Do you vary your anchor text? Surprisingly, many individuals that do their own SEO and link building activities don’t diversify anchor text enough. Today, over use of your keywords can lead to some pretty severe consequences – penalties, ranking drops and traffic decreases.
Luckily, there are easy ways to combat the issue of over optimized anchor text. Diversifying the keywords pointing to your domain is the best way to avoid this issue. Here are 6 tips to help you understand your options when diversifying anchor text.
Branded Anchor Text
The easiest way to start diversifying your anchor text is to use your brand as the keyword phrase. For large brands, the anchor text most often used when linking to their sites is their brand name already.
Use a tool like Open Site Explorer to examine your backlinks. Use their distribution of anchor text tab to help you see what keywords are being used most often. How often is your brand name used, or variations of your brand name? Keep an eye on the keyword variations showing up in your backlinks and actively pursue opportunities that will allow you to link to your site using your brand name: social profiles, directories, guest blogging, etc…
It’s natural to see keywords misspelled or used incorrectly. This is true too, of your backlinks. Purposely misspell and use keywords incorrectly every now and again. Sure, it’s not a best practice always but when you’re trying to find ideas on how to diversify your backlinks – this is an option.
Natural Unoptimized Terms
Do you know who ranks #1 for “click here”? Adobe of course! Think about it – many sites link to Adobe for their Acrobat Reader. “Click here”, “Download”, etc… are all anchor texts that are used. While this is an extreme case, it certainly can be a good lesson. Natural anchor text is sometimes not keyword oriented but action oriented. Build a few links to your domain using natural and unoptimized anchor text.
Long Tail Anchor Text
Another option you have when diversifying anchor text is to use a long tail term to hyperlink. Having a long tail SEO strategy is always a good idea, as long tail terms can over time draw in the targeted traffic you’re looking for. Try using a question or a quote as the anchor text or look for specific long tail phrases using keyword research that have some search volume.
URL as Anchor Text
Using your URL as your anchor text is an option. Sites that allow you to have a company profile often link to you using just the URL as the anchor text. Seek out these opportunities and try placing not just your homepage as the URL. Look to place internal page URLs as the anchor text as well.
Last but certainly not least, your option to vary anchor text may come down to identifying other similar keywords. Use a Thesaurus to help you come up with synonyms that will still apply to the keywords you wish to focus, but help in diversifying exact match anchor text. You may even find some of the keywords convert better than the broad match terms you’ve always tried to focus on.
Do you have tips to help users diversify anchor text? Tell us in the comments below!
Are you an expert researcher online? The average online user over time has become better and better at finding the things they need online. The use of advanced search operators is commonplace. While search engines work to combat spam everyday, there are still many sites you wish to avoid in your search. Advanced search commands can help you sift through billions of websites quickly and easily by narrowing down your search with operators or commands.
There are many options when it comes to advanced search commands. One of the more common commands is phrase search operator (“”). When you put quotes around a keyword or phrase, you’re telling the search engine to look for that exact match phrase online. They’ll serve up results with that exact phrase, or tell you that none exist. I use this one all the time when doing link building activities or trying to find out the name of the song stuck in my head at any given time. When you only know bits and pieces of the information you’re looking for use this operator to narrow down your search.
Don’t want to see a result in the SERPs? Use the exclude search operator (-). Exclude words from your search and websites too. Example: Command -.edu will take out all instances of .edu domains in your results. You’re also able to exclude specific domains simply by putting that web address after the operator.
Use what Google calls the fill in the blank search operator (*) if you’re really in need of finding a great site. This operator is a wildcard, or placeholder, for a term that you aren’t aware of. Additionally you can use this operator to find other websites on the same type of topic. Google gives this example query: Obama voted * on the * bill. The query will show results on different votes for different bills, with the unknown being a placeholder for what you want to include.
Trying to find a similar set of URLs but not on the same domain? Use (inurl) search operator and you’ll find similar keywords in a file path. Many webmasters name pages similarly – contact us, about us, blog, etc… Use command (inurl:resources) along with your query to find a list of resource pages. This is one I’ve used to find link opportunities or even content opportunities. Find a great resource list? What type of content is linked to? Create that type of content and ask the site to add you to their resources list.
Sometimes you might be looking for keywords that appear in the title of the page. Use (intitle) search operator. Using this type of search command is common in advanced SEO research. Looking for sites with specific keywords that appear in their backlinks is also a common advanced tactic. Use (inanchor) search operator.
Know the file type of the page you’re looking for? Use (filetype) search operator. For example, if you were looking for PDFs you’d want to use filetype:pdf as your search operator. What types of pdfs are on your competitors website? Find out and get ideas for your next whitepaper or free guide.
These are just a few of the many search operators currently in practice. Not only can many of them be used on search engines you’d usually think of like Google and Bing, they can also be used in Twitter search. See a tweet go by and then not know where it went? I do this all the time because of the Twitter fire hose effect. But with search commands I can find the tweet pretty easily using bits and pieces of information.
These are just a few of the search commands available for you to use. Many more resources exist that give examples and practical application for each of the commands listed above as well as new ones to try out. Please visit the below resources for additional information on search commands.
Have additional resources we should add to the list? Let us know!
SEO is here to stay for a long time. Though it’s important to stick to best SEO practices and guidelines, you should never use too much SEO. Google spam team head Matt Cutts attended the SXSW a week ago. During his panel, he announced that Google is working on an update that’ll specifically target those websites that indulge in overdoing SEO.
Matt’s announcement is yet another proof that SEO won’t die soon. It’s here to stay and webmasters need to be more careful while incorporating search optimization strategies into their sites.
So, you need to ask – ‘Is my site overly SEO’ed?
The upcoming update is going to be a massive one. A hard pill to swallow for SEOs! Though Google usually doesn’t pre-announce an algorithmic update, this announcement should quickly raise the ears of SEOs around the globe. If you are working really hard at SEO (which I know many of you do), it’s about time you stopped this right away.
Though over-optimization or overdone SEO has been in discussion for a long time, you can’t ignore it anymore. The algorithmic update (which many Google engineers are already working on) will be launched anytime in the next few weeks. It sounds pretty scary, right?
Signs of Over-Optimization
I know this is what you actually want to ask. You want to know how much SEO is too much so that you can identify whether your site is overly SEO’ed. On the other hand, there are those who are over-optimizing their web pages and they know that they are overdoing it. Brace yourself!
A site is overly SEO’ed if -
it repeats keywords in Meta tags
it has long keyword-stuffed URL strings
it has keyword-stuffed alt tags
it focuses on SEO content, rather than the visitor
it has an unnatural backlinks profile
it has too many anchor-text manipulated hyperlinks on web pages
Many times, you would force yourself to complete 500 words when you can say or express your idea in just 300 words. You do it only because you want to meet a mythical search engine word count so that you can rank at top positions in search engine results pages. This is exactly when you start to create fluffy SEO copy, which indicates you are in the habit of overdoing SEO.
What to Do
Without any delay, you should warn all your SEOs or the search optimization agency (if you outsource the work) to beware before it’s too late. If you’re working with a SEO company, it’s always a good idea to keep a close watch on everything they are doing to improve your site’s rankings. Don’t make the mistake of handling your sites to a SEO agency or professional and never bothering to check what strategies they are using. After all, it’s your businesses and you’re accountable for where you want to take it.
Please people and search engines will be happy too. Google has told it time and again that they want to enhance the web user’s experience. If you want your site to survive in search rankings, you need to focus all of your attention to people. By writing for people, you won’t only escape search penalties, but you’ll also increase the rate of conversion on your site.
And, be careful if you plan to hire a SEO agency or professional because prevention is always better than cure.
Should Google Define ‘Too Much SEO’ or ‘Over-Optimization’?
This is an important question. A lot of people are worried because they have no idea how Google is going to differentiate between great content and overly SEO’ed sites. Publishers and small businesses are investing in SEO in large numbers. They really need more clarity about what Google considers as ‘over-optimized’ or ‘overly SEO’ed’. Will Google ever answer?
What do you have to say about this upcoming Google search update? I really hope that your site doesn’t fall into the ‘overly SEO’ed’ catgory.
Wow, a content inventory is an excellent idea! Yes, creating a content inventory helps you assess the current status of your website, how you can improve the content and what you need to do to take your website to the next level. The biggest benefit of having a content inventory is that you can use it to enhance the SEO of your website or blog. So, how do you do it?
First of all, you need to know what a content inventory is. Well, a content inventory is an information architecture which is used to list all the content (whether text-based, images or videos) on your website so that no single piece of content is hidden from your sight.
Content has been the king for a long time now. It rules even today. If you want to enhance the SEO of your site, creating a content inventory is just the perfect way to go. After you’ve created the same, you’ll become an authority on what your website contains. With this in-depth knowledge, you’ll be all set to use the SEO tactics and strategies that your website badly needs.
What Does a Content Inventory Look Like?
Initially, creating a content inventory looks like a maddening exercise. Once you get started with the same, it can be a lot of fun. A content inventory is actually a spreadsheet, which contains information about each page that you have on your website or blog. The number of columns in the spreadsheet may vary depending on the number of on-page factors that you want to optimize for.
A content inventory, meant to improve SEO, looks a little different from a standard information architecture content inventory. Such an inventory does a great job to keep you abreast of all the individual content pieces on your site as well as help you plan your SEO strategy for future.
For example, the inventory can include information like the page title, URL structure, targeted keywords (or phrases), keyword density, meta description and image file name, for every web page in the spreadhsheet.
The Process Can Be Easier If …
If you have a big website or blog, you may find the task of creating a content inventory quite cumbersome. It’s, therefore, advisable to include other people (or employees) from your company so that you can assign each one of them some specific chunk. That means you’ll first need to break up all the components of your website in smaller chunks that you can easily manage. Once everyone completes their assigned tasks, you can draw up the entire spreadsheet and start analyzing the data to work out your future SEO strategies.
So, It’s Time to Analyze!
It’s a good idea to provide everyone (who was involved in the process) access to the copy of the content inventory (spreadsheet). Then, you can all get together to analyze the data collected in the spreadsheet and share inputs and suggestions among one another. During the content audit, you can also add notes about deleting, rewriting or optimizing various pages, according to specific SEO requirements of your site.
Now you are ready to take action! You can delete the pages that have zero performance or you don’t really need. It’s a good idea to take appropriate action first on those pages that are most popular with readers. You can prepare a list of all the actions that you want to take in terms of on-page optimization. Delegate the tasks to responsible people (or parties), set deadlines and improve the visibility of your website or blog in search engines.
How does creating a content inventory for a site sound to you? Please feel free to talk back in comments.
I am regularly asked about the effectiveness of article marketing. It’s been a little over a year since the first Google Panda update in February 2011 when many sites took a major beating in keyword rankings.
While researching free SEO tools, I found a nice feature in SEMRush that allows you to see the number of keywords a site is ranking for over time. Using a graph that pulls information from the last four years, you can easily see if and when Panda updates hit the site. You can also tell if the site has since recovered their rankings.
The following are some of the top article directories and how they have fared in keyword rankings since the first Panda update. Note the spike around 3/2011 in the graph and everything thereafter.
Alexa Global Rank: 806
Editorial Guidelines: http://www.examiner.com/assets/handbook/index.html
Alexa Global Rank: 209
Editorial Guidelines: http://www.squidoo.com/originalitypact
Alexa Global Rank: 293
Editorial Guidelines: http://hubpages.com/faq/#what_is_allowed
Alexa Global Rank: 314
Editorial Guidelines: http://ezinearticles.com/editorial-guidelines/
Alexa Global Rank: 7,508
Editorial Guidelines: http://www.articlealley.com/guidelines.php
Alexa Global Rank: 2,660
Editorial Guidelines: http://goarticles.com/author.html
Alexa Global Rank: 1,321
Editorial Guidelines: http://www.articlesbase.com/editorial-guidelines
Alexa Global Rank: 4,834
Editorial Guidelines: http://www.articlesnatch.com/submitguidelines.php
Alexa Global Rank: 6,336
Editorial Guidelines: http://www.amazines.com/Article-Submission-Guidelines.htm
Alexa Global Rank: 3,802
Editorial Guidelines: http://community.suite101.com/support/suite101-submission-guidelines
Alexa Global Rank: 4,842
Editorial Guidelines: http://help.helium.com/helium-writing-standards
Alexa Global Rank: 1,868
Editorial Guidelines: http://www.buzzle.com/authors/become-author.asp
Alexa Global Rank: 9,756
Editorial Guidelines: http://www.articlecity.com/article_submission.php
Alexa Global Rank: 5,030
Editorial Guidelines: http://www.selfgrowth.com/submit_articles
Alexa Global Rank: 7,681
Editorial Guidelines: http://www.bukisa.com/info/bukisa-101
Do you use article marketing in your online marketing strategy? Has it been effective since Panda? What directories would you suggest?
Google is fast revolutionizing the face of SEO. It has almost vowed to take strict action against duplicate content and different types of web spam. The last year witnessed a range of Panda algorithmic updates, both major and minor. If your website gets its maximum share of traffic from Google, you should keep yourself abreast of the ongoing changes in the search ranking algorithm.
Most of the webmasters suffer from a feeling of apprehension, as to whether they would be able to survive the next algorithmic update by Google. They start shouting at even a slight indication of change in their website’s SEO, as an algorithmic update is announced.
Google only seems to expedite the process of algorithmic updates with the passage of time. If you paid some attention, you can easily remember the updates that Google launched last month. ‘Search Plus Your World’ rolled out on January 10. It updated its Panda algorithm with version 3.2 around January 18 while the ‘Page Layout Algorithm’ was announced on January 19. Such algorithmic changes show no sign of slowing down anytime soon.
All you need to do is pay careful attention to every announcement that Google makes about a new change in its ranking algorithm. Don’t forget to confirm an update by checking out official resources (Google blogs).
SEO isn’t Spam, and It’s Not Dying Either
Officially, Google has always claimed that SEO is not spam or bad. After Google started the socialization of its organic search results, webmasters thought it was the death of good-old-fashioned SEO. No, SEO is not dying! All it means is that you can’t limit your SEO efforts to previous traditional tactics or best practices alone. You’ll now need to focus on many other things. It’s just the beginning of an era where SEO and social media marketing are getting intertwined intrinsically. But, does that weaken the title of SEO or make it only broader?
What to Do
SEO is continuously evolving. Since Google won’t miss to update its ranking algorithm at least 500 times every year, it only makes sense to plan out an effective strategy so that you can shield your website against any kind of sudden algorithmic update or a Panda smack down. Here are a few quick tips you can follow.
Don’t Panic – If you start to get panicky at each ranking algorithmic update or announcement by Google, you won’t be able to focus on the big picture.
Live up to the Expectations of Google – Get a clear idea of what a high quality website should look like or include. For more guidance on how to enhance the overall quality of your website, you can go through this post (published on Google Webmaster Central Blog).
Analyze Organic Traffic Trends – Analyze the organic traffic on a month-to-month basis. Most importantly, check out those periods where Google didn’t roll out any algorithm update. If your website’s organic traffic was impacted during that no-algorithm-update period, you might have some usability or other technical issues to focus upon.
Think Before Taking an Action – Don’t rush, as it won’t help. Whenever you notice a change in your website’s SEO, give it some time. Relax. Take all possible aspects of your website (including on-page and off-page) into consideration before arriving at any significant SEO decision.
Do you love Google’s Panda or Fear it? Please feel free to share your views on the changing face of SEO and how it impacts a site’s search rankings.
I’ve heard some people say they got into their online business, be it SEO or copywriting, so they could work from home and not have to interact with people. And every time I hear that, I can’t help but take a step back and think, “That’s stupid.” I mean, sure you may not be dealing face to face with people on a daily basis, but a large part of what you do involves client interaction. You absolutely must know how to work with people in order to succeed in any sort of business venture.
Now having said that, I fully realize that some people who “retreats” to an online job in order to avoid social duties may require a little extra help in respect to client relations. If that describes you, here are a few tips to help you out. Follow them and you’ll be retaining clients and getting referrals in no time.
1. Go the extra mile to fix your mistakes—I’m writing this post today because quite frankly, it’s fresh on my mind. See, I did another post for this blog that I was supposed to schedule for 9 A.M. this morning. But I screwed up and it published overnight. Well, after thinking about it, I decided that it just wasn’t right for me to say “OOPS!” and move on. So instead, I decided to supply the blog with an extra post. And it just so happened to be fitting material. Would Gerald have let me keep posting to his blog if I had simply said “Sorry,” and moved on to next week? More than likely. But hey—I want to make sure I keep my business relationships moving in the right direction. I plan on working with him for a long time. So why not scratch his back?
Update: Gerald ended up not using this post last Monday so it’s getting used this week. That said, I’m still glad I went the extra step and I’m sure he took note. Make a habit of doing business the right way!
2. Deliver as promised (and don’t promise if you can’t deliver)—Sometimes I’m lucky and acquire a project that has a flexible deadline. But more often than not, if a client contacts me then they needed the piece written yesterday. So they ask when is the soonest I can finish for them. I’m always tempted to overcommit in order to secure the project. However, I’ve learned the hard way that it’s better to give them an honest answer than to promise and not deliver. Nothing makes a client unhappier than having to wait for work that should have already been completed.
3. Keep communication lines open—Again, sometimes you get the low maintenance client that just wants you to send them the finished product and shut the hell up. But always go into a new relationship assuming your client needs his hand held. In other words, give him frequent updates. And ask him if he has any questions (and be ready to answer them). Bottom line—make him feel important.
Have you run into client issues before? What have you done to go the extra mile?
The recent update by Google termed ‘Search Plus Your World’ has invited a lot of criticism from the SEO and the social media arena (Twitter is almost enraged!). While many feel that it would be a unique experience for them to see personalized results in Google searches, many others view the update as an ‘antitrust’ move. Though different people will have different thoughts on the Google+ content integration with Google searches, there are a couple of truths that (I think) nobody should deny.
Here are the five harsh truths that you really need to be aware of, if you just heard about the ‘Search Plus Your World’ update.
#1. It will Impact a Brand’s SEO
As the search results start to get personalized (content pulled in from the searcher’s Google+ network), it’s quite obvious that the public results will be pushed down the SERPs. Yes, if a major portion of your brand’s traffic comes from Google, you’re in trouble. Now, you’ll have a hard time as customers will see the personalized results towards the top by default (when logged into their Google accounts).
#2. Not Everyone Would Notice (or Use) the Toggle Button
The social search shift that’s happened does come along with a toggle button, which users can use to switch from personalized results to global results and vice versa. The bitter truth, however, is not every user will be able to notice or use the toggle button. You can never expect all your potential customers to be as savvy as to switch between personal and public results.
#3. Personalized Results May Not Always be Significant
Now this is a big problem! It’s fine that the personal results will display content shared by the people you know on Google Plus. What’s important to note is whether you trust everyone in your contacts list or circles for recommendations, as you may have thousands of people in your Google Plus network.
#4. Search Results will be Social only ‘Personally’ (not ‘Globally’)
The personalization of Google search results also sends a clear signal that a website won’t rank higher simply because it contains superior quality information. In fact, you won’t be able to see a lot of potential results (or information) while searching on Google logged into your Google account.
Instead of directly promoting Google+ content into the search results, Google could definitely use social data from their social network as signals to differentiate wheat from the chaff. The results that this social search shift will return are only ‘personally social’ and not ‘globally social’.
#5. Google has the Hammer to Make Us all Use Google Plus
Certainly, Google has a wide range of products that it can use to propel the growth of Google Plus further. According to a recent research, Google Plus will boast more than 400 million users by the end of 2012. So, you can never say ‘No’ to joining Google Plus at the cost of losing your organic rankings, can you?
What’s your take on this social search shift by Google? Please feel free to talk back in comments.
Part of our jobs as marketers of the new age is to understand and learn the popular platforms of the internet. You will be hard pressed to find a professional Search Engine Optimizer that isn’t familiar with Drupal, WordPress, Joomla, and simple table HTML websites. We preach about how to edit the background of your Twitter homepage for better branding and to include keywords on your Facebook fan page by renaming your images.
The new platform that I have been seeing more frequently is Magento. My responsibility as a freelancer is to understand the system, and utilize it to maximize its value. Here, you will find, not only where and how to optimize your Magento Client’s website, but how you can actually automate portions of it to save some time.
What is Magento?
For those unaware, Magento is the fastest growing e-commerce platform on the internet. Don’t be alarmed if you have yet to encounter it, because it is just new in comparison to WordPress or other CMS systems. Magento is Cross-Platform, written in PHP, that calls a series of SQL tables to fill the site. It is completely open-source, and much like WordPress there are a ton of extensions to customize any themes you desire.
Magento has a back end content management system, very similar to WordPress, but it is so much more robust. To truly optimize a Magento site, I recommend a working knowledge of PHP; if you want to be a Magento Pro, some SQL knowledge is necessary.
Based on SEOMoz’s Study: 2011 Search Engine Factors; the on-site factors that are estimated to most affect your SERP’s are Page-Level and Domain-Level Keyword Usage; adding up to a substantial 25.66%. Let’s get into how you can make that 25% work for you.
Let’s Get Started: Introducing the Back-End
Here is a look at the Magento Dashboard:
This is completely customizable, so these are the data points the client wanted to see. What important for me was the built-in analytics. Adding Paypal order tracking to Google Analytics is extremely difficult since Paypal transactions redirect you to the Paypal website where the final steps occur. Magento not only has a great system to allow for that sort of tracking, but with the right plugins, credit card data can be stored on Authorize.net’s servers. This allows your website to track the Customer ID’s, which you can see the last 5 orders on the left side. This data, in combination with GA, gives the SEO more data, which in my opinion makes better optimizing possible.
The “Reports” drop down menu gives you access to all of the data we’re seeing snippets of on the Dashboard. If you’re familiar with most tracking software, this one tab is worth spending the first couple of hours in, comparing to Google Analytics.
For Optimizing, we have to go to the Catalog menu:
The first place you need to go is “Manage Categories”. Unlike some CMS systems, categories are more-or-less required in Magento. This is where we can rewrite title tags, url’s, and the increasingly-useless Meta Description and Meta Keywords. I personally subscribe to the theory of completeness, so I fill all of these fields. Here is what you will see:
URL Key – This is to change the URL string, if you enter just a keyword, it will add it to the end of the URL in category order. (Ex. http://www.site.com/category1/URLKey) If you wish to rewrite the entire URL, just write the exact URL you want the category to have.
Thumbnail Image – I always name images keyword-friendly, and this is where you can upload and change the path of the thumbnail.
Description – Copy on the Page.
Page Title – Title Tag.
Meta Keywords – Meta Keywords.
Meta Description – Meta Description.
1) I do each category manually, since I optimize for each individual page’s best benefit, but if your website is smaller, or can use the same title tags throughout, please save yourself some time and use the “URL Rewrite Manager” tool, which can batch-rewrite categories to the same entry.
2) Save yourself some time and avoid the “Manage Products” category all together. The essential attributes that you will want to access are conveniently held in the “Category Products” tab in category management.
If you trust the SEOMoz data like I have come to; (I read every little case and footnote on that page, every year) the most important aspects of On-Site SEO can be accessed through that Catalog Menu, specifically the Manage Categories menu. For those SEO’s that want to dive into the nuts and bolts, Magento will blow you away.
Advanced Magento Optimization:
DISCLAIMER: SQL is needed in some form to really get the most out of these steps. At the very least, you’ll need to understand how to read it and how the tables are structured. Ideally, you are comfortable editing the actual tables in the database. For the rest of this tutorial, I will be providing real examples the client site.
Attributes are Magento’s way of describing a product, and how the system will handle it. For example, this is where the product page knows what information to display, and how to display it. You can organize attributes into sets, that will apply to a full category.
For SEO’s, this functionality is best used for inventory management. If you have gone through the Categories and optimized each product, then when that product is no longer in stock, you want to avoid sending customers to a useless page.
In the picture above, you see an attribute under General called “Status”. This is the attribute in this particular system that calls the Inventory table. Once you know exactly what table that attribute is calling, you can then set it to remove the product from the site when the inventory value = 0.
Instead of diving into the .htaccess file of the website to do all of your 301′s and 302′s, you can create redirects right in the back end. These rewrites are for the search function specifically, and you avoid having to do the redirects on the page level.
For example, my client sells wallpaper and wallpaper borders. For their Sports category, the number of wallpaper styles far outnumbers wallpaper borders. For SEO purposes, there are two separate pages; however, we found out through Analytics that most users are finding those borders in the “Related Borders” section on the bottom of the sports wallpaper page.
So, instead of trying to sculpt the traffic the way we wanted it, it was decided to just model it after the users. Go to Catalog -> Search Terms, and you see a page like this:
Here, you can see that we set a redirect when someone searches for the term “sports wallpaper borders.” It redirects to the redesigned sports wallpaper page that includes the limited selection of wallpaper borders; this can be done for any search term.
Unique Batch Category Title Tag Rewrites:
For those that know SQL, instead of going to each individual category and product to change the title tags, there is a command you can run to help automate it. In my case, there were 700 wallpaper categories, and these were mirrored in an equal amount of “wall mural” and “wallpaper border” categories. Instead of rewriting 2100 title tags manually, I did the wallpaper category manually, and then used this function to apply it to the corresponding Mural and Border category:
Here, you see that the Wallpaper category was used as a template, and then scanned the attributes of the other categories. Since there were Floral Wallpapers, along with Floral Wall Murals and Floral Wallpaper Borders, there would be a common attribute between them.
When that common attribute was found, it would take the title tags from the Page Title field of Wallpaper and fill that field for murals and borders. (Category ID 1149 and 1151 respectively.) This can be done any number of times as long as there is a common established attribute between the products or categories you wish to edit.
That, Ladies and Gentlemen, is my tutorial to Magento SEO. Depending on your coding skill, Magento can be an relatively effortless optimization project, or it can be a tedious reminder of how SEO can be. Either way Magento is a CMS system that is here to stay, given the amount of sites converting to Magento and the popularity of the Extension Marketplace; http://www.magentocommerce.com/magento-connect/.
So go do what we SEO’s are best at; adaptation, and get yourself some Magento Clients!
As we enter the last week of the month I sit here and look back at what I’ve learned this year in the world of internet marketing. From the Panda update to Twitter rolling out changes to their platform, our industry has seen quite a few changes this year. Many things stand out in my mind but at the core are eleven that I thought I’d share.
Lesson #1 – I never realized I could hate link farms more than I already did.
Ever since I first started working in this industry I was taught that link farms are bad news. Anyone who would link out to another site without any qualms or cares for whom they are linking to isn’t a site that we want our clients affiliated with. This year the point was hammered home even more after Panda. After you’ve been on an hour long conference call with a client whose previous SEO only built content farm links you’ll understand why I hate link farms.
Who you link to is certainly important and who links to you even more so. Avoid link farms like the plague and conduct a bit of link reclamation for any links in your backlink profile that shouldn’t be there.
Lesson #2 – How much I really love (good) content.
I’ve dealt with a few clients this year that suffered from Panda and others that didn’t. The difference? Great backlinks and great onsite content. Last year our focus at Vertical Measures switched from mostly link building to an equal distribution of link building and content marketing. Being ahead of the curve and focusing on content has helped not only our own rankings avoid hits from Panda but also ranking hits for clients. I can’t stress enough how important good content is.
Lesson #3 – The industry certainly has its ups and downs…but it’s all about the long haul.
If you want to succeed online you really have to be in it for the long haul. Half-assed attempts at improving your website conversion rates, developing social media presence, building links, writing on a blog, or promoting your website online aren’t going to cut it. Year after year this proves to be true and for me 2011 cemented in my mind that I was meant to work in the field. I just plain love it!
Lesson #4 – Don’t put all your eggs in Google’s basket.
The inbound traffic you receive should not all be from one place. Sure, this seems obvious but for many the sole focus is Google as an inbound traffic source. This year I learned that referral traffic from Bing and Yahoo is important. When conducting keyword research or looking to improve website SEO don’t forget about Bing/Yahoo.
Even traffic from a site like Yahoo Answers can make a huge difference to your bottom line. Forums, social sites, guest blog posts and comments are all great ways to diversify your efforts so you aren’t 100% dependent on Google. After some websites took huge hits due to Panda they had to close their doors or inject massive sums of money to other efforts. One solution is to expand your efforts and diversify your inbound traffic sources so you aren’t so reliant on one exclusively.
Lesson #5 – The more data the better.
Any opportunity you have to collect data do it. You’ll have the opportunity to segment that data and analyze when using a web analytics program like Google Analytics. Set up filters using regular expressions, use event tracking, examine social analytics such as Facebook Insights, anything that has data. Facebook rolled out their advanced insights; Twitter rumored at doing something similar soon. Then there’s Google – taking data away with keywords showing ‘not provided’ when visitors to your site are signed into their Google profiles and/or using encrypted search. You don’t miss it until it’s gone so take advantage of data as much as possible – a good lesson for 2011.
Lesson #6 – Long tail keywords can turn a bad year into a good one.
Focusing on single keywords or short tail phrases is certainly more competitive in some industries. Long tail phrases can prove to bring in just as much traffic cumulatively and in some instances convert at higher percentages.
Lesson #7 – Domain Authority > Page Rank
I’ve never given Page Rank much credence – it can be fairly simple to artificially inflate Page Rank. But more so this year than ever I’ve found that domain authority is the best metric to utilize when trying to establish a sites authority ‘score’ (as measured by SEOMoz).
Lesson #8 – Social links matter more than we know.
Bing admitted it, Google eluded to it – social links may influence search engine rankings. This year we’ve seen that social links matter and in my opinion I think they matter more than we know. This makes participating on social platforms and having something to share all the more important for brands in 2012.
Lesson #9 – Weak content = Weak rankings
Post-Panda website content must provide value which means: links, social mentions, comments, and traffic. If most of the content on your site provides no use, receives very little traffic, has very few links and has never been mentioned on social sites then you need a revamp. Weak content can directly correlate to weak rankings.
Lesson #10 – Exact match anchor text is the kiss of death.
Seen a dramatic decrease in rankings for a keyword? Look at the distribution of anchor text to the site. This is one of the most common reasons for ranking decreases I’ve seen in 2011. Natural anchor text is the way to go – vary it up with these 12 ways to vary your anchor text (a post I wrote last year).
Lesson #11 – Editorial links can change lives – or maybe just bottom lines.
Link building can be harder to do year after year. This year guest blogging and editorial link building was brought to the forefront. Links in the content of an article, blog, or content piece on a site that doesn’t just link out to anyone and everyone can be the best links out there. Also they’re sometimes the only way to get a link on certain sites (think a guest blog post on your competitors website…).
What are the internet marketing lessons you learned this year?