About two months ago I built a new website for a wedding planner in Houston. This client also happens to be a friend of mine from high school. Knowing what I did for a living, she reached out for some help improving their website and building a more professional & consistent online brand. Of course, I was happy to help. When I began the project their existing website didn't rank in any search engine for any keyword term other than their exact brand name. As is the case with many small … [Read more...]
Does Your Website Have Direction and Purpose?
Lewis Carroll once said, "If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there." The same is true for your website. Lacking direction and purpose is one of the most common problems that face small businesses who want an online presence. Countless times I've talked with prospects and I ask them, "What do you hope to achieve with your website?" More often than not, they just stare at me confused. It's almost like they didn't realize they needed to have a purpose. So let me give … [Read more...]
Video SEO Analytics
Effective marketing strategies need constant monitoring, and precise feedbacks from the market to know the strengths and weaknesses of the strategies. This applies to conventional marketing strategies as well as online marketing strategies. Without a tool to monitor the thrust of the marketing campaigns, you’ll be shooting in the dark without knowing if your strategies are reaching your target audiences, and if they do reach them, you’ll be blind to the actual impressions that are being made in … [Read more...]
Choosing The Website Audit That Is Best For YOUR Needs
A website audit is an essential first step toward identifying the issues that may be causing your site to perform poorly in the organic results of search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing. You can't know where you're going until you know where you are. But before deciding who will conduct the website audit you should determine what your plans are for resolving whatever problems may be uncovered. The information contained within many a website SEO audit is a confusing mix of technical … [Read more...]
Canonical URL Issues and Link Equity
I've assessed hundreds - probably thousands - of small business websites over the past few years. Canonical URL issues seem to be a common problem for many of them, regardless of whether the site was built by a design firm or a do-it-yourself business owner. For those who aren't familiar with canonical URL issues, also referred to as url canonicalization (and sometimes "canonical home page issues" - which is technically incorrect as it does not just apply to the home page), put simply it is … [Read more...]
Can SEO Audits Help Small Business Websites?
With millions of small businesses and a seemingly endless number of small business websites live on the Internet today, how can you gain a competitive advantage? SEO audits could be the first step toward finding out. If your site isn't performing the way it should, or the way you might like it to, there is a decent chance that it has never been properly optimized to be search engine friendly. An SEO audit can help you develop an effective optimization strategy. Whether you've already hired … [Read more...]
Duplicate Content – Did Google Do A 180?
A lot has been made of the recent post at Google's Webmaster Central Blog regarding duplicate content. The post, entitled Demystifying the "Duplicate Content Penalty", basically calls into question the idea that a site can be "penalized" for having significantly similar content to another site and places the blame on webmasters and SEOs for perpetuating "myth of duplicate content". … [Read more...]
The Jury Is Still Out On Headings…
Back on August 1st I wrote a "just wondering..." post regarding the importance of headings as they relate to on-site SEO efforts today - specifically H1, H2 and H3. I didn't get much expert feedback, so I've decided to implement some real-world testing on an established domain to see if headings have an impact on the ranking of that site's home page. … [Read more...]
Final Results of NOSNIPPET Testing
Well, the results are in. Oilman was absolutely right - as if I ever doubted him for a moment! The NOSNIPPET robots argument was not only preventing Google from generating a random snippet of text to use as the description within the SERPS, it appears to have been preventing a description from showing at all. … [Read more...]
Unexpected Results Using NOSNIPPET
I have been playing around with some different robots arguments to determine exactly what they do. The constructive purpose of the nosnippet tag continues to elude me, as it didn't work as I had believed it would (or should, for that matter). In using the nosnippet argument, my assumption was that it would prevent Google from simply choosing random text from the page as the SERP description - opting instead to default to the information included in the description META tag. That isn't, … [Read more...]
How Important Are Headings These Days?
I'm having a bit of a difference of opinion over the importance of headings - specifically H1, H2 and H3 tags. A while back I made some suggested changes to our standard operating prodedure with regard to creating website rough drafts. Several of my changes were adopted and have since been implemented into our SOP, but the recommendation that keyword-rich headings be incorporated into all rough drafts wasn't. … [Read more...]
"SEO Consultation" is Ruining the SEO Industry's Reputation
Before any of you SEO consultants out there try to serve my head on a platter for impugning your work or your character, hang on a sec. In addition to my small business website design services, I have provided hundreds of hours of SEO consultation to small business owners. That's the basis for this post. Some of those consultations have proven to be valuable and resulted sites ranking much better. On the other hand, a lot of them haven't - primarily because of the misinterpreted value the … [Read more...]
On-Site SEO & Keyword Research – Important to Small Business?
Websites are to small business success today what door-to-door sales were to the success of Kirby vacuums in the '80s. Despite the pop culture ribbing the company may now receive, their door-to-door sales efforts made Kirby Vacuum Cleaners a household name in suburban neighborhoods throughout the country. That marketing plan worked because of the consumer psychology at the time. … [Read more...]
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