are striving to be listed (and where the majority of clicks take place), it’s important not to
forget about paid listings as a component of your digital strategy. Click-through rates for top sponsored listings (positions 1 and 2) have changed very little in the past decade. Where the huge change has taken place is in the ability of sponsored ads on the right rail to attract attention and clicks.

Activity on this section of the page is almost non-existent. This can be put down to a couple of factors including searchers conditioned behaviour as
mentioned before, to scan more vertically, thanks to our increased mobile usage, and the fact that over the years we have learned that those results may not typically be very relevant, or as good as the organic results, so we tend not to even take the time to view them.

Mediative’s research also found that there are branding effects of paid search, even if not directly driving traffic. We asked participants to “Imagine you are traveling to New Orleans and are looking for somewhere to meet a friend for dinner in the French Quarter area. Use Google to find a restaurant.”
Participants were presented with a SERP showing 2 paid ads—the first was for opentable.com, and the second for the restaurant Remoulade, remoulade.com.

The top sponsored listing, opentable.com, was viewed by 84% of participants, and captured 26% of clicks. The second listing, remoulade.com, only captured
2% of clicks but was looked at by 73% of participants. By being seen by almost 3/4 of participants, the paid listing can increase brand affinity, and
therefore purchase (or choice) consideration in other areas! For example, if the searcher comes back and searches again another time, or clicks to opentable.com and then sees Remoulade listed, it may benefit from a higher brand affinity from having already been seen in the paid listings. Mediative conducted a Brand Lift study featuring Honda that found the more real estate that brands own on the SERP, the higher the CTR, and the higher the brand affinity, brand recognition, purchase consideration etc. Using paid search for more of a branding play is essentially free
brand advertising—while you should be prepared to get the clicks and pay for them of course, it likely that your business listing will be seen by a large number of people without capturing the same number of clicks. Impression data can also be easily tracked with Google paid ads so you know
exactly how many times your ad was shown, and can therefore estimate how many people actually looked at it from a branding point of view.

Rebecca Maynes is a Marketing Communications Strategist with Mediative, and was a major contributor on this study. The full study, including click-through rates for all areas of the SERP, can be downloaded at

http://ift.tt/1vuhDXI.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

For more on this article or for pictures see: http://omhub.wordpress.com/2014/10/22/eye-tracking-in-2014-how-users-view-and-interact-with-todays-google-serps/

The A recent post about how users view and interact with Today’s Google Search Engine Results Page was posted “By Mike Armstrong”

How to Increase your Business Website Page Ranking in the SERP’s / SEO Tip..

If you want your Website to improve its ranking in the Internet search engines, and have it associated with more keywords in order to get more traffic integrate a blog to your website and start a content marketing strategy!

Write about your products, services, staff, events, case studies and offers and share you marketing material.

If you need help use the advice of a content marketing specialist or outsource some of the content marketing services to an outsourced service provider like MA Consultancy:

07517 024979 | maconsultancy1@gmail.com

*If you liked this SEO Tip – You might like our Social Media & SEO Training:

http://maconsultancycardiff.com/social-media-training-cardiff/social-media-training-cardiff/

*Or this other SEO Tip:

SEO Tip / Search Engine Optimisation:

http://maconsultancycardiff.com/blogging/seo-tip-search-engine-optimisation/

The How to Increase your Business Website Page Ranking in the SERP’s / SEO Tip page was written “By Mike Armstrong”

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SEO Tip / Search Engine Optimisation

If you want your Website to improve its ranking in the Internet search engines, and have it associated with more keywords in order to get more traffic integrate a blog to your website and start a content marketing strategy!

Write about your products, services, staff, events, case studies and offers and share you marketing material.

If you need help use the advice of a content marketing specialist or outsource some of the content marketing services to an outsourced service provider like MA Consultancy:

07517 024979 | maconsultancy1@gmail.com

*If you liked this SEO Tip – You might like our Social Media & SEO Training:

http://maconsultancycardiff.com/social-media-training-cardiff/social-media-training-cardiff/

The SEO Tip / Search Engine Optimisation page was written “By Mike Armstrong”

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Basic SEO Tip – Link Building

If you want to improve the ranking of your website get your real world contacts (Partners, Customers, Suppliers, Associations) with websites, to marketing your business and website on their website with a link.

Additional Tip: If you can get them to add some marketing info and a link for free or without exchange that’s perfect but if not exchanging a link (swapping your with one for them) is the next best option and it can also be worth paying for this type of marketing with a link on some sites (especially if they have a high ranking website or a high relevancy to your site website – such as a Trade Body or Association)!

*If you like this SEO Tip you might also like this Twitter Tip & Web Marketing Tip:

Twitter Marketing Tip

Web Marketing Tip

The Basic SEO Tip – Link Building was created & posted “By Mike Armstrong”

Does your website work for you? – If not engage with a Website Consultant

Does your Business or Company have a Website that works well for the business?

Is it;
Attracting new business enquiries,
Engaging with existing customers, Selling your business strengths,
Making you Stand out in your Industry,
Converting as well as it can be?

If the answer to any or all of these questions is no, and you would like to get your website working better for you, then it is time you engaged with a website consultant.

What is a Website Consultant?

A Website Consultant is someone who can review your website and analysis whether it is fulfilling your objectives and working well for you.

How can a Website Consultant help you?

A website consultant can ensure your website carries the right message for your business. They can ensure that your website is generating the enquiries that you require and that you are converting those enquiries.

A Website Consultant can help your business to achieve business goals and objectives and can ensure that you start standing out, in your sector or beyond.

How do you get a Website Consultant to give you a free consultation?

For a free 1 hour consultation (in South Wales or the South West) with a Website Consultant call: 07517 024979 or email: maconsultancy1@gmail.com

Outside of South Wales or the South West, I can perform an initial consultation online or via phone.

Our Website Consultants can advise on SEO, Website Content, Content Marketing, Blogging, Social Media Marketing, E-commerce, Web Design, Web Functionality, Website Platforms, CMS Systems (Content Management Systems), Website Upgrades, Adwords and other Website Marketing options and many more website related services.

The Does your website work for you? – If not engage with a Website Consultant page was posted “By Mike Armstrong”

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