Tag Archives: seo

A Brief History of Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is the art and science of making web pages attractive to internet search engines. Some interne t businesses consider search engine optimization to be the subset of search engine marketing.

In the middle of the 1990s webmasters and search engine content providers started optimizing websites. At the time, all the webmasters had to do was provide a URL to a search engine and a web crawler would be sent from the search engine. The web crawler would extract link from the webpage and use the information to index the page by downloading the page and then storing it on the search engines server. Once the page was stored on the search engines server a second program, called an indexer, extracted additional information from the webpage, and determines the weight of specific words. When this was complete the page was ranked.

It didn’t take very long for people to understand the importance of being highly ranked.

In the beginning search engines used search algorithms that webmasters provided about the web pages. It didn’t take webmasters very long to start abusing the system requiring search engines to develop a more sophisticated form of search engine optimization. The search engines developed a system that considered several factors; domain name, text within the title, URL directories, term frequency, HTML tags, on page key word proximity, Alt attributes for images, on page keyword adjacency, text within NOFRAMES tags, web content development, sitemaps, and on page keyword sequence.

Google developed a new concept of evaluating internet web pages called PageRank. PageRank weighs a web page’s quantity and quality based on the pages incoming links. This method of search engine optimization was so successful that Google quickly began to enjoy successful word of mouth and consistent praise.

To help discourage abuse by webmasters, several internet search engines, such as Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Ask.com, will not disclose the algorithms they use when ranking web pages. The signals used today in search engine optimization typically are; keywords in the title, link popularity, keywords in links pointing to the page, PageRank (Google), Keywords that appear in the visible text, links from on page to the inner pages, and placing punch line at the top of the page.

For the most part registering a webpage/website on a search engine is a simple task. All Google requires is a link from a site already indexed and the web crawlers will visit the site and begin to spider its contents. Normally a few days after registering on the search engine the main search engine spiders will begin to index the website.

Some search engines will guarantee spidering and indexing for a small fee. These search engines do not guarantee specific ranking. Webmaster’s who do not want web crawlers to index certain files and directories use a standard robots.txt file. This file is located in the root directory. Occasionally a web crawler will still crawl a page even if the webmaster has indicated he does not wish the page indexed.

10 Things to Expect from Your SEO Copywriter

From the perspective of a business owner, webmaster, or marketing manager, the change exhibited by the Internet is profoundly exciting, yet profoundly disturbing. The information (and misinformation and disinformation) it offers, the business benefits it promises, and the rules it is governed by change at such a rapid rate that it’s almost impossible to keep up.

These changes have led to a growing appreciation of the value of quality web copy. This appreciation has, in turn, led to an influx of opportunistic copywriters promoting themselves as website copywriters or SEO copywriters. Do not get me wrong, there are quite a few excellent SEO copywriters out there, and you should shop around. The purpose of this article is not to scare you; it is to help you find the SEO copywriter who’ll deliver honest service and excellent results.

So, with that in mind, take a look at the following ten tips. These are the things you have a right to expect from anyone wearing a name badge that reads website copywriter, SEO copywriter, internet copywriter, or web copywriter (See also 10 Things to Expect From Your Website Copywriter and How to Make the Most of Your Website Copywriter.)

1) An understanding of SEO

Obviously, your SEO copywriter must have a solid understanding of the essentials of Search Engine Optimization. They must know that ranking is essentially the result of a website’s relevance (i.e. keywords) and importance (i.e. inbound links). There are a whole lot of other factors involved, but if your SEO copywriter does not understand these two basics, you should look elsewhere. If you’d like to ensure your SEO copywriter knows a little more than just the basics, take a look at SEO for CEOs, Writing SEO Copy, SEO Trade Secrets, Web Copy – How Much is Enough?, and How to Top Google by Writing Articles for some clues as to what you might like to ask in order to assess their knowledge.

2) Proven experience

The proof is, as they say, in the pudding. It’s not enough that your SEO copywriter can talk the talk; they must also be able to walk the walk. Ask to see some examples of websites for which they have obtained some good rankings. Note that it may be difficult to find an SEO copywriter who has worked on both keywords and link generation, so if you find one who has, and they write well, snap em up! They will have a very broad and useful working knowledge of search engines.

3) An understanding of how many keywords to use

You don’t want to fill every page up with every keyword you’re targeting. This simply dilutes your site’s relevance and reduces readability. Ask your SEO copywriter how many keywords they would recommend targeting on each page. Hopefully, they will suggest no more than 3, preferably 2. By targeting 2 keyword phrases per page, you can use them a lot without impacting readability.

4) Clear agreement on who will provide keywords

Someone needs to perform a keyword analysis to figure out what words you should be trying to rank highly for. Your SEO copywriter should be able to do this for you, but its quite often more cost-effective if someone a little closer to the business does it. Either way, make sure your agreement with your SEO copywriter makes it noticeably clear who is performing this task. Do not assume the SEO copywriter is going to do it, because they may assume, you’re going to do it, and then you will blow your budget.

5) Keywords or keyword phrases

Expect your SEO copywriter to offer some advice regarding how specific you should be with your keywords. In most industries, the competition for keywords is so fierce that you will be forced to target specific keywords in order to rank at least at the outset. For instance, if you are in IT, you probably would not start out by targeting the keyword IT. The competition is immense (at the time of writing, there were approx. 3,240,000,000 results for this search in Google.com) and the IT giants already dominate the search engines for this keyword. Instead, try using a more specific keyword phrase like IT infrastructure consulting New York (at the time of writing, there were only around 4,000,000 results for this search in Google.com). The other benefit to targeting more specific keyword phrases is that you will generate more relevant leads.

6) Agree on word count per page

Always make sure your SEO copywriter gives you an indication of the number of words they expect to write per web page. While its necessary to have a decent body of words on most of your web pages, you certainly should not have too many. What too many is all depends on your industry, the objective of the page, and the needs of your audience. It is always a delicate balance, but it’s certainly possible to rank highly with only 100-200 words per page. So, do not be fooled into paying for copy you do not need!

7) Density targets & measure

SEO of a web page is NOT guess-work. A good SEO copywriter will talk about density measures. This is a measure of the number of times the keyword phrase appears on the page. Its expressed as a percentage of the total word count of the page. So, if your page has 200 words, and your keyword phrase appears 10 times, its density is 5%. As a rule of thumb, your SEO copywriter should be aiming for a density of approximately 5% for your primary keyword phrase and 3-5% for your secondary keyword phrase. If your density measures are much higher than this, readability will be reduced, and you will risk being perceived as spam by the search engines. Make sure your SEO copywriter understands keyword density, is prepared to state the target density for each keyword phrase and is also happy to be measured by that standard (should you decide to measure).

8) Where to place keywords

The question of keyword placement has been the subject of much debate amongst SEO copywriters. While it is still unclear how much impact placement has, there is a consensus that it has SOME impact. Be sure that your copywriter is aware of this impact. Popular opinion has it that keywords are more effective if they appear in headings, bolded text, links, and generally toward the beginning of the page.

9) Some comment on structure & links

Websites are generally better indexed by search engines if their spiders can traverse the entire site using text links. This means your SEO copywriter should be linking each page to every other page using text links. If your site is complex, this may be impractical, so your SEO copywriter will need to create a hierarchical structure for your site. First, they should break your subject material down into categories. Then for each category, they should write a summary page. These summary pages should be accessible from higher level pages via text links. They should also be accessible from each other. Each summary page should link  using text links  to a number of pages discussing the finer details of the category. And each detail page in a particular category should link to every other detail page in that category (once again, using text links). This way the spiders can travel from the top of your hierarchy to the bottom, and from left to right across any level.

10) Don’t believe grand promises

SEO copywriters can play a significant role in increasing your search engine ranking. But they can’t do it overnight. By optimizing your site for your target keyword phrases, an SEO copywriter is simply declaring the relevance of your site. If you engage an SEO copywriter to write helpful articles containing a byline with a link back to your site, you can then submit these articles for publication on the Internet, and this will steadily increase your ranking. But if an SEO copywriter tells you they can dramatically increase your ranking in a matter of hours or days, be wary. NOTE: Your SEO copywriter should be able to submit your articles to various submit sites on the Internet. These sites are closely watched by hundreds of thousands of publishers of e-newsletters and article pages from all around the world. High quality articles are quickly snapped up and published prolifically. And each time your article is published, you have got another link back to your site, thus increasing the importance of your site (to the search engines). If you would like to submit your own articles, your SEO copywriter should be able to sell you a list of 50 or more submit sites for as little as USD$99.


An SEO copywriter is a valuable addition to your marketing function. But you need to make sure you choose wisely. When you know what questions to ask, the battle is half won.

Google AdWords – 5 Steps to Profit from Instantly

If you have never really considered running your own home business before, you should. There is no better way to make a living than working for one’s own account. You set your own hours.

You work whenever you want. You can travel and vacation whenever you want.

Therefore, here are five killer steps to profit from Google AdWords that you will not find in any e-book, and that any AdWords expert will reveal to you. Apply these to your online business and succeed fast:

1. Target profitable two tiers or residual income niche


2. Use right tools for your Google AdWords keyword research.

3. Purchase a domain name and create a landing page for

    each niche product that you promote with AdWords.

4. Capture email addresses of your landing page visitors.

5. Follow up with your subscribers and profit by pre-

    selling your niche products. Plus, back end sell.





First, the products, or services that you promote with Google AdWords must target niches where people have lots of money to spend.

Second, you can make much more money if you advertise two tier or residual income products.

Two-tier programs reward you for signing up affiliates. This way you earn commissions not only on your own sales, you earn commissions on their sales too.

A good example of residual income services are web hosting affiliate programs where you can profit from your sales lifelong!





First, did you know that you could spy on your competitors’ keywords by using an amazing tool called GoogSpy?


Just enter a domain name of your direct competitor and see on which keywords they are bidding. Just this little known secret could make your AdWords profits soar.

Moreover, the best: It is FREE!

Second, since the competition in the pay per click marketing is fierce never use only free keyword research tools like Overture’s Keyword Selector Tool.

You will miss many profitable keywords if you do so. To succeed one of the best tools that work is Click Ad Equalizer.

This software literally shows you exactly what affiliate programs you should sign up and exactly with which keywords to sell!

Click Ad Equalizer does all of the work for you by finding the most profitable keywords and products in minutes and delivers the cost per click on cheaper search engines!





If you don’t have your own web site for each niche product or service that you advertise via ppc search engines, you are leaving money on the table. Read on to discover why…





Yes, you can promote affiliate links directly with Google AdWords. However, this way you will lose many prospects that you could contact later and making money.


When you promote an affiliate link, you drive traffic directly to the affiliate’s web site. If a visitor doesn’t purchase the product immediately, chances are he or she will never purchase it again. Of course, the best affiliate programs place a cookie on their prospects’ browsers. In this case, you still are paid if your prospect returns to your affiliate’s site. That is why it is important to select the best affiliate program from the beginning.

If you can achieve 1% visitor to sales conversion ratio, (it means 1 sale from 100 visitors) with Google AdWords – you have a winner product!

Now, if you have a simple subscription form on your landing page and you have a great web copy encouraging your visitors to subscribe to your newsletter or an e-mail course, you will enjoy not 1% but 20 – 30% visitor to subscriber conversion ratio when driving targeted traffic to your web site with Google AdWords. Therefore, when you capture email addresses, you build a list. Moreover, as you know – the money is in the list!





This step is where the real profit is made. Simply, create quality targeted content in your newsletter or course, and later follow up with your prospects using autoresponders.

It is said that the products and services are sold after 7 – 9 follow up messages. Besides, you can contact your subscribers anytime later as new quality products hit your targeted niche market.

Therefore, you need a simple action plan that should help you boost your Google AdWords profits. As you can see, without a web site you cannot profit as much as you could by creating a simple one-page web site.

How to Use Google AdWords to Drive Traffic to your Website

Highly targeted traffic is one of the most important entities in the internet universe. Any website owner or administrator recognizes the importance of driving traffic to a website. The success of any website does not rely entirely on the site itself. You may have a terrific idea for a website, offer an excellent product or service, or have an exceptionally designed site with superb content, but if you do not use the right strategies to advertise, your site would not attract the high traffic you need. Attracting targeted traffic is a task that should be taken seriously for any site to succeed or make a profit. Fortunately, there are internet-marketing tools that help the website marketer to drive traffic to his website. One of the most significant, and effective, of these tools is Google’s AdWords. AdWords is one of Google’s advertising services.

How does Google AdWords work? Google is the largest search engine on the web receiving over 200 million queries each day through its various services. As Google is the most popular search engine today, webmasters are keen on having their websites achieve a higher ranking in the search engine results it provides. A high ranking can mean high traffic for that website. The search engine results page is also a great venue for advertisers to promote a product or service through ads and links. Consequently, Google launched its AdWords service, as a way for businesses to advertise products and services to a targeted audience. Google Adwords can guarantee instant traffic. In this service, Google displays relevant text-based ads within its search engine results page termed as “Sponsored Links”. Whenever a keyword is searched on, these relevant links appear in a separate section giving excellent exposure to the sites listed.

How do you use Google AdWords? First, you must open an account with the Google AdWords Service. Then, you should indicate your target language and country. This is important because you would not want your products advertised in countries where your product or service cannot be sold. Afterwards, you should now create an ad group. This involves designing the ad, selecting keywords and determining maximum cost per click that you are willing to spend and defining bid amounts. The most important step in creating a successful AdWords campaign is selecting an effective title tag that will catch the attention of your target audience. The title tag, generally a short phrase, is the most important part of your AdWords campaign so make sure that it is attractive and catchy. You should describe the website clearly and accurately. The most effective advertising conveys a clear message to the target audience. With a clear message, you will be attracting qualified leads, which can eventually convert to sale. Thus, the importance of selecting the right keywords cannot be overemphasized.

There are keyword variations you can adapt to reach more prospects. Using these varieties, misspellings and derivatives can help increase the chance of your ads being served. Broad match is targeting keywords in a loosely defined manner. Here, the ads appear based on the keywords that have been queried by other users as opposed to exact match, which calls for the keyword to match the query exactly. Meanwhile, a keyword phrase set to phrase match will only appear when the exact phrase is searched on. A negative keyword is helpful in filtering unrelated pages.

After you have decided on what title tag to use in your ad, you must now define a budget in order to maximize exposure. Google AdWords recommend a daily budget for each campaign. However, you should determine a budget that is suitable and affordable. You should also determine the maximum cost per click. Google will offer a recommended cost per click, but you do not have to stick with this. Usually, a number one position is not ideal as it can also attract unwanted traffic and useless clicks. A number two position is more preferred as it can filter useless clicks and provide traffic with a higher conversion rate.

To conclude, Google AdWords is an excellent strategy and tool in giving your site maximum exposure. Nevertheless, Google AdWords should not be your sole advertising campaign. It will help you find the all-important, highly targeted traffic you need.

Seven Ways Writing Articles Can Help Your Business

In today’s highly competitive internet universe, the importance of attracting highly targeted traffic to your website cannot be overemphasized. Routing web traffic to your site can be your only means of survival, especially in the cutthroat world of ecommerce. Getting a high search engine ranking can be very difficult. Fortunately, there is plethora of website promotion strategies you can use to drive traffic to your website.

There is a wide variety of strategies you can adapt, from paid advertising to affiliate marketing. However, most of these techniques require payment. Nevertheless, there are ways to promote your website and increase your web traffic without spending anything. Writing articles is one of the best web site promotion strategies you can use, and they can be very effective. How, you may ask, can writing articles help improve your web traffic? Here are the top seven ways in which it can help explode your business.

1.Reach more people

When you write good articles, it would be a shame not to share them with other people. You can post your articles in your website or you can submit them to other sites such as e-zines and online publishers. By submitting your articles to these sites, you give exposure not only to your ideas but also to your website. Simply include a link back to your site or include your information in the resource box. With this, you get exposure and free advertising as well. Submit your articles to popular e-zines and take advantage of their popularity. Other sites who find your article relevant may also link back to you. Thus, you increase your link popularity, which is one of the most important strategies in the internet world. Remember that most people are looking for information online and by filling this need with your quality article; you may reap the benefit of more exposure and higher web traffic.

2.Free Advertising

Submitting your articles to other websites presents an opportunity to advertise your website without paying exorbitant fees. Although you should avoid marketing language in your articles and make it informative and useful to your readers, you can always include your site’s link in the resource box. In addition, by making your article relevant and helpful to your readers, you are making a good impression for your website, which could ultimately lead to a visit and hopefully a purchase. Good quality content in an article is far better and more effective than a few lines of ad space. You have a very special opportunity to presell your product or service to your prospective customer.

3.Gain High Search Engine Ranking

Create a new web page for your article in your website. Optimize your article to make it search-engine friendly. Use top-ranked keywords and Meta tags that can give your website a high search engine ranking. As soon as you upload your new webpage to your server, search engines will spider through it and you can gain an increase in search engine ranking. Remember that search engine optimized content is a very effective strategy to gain a high ranking in search results.

4.Increases Link Popularity

Instead of looking for other sites who would want to establish reciprocal links with your site, you can simply submit an article to other sites. Just do not forget to include a link to your site in your resource box. When these websites pick up and publishes your article, you automatically get a link partner. Try to get as many link partners as you can. Link popularity is one of the factors used by search engines in determining search engine rankings. Make your article especially useful and appealing, so that more websites will be encouraged to publish it.

5.Optimizes your site for improved search engine ranking

By making your site keyword rich, you can greatly improve the search engine ranking of your site. Remember that keyword density is one of the most important factors that search engines use when determining the search engine ranking of site. However, you should always provide relevant, useful and pertinent information. Avoid the temptation of overusing keywords just to gain a high ranking as this may turn off most web surfers. Relevance and quality is still the most important things to consider when writing articles and it will be doubly useful to your site if you make these articles search-engine optimized.

6.Establishes a Good Impression and Reputation

By writing excellent, original and relevant articles, you not only give your site exposure, you are also creating a good impression on your prospects. Encourage more people to visit your site and do business with you by establishing an impressive reputation through your articles. Be an expert in the field and your will ultimately gain more customers eager to do business with you.

7.Enhances your credibility through references and testimonies

Certainly, your articles are going to receive feedbacks and testimonies when you publish them in e-zines and free article sites. Record these positive feedbacks and comments and use them as promotional material in your website or in any of your advertising efforts. Your credibility will be greatly enhanced by these feedbacks, as it will create a good impression on your prospects as well as your existing customers. In this highly competitive world, excellent credibility and trust may be the only things you need to attract new customers or make loyal patrons out of your existing customers. Original, relevant, useful and pertinent articles are important tools you should utilize to improve and explode your business.

The 7 Simple SEO Mistakes That Are Killing Your Content Marketing Strategy

High-quality, informative content is one of the most important success factors in B2B marketing.

In fact, research shows that 89% of B2B marketers are using content as a main channel in their marketing strategy. With that said, just 19% rate their organization’s efforts as successful and only 41% are clear on what an effective or successful content marketing strategy even looks like.

Though there is indeed an impressive growth in the use of content as an essential tool in their marketing strategy, B2B companies and marketers are still making SEO mistakes that are simply killing their content quality and marketing efforts. This post will teach you the core SEO mistakes that are killing your content strategy.

Although they are usually treated separately, content marketing and SEO goes together like cereals and milk. SEO is all about keywords, backlinks and great onsite optimization.

The best way to get backlinks is by publishing killer content, and letting the masses link back to it.

Now that we’ve established the connection between B2B content marketing and SEO, we can start laying down the SEO mistakes that are killing your content marketing strategy:

  1. Creating short content: Google loves long, in depth, informative content that satisfies the searchers needs. Generally, the more in-depth the content is, the more likely it solves the searcher’s intent or question. As opposed to that, what Google hates the most is when searchers click a link on a SERP, sees that it’s not what they were looking for, and immediately bounces off by hitting the back button – this is called Pogo Sticking.


  • This doesn’t mean you should be writing long for the sake of long (it also doesn’t grant you permission to be boring or paste large batches of text that are unscannable and tiring, but more on that later on). Do however make sure your content is comprehensive enough to answer searchers’ questions. A good strategy would be to determine the main keyword phrase and google it, to see how long the content in the 3 top SERPs is and make sure yours is longer, more concise and more in-depth. Make sure to add something to that content that others didn’t to make it more valuable to the readers (and the search engines).


  • Using too long paragraphs: Without refuting the above, a good way to lose your reader’s attention, is using long paragraphs. Most people SCAN, not read. Short paragraphs encourage reading by being easier on the eyes and are easier to understand


  • Not making content breaks: In the age of smartphones, the average reader’s attention span became even shorter than that of a goldfish. The importance of recapturing the reader’s attention continuously throughout an article became even bigger. Breaking up the text, using subheads, lists and images,


  1. Misspellings in content: According to Google’s Matt Cutts, while misspellings are not used as a direct signal in Google’s (over 200 different) rating factors, “reputable sites does tend to spell better than sites with low page rank”. While probably not hurting your ranking, misspellings sure can hurt your credibility in the eyes of the readers and chances of getting linked to.


  1. Not doing optimization: Your content is part of your website. Like the latter, every single piece of content should be optimized both for search engines and readers. You can, and should, optimize your content’s meta information like you do for your site. Write unique meta titles and descriptions for each of your content. Same goes for optimizing images and using CTAs. This will increase visibility on SERP and shareability on social networks.



  1. Not creating outbound links: The most unfortunate misconception in the SEO industry, is that a page/site will lose Authority/Page Rank/Trust if directing users to external sites with outbound links, this is utter BS. If your content is only “me talking” and does not link to other content, why would readers and search engines find it credible and authoritative enough to link to you (and rank you higher)? Content that is more well-researched usually cite sources by linking to it. Google also recognizes this as a signal for that site/page credibility and users will more likely trust and share (and link to) this content.


  1. Not promoting your content: Your content being better than anyone else’s doesn’t mean it will instantly go viral and reach No. 1 ranking on SERPs. Though it’s a more cost-effective way of promoting your content, a great (white hat) SEO strategy takes time. Today, marketers can’t afford to neglect any type of owned, paid or earned media in their strategy. Combining the three will help you attract, convert, nurture and close leads. Find what mix works for you by focusing on your overall marketing goals. Each goal will require a different combination of media, finding the right mix and constantly evaluating and measuring it against set KPIs will help you reach your marketing goals.


Ensure your content marketing success by applying these SEO techniques in its implementation. Implementing these techniques properly will lower your marketing costs and help boost the results of your content marketing efforts.

If you found this useful, it might interest you to learn how to leverage your marketing efforts by implementing and inbound marketing strategy. Download our How to create an effective inbound marketing strategy guide and learn all about it.
Read more at http://www.business2community.com/seo/7-simple-seo-mistakes-killing-content-marketing-strategy-01828816#jU34245P54l4i2kU.99


10 Tips to Help Shape Your SEO Strategy

Think back to Q4, 2016 – you and your team are sat around a conference table to review the emerging trends and technologies from the past year as you develop your 2017 strategy.

But even with your 2017 digital strategy in hand, it’s impossible to take into account how fast SEO trends and practices evolve. Things like customer usage and expectations – not to mention the roll out of Google’s master plan for the mobile web – are always changing, meaning agencies and companies must be agile and forward thinking in their 2017 approach to SEO.

With that in mind, I’ve put together a top ten list of tips to keep in mind throughout the year:

1. Embrace the evolution of SEO

The relationship between technical SEO, content marketing and link building is widely debated in terms of what strategies and how they should work together – or not. I’ve spoken about the future of SEO in the past, but to explain it simply, because SEO makes demands and content marketing fulfils those demands, a strategy that incorporates both makes for a perfect fit. The evolution of SEO doesn’t mean agencies aren’t doing traditional (or technical) SEO anymore, but that the ways in which we get links to our client’s site has changed.

A lot of what Content Marketing for SEO purposes involves is finding ways in which to get other websites to hyperlink to client’s websites. In theory, the more votes or links they have, the higher rankings they’ll get. This is still important because how Google ranks your SEO is based on the number of links you have and the quality of those links.

Many companies will hire an in-house team to look after the technical SEO, but often what those teams lack are resources to come up with ideas for content, someone who can design, write, build, implement these changes, and promote the content through PR. So, really, it’s all borne out of SEO – content for SEO purposes, link building for SEO purposes and PR for SEO purposes.

In short, your SEO campaign will fail unless you integrate content marketing and conversely, your content marketing campaign will fail unless you integrate SEO. At the moment, businesses are looking at SEO, but more forward thinking businesses are focusing on getting their content in front of the right audience for a very low cost. The link should just be an added value.

2. Focus more on building an API and less on your website

Especially this year and beyond, you need to focus on developing an API to serve your content across a multitude of screens and can provide the same experience across a number of devices, rather than focusing solely on your website.

To give you an idea of the power of APIs, MusixMatch, the world’s largest provider of lyrics, their app and website is all powered by the same API. Because the website talks to the API and the app talks to the same API to source all of its content, making updates across channels a streamlined process.

Because of this, brands are being advised to focus less on their website and more on developing an API. Unfortunately, many of companies aren’t doing this either because it’s just now known about or it’s perceived as too difficult an undertaking in the beginning. But the future of SEO isn’t your website, so investing the resources upfront to make this switch will put you in a much better position for the year ahead.


3. Embrace open data and what it can do for your technical SEO

This past summer, I wrote about the future of technical SEO, where I talk about how we’ll see a pivotal shift in technical SEO over the next few years from functioning as a performance auditor for websites to focusing their efforts on open data strategies. In other words, how brands can use their data to secure organic visibility across a wide range of apps, platforms and devices.

Because of this, companies should be working to ensure their apps are optimised as Google is pushing more traffic through open data. The future of this could mean optimising your apps via an API to allow a search engine to crawl your app or other platforms in the same way that Facebook gets its information from other websites or APIs. To utilise open data successfully, you’ll need to make sure to code your website or app in a way that simply points out to a search engine things like your business address, videos and reviews. Which leads me to my next point…

4. Find the beauty in simplicity

I’ve worked with many clients that have a fantastic website in terms of UX or they have thought a lot about their brand, but what they’ve forgotten is the common sense element of it. For example, they haven’t thought about how people actually describe what their product is and how they search for it online. Sometimes companies can get quite into their own specific language, but fundamentally a cup is a cup, at least when it comes to how people search online. While bespoke vocabulary can work for platforms like TV and print publications, you can’t call a cup an innovative circle solution on your website. It is what it says on the tin and sometimes companies that are very established, well respected brands, risk going too far with their own language.

Because while many brands spend quite a bit of creative resources and time creating a bespoke vocabulary for what they do and who they are, SEO is lay speak. It’s all about the average person who searches for your products service, so creating a simplified vocabulary on your mobile apps and website is imperative to ensure you’re optimising your SEO. For example, if an estate agent company that specialised in luxury property abroad uses their own vocabulary e.g. ‘investments beyond borders’ for what they do and who they are, while this may be good for branding purposes, if you were to cover the picture of properties on their website you would have no understanding of what they do, and neither will the search engines that you’re trying to rank higher on.

5. Accept that sometimes the sequel is better than the original

I could go into the history of HTTP/1 and how its successor HTTP/2 saved the day, but long story short HTTP/2 makes websites “naturally” faster which makes for much better user experience. Implementing HTTP/2 if you are building new site is a no brainer. If your site is already up and running, you should be checking whether any of your existing speed optimisation is not going to stand in the way. It’s quite a simple process to make the switch, but only about 11.5% of brands are adopting this protocol as of writing.

HTTP/2 can potentially up to double the speed of your websites loading time, along with being better suited to multitasking and efficiency. While there are no direct benefits to your SEO by using HTTP/2, increasing your loading speed will improve user experience, and through that improved user experience are an important signal for Google’s algorithm that your website means business. And as such Google might find it worthy of ranking boost.


6. Optimize your apps

There are newer elements of technical SEO which don’t involve your website, and it’s now possible to optimize an app like you would a website. App optimization includes the process of ranking highly in an app store’s search results and top charts rankings. Ranking higher in search results and top charts rankings will drive more downloads for an app. This ties in nicely with the capabilities of APIs, because by ensuring you’re optimizing your apps you’ll be able to more effectively utilize your API.

This is a very new, cutting edge process, but something that will definitely impact SEO strategies in the future due to the shift from website to mobile apps as user’s primary mode of researching, shopping and purchasing consumer goods.

7. Recruit Siri and Cortana for the job

No new news here, but still worth pointing out. Voice search queries have doubled from last year, and while the percentages may stay the same (20%) the volume is estimated to increase.

Our generation is the first one which openly prefers texting to calling. This can be seen as preference to deal with our problems and needs on our own, without the necessity to interact with other people: we prefer online shopping, order contractors and taxis through an app. We want to be saved the hassle of having to do the small talk, or negotiating with an actual human being. It saves time and makes our lives more comfortable.

The way in which users access information and content is changing, and you should be prepping your app for voice search. Check out Google’s has published guides on how to mark-up content of apps to help Google Assistant better understand and even execute purpose of your apps.

8. Understand your personas to help develop content strategically

This might seem like a no brainer, but a lot of what makes a successful SEO strategy is understanding your audience and how they consume information. Your company has worked hard to create a business proposition and you want to ensure you’re reaching the right audiences based on their online and mobile habits.

Building personas for the purposes of SEO helps companies understand who these people are and if they were going to buy their product, what would they search for online. From there you can develop a strategy of different keywords that those personas would search for and then you can look to see where gaps are on your website, and develop content that is specifically tailored to these personas.

9. Your personas may be different, but their attention span is not

According to a Nielsen Norman study, during an average website visit, readers only have time to read 28% of the content, skimming the rest and only focusing on paragraphs that target their search interests. While long pages liberally scattered with organic keywords might bump you up the search rankings, it’s no longer what the audience wants to read (outside of industry analysis data pieces).

If readers are spending such a minimal amount of time on your page, your job as an SEO specialist is done, since you’ve got them to the site. But your copywriting ability and your marketing skills are lacking – you’re not turning these readers into leads.

Embrace this minimalistic approach to your SEO by to improve user engagement. If you’re careful, you can ensure that all your most important points follow this design, to capture your “scanner’s” interest, and turn them into a reader. This requires good information architecture – ensuring your information is laid out in a readily accessible form. Good sub-titles go a long way, and leading your paragraphs with your most important point will catch the eye and drag the brain in.

10. Whatever your strategy, make sure it’s flexible

The shift from traditional commerce, communication and marketing to this digitally focused, more streamlined approach is a concern in the same way that people were concerned about the internet and people going to the store and shopping online. But these shifts in SEO are nothing more than a change in consumer behaviour that we as a business have to get used to. People prefer using mobile devices because they tend to be faster, easier to use, and provide a more consistent experience. Less and less people are going to be going on their website to figure out who they are and interact with their brands, and we need to accept that.

For the past 10 years, companies have seen the website as their home with everything pointing to the website. No one actually needs to go to the site (and no one really wants to). People will interact with a brand in different ways. Brands should think of themselves as entities that are visible across loads of different channels at once, rather than pushing everyone to one page. From a company’s point of view, it’s much more advantageous to get all of their customers to go to one place, because they can track it, they can build a community around it, but I think with websites becoming less and less relevant, 2017 will be more about diversifying how you communicate your business rather than focusing on one platform like a website.
Read more at http://www.business2community.com/seo/10-tips-help-shape-seo-strategy-01772612#9Ob1zMLBBUOIkWzZ.99

If Content Is King, Then SEO Is the Crown

You’re probably familiar with the phrase “content is king”. It is the mantra of digital marketers and online businesses. Do you really know why content is king, though? How does it relate to your SEO strategy?

Let’s take a deeper dive into the reasons you need to make sure your content strategy is in sync with your SEO strategy.

Why Is Content King?

The reason content is king is that it acts as the foundation for all information about your company or products. This is how you showcase your brand and tell your unique story. Because people search for information about your products or services, you need to make sure your content is optimized for organic search. Make sure your SEO strategy shines like a crown jewel to get you noticed.

How Do You Make Your SEO Shine?

Making the text on your website keyword-rich is probably something you’re already doing. If not, then put this on the top of your SEO checklist. By writing copy using keywords and phrases that are frequently searched for on Google (GOOG) and other search engines, you will quickly boost your search results.

Do your homework to find the relevant keywords you need to use in your copy. Get into the mind of your target demographic and test the best terms to use. Spend a little time becoming familiar with tools like Google Analytics or SEMrush to help you select the best keywords.

Writing copy is a creative endeavor, and writers often want their words to read well, be a compelling narrative, and convey specific ideas. The flip side to writing SEO-friendly copy is also knowing how to skillfully insert keywords and phrases without diminishing the impact of the message. No one likes to read text that’s so stuffed with keywords that it doesn’t make sense.

If you hire a copywriter, make sure they understand the fundamentals of SEO. Truly talented writers will also be able to do keyword research, optimize headers, and use tools like Google Trends to tap into hot topics.

Why SEO Experts Must Understand Good Content

A quality SEO expert knows that copy which is well-written is valuable for the reader. This means visitors will spend more time on the page, be more engaged, and are more likely to perform a conversion.

Good keyword optimization might bring readers in, but it is the well-written content which makes them stay. If you bring on an SEO strategist, make sure they also understand the importance of quality content so they don’t clash with your writer.

How Do You know if Your Content is Worthy of Wearing a SEO Crown?

Key performance indicators—KPIs—should be determined so you can measure the success of your content and SEO strategy. For example, your bounce rate measures how frequently visitors land on just one page of your website and then leave. Google and other search engines rewards websites with a low bounce rate.

Other KPIs to use when measuring your content and SEO strategy include: average session time and time spent on a page. The average session time evaluates how much time people spend on your entire site. If they are engaged by your content, they will explore and click around to other pages. Track this metric over time to see if it goes up as you step up your content and SEO game.

The time spent on page, especially pages that have been optimized compared to those that haven’t been, will give you a good idea if you are on the right track, too. They longer they are on a single page, the better that page’s content must be.

Content and SEO are not “one time” things that you do and then consider the task done. On the contrary, they are long-term strategies that should have goals. A good data analyst or marketer will be able to analyze your trajectory over time and determine strategies to use in the future. If done right, you will earn more and more organic traffic over time, and that means more conversions and customers.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer



2016 was a coming-of-age year for Baidu SEO; why you should invest in 2017

Marketers have long considered organic search a lost cause on Baidu due to the abundance of ads, but new laws in China are changing the game. Contributor Hermes Ma discusses the state of Baidu SEO and provides recommendations for marketers looking to break into the market.

Recently, I attended Baidu’s annual search conference for agency partners in Beijing. One of the premier search events in China for SEO professionals, the conference was hosted by engineers from Baidu’s core search and Webmaster Tools teams.

The agenda covered Baidu’s eco-empowerment strategy, its Mobile Instant Page (MIP) project and a wrap-up of the 2016 algorithm updates. The event made it clear to me that 2016 was the year Baidu SEO came into its own. If you aren’t already investing in Baidu SEO, 2017 is your year to start.

The eco-empowerment

The concept of eco-empowerment was introduced by Dai Tan, Baidu’s Chief Architect of Search. With search, Baidu wants every practitioner in the internet ecosystem to have better efficiencies in production, execution and monetization. In order to fulfill eco-empowerment, Baidu needs to provide relevant technology and form a mechanism for the ecosystem, supported by two pillars: page load speed and HTTPS.

Every half-second delay in page loading will cost you 3 percent of user visits. This is why Baidu moved quickly to follow Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) feature with the MIP project (Chinese language). At the same time, security is a critical factor to an engine’s reputation in a market where site hijacks, spams and PII data leaks are rampant. In May 2015, Baidu launched Not Set, which is its own version of Not Provided.

The main accomplishment in the mechanism of Baidu Search is in the release of Spider 3.0 (Chinese language), which was launched in early 2016, dramatically increasing the speed of URL discovery and indexing. As a result, crawl speed has increased by 80 percent, and Baidu is now capable of indexing trillions of web pages in real time. The Divine Domain project planned for mid-2017 promises to further boost indexing speed.

The Baidu Mobile Instant Page (MIP) Project

Mobile Instant Page is a bold name. Even Google’s AMP only claims to be “accelerated.” The results speak for themselves. As reported in the Conference, more than 2,800 sites have implemented MIP, reducing load time by 30 to 80 percent and subsequently increasing landing page clicks from 5 to 30 percent.

The technology and structure of MIP are very similar to Google’s AMP; even the page code is virtually identical. And just as AMP has been a controversial idea in the SEO world since its launch, so is Baidu’s MIP within the Great Firewall of China. Convincing webmasters to adopt this new technology has been a challenge, given the sacrifice of page flexibility in favor of improved loading speed and ranking signals.

Baidu has been fighting its way through obstacles, having learned valuable lessons from AMP’s rollout. A channel has been added in Baidu Webmaster Tools for page submissions. An open-source project is now on GitHub. A tutorial provides quick training for programmers. An integrated development environment (IDE) and an online validator are published. Themes are available for popular content management system (CMS) platforms like WordPress. Most importantly, the “Flashy” icon is now attached to all MIP results on the Baidu mobile search engine results page (SERP).

By December 2016, three months after MIP’s release, Baidu had already indexed more than 900 million MIP pages.

You may see Baidu MIP as a copycat of Google AMP. But there are nuances. First, Baidu MIP is using scripts to maintain compatibility with mobile browsers other than Chrome or Safari in China. In addition, MIP pages put JavaScript before the ending </body> tag, while in AMP, you still put scripts between <head> and </head>. Both MIP and AMP only allow asynchronous scripts, but it doesn’t make a big difference, because neither approach will delay the page rendering.

Baidu’s localization and globalization

Since Google retreated from China in 2006, the only two G-products that remain functional in that market are Google Maps and Google Translate. Mobile internet users are unable to access the AMP in mainland China.

Many people believe that if Google hadn’t been expatriated, Baidu would not have its dominant power in the search market. However, even when Google search was still in China, its market share never exceeded Baidu’s. And Bing, which is still in China, isn’t challenging Baidu at all.

When it comes to other players like QQ and MSN Messenger,  only those engines that are customized for local markets (or work with the government) will have the chance to win the battle against Baidu.




5 Reasons You Really Need SEO

SEO is one of only two marketing methods a business can use to improve their chances of being found on the first page of Google, Bing, and other search engines. While PPC offers instant visibility for your keywords, coupling this strategy with SEO can improve your chances of driving users to your website and allows you to present users with a better experience overall.

SEO is earned by creating a website that offers high-quality, relevant information for both searchers and search engines and provides users with the best experience possible. Building a site that meets all these criteria doesn’t happen overnight, but the long-term investment is worth it when you think of all the benefits.


1. A Good SEO Strategy Can Improve PPC Quality Score

We all know how important Quality Score is for PPC campaigns. But, did you know that Quality Score and the content on your website go hand-in-hand? A good SEO strategy includes creating pages on your website for your products and services and using relevant keywords through your site. By aligning your text ad messages to the content on your website or driving PPC traffic to relevant landing pages (like a page for a specific product or service), you can improve your Quality Score, which can, in turn, reduce your cost per click and improve the performance of your PPC ads.

2. SEO Increases Market Access

The numbers don’t lie. Did you know that more than 70% of searches results in a click for one of the results on the first search engine results page (SERP)? If you’re not investing in an SEO strategy, you could be missing out on this traffic to your website.

3. SEO Can Boost the Effectiveness of Your Other Marketing Efforts

Because of an increased market share in SERPs with SEO, you can boost the effectiveness of your marketing efforts like PPC and retargeting. For example, coupling SEO and search advertising can improve traffic by 50%. Coupling SEO and retargeting can increase brand awareness. You can also use the insights from your SEO strategy to fine-tune your PPC campaigns – if you have keywords that are performing well for your organic search, you can add those to your PPC campaigns and test whether or not performance improves.

4. SEO Can Improve Offline Conversions

Did you know that 50% of all mobile searches are conducted for local businesses looking to visit a store that day? If you’re adhering to a good local SEO strategy, you’ll have consistent listings and business information across the web that includes your business name, hours of operation, address, and phone number – all information that makes it easy for a searcher to visit your location and become a customer.

5. SEO Can Help You Stand Out from Your Competitors

On the first page of a SERP, there are up to six paid positions, three map listings, and 10 organic listings. If you can align your keyword strategy to appear in a paid listing, a map listing, and an organic listing.
Read more at http://www.business2community.com/seo/5-reasons-really-need-seo-01766137#2yqoqgiZeILr6t2o.99

3 Ways to Boost Your Mobile and Content SEO Strategies

SEO is a bit like a chameleon, changing its colors as the marketing landscape evolves — or better, as the latest algorithm from Google deems necessary. Things like the URL, meta data, H1, and alt tags are known to affect ranking, with some saying there are nearly 200 different ranking factors that affect where your page will appear in that next search.

Regardless of the number of factors, there is no denying that Google constantly tinkers with and introduces new algorithms to better assess the quality of content and experience a webpage offers. Since search’s infancy, the effort to serve up content relevant to a user’s question has been at the core of many algorithm updates.

Google’s primary objective is to make the world’s information universally accessible and increasingly useful at a faster and faster pace. So content quality isn’t a new or surprising concept. It’s even debatable whether this even represents a true shift in methodology, given Google’s countless efforts to eliminate easily hackable signals.

The focus on mobile experience, however, is new.

According to eMarketer’s “US Digital Users: The eMarketer Forecast for 2016” study, more than 80 percent of individuals in North America will use a mobile phone, meaning the organization and accessibility of that information affects usability. Each element demands a unique skill set yet must also complement the others.

Keywords, meta data, and backlinks are no longer enough. Google now scans sites and content for usability and user experience. Marketers must consider this paradigm shift when developing their SEO game plans.

The Keys to Good SEO

Experience is a critical aspect of successful SEO, but the basics don’t have to cost tons of money or manpower. A simple, mobile-responsive design serves your brand until you can upgrade. Google’s mobile searches surpassed desktop queries for the first time in 2015, and there’s likely no going back. As always, you have to serve customers on their terms — or, in this case, at the tips of their fingers.

Once the mobile component comes together, you must consider your content. From blogs and branded articles to social posts, it — along with your publishing and sharing strategies — should align with your target audience’s interests.

Know how people interact with your product, and let that information guide your content. In the all-important world of mobile experience, these metrics indicate whether you’re on the right track:

  • Mobile tests: Run these to determine where you’re hitting issues with search engines. Is your usability not up to par? Does your mobile site have coding or syntax errors? Find out what’s causing problems under the hood. Do some diagnostics to determine whether your site is mobile-friendly.


  • Engagement: The big challenge is whether users are taking the actions you desire. This might include subscribing to an email newsletter or downloading a free e-book. If people reach your landing page but navigate away without acting, figure out why.Track engagement rates across various platforms, and adjust your strategies accordingly. A clothing retailer’s audience might favor one type of content, but a surgical hair restoration company’s customers might want something else entirely.


  • Bounce rates: Programs such as Google Analytics and Lucky Orange generate heat maps to help you see exactly the types of content and site components people gravitate toward. If they’re not taking the desired actions, these maps might help you solve the mystery. Analyzing bounce rates helps identify gaps between your goals and actual customer experiences.


Maximize Mobile and Content

Marketers know mobile is mandatory, but content creates other challenges. Combining both in the service of SEO is new territory for most brands, and it can be difficult to know where to begin.

You’re no longer solely worried about search rankings; you must also consider what’s being said about your brand on social and offline. Here’s how to master mobile while conquering content:

1. Hire strategically. Seek candidates with strong technical backgrounds, as well as creatives who can elevate your content. If you have an excellent technical website, put more money toward the content. If your content is great, do the opposite.

Use your resources to build a well-balanced, complementary SEO force. Consultants and independent agencies can supplement your in-house team if you lack the tools to hire more full-time staff. The key is to optimize the mobile experience with content that matters.

2. Make quality key. Content generation costs time and money, but it’s critical to your success. Many companies struggle to develop in-house blog posts, articles, whitepapers, and other materials.

If that’s the case for your team, don’t ignore the problem. Search engines reward brands that provide value to users, something at which content excels. News items, images, video, and other content make up 85 percent of Google search results, so don’t leave content out of your strategy.

3. Monitor traffic and leads. To determine whether your SEO strategies are successful, look to your organic search gross profits. Track lead generation and conversion based on your SEO touchpoints.

Know which landing pages drive new leads and which content pieces directly link to conversions. Traffic plays a significant role in search rankings, so ensure you hit your goals.

The more traffic a site generates, the more relevant it appears to search algorithms. Don’t look solely at overall numbers, though. Identify which keywords, pages, and content drive the most traffic to your site.

Mobile user experience and content are distinct fields, but SEO depends on both. They’re increasingly intertwined as marketers learn the ever-changing rules of search algorithms, and companies must hire talent that can keep pace.

Brands that invest in SEO content and mobile experts — and know how to leverage both resources — are the ones that will have the most success moving forward.
Read more at http://www.business2community.com/seo/3-ways-boost-mobile-content-seo-strategies-01766779#mPC7vrsocDfe3uBQ.99

SEO Strategy in 2017: What’s Most Important?

Everyone wants to get a high click-through rate and a good spot in Google’s search algorithm. But, when it is generally accepted in the industry that Google uses approximately 200 ranking factors to rank websites — and some of these are proven, some are controversial and some are purely nerd-based conjecture — it can be hard to know which factors to focus on when it comes to your search engine optimization (SEO). 

So, what is most important to Google?

“It is content,” said Google Search Quality Senior Strategist Andrey Lipattsev. “And, it’s links pointing to your site.”

I’ve heard people foolishly suggest links aren’t important anymore. There’s a new way of doing SEO, without links. This is wrong, and it’s dangerous advice. Keep in mind what Andrey Lipattsev said.

We tend to almost always come back to links, as they feature largely and very importantly in the 200 or so ranking signals, such as:

  1. The volume of external links you have. The more, the better.
  2. The anchor text of the external links. Links with SEO-focused anchor text need to be relevant to the target page.
  3. The quality of external link sources. It’s better to get a link from a reputable news source or academic journal than an unknown blog.

Links have always been a valuable aspect of an SEO strategy, and many SEO agencies focus on building relevant links to get first page search results on Google. That’s because there is a strong correlation between great SEO results (specifically keyword ranks) and the quality and volume of links to a site. 

Keep in mind, however, that while links may lead the pack, content, Moz Authority and page authority have significant value and must be considered for any SEO strategy to be successful. 

Content marketing and SEO

SEO and content marketing are distinguished from one another in several critical areas, but you can’t separate the two entirely. SEO is generally narrower, and more technical, while content marketing is broader and more holistic — kind of like how a square is a rectangle, but a rectangle is not necessarily a square. Here’s how they converge:

  • You can apply SEO more broadly by channeling its specific technical endeavors into content marketing.
  • The only way to ensure the success of content marketing is to apply SEO techniques.

Another way to look at it is like this: SEO makes demands. Content marketing fulfills those demands. SEO states the requirements. Content marketing fulfills them.

2017 algorithm updates

In January, Google started rolling out a penalty to punish aggressive interstitials and pop-ups that might damage the mobile user experience. Google also provided a rare warning of this update five months in advance.

There will no doubt be many further algorithm updates throughout 2017, but the success of your SEO campaigns will largely be governed by how focused your SEO strategy is on links and content.  



Getting Your SEO Strategy Right

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process by which Google or any other search engine ranks your website or webpage for more visibility to the user. An effective SEO strategy essentially means that when a user “searches” for things related to your business, your webpage or product offering springs up on the first one or two pages of search engine ranks. A science and an art, digital marketers believe SEO to be the success mantra especially for online businesses such as e-commerce. However, few seem to get it right, especially so since the algorithms by which your webpage is ranked are dynamic and ever changing. 

Here are some of the common SEO misconceptions that digital companies fall for, and end up ruling out SEO as an effective element of marketing strategy. 

One can get by with mediocre content: This is one of the most popular beliefs—that the quality of content does not matter as much as the clicks. Many believe that website content should be built to attract customers/clicks alone. But this belies the importance of building SEO-friendly content, or content that adds value beyond just a click-through.  As a result, they may shy away from availing professional SEO services and end up ignoring the building of SEO skills and creating quality content that invites repeat visitors and results in conversions. 

Black SEO tactics are okay: Many businesses turn to unscrupulous means to get their links to be noticed in search engines. Measures such as link networks to undesirable sites, or paid links are easy tactics that may even throw up better SEO results in the short term. However, Google comes with its own ‘intelligence’, and has its means to block such unscrupulous content. Turning to spam to make SEO work is definitely ineffective in the long run. 

You need to be a 100% white-SEO geek: Most white-hat SEO people stick to a rigid view that white hatting (following the search engine’s policies) is the best and only way to get SEO scores. Most of these view questionable inter-linkages (keyword stuffing, page swapping and more) as a big no-no and steer clear of any such clever tactics. Yet, they must understand that certain content sectors have found success thanks to a fair degree of grey SEO instrumentation (methods such as click bait that work in areas ill-defined by policy). The idea is to understand the element of “greyness” and balance out the risk, so as to make the most of grey and white SEO strategy. 

Ignoring brand building: SEO in itself may not leave as strong an impact, as when created with a solid brand-building strategy. At the end of the day, it is direct searches that increase the probability of a customer purchase. Searching for “online fashion” is quite ineffective, as compared to searches for “Amazon”. Many deem this not to be a true SEO strategy, and rightly so. But SEO and brand building go very much hand-in-hand as both are directed towards the same outcome—customer leads. 

These are some of the core misconceptions that prevent brands from embracing SEO to increase sales leads. In fact, companies must look at SEO as fruitful opportunity, banking upon its wonderful ability to create a “pull” for the target audience. SEO actions such as adequate keyword usage, linkage to high-authority sites, reacting to sentiment analytics etc., go a long way in creating a visible and engaging online presence for your business.



6 ways to grow your podcast audience with SEO

Along with technical SEO and links, high-quality, interesting, engaging content is one of the three main pillars of any successful SEO strategy.

Traditional content strategies use blog posts, articles, images, and sometimes video as the main sources of content. And while those can be awesome for driving traffic and supporting your SEO efforts, podcasts are an often overlooked and underestimated medium. Podcasts can build your brand and drive direct traffic, while at the same time adding rich content to your site and supporting your link-building efforts.

Of course, you not only need to know how to leverage your podcasts for SEO, but also how to rank well on the platforms specific to podcasts. So whether you’re starting out or are an established podcaster, read on for specific tips on how to SEO your podcast.

1. It’s all in the title

What does it take for your podcast to be found on iTunes and Google Play? It’s all in the title. The iTunes ranking algorithm for podcasts places a heavy emphasis on the title of the podcast, in addition to factors like total number of subscribers and the total number of reviews for the podcast.

What this means is that, while you want to have a title for your podcast which is compelling and interesting, you shouldn’t have a title which is so obscure or non-intuitive that it doesn’t explain in clear language what your podcast is about. Make sure to include your most important keywords in the title of your podcast. If your show is already established, you can do this by adding a subtitle. For example, if your show title is “A 5th Race Podcast,” and your show is about Stargate, you can make sure that you’re found by adding a subtitle such as “An Unofficial Stargate Podcast.”

That said, a generically keyword-rich title that is not distinctive or memorable is also a non-starter. The title of your podcast should be something you are proud of. (Note that with branded podcast names, it would be good to incorporate keyword-rich subtitles.) And while you do want to include keywords in your title and/or subtitle, don’t try to stuff your author tag with keywords. Apple will catch on and send you a note stating that your author tag isn’t representative of what your show is about.

Keep it clean, use the right keywords where it counts, and you should show up for relevant search queries. On Google Play, your show’s description (not individual episode descriptions) is searchable as well, so make sure you optimize it, while still keeping the copy interesting and compelling. (Speaking of keeping it clean, if your show has swear words and is thus labeled as explicit in iTunes, your podcast will not be reaching the very large Indian market.)

2. Optimizing your RSS feed

While the average user doesn’t use RSS nearly as much as in the past, your RSS feed syndicates your podcast on iTunes, Google Play Music and most other podcast platforms out there. Essentially, your RSS feed is what people are subscribing to when they subscribe to your podcast on any of these platforms.

Your feed is also what provides all your podcast information to these platforms. So when you want to update your show’s title or description, you have to update it in your RSS feed. It can take up to 24 hours for any of the fields to update on iTunes or other directories.

The best way to have SEO control over your podcast is by creating your RSS feed using the one that Libsyn provides you or the feed you get from the PowerPress plugin for WordPress (a free plugin).

Make sure you have a good, compatible RSS feed that won’t break or be too slow by using either castfeedvalidator.com or podba.se to validate your feed.

3. Leveraging your website

Yes, your podcast is an audio file, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t score SEO points by leveraging your website and making it a worthwhile destination for Google to send traffic to. As SEO practitioners, we are always trying to attract more trusted links to our sites. A great podcast is just one more type of content you can use to attract those links.

If a writer is looking at your site and considering linking to your podcast content, showing them other authoritative sites where your content has been featured can act as a “social proof” that your content is authoritative, high-quality and trustworthy, and thus worth linking to. For instance, you can show an “as seen on” section on at least your home page, but preferably on every episode page — the way I do on my biohacking/lifehacking podcast, “The Optimized Geek.”

Another easy way to boost your reach is to create supporting content that you want to expose search engines to. Some examples of content you can create are:

  • episode description or recap
  • show notes with timestamps
  • transcript
  • key takeaways
  • checklists/worksheets
  • episode art

The transcript will be a particularly text-rich piece of content to post to your site. Don’t just bury the transcript, feature it and present it nicely, so that users are more inclined to interact with it.

Each episode should have unique episode art so visitors have something to pin on Pinterest. Have a look at my wife’s show, “Stellar Life,” for an awesome example of the use of episode art:


Whenever possible, provide supporting content that drives listeners to your website. For example, on this episode of “The Optimized Geek,” I included multiple photos and videos on the episode page of me at my guest’s facility freezing my butt off in the cryotherapy chamber and then gnashing my teeth by doing the equivalent of a 350-pound bench press on the bioDensity machine.

Make sure each supporting content piece has a human-friendly URL, and include the link to each in your show notes. Remind your audience that if they’re using the Podcasts app, they can easily access the show notes by clicking on the podcast artwork in the player. Add your call-in number and contact email to the top of your show notes so your listeners can get in touch with you as well.

4. Recycling content

Many of the tips featured in this article were pulled from a couple of episodes of my Marketing Speak podcast. Specifically, the one featuring Daniel J. Lewis (SEO Your Podcast to Grow Your Audience) and the one featuring Rob Walch (Podcasting 101: Creating a Successful Show). See what I did there?

Taking existing content and transforming it into another piece is a great way to leverage resources that you already have to boost your authority and improve your ranking on specific topics. You can take the content from your podcast and turn it into articles, blog posts, infographics, slide presentations, videos and so on to get even more SEO value from the recycled content.

5. That ‘other’ search engine: YouTube

YouTube, as you likely know, is the second most trafficked site on the web after Google, serving over a billion users. When considering any SEO strategy, but with podcast content in particular, YouTube should always be a part of your strategy. Not only is YouTube a huge search engine in its own right, but YouTube content frequently appears in the main body of Google search results as well.

There is no reason you can’t take your podcast recording and turn it into a YouTube video fairly easily. There are lots of file converters and video editing software which can translate your audio files into video. In fact, if you host with Libsyn like I do, then you can use their built-in Publish to YouTube feature (see screen shot). You can choose to either record actual video of the podcast participants as you do the podcast and use that video on YouTube, or overlay slides with your brand, interesting images, charts that support what the podcast is discussing at a particular time, and other contact information on top of the audio to create a video presentation.

6. Podcasting for link building

Another way podcasting can benefit your overall search engine optimization efforts is through attracting links. If your podcast content is interesting, entertaining, compelling, useful and so on, it may well attract links all on its own, but there are certainly other links that you can pursue.

One of the easiest may be to get a podcast guest speaker to promote the podcast on their own site. If someone takes the time to be interviewed for your podcast, it’s quite likely they are going to want people to hear that podcast episode. By hosting the podcast’s episode page on your own site, in addition to syndicating it out on popular media and podcast platforms, you can give your guests a natural place to link to on your site.

In summary

With a little effort, podcasting and SEO can work together to help you assemble that enthusiastic community of supporters that Kevin Kelly calls “1,000 true fans.” SEO tactics can help grow your podcast audience; and in return, as your podcast grows in popularity, it can yield search engine optimization benefits back to your site. It thus creates a sort of “virtuous circle.”

Podcasting can truly set you apart as an authority in your field, but it is a time- and effort-consuming endeavor (believe me, I know!). Nonetheless, the right podcast, done well, is worth the investment. Make the most of that investment by implementing these SEO strategies for podcasts, and watch your audience grow!