Posts Tagged ‘#SEO’

Google Authorships evolved a few years ago, but it has grown in importance as Google continues to connect search results with its products. Such changes include the migration of Google places into Google +, and the transition of Google docs into Google Drive. As we see Google + social signals apparently weighing more heavily in Google search algorithms, I think it is a safe bet to say that Google authorship will grow in importance as both a conversion and ranking factor.

What is Google Authorship?

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As you can see above, this search result has a picture of a man (the author) next to it. These avatars are beginning to pop up more and more in search results pages. Authorship allows content curators to claim their content and build credibility, as well as it allows search engine users to find more content written by the same person. Many industry experts are saying that Google Authorship is the first step towards verifying author identity, and establishing author rank, which is projected to be a major future search algorithm update.

The advantages of Google Authorship…

1. Personalization and Trust: People love to be able to put a name and face with a piece of content. Further, readers realize that an author is not going to put their name next to a piece of spammy, irrelevant information. Thus, authorship helps you build credibility and trust in the SERPs.

2. Build your social following: Having the +1 social signal embedded in the meta description of the search result allows the users to click through to the author’s profile and find out more about them, and the company they work for. A nice marketing strategy when it comes to developing industry credibility and positioning yourself as a thought leader.

3. Higher conversion rates: The avatar allows your webpage to stand out on SERPs, and with the added element of trust and credibility more people are likely to click-through to your website or social properties. Another inbound marketing win!

4. More credible backlinks: With the introduction of Penguin update, Google has clamped down on backlink quality. But, with authorship, instead of receiving domain links, content can now get ‘human’ links. As people link to content, that contents credibility and weight in the search engines increases. It makes sense, if people are linking to content it must be legitimate, from a social standpoint, as just like the authors, readers aren’t going to want to be linked to spammy, thin content.

5. Authorship Analytics: At the end of 2012, Google launched the Authorship Analytics platform which allows users to monitor the number of impressions and click-through rate of their content. This is invaluable from a content marketing, and SEO perspective, as authors are able to test and see which content their readers are digesting the most.

Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, stated that content with a Google + profile attached to it is going to rank better than content that does not have a profile tied to it. As social signals continue to drive search algorithm updates, Google look set to give more weight to content that has natural (human) backlinks. Building SERP rank, and credibility is critical to any brand or content curator. Google Authorship should be a part of any brand’s digital marketing strategy.

Set up your Google authorship markup.

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What is a Meta Description?

Meta descriptions are concise explanations of the content people will find on web pages. See the example below:

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This is a meta description for the PGA Tour website. You can see that it previews the type of content that you will find on that particular webpage. Meta descriptions are not an important search engine ranking factor, however they do have a significant impact on the click-through rate of search engine results pages (SERP). These short snippets give webmasters the opportunity to advertise the exact type of content that a reader will be able to find on the webpage. It is often a snippet of content from the webpage itself.

Meta descriptions should contain relevant keywords related to the copy that is found on the webpage. The information in the meta description should be compelling, and entice the reader to click through to find out more. According to SeoMoz, the met description should be between 150-160 characters, after that the description gets truncated, and you may the chance to communicate valuable information to your readers. Keep it concise and keyword relevant.

Some SEO best practices to consider then writing your meta tags:

+ Keep in mind that seach engines will bold the text in the meta description that was used in the user’s search query. Keep this in mind when optimizing long-tail keywords in your meta tags.

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For example, above you can see the words Zoo and Boise that have been bolded. My search phrase was “Boise zoo”.

+ Keep your meta description unique for each webpage. We don’t want to confuse the search engines, we want to make indexing as easy as possible.

+ Quotes cut off descriptions. When you include the double quotations around words this cuts out the words inside those quotations. Instead, include single quotations around words if you have to use them. This is important to remember, you don’t want to inadvertently remove keywords from you meta descriptions.


Keep it concise, include natural keyword flow, and do not use double quotations. Use relevant keywords that accurately describe the content that will be found on the webpage, and you will be boosting your webpage click-through rate in no time!

Thoughts/ opinions?

Long-tail search refers to online searches that include three or more keywords. These search strings are typically very targeted. And, there is a reason for this.

Today, there is so much competition for every type of keyword you could imagine, or more specifically, for those short-tail keywords. For example, imagine if you did a Google search for the keyword phrase, “Titleist drivers” (golf product), you would be hit with thousands of search results, many of which wouldn’t be directly relevant to you. Now, try “Titleist D4 Drivers less than $300”. Your search results will be considerably less, and that is because you have use a long-tail search, that is very targeted, with additional search parameters. 

Today, online searchers usually know exactly what they are looking for, and with search engine algorithms being more advanced than ever, they can type in targeted search queries without having to open the advanced search bar!

What does this mean?

Anyone wishing to rank online needs to be aware of the potential of optimizing for long-tail search. 


Because it is the key to attracting targeted traffic. When your customers, or readers, type in a targeted search phrase and land on your page, Google has put them there for a reason, the landing page is optimized for that search query. And, we both know, targeted traffic leads to higher conversion rates. 

Another point to note here is that long-tail keywords attract less competition. Meaning you have a greater chance of ranking highly in SERPs when using long-tail keywords. This is crucial when you consider that 90% of search traffic is gained on the first search page. For example, the search phrase “digital marketing” attracts 987 million search results. The search phrase “types of digital marketing” delivers only 46,900,000 search results, still a lot, but considerably less than the first search phrase. Keep this in mind when you are thinking of blog content.

Remember, for less-competitive, highly targeted traffic, think about incorporating long-tail keywords into your digital marketing strategy.

SEO: Search Engine Optimization.

The name says it all. SEO is the practice of making sure your website is ranking across search engine ranking pages.

For the sake of this article we are going to talk about SERP in the context of business websites. Even today, many businesses think that if they simply create a website, buy a branded domain name and tell their friends, they will get traffic. The age old adage of “If I build it, they will come”. This is not true, in fact, it’s quite comical. If you were to launch a website without a solid SEO strategy your site would sit in oblivion.

Its not enough to publish a website, you need an SEO strategy. And, luckily for you, SEO doesn’t have to be tedious and expensive. Any entrepreneur can own their SEO strategy with a little discipline and hard work.

I am an entrepreneur myself, and recently took it upon myself to research and discover what makes a website rank well across the major search engines. Here are tips to help you get your website ranked, and build your traffic volume.


We’ve all heard the adage, “content is king”. Well folks, with the recent updates to Google’s Panda algorithm, this adage is more relevant and true than ever. Quality content is now one of leading rank factors for websites across all major search engines. If you don’t curate unique, relevant, quality content, you will never see the first page of Google, and consequently you will miss over 80% of potential online traffic. Ouch!

Why is content important?

Well, at the end of the day the answer to this question rests largely with “keywords”. These days, search engine spiders crawl millions of webpages every second based on the query strings people are searching with. If you want your website to show up at the top of the results page for a given search query you’d better make sure your content contains the relevant keywords. For example, if you own a property management company in Boise Idaho, you will definitely want your copy to contain the keyword phrases “Boise Property Management”, “Boise rentals”, and “Boise Property Management Services”, to name a few. If it doesn’t, your site will not rank for these keywords.

Now, if you want to research and see what keywords you should be ranking on, check out Google AdWords keyword tool. This will allow  you to see the search volumes surrounding particular keywords (broad and exact searches at the local level), and even find new keywords that you should consider optimizing for. But, before you use this tool, make a list of at least 10 keywords you would like to rank on, and then use this as a base to start your keyword research.

Now what do I do?

Once you have a defined list of keywords, it is time to start incorporating them into the content of your website, and marketing efforts. Be sure to include relevant keywords in your site content, title tags, meta description and heading tags. If possible, infuse a major keyword into your URL, and image alt text (spiders are unable to read images).

Caution: this is maybe one of the biggest errors SEOs make – do not stuff keywords, and make sure that keywords are relevant to the page content.

Ten years ago people could get away with stuffing their content full of every single keyword they could think of. This was a result of the now obsolete notion of keyword density. Now, Google will crush you. Each keyword you include should relate to the page content, and flow naturally. Google’s algorithm now actually checks to make sure that the content is not only relevant, but that the copy makes sense.

Other basics to consider:

Social Media Optimization: A solid content strategy should also be the centerpiece of your social media strategy, not matter what platform you are using. People are not only using search engines as means of finding quality content, they are now able to target specific content by following branded social pages. This is particularly true for blogs. Companies use this platform to curate and share valuable content. The more valuable, and relevant this content is, the more engagement it attracts. Here in lies the opportunities. If companies are able to generate traffic inflow to their blog, they are able to use this social property as a touch point that builds credibility, and acts as a vehicle to to generate targeted inbound traffic to their website. This traffic is driven through keyword anchor text. People click on a link and it takes them to a relevant landing page that facilitates conversion. Here, you can see how tightly, content, SEO, and landing page optimization tie into lead generation and conversion optimization, the lifeblood of every business.

+ Fresh is Best: Make sure you content is continually refreshed, updated, re-optimized to counteract the content decay. In a sense, its similar to facebook’s edgerank algorithm that penalizes old content. As engagers, we like the newest, freshest information out there. So, make sure you content is unique, and remains relevant. This takes discipline.

+ Ad-to-content Ration: Make sure you have more quality owned content on your site, than you do paid ads. A hid ad-to-content ratio will make search engines view your content as “thin” and penalize you for that.

+ Guest blog/ backlinks: this is a great way to position your brand as a thought leader and build engagement with other relevant influencers in your industry. If you are able to develop backlinks from these credible sources you rank will skyrocket. Make sure to have your backlinks contain keyword anchor text that are relevant to content on the landing page they are linking to. This element is crucial to any type of linking strategy.

+ Landing Pages: make sure your destination landing pages are relevant to the inbound anchor text source. If it is not, you will be penalized, and your customers will not like the fact that they were directed to a page that does not answer their question, or satisfy their need. This is bad!

These are just some aspects of SEO that everyone should be aware of. As you begin you SEo quest, you will start to see how everything comes back to your content strategy when it comes to SEO – from keywords, to tagging, to inbound anchor text, to call-to-action, everything comes back to content. So make this your SEO start point.

Cheers, and let me know what you think, or tell me something I don’t know. I want to know 😉