Fast Five in Search – Week 46, 2014

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Social media seems to be dominating my newsfeeds more so than search marketing this week. Both Facebook and Twitter have released some interesting usage data, while content marketing trends seem to be favoring social media over traditional search when it comes to online conversions. Accordingly, this week’s Fast Five reflects the trend.

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) Facebook says Government data requests up 24 percent by Josh Wolford of WebProNews. This month, Facebook released something they call a transparency report, which provides info on how many data and content removal requests it receives, as well as national security requests initiated through FISA. According to the report, US Government requests for data increased by 24 percent in the first half of 2014.

2) How many college students tweet daily? New and updated Twitter stats by Craig Smith of Digital Marketing Ramblings. Twitter revealed their latest usage data late last month, as well as their third quarter 2014 financial results. In this post, Craig links to the report and shares some of the more notable highlights from the released figures.

3) Though people trust other consumers most, brands still have a role to play by Katy Keim of Marketing Land. In this intriguing article, Katy looks at the tug-of-war going on between traditional brand-driven marketing campaigns and consumer trust-driven social marketing campaigns when it comes to purchasing decisions. Online reputation and consumer trust are proving to have more influence over brands than ever before.

4) Search vs. social: How to drive website traffic with evergreen content by Skip Besthoff of SiteProNews. Another tug-of-war going on in digital marketing is the competition for traffic between search marketing and social marketing. This post looks at why webmasters can’t afford to ignore either when planning their content marketing strategies.

and finally…

5) 9 Real life conversion rate optimization tests to try yourself by Ginny Sosky of HubSpot. Just for fun, we’ll end this week’s Fast Five with some conversion rate tests that seem to buck the trend. The one that surprised me was the Call to Action form placed way below the fold resulting in over 300 percent conversion increase!  Looks like I’ve been designing my landing pages wrong all this time ;-)

Happy reading!

*Image courtesy of Threadless.

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Congratulations to our Latest Web Site Copywriting Graduates

On behalf of Search Engine College, I would like to offer congratulations to our latest round of online certificate graduates for 2014. We’ve had so many graduates lately, that we’re having to split our announcements over several blog posts!

Students named below have successfully completed our Web Site Copywriting Certification course at Search Engine College and attained official certification status (requiring a passing grade of 70 percent or higher).

Web Site Copywriting 101

  • Sok Khann
  • Robert Mosley
  • Terry Gangstad
  • Christine Rokos
  • Brett Wohlgemuth
  • Cheryl Hardy
  • Christine Totten
  • Linda Ng
  • Denise Dresner
  • Thomas O’Brien
  • Adrienne Razon
  • Artez Young
  • Diana Weaver
  • Robert Stevens

Well done and please contact your tutor if you are still waiting to receive your hard copy certificate, Status Page or certification seal.

Also, don’t forget to fan our Facebook page and follow our Twitter profile @secollege for College announcements such as lesson updates, press releases, new courses, events and milestones.

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Q and A: Can you please answer 3 SEO Questions?

QuestionHello Kalena

I’m a new Search Engine College student and I have 3 questions about SEO:

1) I’ve listed key phrases in a bulleted list.  One of the items listed is not a keyphrase, but does it matter to the search engines where the key phrases are, as far as their order in the list?

2)  I noticed something called “itemprop” in the meta description tag when I look at the source code of my website.  I know this is something to do with “All in One SEO” coding.  If itemprop is in the meta description, will that affect my SERPs?

3) Itemprop seems to be an issue with W3C, and the W3C Code Validator found more than 30 errors with my WordPress theme’s coding.  Could this also affect my SERPs?

4) I wrote more than 300 words for my site, and I’ve been changing words to try and improve the site’s performance over several months.  However, when I type in a key phrase I can’t locate it in Google.  Also, it seems the only way I can find it (on page 5) is when I type in the city with the key phrase.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Kind Regards

Ben

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Hi Ben

I don’t usually answer more than one question per post, but I’m feeling generous today ;-)

To answer your questions:

1) All other things being equal, keywords/phrases at the start of your tag are given slightly more relevancy weight than keywords/phrases towards the end of the tag.

2) I use the All in One SEO Pack plugin for WordPress as well and I’ve never noticed this *itemprop* you speak of. However, it appears to be attribute for embedded items in your code. It shouldn’t have any impact on things as the content of the meta description tag rarely has any influence on your page ranking in the SERPs.

3) Yes, HTML validation can have an impact on how search engines index your code, which can in turn have an impact on how well you rank. If you have used W3C to validate your code and it has found errors, I suggest you try to correct the errors as best you can.

4) SEO is a fluid exercise. You need to constantly tweak and refine your page code and content (and link profile) until your page starts to rank well. As long as you follow the advice in our Search Engine College lessons and on this blog, you should find an improvement over time.

Hope this helps.

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Fast Five in Search – Week 45, 2014

fast-five

 

This week I’ve been spending a lot of time in Google Analytics and looking at the most popular pages on this blog.  Turns out that the Q and A posts are the most popular, so this week’s Fast Five is a collection of my most popular Q and A posts for 2014.

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) Q and A: Will Google penalize me for redirecting my old site to my new site with duplicate content? In this post, I help a webmaster who has moved domains and is concerned that his redirect may be penalized by Google as duplicate content.

2) Q and A: How many AdGroups should a single PPC campaign have? A Google AdWords advertiser is concerned about how many adgroups her campaign has and asks me for advice.

3) Q and A: Is rewriting content from another blog a legitimate SEO tactic? In this more recent Q and A, I help out a guy whose sister has hired a SEO company using dodgy site-scraping tactics for SEO purposes.

4) Q and A: How do I login to my YouTube channel The number of people who lose control of their YouTube channels is surprising. In this post, I assist someone who has forgotten their YouTube login and needs help getting it back.

and finally…

5) Q and A: Do Gmail accounts ever expire? In this post, I answer the age-old question of whether Google accounts every expire and whether they can be re-activated.

Happy reading!

*Image courtesy of Threadless.

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Fast Five in Search – Week 44, 2014

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So this week I was hoping to post five super fresh YouTube videos about SEO, particularly focusing on Google’s recent algorithm tweaks. But when I went searching – boy was I disappointed! Seems that all my favorite search marketing channels have been too busy to post any fresh content lately. So instead, I did a bit of yak shaving and ended up with five not so recent – but still incredibly insightful – YouTube videos about digital marketing.

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) Whiteboard Friday: Surviving the SEO Slog by Rand Fishkin of Moz. In this vid, everyone’s favorite bearded SEO super-hero Rand tackles one of the greatest pitfalls of performing SEO – the initial hard slog. In your first few months of SEO efforts, it can seem like you are running on a treadmill to nowhere. You might be putting in a great deal of effort, but not yet seeing the results. Rand amusingly calls the gap the “Delta of Dissatisfaction” and explains how to manage client expectations around this gap from the get-go.

2) The Future of a Brand by Joanna Lord of BigDoor. Joanna is a delight. An ex Moz senior staffer, Joanna’s star is rising high in the world of brand evangelism and digital marketing and she has the type of life I like to follow vicariously through her Facebook feed :-). Although she has since left BigDoor and gone on to bigger and better things, this video really encapsulates her approach to brand marketing and particularly how to evolve and optimize an existing brand into a new entity without losing customer loyalty.

3) How to Create a Business Page on Google Plus by Matthew Meyer of SiteProNews. The reason I included this video is because I get a LOT of questions about Google+ and how to create a business page on Google+. This is one of the best step-by-step vids showing you how to do this.

4) How to Remove an Image from Google Images by Jeff LaFlam from Google Webmasters. Another question I get quite a lot on this blog is how to remove pages or images from the Google search results. This video shows that it’s easier than you think.

and finally…

5) Introduction to Google Plus by Martin Shervington of Google Plus Your Business. This is the first video in a series of five which covers just about everything you need to know about Google+ if you’re a business or organization.

Happy watching!

*Image courtesy of Threadless.

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