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A Smattering of SEO News – Look Into My Illyes

Hey folks, welcome to this week’s Smattering! This week it’s all about Google, especially Google’s Gary Illyes, who had a lot to say at SMX recently on a wide variety of nifty topics. Check it all out below, and thanks for reading!

Google News

  • Google Rolls Out Aggressive Algorithm Changes Targeting Hacked Spam Sites – Google recently released a blog post in which they describe an aggressive update to their algorithm that would target hacked websites. According to the post, this update should remove sites that have been hacked – which is becoming a larger and larger problem – from search results entirely, and apparently affect around 5% of overall queries. This is nothing but a good thing all around, I think.
  • Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 1.25.21 PMBeing Outranked By Scraper Sites Is Your Problem, According To Google – Evidence has recently surfaced showing how sites that scrape content could indeed outrank the sites they scraped the content from. Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst Gary Illyes addressed the issue at SMX saying that if you are experiencing this, the problem is actually your website, rather than the scraper. Unfortunately, he gave no further details. One wonders how website owners and webmasters are supposed to fix said issues if they don’t know what they are. Hopefully more will be revealed about this in the future.
  • Illyes: Building A Website On Public Data Isn’t A Good Idea – At SMX, Google’s Gary Illyes apparently said that building a website based on public data with the hopes of getting a lot of traffic isn’t a good idea. He said Google already uses public data for much of its search engine results data, and these are shown as either “Knowledge Cards” or “Featured Snippets.” The snippets have very low click-through rates, while the cards have no click-through rates at all. Illyes says if you want to build a site or business around public data, you’ll need to give them more than what they already have to be successful.
  • Panda 4.2 Still Rolling Out – According, again, to Google’s Gary Illyes – guy gets around doesn’t he? – the recent Panda update that begangoogle-panda-hurt-confused3-ss-1920-800x450 rolling out in mid-July is still rolling out. When it was initially rolled out, we were told the roll-out would occur over several months, and that does indeed seem to be the case. There are likely a lot of folks still hoping that their site recovered from any previous penalties as a result of this roll-out, and sadly, those folks will have to keep on waiting. We’ll bring you more on this as we have it.
  • Keep Your Authorship Markup Live, Says Google – Once again, from Gary Illyes, comes word that Google might want to use your live authorship markup code in the future, even though they discontinued support for it last year. Why would they want to use discontinued language? Who knows, but until they say otherwise, keep it live people.
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The Profound Impact of a Hurricane

The destructive force of a hurricane is so vast that it’s difficult to describe. Meteorologists can determine the speed of the wind and the overall size, but cannot predict the damage that a hurricane will cause. Financial and economic data gathered after a storm has passed can assist in assessing a close estimate of the impact. While these methods can describe the costs in terms of lost businesses, damaged property, recovery relief expenses, and support for displaced families, they do little to measure the lasting emotional effects on survivors. In a time of recovery, quick access to adequate aid is critical, but sometimes it can take many years to repair all of the harm that is done. Good360‘s new infographic takes a closer look at all the different ways hurricanes can have an impact on a community.


To get a better idea of just how severely one of these storms can disrupt a region, check out the infographic!


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A Peek at the Hiring Process and Life as an SEO Specialist

It’s that time again…Wpromote is hiring for a SEO Specialist position! Know anyone who might be interested? Learn more about what it means to be part of the Wpromote team from our very own Justin McKinney!


Tara: What compelled you to apply to Wpromote in the first place?

Justin: I acquired a basic understanding of SEO at another company, but I was looking for an opportunity to really break into the SEO industry despite not having years of experience. When I Justin_pic for blog postfound Wpromote online, I immediately thought that it would be a perfect fit for me. From the website and reviews of the company online I could tell Wpromote had a great company culture and space. Reading the job description for the SEO Specialist role was what convinced me to apply; it didn’t require several years of experience, training would be provided, and I would be working on real accounts right from the start.


Tara: How would you describe your recruitment experience, from the initial conversation to accepting an offer?

Justin: The recruitment experience was quick, easy, and professional. A few days after submitting my resume I received a call and had a brief phone interview with HR. At the end of that call I was scheduled for an interview at the beginning of the following week. I interviewed with a SEO Director and Manager for about 45 minutes. Finally, the Friday of that same week I received a call saying that I got the job! The entire process took less than 2 weeks, and everybody I interacted with was courteous and professional.


Tara: What excites you about the Account Manager role within the SEO team?

Justin: The Specialist role was the perfect place for me to really begin my SEO career in earnest. I received excellent training from our experts in the department, and I developed a number of SEO skills, technical and otherwise. Now that I am transitioning to the Manager position, I am excited to take my knowledge and skills and apply them to full SEO and digital marketing campaigns. I’m also looking forward to working directly with Wpromote’s clients, as the Specialist role is generally not client facing.


Tara: What hints and tips would you give to candidates looking to join your team here at Wpromote?

Justin: Have a really solid understanding of the SEO basics; you should be able to explain the importance of title tags or why links matter in SEO. Additionally, read up on some SEO blogs to make sure you are up-to-date on SEO news and best practices, as this industry is constantly changing. The Wpromote Blog is a great place to start! Lastly, ask yourself if you are a good fit for the job; we’re fast-paced, hard working, and team-oriented.


Tara: Why did you see Wpromote as the agency of choice for opportunities within the sphere of SEO?

Justin: Wpromote is one of the few companies, let alone agencies, that has an entry-level SEO position. While you do need some skill and background in SEO, it does not require years of experience. Additionally, as I mentioned the SEO department is filled with SEO experts who really accelerated my own learning and development. Lastly, it was clear that Wpromote is a leader in the online marketing industry, and I wanted to be a part of that type of community.



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A Smattering of SEO – Will It Or Won’t It Boost My Rankings…

Howdy folks, happy October and welcome to another Smattering of SEO news! This week we have a couple of interesting tidbits, such as the possibility of a real-time Penguin algorithm right around the corner, along with things that will and won’t boost your rankings in Google! Check it all out below, and have a great week!

Google News

  • Mueller: Real-Time Penguin Algorithm Possibly Launching By Year’s End – In a recent Google Hangout with Google’s John Mueller, he said that while he’s not sure when the real-time update to the Penguin algorithm would launch, he believes it could be within the next few months, or before the end of the year. This doesn’t mean it’ll actually happen, mind you, as this is something they’ve been trying to do for a while now, but it’d be great to see it finally happen.
  • Mueller (Again): There’s No Ranking Advantage To External Linking – Some SEO folks have believed for a while that there might be a ranking advantage – however infinitesimally small – in linking from your site to other, relevant sites. It was believed that, if you linked to relevant sites, you were trying to show yourself as relevant and authoritative in your space. Well, John Mueller squashed those beliefs in a recent Google Hangout saying, “It is not something that we would say that there is any SEO advantage of linking to someone else’s site.”


  • Google Ads Ranking Advantage For Apps Using New App Indexing API – Recently at SMX East, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Mariya Moeva said that there would be an upcoming rankings boost for apps that used their new App Indexing API. Apparently the API will help Google figure out how useful the app is to users, and will use that information to likely help rank more useful apps higher in search results. Therefore, if you have an app, make sure you implement this API.
  • Illyes: We’re Experimenting With A Mobile Index – If you recall, last week I reported that Google’s Gary Illyes said via Twitter that Google only has a desktop index and no mobile index. Apparently, again over Twitter, he’s now said Google is “still experimenting” with a mobile index, so one might as of yet exist at some point in the future, maybe. As of right now, however, it’s still all desktop all the way.

Other News

  • Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer Feels Installing Ad Blockers Is A “Mistake” –At the recent IAB MIXX conference, Yahoo’s Mayer chimed in on what’s been becoming a larger hot-button issues among Internet advertisers: ad blockers. “I personally think it’s a mistake to install ad blockers,” Mayer said, going on to say that she feels ad blockers result in users losing a “rich, full experience of the web.” She also wants to “keep monetization models vibrant,” as she puts it. Yahoo’s ads contribute to the mobile experience, she says, so it makes sense that she would dislike ad blockers. Whether Yahoo will actively do anything to dissuade their use is another story.


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Here’s 5 Hard Truths Why Your On-Site Blog Isn’t Bringing In Traffic

You shoved back that important deadline, spilled coffee on your new shirt (and may or may not have stress-eaten three donuts from the break room) – but alas! Your business’s latest on-site blog post is complete. Helloooo SEO perks!

Only it’s a week later, and you’ve yet to see any boosts in traffic. What’s the deal!? You put in time, you put forth effort, and you ate four… I mean three… donuts to get this blog post done.

The answer is, it could be one of many things. Sit down, grab a notepad and pencil, and find out 5 hard truths on why your blog post isn’t bringing in traffic.


1. Readers Don’t Know What You’re Talking About

We know, it can be tempting to share everything you know about a particular topic. Especially if it is one you are passionate about. However, one of the most common reasons for an unsuccessful blog post is a lack of structure or focus on the main idea. Keep readers actively engaged, by asking yourself the following questions before you start writing:

  • What is the point of my blog post?
  • What action do I want readers to take after reading my post?
  • How can I uniquely angle this to make it my own?

Once you have the answers to these questions, create an outline and stick to it!


2. Readers Aren’t Interested

You might have written an awesome blog post on Topic A, but – unbeknownst to you – topic B is all the rage right now. Keep up-to-date on trending topics in your industry with sites like,, and to find out what people are searching for.


3. Readers Can’t Get Past Your Introduction

No matter how helpful, interesting, or thought provoking your blog post is, it’s not getting read with a dull introduction. Pique a reader’s attention straight from the get-go, with these tips:

  • Spit it out! Tell them what this post is about and how it’s going to make their lives better.
  • Vary your sentence length! Longer sentences are compelling, but they must be broken up by shorter ones to keep a reader’s interest.
  • Kill the clichés. We’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a million times. The impact they have on a piece of writing has worn off.


4. Readers Are Too Lazy To Deal With Your LayoutCute-Cats-cats-33440930-1280-800

Blog readers have short attention spans, they want answers quickly, and they are turned off by large paragraphs of text. Keep a reader’s interest with these tips:

  • Use a simple list structure in your blog titles (5 reasons, 10 tips, etc.), and bold those listed points in the body of your blog.
  • Keep posts short and sweet – between 300-700 words.
  • Include engaging visuals.


5. Readers Can’t Find Your Blog Post:

A compelling blog post doesn’t matter to readers if they don’t know it exists! Use these tips to promote and drive traffic to your recent blog posts:

  • Link your newer blog posts to older, ‘evergreen’ posts that already have SEO value.
  • Understand the best time of day to reach your target audience, and share your blog post across social media platforms accordingly.
  • Include high search volume keywords to catch the attention of the SERPs.


Get more Wpromote blog writing tips, here!


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5 Things I Hope To Learn At PubCon

Wpromote is kind enough to be sending me to PubCon, the world’s leading online marketing conference, next week for four days in Las Vegas, NV. This is just one of the many perks of working at Wpromote. PubCon is known as the “content-rich and content-deep conference.” I’m so excited about attending the conference that I decided to share my top 5 things I hope to learn while I am there.


  • How To Gamble. Truth be told, I’m not much of a gambler, despite being from Atlantic City. Sure, I lived two doors down from one of the top women poker players but I never had an interest. But maybe poker just isn’t my game…Blackjack, maybe? What’s that dice game where you pick a color or something?
  • How Industry Leaders Move Visitors From Clickers To Customers. Of course – all PPC folks aim to get the most qualified clicks that are most likely to convert, but I’m excited to hear the experts’ thoughts on getting visitors to convert!
  • What To Do To Ensure I’m ‘Winning At PPC!’ That’s not a dated Charlie Sheen reference, but the topic of the PubCon Labs session I’m signed up for – it’s a small, twenty minute session with a speaker where I hope to learn some great tips from an industry expert!
  • If Wil Reynolds Is Any Good At Poker. I’ve had the pleasure of rubbing shoulders with Wil, the founder of Seer Interactive, back in Philadelphia. Wil is always great to watch speak, but who knows if he’s got a good poker face?
  • Cutting-Edge Industry Updates. PubCon is known for bringing together great minds. I’m not only looking forward to what I’m sure will be great speakers, but also looking forward to the networking aspect. I can’t wait to pick my peers’ brains and hear the new industry buzz. Conferences like this are the best type of environment to get a feel for what everyone is talking about and focusing on in the industry. I’m excited to share and learn from everyone at PubCon!


With a keynote speaker list including Malcolm Gladwell (Author of ‘Tipping Point’), Satya Nadella (CEO of Microsoft), Craig Newmark (Creator of Craigslist), Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos) and more, I’m sure I’ll learn much more than just these five things.


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A Smorgasbord of Social Media: Facebook Gets Fancy & Twitter Cleans Up

Welcome to this week’s social media round up! Let’s examine some aesthetic changes happening in Facebook and Twitter, then contemplate the complex nature of viral online content.



Facebook ‘Notes’ Gets A Facelift

Remember Facebook Notes? Originally imagined as a simple way to share long-form content on Facebook, Notes quickly became a second home for chain-mail type prompts (e.g. “Write a Note about your 25 favorite places to eat soup and tag 25 friends – or NO SOUP FOR YOU!”).

Now, Facebook Notes has gotten a makeover. It features an uncluttered interface, drag-and-drop functionality and basic formatting options. You can browse through your Facebook albums directly from Note, hyperlink text, and add subheads. It feels like a legitimate blogging platform but stripped to bare bones features.

Facebook Notes


The improved Notes aligns with Facebook’s overall strategy of becoming a hub of social activity and information. Instant Articles, Signal, and now Notes represent a strong indicator that Facebook intends to keep users on the site as long as possible – because who needs the rest of the internet?


Facebook 360 – A New Perspective

Facebook is becoming saturated with video content as user interest intensifies – and now those users can see even more of the videos they’re watching. Users can manipulate the perspective of 360-degree videos posted to Facebook on both mobile and desktop. It’s similar to moving around in Google Maps street view, but everything’s moving!

As a perfect demonstration of what exactly this means, Disney released a 360-degree video promoting its upcoming film Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 2.01.46 PM

This video style promises to be more immersive than standard video; it will certainly be exciting to see how brands and studios take advantage of the feature.



Twitter Experiments With Audience Polls

Opinions have always been easy to share on Twitter (maybe even too easy), but now they could be easier to collect. Twitter has confirmed that it’s testing a native polling feature that will let accounts create and share questions with multiple-choice options.

Twitter Poll

Twitter has released polls before, but they were limited to Twitter Cards (aka paid Twitter advertising). The latest poll feature will be available within the regular Tweet composition box.

It’s unclear yet when these polls will be fully rolled out or where/how users will be interacting with the collected data. So far, the snark level is pretty high.


No Share, Don’t Care

Twitter has redesigned its social sharing buttons to look more modern – that’s not a big deal. But, one aspect of Twitter’s redesigned engagement buttons is in stark contrast with the previous iteration: the missing share count.

Twitter Button Redesign

Whereas before people could see how many times a URL had been tweeted, now that defining metric of an article’s worth is gone. This change begs many questions: will this alter the decision-making process of sharing online content? Will this democratize content by letting it speak for itself? If a person tweets a page link, but later page visitors don’t know about it, did it really happen?


Ponder that, readers!



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How Our Orthodontic Client’s Blog Went From 12 Visits A Month to 17,000

As a busy small business owner, blogging on your site is easier said than done. When you have to choose between getting a head start on payroll and writing a blog, you might pick the former. Here at Wpromote, blogging is one of the integral parts of our on-site SEO strategy. Rather than bore you with industry statistics and facts about why we blogging is so important, we would like to tell you a story about a time when it helped our own client’s blog go from a mere 12 visits a month to over 17,000.

In 2014 we were looking for a good blog topic to kick off the very first blog entry on our then-new client’s blog. The client was an orthodontic practice, About Faces And Braces, located in Tennessee. Since we work with a large number of orthodontic clients and other small businesses here at Wpromote, we suggested a couple of topics based on our familiarity with the industry. We knew from experience that orthodontic patients often wanted to know what foods they should and shouldn’t eat with braces on. With that in mind, we suggested the blog topic of what to eat after you get your braces.

In the middle of July 2014, we published the blog post on “What To Eat After You Get Your Braces” on our client’s site. That first month the post had a total of 12 sessions (a session is a group of interactions that take place on your website within a given time frame). Considering this was our client’s first blog post ever published, this appeared to be a decent start. Little did we know that we had gotten their blog off to a bigger start than we had anticipated.


The Move Into The First Spot

In August, we started to pick up steam receiving a whopping 49 sessions on the blog post. However, we really started to take notice of a change in September when we had 583 sessions on the post in just one month. Why the sudden jump?

We soon discovered we were ranking in the first spot nationally for a variety of queries related to the very topic of our blog post – “What to Eat After You Get Your Braces.”


Our traffic jumped significantly from September to December, with the exception of a small drop-off around the holidays, as you can see in the overview of our traffic pulled from Google Analytics below. We went from around 1,500 overall sessions on the site in September, to over 7,000 in December alone. To put that in perspective, that’s approximately a 380% increase in sessions on the site and 400% increase in users on the site comparing September to December.



The Move Into The Quick Answers Box

It was February 2015 when Google pulled our blog into its Quick Answers box for the query “soft foods to eat with braces.” The Quick Answer box in Google is pictured below; it’s a box you have likely come across when Googling a common question. It’s a valuable placement because it sits right at the top of the page above all other organic listings.

Typically, Google will choose to pull content that comes from high-authority pages and has well-structured content that answers the specific questions in the query. It is not uncommon for the Quick Answers box to feature content from the first organic result, but it is also not required.

In the below screenshot you will see our client’s blog linked Quick Answers box, featuring answers to the question outlined in easy-to-read bullet points.


However, as the timeline below demonstrates, even if you are able to get into the Quick Answers box, you are not guaranteed to be featured there forever. We saw gains and losses in our overall presence in the Quick Answer box in every month:

  • March 2015: We started showing up in two different Quick Answers boxes for these queries:
    • “foods to eat with braces”
    • “soft foods to eat with braces”
  • April 2015: We were pulled into four different Quick Answers boxes for these queries:
    • “foods for braces”
    • “foods to eat with braces”
    • “soft foods to eat with braces”
    • “food you can eat with braces”
  • May 2015: We began to again only show for three different Quick Answers boxes:
    • “what to eat when you get braces”
    • “food you can eat with braces”
    • “foods for braces”
  • June 2015: We maintained our three different Quick Answers boxes for the same queries as May.
  • July 2015: Exactly one year after the blog was posted, we dropped down to only showing for one Quick Answers box:
    • “foods for braces”
  • August 2015: We were showing for one query in the Quick Answers box:
    • “soft foods to eat with braces”


The Impact On Our Client’s Traffic

Despite the varying number of Quick Answers boxes we were pulled into, we did notice a large increase in traffic as a result of our newfound visibility. Looking back, it appears that we first moved into the Quick Answers box in February 2015, at which time we had 10,732 monthly sessions on the blog post alone and 12,212 sessions on the site overall. In August 2015, we had 18,741 sessions on our client’s site, 17,325 of which were to the blog post. That’s not too bad for a blog post that started with just 12 sessions.

Below is a glimpse of our traffic with “All Sessions” depicted as the orange line and blog post-only sessions as the blue line. As you can see, the blog post’s growth in traffic is parallel to the overall site’s growth in traffic as well.



What About Our Rankings?

We saw a large influx of national traffic, but that was not necessarily our main objective for this local SEO campaign. Take a look at this image depicting where our blog post was most popular from August 2014 – August 2015. The darker the blue the higher the numbers of sessions were.


As you can see, our blog post was popular in a lot of places across the U.S. but not necessarily right where our client is located. In fact, we only had about 1,500 sessions that were in the state where our client’s office is actually located.

However, our success on the blog post was not completely useless to us: we noticed a large spike in rankings alongside the popularity of the blog post. Many of the keywords we were tracking (starting in September) began to move up to the first page – if not the very first spot. Below is a chart depicting this large growth in keyword rankings.
(Source: Brightedge)


While all the national traffic we were getting wasn’t necessarily in our target market, we were rewarded with better local rankings as Google began to recognize our site’s authority.


In Conclusion

Over the course of a year, after getting pulled into Google’s Quick Answers box, we were able to increase the traffic to our client’s site and the blog post substantially, going from 12 sessions to over 17,000 sessions on the blog post alone.

So, how can you make this happen for your site? There are a lot of great resources out there with guides on how to structure your content for a better shot at getting pulled into the Quick Answers box and an endless number of queries that your content can answer.

And the best part is, as we discovered, you do not have to be a large brand to get into the Quick Answers box! Even our client’s orthodontic practice was able to make it to the top of Google by publishing their very first blog post.


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8 Ecommerce SEO Best Practices

Working at a stellar online marketing agency like Wpromote, I have created SEO campaigns for a variety of Ecommerce brands. Throughout my work, I have discovered that there are certain best practices to keep in mind in order to optimize Ecommerce brands to the fullest. Let’s explore!


  1. User-Friendly Interface

A user-friendly interface is the first step to securing a sale online! If you create a website that’s easy to navigate, users will be encouraged to stay on your website longer and access more of the products that you are trying to promote. Positive product promotion increases your potential for sales. To make your website user-friendly, first and foremost, you must organize your product pages intuitively. Conduct site structure siloing to connect pages effectively and allow the most link juice to be sent from the homepage to subpages.


Organize your product pages how users would want to see them, arranging categories in order of importance. To help with this process, utilize breadcrumbs, so it’s easy to track the customer journey through the site. Provide search capability with either a search bar or filters so that users can find the products they’re looking for quickly and efficiently. Finally, utilize internal linking to connect relevant pages to one another and make the user experience smoother.


  1. Content Marketing Strategy

To create a successful Ecommerce website, it is important to employ an eye catching content marketing strategy. Blogs and resource centers are great forums for providing users with fresh content on a regular basis. Blogs are ideal for sharing personalized content and interesting stories that relate to your brand. If you strive to be a thought leader in your industry, implement a resource center to show off articles, infographics, and other relevant materials that your audience will love and appreciate. Whether you are posting on your blog or adding to your resource center, make sure that all of the content you produce is keyword optimized in accordance with the on-site strategy of your website.

When approaching your content marketing strategy at large, don’t be afraid to incorporate influential people outside of your company. For example, guest posts on a blog from leaders in your specified industry can help users trust your brand more. Additionally, make sure to push holiday content, when appropriate. Your content marketing strategy should shift depending on what your users are searching for throughout the year. During the holidays, the priorities of users are very different than during other times of year. Adjust your keyword strategy and content marketing accordingly!


Finally, when approaching your content marketing strategy, make sure to employ strong link building tactics. Blog posts are a great way to link your website to influential bloggers within your industry, but you need to make sure that the websites you are linking to are legitimate. If you link to sites with spammy backlink profiles, Google may penalize you. Take caution!


  1. Technical Diagnostics

When optimizing an Ecommerce site, you must stay on top of technical diagnostics at all times. Using programs such as Screaming Frog and Google Webmaster Tools, you can zone in to the inner workings of your site and diagnose any site errors (such as faulty redirects, broken links, missing header tags, and improperly formatted/missing XML sitemaps). If your site is littered with these sorts of errors, search engines and users can be negatively impacted. Most importantly, the page load time can suffer. 40% of users will abandon a website if it doesn’t load quickly. It is incredibly important to prioritize page load time and make necessary improvements to enhance the user experience. Google PageSpeed Insights is an excellent tool to diagnose issues that could be causing a low page speed score. GPSI will provide specific recommendations as to what you should do to improve your page speed score, whether that be offloading JavaScript or compressing images. Additionally, GPSI will provide recommendations for both the mobile and desktop versions of your site, which is very helpful.image3


  1. On-Page Optimization

On-page optimization is a crucial element of an Ecommerce website. When approaching your on-page optimization, you should incorporate keyword research and competitor research, to create a unique space within your industry. When conducting keyword research, take into consideration search volume and competition score. The Keyword Planner by Google AdWords and the Keyword Difficulty Tool by Moz can be very helpful with this process. Additionally, make sure to optimize for unique keywords on each of your pages, so you don’t create competition for search engines within your own website. When conducting competitor research, take into consideration page authority, domain authority, site structure, and other factors. Pick up on what your competitors are doing well (to emulate), and take note of their weaknesses (to avoid).

Keyword research and competitor research aside, when conducting on-page optimization for your website, it is extremely important to be conscious of duplicate content. It is tempting to use default product descriptions (especially if you offer a wide variety of products), but Google is known to punish sites that utilize duplicate content. When the same content is put on multiple pages of a website, search engines have difficulty distinguishing the individual significance of each of the pages. Therefore, your site might not get indexed in the way you originally intended.


Create unique engaging product descriptions that will capture the attention of users in the SERPs. On point product descriptions can keep Google penalties at bay and increase the odds of user engagement. It’s a win-win! Additionally, don’t forget to optimize for the images on your site, as Ecommerce sites are visually driven. Make sure that the alt text for your images is relevant and free of unnecessary text, to present a clear image of your website to search engines.

Once you are content with your on-page meta data and content, consider schema implementation to further enhance your website in the eyes of search engines. With Ecommerce brands in particular, products should be marked up with rich snippets, for reviews. Doing so will make your product stand out amongst the crowd within the SERPs.


Finally, to stay ahead of the curve, you should test the efficiency of your on-site optimization on an ongoing basis. Conducting periodic clickthrough rate analyses and A/B testing through Google Analytics can be helpful in finding areas of improvement with keyword optimization. If you are running a pay-per-click campaign, it can also be helpful to see which keywords are converting well within that platform, and adjust your SEO strategy accordingly.


  1. Product Reviews

77% of users buy products after reading reviews. Keeping this statistic in mind, all Ecommerce brands should try to gather product reviews from happy customers. On an SEO level, more reviews equals more content. Best of all, reviews are fresh content that can draw in new users on a regular basis. An email address is necessary for many online purchases. Following a purchase, make sure to follow up with the customer and ask for a review. Worst-case scenario, the customer will say no. Best-case scenario, the customer will provide a positive review that enhances your online profile. With Ecommerce brands, it is important to show your customers that you appreciate them. When a customer writes a positive review, if possible, send them some sort of thank you message and acknowledge their contribution. If you treat your customers with respect and gratitude, they are likely to refer you to their friends, and expand your circle of potential business.



  1. Mobile Optimization

Living in the digital age, it is crucial to have a mobile-friendly website, whether you are in the Ecommerce realm or not. That being said, 50% of all Ecommerce purchases take place on mobile devices. That number cannot be ignored! When approaching mobile optimization, responsive design is best, as it can work with any device (phones, tablets, etc.). When implementing mobile optimization on your site, it is important to make the transition from the desktop version of your site to the mobile version of your site seamless. You don’t want the mobile site to be missing important information that is featured on the desktop version of the site. When assessing the mobile optimization of your website, utilize Google PageSpeed Insights to diagnose any page speed errors that may exist. With the help of this tool, you can ensure that your users are getting the best experience possible. Google, Bing, and Yahoo have been known to reward mobile-friendly sites with higher rankings. Mobile optimization isn’t an option; it is a requirement.



  1. Social Media Activity

In the digital era, social media is key for establishing brand loyalty. When optimizing your Ecommerce website, make sure to implement social media share buttons on all important pages, such as the “Contact Us” page, blog pages, and product pages. Though it takes time, establishing a strong social media presence is paramount in becoming an industry leader. Cross promotion between social media and SEO is a great way to enhance your connection to your user base. When you post blogs and articles, make sure to share them on your social media pages. Interact with users on your social media platforms. Users want to feel loved and appreciated. Consistent social media activity signals to search engines that your brand/website is valuable.



  1. Local SEO (If Applicable)

If your Ecommerce brand has brick and mortar stores, you should incorporate local SEO tactics into your overall strategy. There are a few different ways to optimize your Ecommerce website for local SEO. First, make sure to state your geographic location on prominent parts of your website. When doing so, make sure that you are consistent in how you state your business information. Google will take negative notice if even a letter is off in the spelling of your street address. You want all citations to be accurate and consistent. Second, make sure to create a Google My Business profile and keep it up to date with current information.



On your profile, make sure to name all of your locations. Yext and Whitespark are helpful tools that can help you to keep track of all of your business citations. Though creating business citations is a lengthy process, Google will take notice of your hard work. The more you can make Google aware of your business, the better. Additionally, encourage your users to write reviews on your Google My Business page. Positive reviews always help to drive positive energy to your brand, but Google will take particular notice if they pop up in this location.


Many different elements go into creating an exemplary Ecommerce website. Keeping all of these tips in mind, you can start optimizing your Ecommerce website for SEO success!




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A Smattering of SEO News – Repeated Offenses, Forgotten Rights

Hello my friends, and welcome to another Smattering of SEO News! This week was kind of fascinating for a couple of reasons. First, Europe’s Right to be Forgotten law might become worldwide at some point, while Google lays down the law on repeated webmaster guideline offenses. All that and more in this week’s roundup of SEO news! Enjoy!

Google News

  • shutterstock_160362164-760x400Google Warns Against Repeat Webmaster Guideline Offenses – Google has posted a new blog post in which they discuss how they’re going to crack down on folks who repeat spammy offenses even after submitting a reconsideration request. Apparently a lot have folks have been repeating their naughty behavior even after their reconsideration request has been accepted! Well, Google says that if they detect folks repeating the same offenses, it will be much, much harder to earn reconsideration in the future. There’s an easy way to avoid this, my friends: Don’t do things that violate Google’s Webmaster guidelines. It’s just that simple, and it’s never worth it in the long run.
  • Right To Be Forgotten Might Go Worldwide After Google Loses Appeal In European Court – A French regulatory commission has rejected Google’s appeal to not apply the European Union’s “Right to be Forgotten” rules worldwide, meaning that if Google doesn’t comply with the ruling, they could face fines and further court action. While the commission still only intends requests to be inside of Europe, they want the results of the requests to be allowed worldwide. Google has been very wary to censor information, and would rather individual countries mandate how information is presented to their residents, so we can likely expect further court battles over this one.
  • Illyes: Google Only Has A Desktop Index – This is less “news” and more “Huh, that’s interesting.” A while back, Google’s Gary Illyes mentioned that they were working on a mobile site index, obviously specifically tailored for mobile-friendly websites. Apparently that’s either not happening at all now, or just not any time soon, as Mr. Illyes recently said on Twitter,  “we only have a ‘desktop index.’” One wonders what happened to the mobile-friendly index.


  • Study: YouTube Monetizes Views From Robots And Humans – According to a study by European researchers from a variety of firms such as NEC Labs Europe and IMDEA Networks Institute, YouTube still charges advertisers whether videos are viewed by humans or search engine spiders. Apparently, even though YouTube can identify 83 percent of the bots they were sent by researchers, they still charged advertising companies for them 91 percent of the time. That sounds a bit fraudulent to me. Google said they’d be contacting the researchers to discuss their findings.

Other Newsduck-duck-go-logo-full-1920-800x450

  • DuckDuckGo To Be Default Search Engine Of AdBlock Browser – I had no idea there was an AdBlock Browser coming out specifically for Android and iOS devices, but apparently it’s an actual thing. Now it’s been announced that privacy-friendly search engine DuckDuckGo will be the default search engine for this new kid on the browser block. It makes perfect sense really. DuckDuckGo is also working with the Electronic Frontier Foundation on new “Do Not Track” standards for even further increased privacy. Will people take to all this? That remains to be seen, but I love that it’s happening at all.
  • Twitter Going HTTPS On New Links Starting October FirstTwitter is the latest large website to announce they’re making the move to go HTTPS. They claim that, for tracking purposes, you’ll only see “a 10% drop in traffic attribution from Twitter as a result of this security change.” Still, with more and more websites going HTTPS, it’s getting more and more difficult to gather data from these sources. Again, this is only on new links as of 10/1/15. Existing links won’t be affected, apparently.