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Monthly Archives: July 2015

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Yahoo Buys Social Commerce Site Polyvore

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By Greg Sterling

Yahoo announced this afternoon that it was buying social shopping destination Polyvore. Yahoo said in its release that the acquisition would “strengthen Yahoo’s digital magazines and verticals through the incorporation of community and commerce, and together Yahoo and Polyvore will power native shopping ads that drive traffic and sales to retailers.”

There’s also a strong mobile shopping angle here too.

Yahoo did not disclose the purchase price but said that after the acquisition closes that the Polyvore brand will continue. It won’t become the new Yahoo Shopping — although it suspect it will get an overhaul.

Yahoo Polyvore

Polyvore disclosed at one point that its audience was more than 70 percent female. The vast majority are under 45, with more than 50 percent of its audience under the age of 34. The company also says that its “average basket size across retail partners is over $383, which is higher than other leading social networks combined.”

Yahoo sees a range of uses for Polyvore as indicated in the quote above:

  • Digital magazines (content + community)
  • Support for its “Mavens” collection of offerings: mobile, video, native, social

It’s a move that’s broadly consistent with Yahoo’s audience and growth strategy. We don’t know the price but it seems to be a smart acquisition and should strengthen Sunnyvale’s relationships with retailers and the advertising options it can offer them.

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SearchCap: Slow Google Panda, SEO Landing Pages & TheLandys Extended

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By Barry Schwartz

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the Web.

From Search Engine Land:

Recent Headlines From Marketing Land, Our Sister Site Dedicated To Internet Marketing:

Search News From Around The Web:

Industry

Local & Maps

Link Building

Searching

SEO

SEM / Paid Search

Search Marketing

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Deadline Extended For 2015 Search Engine Land Awards Entries

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By Search Engine Land

Due to overwhelming response and due to the high level of interest, we have decided to extend the entry deadline for the Search Engine Land Awards until FRIDAY, AUGUST 7, 2015 at 11:59pm ET.

As the entry fees add to the total charitable contribution from the awards program, we appreciate the search community’s incredible response thus far and extending the deadline allows for The Landy Awards to make an even bigger impact.

To complete an entry, review the awards categories and submission criteria now.

Don’t delay! In order to allow proper time for the judging process, no further extensions will be granted for this year’s entries.

Finalists will be notified prior to a public announcement on September 1, 2015.

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Deepen Your Social Marketing Skill Set – Attend Marketing Land’s SocialPro Conference

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By Search Engine Land

Take your social media marketing skills to unprecedented levels by attending SocialPro! Formerly known as SMX Social Media Marketing, SocialPro is the conference to learn groundbreaking tactics taught by leading brands and agencies from across the globe.

SocialPro is programmed by the editorial folks at Marketing Land, your leading source for digital marketing news. With this expertise at the helm, you can expect a robust agenda covering actionable and cutting-edge tactics that will leave your competition in the dust.

Gain valuable insights into how the savviest brands and agencies transformed challenges to exceptional customer experiences. Your experience at SocialPro will be time well invested– see what past attendees have said.

Save $300 With Super Early Bird
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Join us November 18-19 in Las Vegas and acquire innovative social media marketing tactics that transcend the ordinary. Register today!

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Squeezing More Value Out Of Your Most Important SEO Landing Pages

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By Tom Demers

I recently wrote about how you can dig deeper with an SEO keyword that’s working. Among the tactics mentioned, I included a couple of ways to get more organic traffic for a page that’s already working:

  • Flesh out the page that’s ranking for modified versions of the core term.
  • Reconsider the ranking page’s title tag.

Of course, updating the title tag and the keyword targeting for a specific page is an early step in most SEO projects, but there are a few tricky problems that site owners frequently get stuck on or don’t spend enough time considering:

  1. Where do I start? What pages should I actually spend time optimizing?
  2. What if the page is already driving valuable traffic?

How do you prioritize which pages you should be spending time on? And how do you go about making optimizations to valuable pages without jeopardizing the existing SEO traffic to a page (and making your updates something other than an optimization)?

In this article, I’ll walk through a number of steps and tools that site owners can use to identify areas where they should spend time in updating pages, to better understand what’s at risk in updating a page, and to get more valuable traffic out of key SEO pages.

Know Where You’re At

The first step is to identify the pages you want to work on. Here are a few ways to think about where to spend your time:

  • Zero to One Opportunities. Where are the pages that have potential but currently aren’t doing anything for you? These won’t show up at the top of your analytics and ranking reports (since they’re not driving traffic), so you need to look in other places for them. What are the main pages in your site’s navigation (linked to from your site’s header or featured in your side bar)? These are being linked to prominently, but they may need to be optimized. What are your useful, content-rich pages that provide lots of answers for your customers (like community Q&A content, in-depth tutorial content, or quality blog content that hasn’t gotten traction)? These may not be featured prominently, may not have gotten a good promotion push, and may have been created without search traffic in mind, and thus may be great optimization candidates.
  • Low-Hanging Fruit. What’s the content that’s ranking 5–10 or at the top of the second page in search results? It might not be prominently linked to in your site’s architecture and internal linking, and it might benefit from a few tweaks to better target terms that could draw more traffic.
  • Top Performers. Your best performing pages may be able to work even harder for you. Again, make sure not to damage the traction you’ve gotten.

So how do you identify all these different juicy opportunities? Glad you asked!

Zero To One Opportunities

If you have a site that’s authoritative and has a strong brand that has neglected SEO, this will likely represent your biggest opportunity. If you have a site that’s not getting links or press mentions, and you’ve spent hours tweaking title tags without much in the way of returns, you’re in the wrong section (and maybe the wrong article altogether: try starting with a comprehensive content creation and promotion strategy).

However, if you have domain authority to spare and lots of pages that are important for visitors to your site, but you haven’t been driving the kind of SEO traffic you’d like, you can start by looking at the main navigation elements on your site.

Here are examples from Search Engine Land‘s top navigation:

An example of pages highlighted in site-wide navigation

Footer:

An example of pages that are linked to from a site's footer

And sidebar:

An example of important pages that are highlighted in a site's sidebar

There are lots of highly linked-to pages here. Not surprisingly, Search Engine Land has taken SEO into consideration on a lot of these pages, but there’s a good chance that your site (or your client’s) was mapped out with minimal (or no) consideration for SEO impact. This means that these highly linked-to pages are possible optimization candidates.

We’ll walk through how to look at these later in the post, but if these are pages that have title tags like “About” (or all share the same title tag), and if they don’t have meta descriptions or aren’t tuned for SEO, add their URLs to your list of optimization candidates.

(A handy way to parse the list of links from the HTML is to use BuzzStream’s free tool.)

Low-Hanging Fruit

This is a pretty straightforward process: simply use your search analytics report or run your own site through SEMrush, and look for high impression/high estimated search terms where you’re ranking decently well (5–10 on page one of search results, or top of the second page). Add these to your list of URLs to optimize.

These pages are ranking, and you know the terms have potential (either because of estimated search data or the impression data you’re getting from your own search analytics report), so with some tweaks, you might be able to improve rankings for key terms.

If you’re looking for a more in-depth look at this process, Nick Eubanks’ (paid) Master Keyword Research Course has a great section on identifying low-hanging keyword fruit.

Top Performers

This part is pretty straightforward, too. Look at your analytics reports for heavily trafficked pages, and look at your Google search analytics report for both high-traffic and high-impression pages.

Within Google Analytics, you simply start with a custom report:

For Metrics Group, you can add Users > Users and Goal Conversions > Goal Completions (you might customize this based on your site’s goals, whether you have specific values configured in GA, etc.). For dimensions, it’s Behavior > Landing Page.

Next, you can segment for organic traffic and see the pages that are driving traffic:

Screenshot of landing page metrics when viewed in Google Analytics

To get to your search analytics data, simply log in to your Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) account, look at the left navigation, click through Search Traffic > Search Analytics, and click Pages to see your data:

Screenshot of a search analytics report within the Google Search Console.

Grab the URLs you didn’t find in your analytics report (the impression data can be particularly useful for additional discovery, as you’ll see the URLs where people are seeing your listing but not clicking through), and you have some additional URLs.

Now you should have gathered a large number of different types of URLs that are good optimization candidates. It’s time to start actually optimizing your site for these terms. Let’s walk through 10 things you can do to get more out of your most important pages.

1. Determine What’s Already Ranking & Driving Traffic

Before you start to update the pages you’ve identified as opportunities, you need to understand what not to eliminate from your page’s title and content. As I mentioned above, one oft-overlooked component of optimizing pages is to first see what the page is already ranking for. This will tell you two things:

  • Where are the opportunities to make tweaks and help improve rankings on specific terms?
  • What is the page currently ranking for that changes could negatively impact?

Depending on what tools you have enabled and your level of access to different data, there are two primary places to look for this information:

SEMrush (Or Other Competitive Keyword Tools). You can enter a keyword into these tools and get a sense for what terms a page is ranking for (I use SEMrush, but other competitive keyword tools also offer this data). Let’s look at a few terms that a page about using bouncy houses safely is ranking for:

Screenshot of SEM Rush top positions report for a URL.

Google Search Console Search Analytics Report. As outlined above, we can also look at the Search Console search analytics report to get similar information. First, simply input a filter for the URL of the page you’re updating by clicking the “no filter” text under Pages and adding your filter:

Screenshot showing how to filter for a URL in Search Console Search Analytics Report.

Be sure to highlight Queries and check clicks, impressions and position to see what’s getting impressions and where the page is ranking for those terms:

Screenshot of the Google Search Console search analytics report results.

This particular page isn’t ranking great for anything, so I’m free to update the page and try to improve rankings on some of the terms that are showing up in the second page of search results. But if there were terms that were driving a lot of traffic here, I’d be able to factor that into my edits to the page (and make sure I didn’t remove a valuable modifier that’s driving a lot of traffic).

2. Run Your URL Through The Keyword Tool

Now that you understand where your URL is currently ranking, you can start to look for new opportunities.

The terms the URL is currently ranking for represent good expansion opportunities, but what about terms you (or your client/the original author of the page) weren’t aware of? Google’s Keyword Planner can give you some quick ideas for terms the page may not be targeting:

A screenshot of Google Keyword Planner results for a URL.

3. Get Google Suggest Data For The Primary Topic Of The Page

Similarly, using Google Suggest (by typing a term into Google and seeing the suggested results) and tools like Ubersuggest, you’ll get a long list of commonly searched-for modifiers around the main topic of your page to think about including in your optimization process. In this case, I’d enter terms like bouncy house, bouncy castle, jumpy house, and so on.

4. Update Your Page’s Title Tag, Meta Description & Alt Attributes

After looking at the rankings for your page and understanding some of the other things folks search for around your topic, you should be able to craft a better title tag (that is clickable and potentially includes a key modifier that had been ignored previously) and a more compelling meta description (that better speaks to the searchers who are finding your listing). You’re also aware of different terms you can include in alt attributes on your page to describe your images (or in many cases, you can start to include alt attributes).

Writing great title tags is particularly valuable, and that’s a topic for its own lengthy post, but luckily, there are a number of useful resources on the topic:

5. Flesh Out The Page With Additional Content

Now that you have some information about additional terms folks are searching for, you can use that to flesh out the page. The most searched-for modifiers could be great sub-sections of an article or additional sections of a product or sales page. You could also scan the existing content for opportunities to (naturally) include some of the modifiers the page had omitted in the body content of the page.

6. Add Different Content Types If Applicable

You don’t just need to add text to your page, either. You can flesh out an existing page with video content, a slide deck or a data visualization, for example. A PowerPoint or a video has the added benefit of giving you another place where you can be found for these key terms (within YouTube search or on SlideShare).

7. Create A Specific, Customized Offer

There’s more to SEO than just ranking better and getting more traffic. You can get more value out of your most important SEO pages by having the traffic coming to those pages convert better.

Look at the pages that drive the most traffic. Can you customize the offer on those pages with a specific offer or content upgrade?

The first few steps have given you some insight into the actual searches people are using to find your page. You can use that data to help create a highly customized offer.

Are folks typing in “buy” and other transaction-oriented modifiers to find your page? You might want to give them a special deal if they purchase now. Are they using terms more along the lines of “compare” or “reviews?” You might want to offer a free buying guide or a third-party report comparing the product type your page is targeting.

By using a specific offer tailored to the way people are finding your page, you can help convert more of the SEO traffic arriving at your most valuable pages. (Note: Be sure to understand the other channels people are reaching your page from — if the page drives traffic from referrals, bookmarks, etc., that should help inform your offer strategy on that page.)

8. Layer Outreach On Top Of That Page

If you have a key page that’s close to ranking well for key terms, you can give it a push with some link outreach. If the page is a meaty resource, you might be able to engage in some old-school link prospecting and outreach. If you’re working on a page that isn’t likely to be linked to as is, think about adding useful content that you can conduct outreach for, and/or incorporate other resources and let them know you’ve highlighted them on the page.

9. Do Some Social Promotion For The Page

If the page is an article that is likely to be shared socially and is close to ranking for some valuable terms, identify the social network that’s the best fit and consider doing some social promotion (potentially even some targeted paid social promotion for your content) to get better distribution (and frequently more links) for that page. And of course, if the content is high-quality and share-worthy, make sure the page is easy to share.

10. Link To The Page Internally With Different, Useful Anchors

Good old-fashioned internal linking and information architecture can help you get more SEO value from important pages, too. By highlighting pages that are very close to ranking (and working to link to key pages with varied anchor text that includes some of the key modifiers you’ve unearthed through the research in previous steps), you’ll help spread link equity (and internal traffic) to those pages, which should give them a nice rankings boost.

For a more in-depth look at internal linking, check out my SEO basics guide on the WordStream blog or my business partner Ken Lyons’s internal linking tips.

Final Thoughts

If you’re an SEO-savvy company or agency, the main takeaway here is that you need to understand the current positioning for a page so that you avoid taking one step forward and two steps back.

If you’re a small business or individual blogger, you don’t need to work on every one of these items for every page on your site. Identify the 5–25 most valuable pages, make sure you don’t harm rankings on key terms, and incorporate as many relevant tactics to help improve search traffic as you can for those pages. Do this, and you’ll start to generate more relevant, valuable traffic to your site.

The post Squeezing More Value Out Of Your Most Important SEO Landing Pages appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Google: Panda 4.2 Is Rolling Out Slowly For Technical Reasons

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By Barry Schwartz

This morning, in a Google Hangout between Google’s John Mueller and webmasters, John was asked about the Google Panda 4.2 update several times. One question that came up was why it’s running slower than normal.

John explained that the rollout is taking months and months, as opposed to days or weeks, because of an “internal issue” related to “technical reasons.” But he explicitly said this rollout is not going slowly specifically to “confuse people.”

Both the SEM Post and Search Engine Roundtable transcribed part of this Q&A on Panda:

This [Panda rollout] is actually pretty much a similar update to before. For technical reasons we are rolling it out a bit slower. It is not that we are trying to confuse people with this. It is really just for technical reasons.

So, it is not that we are crawling slowly. We are crawling and indexing normal, and we are using that content as well to recognize higher quality and lower quality sites. But we are rolling out this information in a little bit more slower way. Mostly for technical reasons.

It is not like we are making this process slower by design, it is really an internal issue on our side.

A lot of webmasters want to see immediate results from Google’s Web spam algorithms, but with the Panda 4.2 slow rollout, it won’t be like that. It can take months and months for a site to fully see a positive or negative impact of the algorithm.

Here is the video embed at the start point:

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Search In Pics: Android Repair, Google Log Tables & Rubber Ducks

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By Barry Schwartz

In this week’s Search In Pictures, here are the latest images culled from the Web, showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have, and more.

Google Android Statue Repair:

Source: Google+

Google Log Tables:

Google Log Tables
Source: Google+

Google’s Birthplace: The Gates Computer Science Building At Stanford:

Gates Computer Science Building
Source: Google+

Google Pond With Rubber Ducks:

Google Pond With Rubber Ducks
Source: Google+

Charging A Delorean DMC-12 At Google:

Delorean DMC-12 At Google
Source: Google+

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Proactive Alerts For SEO Reporting Using Google Analytics

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By Ben Goodsell

The Age of Information is undergoing a radical transition, from making data accessible to having relevant information presented to us when it matters. Getting notified of your parking location the minute you step off a plane. Getting an alert containing a list of items while walking through the front door of the grocery store. Modern technology has made this all possible.

google now seo proactive reporting

So why should reporting for SEO be any different?

Enterprise-level SEO platforms like BrightEdge and SearchMetrics are making it easy to automate everyday reporting. They’re also getting very granular in their ability to alert users to any information of interest. Fortunately, for those short on cash or just getting started, Google Analytics has many of the same features.

In an attempt to give insight into the possibilities, this article will cover how to create a Custom Segment and an Alert to send an email or text message if your Organic sessions decrease more than 50% compared to the same day the previous week. If you already have segments created, skip down to the “Creating An Alert” section!

Creating A Custom Segment: 50% Drop In US Google Organic Traffic

To begin, let’s create a Custom Segment that includes only Organic Sessions of customers located in the United States.

From the Reporting Tab (1) in Google Analytics, select +Add Segment (2). Then, click +New Segment (3).

[click to enlarge]

Name the new segment “US Google Organic Sessions” (1). In the Demographics section, where it says “Location,” specify Country contains United States (2). Now, in the Traffic Sources tab (3) be sure to Filter Sessions (4) by Medium contains organic and Source contains google (5).

custom segments and alerts for seo us google [click to enlarge]

As you can tell in the image above, there’s a wide array of possibilities to get notified about here when used in combination with Custom Alerts. Now that we’ve created the desired segment, let’s look at how they work together.

Creating An Alert: 50% WoW Drop In Organic Sessions

Now that we’ve decided on the information we want, let’s finish the job by telling Google Analytics when we’d like to be alerted.

In the Reporting tab (1) under Intelligence Events Overview (2), go to the Custom Alerts tab (3). Click Manage custom alerts (4), and finally, click the +NEW ALERT button.

custom alerts for seo [click to enlarge]

Let’s name the alert “50% WoW Drop in US Google Organic Sessions” (1). Choose the types of alerts and where you’d like to send them (2), specify Medium matches exactly organic (3), then send the alert when Sessions % decreases by more than 49% (5).

email alerts for seo

Creating An Alert Using A Custom Segment

The +NEW ALERT view is also where you can associate a Custom Segment (like the one created in the first section of this tutorial) with a notification. Just as we chose the Organic Medium in the image above, it’s possible to instead choose a previously created Custom Segments.

specifying a custom segment in a custom alert for seo

Unfortunately, there’s a bug in Google Analytics where some Custom Segments will not show up in Custom Alert. To help fix the issue, please “vote up” the post in the product forums here.

Getting Granular With Proactive Reporting

Creating Custom Alerts in Google Analytics is a great way to be notified of a potential issue, as shown here, but it works equally well for knowing when improvements have been made!

For example, after focusing on optimizing a section of a site, it’s possible to create a custom segment to look at those pages specifically, then create an alert that will notify you when the expected gain has been realized.

It’s clear the future of SEO reporting is premeditated granular notifications. Are there any innovations you’re doing to be more proactive?

The post Proactive Alerts For SEO Reporting Using Google Analytics appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Celebrate The Power Of Search With Us At #TheLandys Awards Celebration

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By Search Engine Land

As the entry deadline for the inaugural Search Engine Land Awards fast approaches, we have a few exciting announcements to share with the search community about the awards celebration.

2015 Search Engine Land Awards Title Sponsor

Our team is thrilled to announce that Google AdWords has officially come on board as the leading sponsor for our inaugural industry awards program!

landys_google_logo

Additional sponsorship opportunities are still available for the awards celebration.

Awards Celebration @SMX East 2015

Traditionally, the After Dark cocktail party at our Search Marketing Expo event in NYC has been a two hour affair, and the search community has raised over $60,000 in total for charity at these events over the years.

With all profits from awards entry fees, sponsorships and event tickets sold going to our two selected charities, we’re aiming for our biggest single event donation ever, thanks to Google AdWords and supporting partners.

It also means as promised, this year’s After Dark party will be bigger and better than ever, with added hour to accommodate arrivals and opening cocktails before the awards ceremony begins.

Venue: BB King’s Blues Club in Times Square

Search Engine Land AwardsClose to the official SMX conference hotel (the Sheraton) and in the middle of the mid-town mecca, The Landy Awards will take over the marquee at the famous blues club for the night.

With a legendary venue like this, we knew we had to kick up the entertainment a few notches and bring in a live band. So, pack your dancing shoes!

Live Music Performance By…

After the awards ceremony concludes, we’ll keep the celebration going with hours of high-energy, live music from New York City favorites, 45 Riots!

With a diverse playlist spanning multiple music genres, featuring original music mixed with modern hits and updated classics with a fresh spin, there’s going to be something for everyone to enjoy.

Here’s a few sample mashup videos for you to check out:

Follow @45Riots on Twitter or view more of their music videos on their website, including their most recent release of “Drunk in Love” in a big band format.

Come Celebrate Search’s Big Night With Us!

If you weren’t already planning on attending SMX East for three packed days of search marketing seminars, we think this is just one more fantastic reason to book your tickets now.

Where else in New York City could you get three hours of open bar, appetizers and live entertainment for just $75, while networking with peers in the search community and raising money for good causes at the same time?

Don’t miss #TheLandys award celebration, here’s how you can attend:

  • Buy tickets for the September 30, 8–11 p.m. Awards Celebration in NYC now:

    • $75* when you register for an EXPO+ or SMX East All Access Pass. Ticket fee includes open bar, appetizers and live entertainment!
    • If you’ve already registered for SMX East, login to your registration and add the After Dark Option at any time before the big night.

*($75 donation fee required of all attendees.) Tax Deductible receipts will be made available.

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