Is-SEO-Framework-the-new-Yoast?

Is SEO Framework the new Yoast?

There are a ton of WordPress Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) plugins on the market, but only a few of them have really made an impact. There are plenty of other excellent plugins to choose from, one that’s been making a lot of noise is The SEO Framework.

Can-Podcasting-Really-Improve-Your-SEO-?

Can Podcasting Really Improve Your SEO?

The question I am often asked is can podcasting really improve your SEO. Podcasting is fast becoming a main source for conveying website information and ads. Its popularity is fast growing making podcasting a real valuable tool for improving your SEO. 

Benefits of Keyword Domain Names

We love our clients, and we like to help them and provide them support and marketing advice, one advice I tell all our clients is to ensure your keywords are in your domain URL. It’s important to understand the benefits of keyword domain names, and just how important harnessing that power is their their SEO marketing strategy.

Blogs-Help-Your-SEO

Do Blogs Help Your SEO?

Blogs have all sorts of benefits for your website; they increase awareness of your business, give you a platform to share your expertise and knowledge for your customers. This on it’s own makes blogging a huge strategy for your website – but it also helps with your website’s ranking on search engines.

What is a long tail keyword?

There is a new SEO sheriff in town and it’s name is Long tail keyword. What are these? These are longer and more specific keyword phrases that a visitor is more likely to use when they’re closer to buying or when they’re using voice search.

Why video testimonials boost your SEO

Some will tell you that the key to success is hard work, but if you don’t have anyone vouching for the hard work you put in then you’ll find yourself going round and round when it comes to proving your values to prospective customers.

What is a cornerstone article

Making your website easy to navigate can be the difference between keeping visitors or losing them to your competitor’s site. A cornerstone content is a important factor in keeping traffic within your site and improving your user experience.

A Beginners Guide on Keyword Research

beginners_guide_Keywords_research

Google is constantly keeping us on our toes with all their algorithm updates, but one thing that has stayed pretty consistent for marketers looking to optimise their websites for the search engines is keyword research.

Well, the need to do keyword research has stayed the same. How you actually do it hasn’t.

What is keyword research?

Keyword research is when online users use keywords to find and research search terms that users enter into search engines. The knowledge about these specific search terms can help inform content strategy, and marketing strategy.

Below is a keyword research process you can follow to help you come up with a list of words you should be targeting.

This way, you will be able to establish a strong keyword strategy that helps you get found for the search terms you actually care about.

How do you research for keywords to suit you’re SEO strategy?

Step 1: Start by making a list of important and relevant topics based on what you know about your business.

Think about the topics you want to rank for. You can come up with about 5-10 topic keywords that you think are important for your business, and then you will use these topics to come up with some more targeted keywords later.

If you blog regularly then these are the keywords you blog about most often, or they could be the topics that come up the most in you sale conversations. Basically put yourself in the shoes of your buyer, what type of topics would your buyer or target audience search for to get your business found? If you were a company like us, for example keywords such as “graphic design” or “logo design” – you also might have general topics like “web design” or “SEO.

Step 2: Fill in those topics with keywords.

Now that you have a few topics you want to focus on, the next step is to identify some keywords that fall into those topics. These are keywords you think are important to rank for in the search engine results pages because your target audience is probably looking for those same terms.

For example, if we took that last topic for an graphic design agency – “graphic design” – I would brainstorm some keyword phrases that I think my customers would type in related to that topic. They might include:

  • graphic design adelaide (location helps)
  • logo design adelaide
  • looking for graphic design
  • need branding for my new business
  • web designers in adelaide
  • email marketing
  • SEO experts

And so on and so on. The point of this exercise isn’t to come up with your final list of phrases – you just want to end up with a brain dump of phrases you think potential customers might use to search for content related to that particular topic.

Although more keywords are getting encrypted by Google each and every day, another intelligent way to come up with keywords is to find out which keywords your website is currently getting found for. To find this out you will need a website analytic like Google Analytics. Look into your website’s traffic sources, and search through you organic search traffic topics to identify the keywords user are using to arrive at your site.

Step 3: Research related search terms.

If you’re finding it difficult to think of more keywords people might be searching for about a specific topic, go to Google.com and take a look at their related search terms that appear when you type in a keyword. When you type in your words and scroll to the bottom of Google’s results, you will notice some suggestions for searches related to your original input. These keywords can trigger ideas for other keywords you may want to take into consideration.

key-related-searches

Step 4: Check for a combination of long-tail keywords and head terms.

Head terms are keywords phrases that are usually shorter and much more generic, they are typically just one to three words in length. Long-tail keywords are longer keyword phrases usually containing four or more words.

It’s important to check that you have a combination of long-tail terms and head terms because it’ll provide you with a keyword strategy that is well planned with long-term goals and short-term wins. This is because head terms are generally searched more frequently, making them often more competitive and harder to rank for than long-tail ones. Let’s take the following for example. Which of the following terms do you think would be more difficult to rank for?

  1. I need to find a graphic designer in Adelaide
  2. graphic design Adelaide

If you answered number 2, you’re right. But while head terms generally boost the most search volumes, the traffic you’ll get from the term “I need to find a graphic designer in Adelaide” is usually more enticing.

But Why?

Because if a user is looking for something that specific then they are probably a much more qualified searcher for your services than someone looking for something just generic. And because long-tail keywords tend to be more specific, it’s easier to tell what people who search for those keywords are really looking for. Someone searching for the head term “graphic design Adelaide,” on the other hand, could be searching it for a whole lot of other unrelated products or services than just your business.

Check your keyword lists to ensure you have a good mix of long-tail keywords and head terms.  You definitely want some long-tail keywords, but you should also try to look at more difficult head terms over the long haul.

Step 5: How are your competitors ranking for the same keywords.

Just because a keyword is important to your competitor, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s important to yours. But, understanding what keywords your competitors are trying to rank for is a good way to help you give your list of keywords another look.

If your competitor is ranking for similar keywords that are on your list, it definitely makes sense to work on improving your ranking for the same words. However, don’t ignore the words your competitors don’t seem to use much or don’t have. This could be a great way for you to own those important terms.

The ultimate goal is to end up with a list of keywords that provide some wins, but also help you make progress toward a bigger and more challenging SEO goal.

A great and free tool to use to see what keywords your competitors are ranking for is SEMrush, it allows you to run a number of free reports that show you the top keywords for the domain you enter.

Step 6: Use Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner to edit down your list.

So you have the right bag of  keywords, it’s time to narrow down your lists with some more data. You have a lot of free tools at your disposal, but let me share our favourites.

We use Google AdWords Keyword Planner (you will need to set up an AdWords account for this though, but this does mean you have to create an ad) and Google Trends.

Use Google Keyword Planner to avoid any terms on your list that have way too little, or way too much, and don’t help you maintain a good mix like we talked about earlier. But before you do delete anything, just check out their trend history and projections using Google Trends. You can see whether some low-volume terms might actually be something you should consider.

Or perhaps you are just searching for a list of terms that is way too massive, and you have to narrow it down. Google Trends can help you determine which terms are trending upward, which are worth more of your focus.

Once all these steps have been done you are finished, and on your way to having a better SEO plan. Good luck!

Choosing the right SEO Keywords

choosing-right-keywords

Ranking in the search engines is a complex process, so choosing the right SEO keywords is important, but if you’re not a SEO expert where do you start?

You start by doing a keyword research first and getting inside the heads of your customers, by knowing exactly what words they use when searching. How do you choose which keywords to optimise for? Should you focus on long tail keywords, or go straight for the most competitive head terms?

 

Check your competition

Whether you target long tail keywords that are specific and consist of multiple key words, or you target after head terms depends on your competition. If the competition in your business is high, then you will have a hard time ranking on competitive head terms. If you have little competition, you’ll even be able to rank for head terms. 

Most people are not very good in assessing their chances to rank highly, they usually overestimate their chances, and focus on head terms that don’t attract to much traffic.

The question is how do you determine your competition? What should you be looking for? There are two ways to do this:

  • Google and study your competition
  • Try, evaluate and then try again

Google and study your competition

Start off by Googling the keywords that came out of your keyword research. Start with the most ‘head’ term keyword, then cross reference the search engine result page. These are the sites you will be competing with once you optimise your content for the same keywords. To check whether or not you’ll be able to compete with these websites analyse the following points:

  • Are the websites professional looking? Ask yourself whether or not you’re business is an equal to these businesses. Does your website belong with these sites? Is your business a similar size, and does it have as much influence in your industry?
  • Does the search engine result page display well-known brands? It’s going to be much harder to rank when you are competing against strong brand-names websites.
  • What is the content of these websites? Is the content professionally written and well optimised? How long and rich in content are the articles? If your competition has poor content, you have a better chance to outrank them (remember content is king!)
  • Are there any Google ads ? And how much is the pay-per-click in Google Adwords? Search terms that have a high pay-per-click are usually also harder to rank for in the organic results.

It all comes down to one question: how does your website hold up, compared to the websites in the search engine result pages? If your’e business is of equal size then go ahead and focus on those head terms, but if not perhaps try a more long tail keyword.

The next stage is to do the exact same analysis as you did above with a keyword that’s slightly more long tail. Longer and more specific search terms are going to generate much less traffic, but ranking on these terms is going to be much easier. Focusing on a whole bunch of long tail keywords can generate a lot of traffic. Once you have managed to rank for those long tail keywords, and aiming for more head terms is going to be easier.

Try, evaluate and then try again

When you have completed a thorough analysis of your chances to rank on a specific term, you then are going to write rich and appropriate content and optimise it correctly.  Don’t forget to include some backlinks. Then wait. Then check out your rankings. Does your content pop up in Google? Does it hit the first page of Google’s search engine pages? Or is it hidden on page 2 or 3? Just make you evaluate your articles in the search engine result pages. Google the keywords you’ve optimised your content to. Then check whether or not your SEO is working!

If you’re not able to rank on the first page, then try to write a different article, but focus it on a even more long tail keyword. Try making it a little more specific, then see how that displays. Evaluate it again. You should be constantly doing this process until you hit the first page.

In summary

Choosing the right SEO Keywords to get the most traffic to your website can be rather intimidating.  Just be persistent because it will definitely pay off! After you have thoroughly analysed your competition start testing. Write articles and see how they rank. After evaluating your rankings, adapt a strategy, you will get there if you just keep on trying.

Updating Your Website Without Sacrificing Your SEO

We all need to keep up to date with web trends these days, and usually that means every three to five years you should consider redesigning your website. But often a client does not think what impact this will have on their SEO (if it’s optimised well to begin with).

Why should you consider SEO in a redesign?

In short, because you have a lot to lose. Let’s say your website’s ranking really well. Rankings are strong, organic traffic is flowing and revenue is growing. Do you really want to undo all that hard and expensive work?

However, by thinking strategically, you can take the opportunity to improve a site’s performance after a redesign.

SEO-ranking-graph

This diagram shows a steady increase in traffic followed (from the red circle) even during the re-indexing phase. If you do a redesign correclty, you won’t lose any traffic or rankings; in fact, you’ll gain them.

Below is some tips that can help you understand the test site being built and your current site from an SEO point of view. This is ciritcal when changing your website around.


Tip 1 – Think about your SEO

First thing is to think about SEO. Very often clients don’t stop to consider the impact SEO has changing their website. They chuck away valuable content from historical pages or completely change every single URL without redirecting the old ones.

This happens because they misunderstand how Google reads a website and how URLs hold credibility. It’s no fault of their own, it happens.


Tip 2 – Crawling the existing site

You should know what your site’s structure looks like, you will fail if you don’t. Grabbing it’s meta data and URLs is critical to identifying exactly what is changing and why.

How do I do that?

Your SEO crawl will give you a road map of what your site is currently set out. The best way to do this is to use a tool like Screaming Frog. Once you have the current site’s meta data and structure, you will know how to match with the new site.


Tip 3 – Auditing the old site

Free tools like Woorank will do, but we advise you to get your hands dirty so to speak, and manually do it yourself. There’s nothing like getting into the nitty gritty of your site to find any problems.

Why audit the site?

You need to know what search engines like and don’t like about your site. This helps you recognise any problems, but also enables you to see which areas must be retained.

What am I looking for?

Here are some tips to check. Using Screaming Frog, I advise checking the following:

  • Duplicate page titles
  • Missing H1 tags
  • Duplicate H1 tags
  • Multiple H1 tags
  • Missing meta descriptions
  • Missing page titles
  • Duplicate meta descriptions
  • Canonical tags
  • Canonicalisation
  • Broken internal/external links
  • Image alt text

You should also be checking for:

  • Robots.txt
  • Site speed and performance using Google’s PageSpeed Tools
  • Duplicate content (do exact match search “insert content” or use Copyscape)
  • Pages indexed by Google (do a site: command in Google)
  • Site speed and performance (here’s a tool to check)
  • URL structure
  • XML sitemaps
  • Pages indexed by Google

Tip 4 – Noindex you’re test site

If you’re working on your test site, you do not want Google to index it. If you have added new content, it will get indexed. So when the new site is ready to launch, the new content will have no value because it has been duplicated because of the index while you were working on it.

A site can be noindexed in two ways by your web developer.

If you have WordPress you can simply check the box that says: “Discourage search engines from indexing this site.” under the Settings tab.

wordpress-SEO-setting

This adds the following code in the <head> of every page:

You have a second option which is to block the site in the Robots.txt file. This is a little tricky however; which is why most CMS have a box-ticking option which is easier.

If your CMS doesn’t allow for this, you can put the following in your Robots.txt file:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /


Tip 5 – Crawling the test site

You need to understand how your test site will be structured. Using a site crawler crawl the test site again to see how it looks in comparison to your current site.

What do to:

  1. Open the first crawl of your current site and make a copy. Click “Save+As” and name the file for example “Current Site Crawl for Editing”. This will be your editable copy.
  2. Then crawl the test site. Export the test site crawl and save this one as “Test Site Crawl”. Make a copy and name it “Test Site Crawl for Editing”— this is the one we’re going to use.
  3. Take the new created old site crawl (Current Site Crawl for Editing) and do a find and replace on all the URLs in a program like Excel. Then replace your domain name: “domain.com” with your test server’s domain: “test.domain.com”.
  4. Select all the URLs and copy them into a txt file. Save this one as the “Testing Crawl for Screaming Frog”. You should have the following files:
    • Current Site Crawl(xls)
    • Current Site Crawl for Editing (xls)
    • Test Site Crawl(xls)
    • Test Site Crawl for Editing(xls)
    • Testing Crawl for Screaming Frog (txt)
  5. Using  Screaming Frog, find the Mode in the menu bar and select List. The system will change, and you’ll be able to upload a .txt file.
  6. Locate your txt file (Testing Crawl for Screaming Frog) of all the URLs you just changed and load that into Screaming Frog. Then hit Start.
  7. If followed correctly, you will end up with all the URLs being crawled. If it didn’t, you have to go back and make sure you didn’t miss anything. You will need to allow the crawler to crawl blocked/noindexed URLs. Click Configuration and Spider. Then you’ll find a tick box that says Ignore robots.txt. You may need to tick this. On the same part in the tab called Advanced, you’ll see Respect Noindex; you may need to un-tick this, too. Have a look below at the example.

screaming-frog

Now download all the HTML files and save it as an Excel file. Name it “Final Crawled Test Site”. This can be the test crawl you’ll check later. But also, hold onto the very first crawl we did of the test site (Test Site Crawl).

You’ll have the following docs:

  • Current Site Crawl(xls)
  • Current Site Crawl for Editing (xls)
  • Test Site Crawl(xls)
  • Test Site Crawl for Editing(xls)
  • Testing Crawl for Screaming Frog (txt)
  • Final Crawled Test Site (xls)

Now you have the data in Excel format, and you can see what works on the test site. This allows you to understand what’s missing from the test site that is on the current site.


Tip 6 – 404 time

If your’e pages have a 404 error, it means that the page doesn’t exist anymore. So we’ll need to do one of two things:

  1. Create this URL on the test server.
  2. Redirect the old URL to the test server’s new URL.

Here’s an example of a 404:

404-error

 

What do to with a URL that isn’t on your current site?

Like with any page on your website, it has to be optimised correctly.

When you redirect pages to a new site you will lose around 10%-30% of your link equity. But you’re giving search engines the best opportunity to bring over your old site’s strong reputation.

 


Tip 7 – Checking all the additional checks

Rank check

A rank check measures how you’re site performs for a host of keywords in the search engines. You can use this data as a comparison for the new site. If things change, you can react and identify the problems when you check the results.

This is what to look out for:

If a keyword jumps from page 1 to page 10, you could have a problem. Look out for any big or unusual movements by checking the following:

  • Did the URL change?
  • Did you change any of the meta data?
  • Has the page lost all of it’s content?
  • Is there a redirect in place?
  • Does it have a noindex tag in place?

Content

Don’t delete anything you don’t need to. You might think your old blog posts are old and useless, but they are all adding to the credibility of your site. Without these, you’ll lose a chunk of SEO value.

Google Analytics code

Make sure you place your Google analytics code back in the <head> section of you’re site. It’s really important to check the e-commerce tracking and goals if you currently have those in place.

Unblocking the site

It’s time to check the new site to see if it’s allowing search engines to index it. Just do the reverse of blocking the site to what you did before . Whichever method you used to block it, just do the reverse. If you don’t do this it will create big problems.


In summary checklist

Here is a checklist to use that will help you run through it again.

tickThink about your SEO from the start of the website

tickCrawl the current site

tickAudit your existing site

tickStop the test site from being indexed

tickCrawl the test site

tickFind and replace URLs

tickCheck 404s on test site

tickOptimise all new pages