In this episode of The Compete Marketing Group Podcast, we discuss a serious and common mistake that businesses make when they launch a new website, one that can drastically and immediately decrease web traffic by 50 percent or more.
To ensure you don’t lose all of your traffic after a website relaunch, there are two crucial things you must do.
Distributing press releases is not something that should be done specifically for SEO. Reason being, they’re not as powerful as they used to be in boosting website authority. While you might get links to your website when the press release is distributed online, Google knows that these links are all coming from the same press release and the links are therefore discredited quite a bit (if not completely).
There are much better ways to get links to your website.
In business, if you don’t track something there is little way to know if it’s effective. A website is no different- if you have a website and you’re not tracking traffic coming to the site, the website is just another expense in your business. Website tracking is easy to implement with Google Analytics, a free website traffic tracking tool.
Many businesses come to us with pre-existing websites, but have not been tracking their website traffic at all. The reasons are across the board, but usually have something to do with:
If you’re in the process of creating a new website, here are 4 steps to take to ensure that your website tracking is in place.
Making the sure the above steps are done on your website will save you a lot of time and frustration in the future when you decide to dive deep into the traffic of your website to figure out how to make it a more effective asset for your business.
If you would like guidance on any of the above, don’t hesitate to contact us.
So you’ve had your current website for awhile and have decided that it’s time for a refresh?
GREAT! Redesigning a website can have quite a few benefits, including boosting conversion and overcoming technical constraints from the way the old website was coded. However, if your team isn’t careful when launching the redesigned website, you can lose your hard earned Google rankings overnight!
We often work with companies that are redesigning their website to ensure that the transition from old website to new website goes smoothly- below are 2 important things we see companies often overlook.
If you’re doing a pretty serious redesign, there is a chance the the webpage addresses are going to change. While debating whether or not this is a good idea is a blog post for another day, let’s assume that this is what you’ve decided to do.
Make sure to “301 redirect” all of the old webpage addresses to their nearest equivalent on the new website. This will ensure that search engines move the SEO authority of the old webpage to the new webpage.
If you don’t redirect the pages, or you use a “302 redirect” or some other form of redirect, then the Google authority of your old webpages could literally disappear into thin (internet) air. This would cause your newly redesigned website to not get the same amount of traffic from Google rankings that the old website had before the redesigned version launched- that’s not good for anyone.
In order to share the redesigned website with your team as the project is worked on, the web design team will most likely make the website accessible online. However, if the site is accessible to the public and search engines, you could run into issues with Google thinking that you now have two websites with similar content online. This could cause a drop in Google traffic for your site as Google gets confused about which site to show to searchers.
Luckily, the solution here is pretty straight forward. You can block the website behind a password, which should block everyone including search engines (although you should still do the robots.txt method below just to be safe). Or, if you want the site accessible to the anyone that visits the link, then you can simply block search engines in the robots.txt file.
To implement the robots.txt method, simply ensure there is a robots.txt file on the server you’re using to develop the website and include the following lines of code.
*IMPORTANT- Make sure you change this on launch day, or Google will deindex your website when they encounter the robots.txt file on your main web server!
If you’re in the middle of a redesign, check with your website design team to ensure they’ve addressed the above issues. If you’re unsure, feel free to connect with us and we’ll take a look.
While SEO is an important piece of the marketing mix and can drive the most profitable leads, it remains a marketing tactic that is often misunderstood. Granted, there are numerous “SEO agencies” and Google marketing experts in this space, some of which leave companies that do venture into SEO with bad taste in their mouth.
By not receiving the right guidance regarding how SEO works and how to apply it to a business, many businesses simply hold off on pursuing SEO and end up leaving lots of money and opportunity on the table.
These days, SEO is a must in nearly every business. With that said, there are multiple providers that your business can go to for SEO services, so it’s getting harder and harder to make a choice that you’re still happy with 6 months down the road.
When considering which SEO agency or consultant to hire, there are a number of questions that you should ask. This is important due to the nature of SEO- it’s a specialized skill set that requires years of “in the trenches” experience to know how to get results for clients.
Below are 4 questions to ask and answers to watch for when evaluating an SEO consultant…
Even if you’re already familiar with how SEO works, it’s important that you ask this question to gauge the prospective consultant’s knowledge in SEO as well as their ability to communicate this knowledge in a clear way.
We explain that there are 3 factors that determine whether your website gets ranked on Google:
Every SEO provider is going to explain Google rankings differently, but if the provider has trouble explaining this basic question then that’s a read flag…there are going to be communication problems down the road.
Meta keywords are keywords that you can input into the website code of any webpages. While they’re easy to update, they’re not influential anymore for Google rankings.
In short, meta keywords used to be a must in an SEO project but they are no longer important (see it straight from a Google employee here). If a potential SEO provider doesn’t know this, then that’s a red flag in that they’re not up on the times regarding what works in SEO (Google debunked meta keywords in 2009…).
However, a more common situation is when an SEO provider knows meta keywords don’t matter but they don’t try to explain this to you…instead, they say “yes, we’ll optimize each webpage’s meta keywords” or something along those lines. This is a red flag that shows the consultant may not be able to truly drive the project from an expertise perspective…you’re paying for SEO expertise, so make sure your consultant is willing to communicate that to you.
In order to increase the authority and ranking of your website on search engines, you need to be sure to get links from other websites on the internet. There are numerous ways to do this, but only some are effective in increasing your search engine rankings.
A good rule of thumb is that if the link building tactic builds 10’s or 100’s of links within a matter of 5 days and can be repeated anytime, then it’s most likely not effective. This includes blog commenting, article syndication, press releases, etc. The reasoning for this is that Google knows that you and not the market are the one building links, so they diminish the authority signals that these links send.
A good link building tactic is one that leverages a unique aspect of your business (i.e. expert content creation, connections to other businesses or associations, etc.) and is baked into your business to be leveraged over time. For example, we work with clients to create multiple guest blog posts per month that are then published to influential industry blogs. This tactic has proven effective in acquiring highly competitive rankings for our clients.
If your SEO consultant talks about submitting your website to directories, syndicating online articles, or commenting on blogs or discussion forums, then this shows that they most likely do not have a strong link building strategy in place and will have difficulty increasing your rankings.
In SEO, it’s not about getting rankings…it’s about driving website traffic and leads / sales. Although rankings are a piece of that puzzle, they’re not the end all be all of a successful campaign.
The most direct metric that SEO impacts is non-brand organic search traffic. In short, this means (a) traffic that comes from non-paid search engines, such as Google (b) the keyword typed on the search engine doesn’t include brand terms.
You SEO provider should be focused on increasing non-brand organic search traffic, but also be monitoring other deeper metrics such as conversion rate of this website traffic, and more. Check out our blog post on short and long term SEO metrics for a more detailed explanation.
If your SEO provider is focused on increasing rankings, than this can show that they’re not going to connect their work all the way down to the bottom line of your company.
Any hiring decision in a company should be a careful decision, but hiring an SEO consultant is usually a bit more complex due to the nature of the industry. We hope that these questions will help you make the right decision.
And don’t forget to contact us, as we’d be happy to answer these questions and more.
Image Credit: via @gangplankhq on Flickr.com
When pursuing any type of marketing campaign, it’s important to measure both short term and long term results- otherwise, you won’t know which marketing campaigns are making money and which are losing money. Many new clients we meet with that are interested in pursuing search engine optimization are unsure how to measure an SEO campaign.
You may think that your website’s rankings are the most important factor, but that’s not really the case…
Part of having a successful website is ensuring that you regularly publish new content to the site. In most cases, this new content comes in the form of blog posts such as the one you’re reading right now.
However, many business owners feel that they don’t have the time to be regularly writing blog posts each week (or multiple times per week if possible). This is a common challenge we see with clients that are new to blogging, and we recommend a few different strategies to publish frequent content without requiring lots of your own time.
I’m an SEO adviser and admit that I really do enjoy the various aspects of SEO (even the technical parts). However, the whole world doesn’t feel this way about SEO and I realize that some aspects of SEO seem downright confusing to some clients.
The “301 redirect” is one of those confusing things, but I’m going to explain it for you…
Finding the best SEO company can be tough, but there are a range of tactics you can use to quickly gauge whether or not the SEO team you’re considering is truly experienced in the industry.
One unique method of gauging SEO experience is by looking at Twitter