For the past several years, I’ve been running digital marketing training workshops in conjunction with the Institute of IT Professionals (IITP) here in New Zealand.
Our first round of workshops for 2015 kick off this month, with the first topic for the year being Introduction to Search Engine Optimisation.
These full-day training workshops will show you step-by-step how to optimise your or your clients’ web sites to get noticed by Google and other engines. It will be a fun day, with some group activities, random audience questions for chocolate and (if time permits), live analysis of the web sites of willing attendees.
Whether you’re an IT manager, marketer, programmer, website coordinator or business owner, getting well placed for your key terms on search engines is hugely valuable and important.
At the end of the course attendees will be able to:
- Understand how Google and other search engines rank pages.
- Understand what makes a web page search engine compatible.
- Understand what type of content search engines love.
- Research and select appropriate keywords to target.
- Successfully integrate search keywords within web site copy.
- Create effective and optimised web pages.
- Learn why social media can improve their search rankings.
- Monitor their search positions and report meaningful data to stake holders.
Below are the details and booking links for Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch events, so please share with anyone you know who might benefit from attending:
Introduction to Search Engine Optimisation – Auckland
Date: 20 April 2015
Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Venue: CBD Office
Level 4, 17 Albert Street
Introduction to Search Engine Optimisation – Wellington
Date: 21 July 2015
Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Meeting Room 4
Level 7, Tower Building
50 Customhouse Quay
Introduction to Search Engine Optimisation – Christchurch
Date: 26 October 2015
Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Venue: Airport Gateway Motor Lodge
45 Roydvale Ave
Thanks for your support.
Based on conversations I’ve had recently, many of my students and blog readers are either seeking a new job in the SEO field or looking to switch existing SEO gigs this year.
Inevitably, the subject of potential interview questions will arise. How exactly should you prepare for a SEO interview? What type of questions can you expect to be asked? Will they be highly technical? Scenario-based? Or will they be all about your past experience? In a nutshell, how will you know the type of SEO knowledge benchmark a new employer is expecting you to meet?
Well, wonder no more, because online training provider EDU Pristine has collated a series of the 13 most common SEO interview questions (and answers!) to help you brush up before you walk into that nerve-wracking interview panel.
The questions are pretty solid, apart from Q9 — most SEO pundits agree that the Google Sandbox has failed to be a thing since the advent of Everflux indexing — and Q10 which is ambiguous, depending on your personal interpretation of the term Search Engine Marketing.
So study up and go get that new SEO gig.
As most of you know, I run a series of face-to-face training workshops in conjunction with the Institute of IT Professionals (IITP) across various locations in New Zealand.
The current topics include:
- Introduction to Search Engine Optimization (full day)
- Social Media Marketing for Business (full day)
- Using Google Analytics to Increase Website Traffic and Conversions (half day)
The IITP have recently published their 2015 Workshop Schedule, so if you are based in New Zealand and want to book a place at one of these events, now’s your chance. I’ve got 14 workshops scheduled so far, but more are in the pipeline, so it’s going to be a busy year!
I’m aware that a number of you missed out on a workshop last year due to logistical reasons. Keep in mind that if your location or preferred date isn’t listed, you can contact the IITP directly via the “Available other times On Demand or In House” link listed under each workshop and request an event to suit you.
If you would prefer a tailored training session and/or have a large group of staff wanting to take the same course, the IITP can also arrange in-house workshops to suit your particular requirements. These training sessions allow staff to focus on specific internal web site issues without revealing intellectual property or commercially-sensitive information to other attendees.
We are also testing demand for running a Gaining More Conversions from Google AdWords style workshop. If this is something of interest to you, please let me know in the comments so we can add it to this year’s line-up.
I’m looking forward to seeing some of you at one or more of these workshops in 2015.
The last couple of months have been super busy for me. I’ve been working on my first online course for the Udemy platform and it’s finally published.
My first Udemy course is called How to Earn a Full Time Income as a Part Time SEO Consultant and it teaches you how to create your own portable business by taking advantage of the huge global demand for search engine optimization skills. In the lessons, I show you how to harness automation and passive income to reduce your working day to 5 hours or under, without sacrificing a full-time income.
The course builds on the principles explained in the Bonus Lesson of our SEO 201 course at Search Engine College and comes with a full range of downloadable tools, templates and resources to ensure you can hit the ground running.
If you have ever wanted to earn a full time income, working part time, then this course is for you.
See you in class!
They’ve been warning us for a while, but Google have finally announced that mobile-friendliness will be added as a ranking signal next month:
“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results”
The fact they use the word *significant* is, well, significant. You don’t often see them give algorithm tweak announcements this kind of adjective emphasis. Normally, they’ll use vague phrases like “potential impact” or “quality improvements” or “Matt Cutts suggests”. So you can be sure that the forthcoming changes are going to be the source of panic attacks in webmasters the world over and late night Skypes for SEOs everywhere (yeah, thanks a lot Google).
Meanwhile, responsive WordPress theme designers will be rubbing their beards with glee at the prospect and adding more Threadless t-shirts to their wishlist.
So let’s assume for a moment that you have spent the last two years watching LOL cat videos on Facebook instead of making your website mobile friendly. Let’s also assume that your site has a scarlet letter displayed across it in the SERPs instead of the
wanky desirable mobile-friendly banner issued by Google.
What can you do now to ward off the Google ranking oblivion heading your way? In the words of Douglas Adams: DON’T PANIC.
Here’s a check list to start with:
- Log out of Facebook. I mean it.
- View your site on various mobile devices and try not to cry.
- Don’t have multiple devices? That’s ok, QuirkTools have just the tool for you.
- Check your site against Google’s mobile friendly test tool.
- Pull yourself out of the foetal position and take a deep breath. You can fix this!
- If your site is built on a popular CMS, Google will likely have a technical guide on their Developers site that can help guide you and/or your designer make your site more mobile friendly. For example, check out Google’s Technical Guide for WordPress users.
- Browse the theme library of your CMS for a recent responsive design / mobile friendly theme that doesn’t make your wallet flinch or make you want to gouge your eyes out. This is a lot trickier than it sounds.
- Log out of Facebook dammit!
- Back up your current site and related database/s.
- Make sure you choose a theme that uses largish font that can be viewed easily on the smallest of iPhones. You know, for those of us who can’t afford a iPhone 6.
- Check all your favorite plugins to make sure they are mobile-friendly. You’d be surprised how many of them look great in IE 10 but entirely screw up how your site appears in Safari. Uninstall or replace those with plugins that don’t impact your site’s appearance.
- Set your mobile viewport. Yeah, I’ve got no idea what this means either.
- Make sure that your text links are separated by at least one line of text between each. Being too close together make them difficult to click on with a mobile device.
- Underline your links and highlight them using a different color to your main text. But please don’t use hipster grey. That’s just the color of sadness.
- If you’ve verified your site in Google Webmaster Tools (of course you have!), you can check your site’s Page Speed using the Page Speed Insights tool. Or you can use Google’s stand-alone version.
- Make any page speed tweaks suggested by Google.
- In my experience, your site should now look mostly normal across various devices, apart from a glitch that shoves your header 5cm to the right on Google Chrome for Android no matter what the heck you try. Thankfully no-one uses that browser.
- Check your site against Google’s mobile friendly test tool again.
- Repeat, Rinse, Repeat until you can live with the outcome of the test.
- Log back into Facebook. Cute cat videos await!