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Top Tips for SEO in 2019

Top Tips for SEO in 2019 SEO is of course still the most cost-effective channel for delivering direct B2C sales, but it also has strategic impact beyond this. Here Kevin Lee reminds us that there are 5 ways SEO is strategic in 2017: Branding Impact SEO and public relations aren’t the same thing, but they share the same goal: to increase the general visibility and favorable public impression (which is why so many SEO agencies have added “PR” to their service offerings, while PR agencies have added “SEO” to theirs). Increasing awareness is a high-level strategic marketing goal. Today, online reputation management always includes a tangible SEO component. As such it represents a key component of any influence-building campaign. Market Share Defence Organic listings in the SERPs don’t only increase your traffic and revenue, they take revenue from the competition. In B2B, where customer lifetime value is high, investing in high-quality content optimised for search should be a strategic goal. Any time an acquisition opportunity in search (paid or organic) is missed, chances are that opportunity is going to the competition. SEO, in other words, is a strategic asset — with offensive and defensive value — in the battle for market share. Lowering Digital Media Costs In many verticals paid search costs can reach £10 a click. (In the legal field, paid clicks can exceed £100.) Favourable organic positions materially reduce these costs, freeing up ad spend which can be deployed against segments that would otherwise be unaffordable. That’s an important, material and strategic impact of SEO that’s often missed. New Product/Service Development Search (both paid and organic) is a real-time, massively scaled focus group in which one can (with enough data) perform an accurate predictive analysis of what customers are looking for — and, in some cases, invent products for which there’s search demand (but no product yet). There’s huge potential upside in this kind of “virtual focus group” research, which in some cases has the potential to be more valuable to the organisation than old-style qualitative consumer research studies. More efficient (non-search) media campaigns Searchers often are compelled to begin query sessions because of exposure to some other marketing touch point (for example, a mention in a news story, in a TV drama, a remark of a friend or other offline event). Search traffic can therefore be used as a barometer of other media’s effectiveness. Search behavior can also reveal patterns in one’s...

A PR’s Guide to Blogger Outreach for SEO

A PR’s Guide to Blogger Outreach for SEO Table of Contents: Introduction Why smart PR pros talk to bloggers Blogs are important for link-building and SEO They’re connected They’re genuinely well-read and influential They’re interested in your client (sometimes) Finding blogs Google blog search for your most relevant keywords & search terms Followerwonk search Inkybee Following commenter links on other blogs Blog directories Other search tools Evaluating Blogs Not all blogs are created equal Metrics to evaluate blogs Publication frequency To pay or not to pay Competitions Building relationships with bloggers Blogger events Optimisation Measurement Conclusion Appendix: PR outreach tips An influential blogger is effectively an independent publisher who writes about a specific niche that they feel passionately about. PR agencies and brands overlook blogs at their peril. The most successful blogs in the UK have readership figures that eclipse many newsstand magazines, and have extremely loyal and engaged readers who trust the information they read on blogs. Working with an influential blog doesn’t just give brands access to the readers of that blog, it has many benefits for SEO and beyond. Topicality, relevance and link equity are all valuable SEO assets when it comes to your association with a blogger. It also provides a gateway to the blogger’s network. With 90% of bloggers being active on Facebook, and more than 80% also using Twitter (based on the Tots100 Technology Survey of parent blogs in 2011), a post on the right blog at the right time, can have enormous impact on a brand’s reputation. Identifying influential bloggers is only the first step in successful blogger outreach. Consideration for how to engage bloggers and what techniques are most effective in building long-term, mutually beneficial relationships are key PR facets too. Get blogger relations right, and you will become a part of authentic, influential conversations that are a cost-effective form of marketing and reap on-going SEO rewards. Get blogger relations wrong, and you might find yourself going viral on social networks for all the wrong reasons. Why smart PR pros talk to bloggers Whatever campaign you’re working on, adding bloggers to your media mix will probably be a good idea. Here are four great reasons for working with bloggers: 1) Blogs are important for link-building and SEO SEO and PR now go hand-in-hand for many brands. Working with the right blogs provides a great platform for link-building and SEO campaigns. As a rule, bloggers are much more willing to...

On-Site vs Off-Site SEO: Getting the Balance Right

On-Site vs Off-Site SEO: Getting the Balance Right It’s very often the case that the focus of SEO is too much on the technical aspects of on-site optimisation or too much on the content-based approach to off-site SEO so it’s worth spending time to dispel the myths and to help you build a plan for balancing both. What is On-Site SEO? On-site SEO is to do with getting your house in order; it’s optimising your ‘owned’ assets; it’s about maximising what you have easy control over and minimising missed opportunities from what could be called ‘quick wins’. On-site SEO is specifically to do with ensuring search terms – words, phrases, topics & themes – are included in the various tags and content on your site. It’s not about keyword stuffing, doorway pages and hidden text as was the case way back when, but it reflects your opportunity to respond to the queries that your potential customers use in search engines by organising your content in a way that reflects this intention. On-site SEO can be seen as a prioritised checklist as there are certain factors that are more important than others, but it’s important to understand how clever search engines are trying to be and organise your content based on great user experience. A site that has no consideration for breaking content up to make it readable and manageable is unlikely to succeed when it comes to both humans and machine readers understanding that content. On-site SEO should follow an ordered process of research. ThinkSearch always follow the following plan: Technical SEO Audit – what impediments are there to SEO success Search Term Research – what are those words, phrases, themes & topics relevant to your audience? Page Allocation – which pages do you have relevant to these topics (and which are missing)? Meta Data Inventory – apply latest, best practice optimisation to Page Titles & Meta Descriptions Site-Wide Optimisation – a guide to optimising the rest of the content, links, images & other assets on the site The general order of priorities for optimisation of each page on the website is as follows: Page Titles – the 70 character blue hyperlink in Google and the test in the tab in the browser chrome Headings – H1, H2 & H3 should be used if the page content can be structured this way Body copy – is it clear, concise and well structured to represent the themes and topics of the page Links...

Pagination, a brief history of blogging & SEO

Pagination, a brief history of blogging & SEO Pagination Pagination is a necessary evil! It’s a bit of a throwback to a day before pages load in extra content dynamically as you scroll. It allows users the ability to trawl back through time to read additional content in a chronological way. Chronological ordering is of no use to search engines however, and pagination is actually useful only to indexation, not categorisation. If a site/blog only used pagination to navigate archive content all the old articles/posts would be dropped, and sooner rather than later. The rise of blogging’s popularity and it’s usefulness has an interesting history. There are 2 main factors at play here and they’re both related to SEO: 1) Google started to crack down on the more underhand methods that some SEO’s used to use of adding links into the footer and/or the side bar of websites. In various algorithm updates it decided to give less priority to these parts of all web page. Instead, focussing on the main navigation and the main page content, Google cleaned up the SERPs for a while. 2) Another part of the algorithm became more prominent and understood by the SEO community – that of freshness (or more specifically QDF: Query Deserves Freshness). How do you keep adding fresh content to a website to keep the search engines coming back for more? Why through adding a blog of course. A brief history of blogging This left the SEO’s no choice but to come up with ways of getting links into the body copy of the web page – hence the rise of guest blogging. Links from other sites to yours from relevant content & context still hold a lot of clout. As a result, to some extent, blogs have become a bucket for content generated purely for the purpose of SEO. But there are of course good examples, and those writing great content are starting to win the war of attention – a much better metric to measure than most other SEO metrics (more on attention metrics here). …and SEO! There are also of course better ways to construct your blog that benefit SEO, and these are also, thankfully, primarily for users too: a) We’ve mentioned external contextual linking, and it’s equally important when linking through to content on your own site. Where it makes sense to do so always link through to other articles that you have written on your own...

A ThinkSearch prioritised web development & site migration SEO checklist

A ThinkSearch prioritised web development & site migration SEO checklist This article was first published over on the Econsultancy blog. It was inspired by a piece of work I did for an ex-colleague and by another far more authoritative piece by another ex-colleague over on Here it is republished in full. Prioritised Web Dev/Redesign & Site Migration SEO Checklist My friend and ex-colleague Modestos Siotos (@Modestos_) has written THE most authoritative piece on site migration over on the Moz blog and there’s no way I even want to go anywhere near improving on that, but I do often get asked both for that authoritative guide and for a prioritised list of actions/areas of focus, so this article will do just that. Modi’s Moz article is for an SEO & dev lead to implement together, but this guide is more designed for client services to help more concisely communicate the most prescient issues and explain the value in each (and relatively costly) step, and assumes that you have done all the project planning, timing, and already laid out the processes.   Benchmarking The key steps of benchmarking are often forgotten in this process and are a particularly key consideration for client services. There’s no doubt a lot of pressure and high expectations for the new website to flat out beat the old one, as well as the fact that any attention going into the redesign and migration process shines a light on all this. However with the best will in the world and all tick boxes checked there will inevitably be a dip in visibility, visits, and the value they generate, so be prepared to have some answers when the time comes. Benchmarking allows us to show up any legacy issues the previous incarnation of the site may have had, issues that may potential hamper the new site. We’re talking about factors you can’t measure at a later stage here. Although the plan will be to iron out any of these issues and to embed SEO throughout the new build it may well be that more focus/time/cost could have been spent on SEO previously so bare this in mind. An example might be the use of a clever method of serving content such as frames or dynamic divs in a way that impedes access to this content, so anything you can grab prior to the switch-over do so. But before we get started – and absolutely most importantly –...

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