Category Archives: Search Engine Optimization

The A-Z of International SEO to Expand Local Business

Sometimes small business leaders don’t know whether they should expand to international markets or just stay content with their local popularity.

Some of them who decide to go international usually end up using the same SEO strategies they were using before. These people should read this article to understand international SEO is a whole different ball game.

Here’s why.

Jimmy’s Story

A local business gets best ROI for its SEO when it uses local SEO strategies.
And keywords.

Oh, yes. Keywords. Here’s the story of Jimmy’s bakery to show you why keywords are central to understanding international SEO vs. local SEO.

Jimmy opened a bakery in Queens, New York. Being a millennial, he knew how important presentations were. So, he went the whole way. He made a great website, put up amazing social profiles, and his donuts were just so irresistible.

People in the neighborhood loved Jimmy’s bakery, and Jimmy was so proud of himself, he was targeting “bakery” for his website SEO – an uber-competitive, and uber-generic, keyword for a local business. Maybe he thought his was the only bakery worth visiting.

A few months passed and Jimmy realized his SEO budget was drying out without showing any results. In fact, he wasn’t sure why he was getting so many clicks from other parts of the world and people would just leave the page after a couple of seconds.

Jimmy didn’t realize the problem was his keyword selection. Bakery is a very general keyword that tens of thousands of businesses around the world would associate with.

Jimmy didn’t realize he needed local SEO. Don’t be like Jimmy.

International SEO Vs Local

Apart from keywords, though, a number of other factors determine the choice of an international optimization strategy over a local one.

The most important factor is the necessity of it. With something as broad and big as international SEO, you don’t want to go for it until you’re sure it’s a need for you now.

Recognizing this need isn’t rocket science either. You need to analyze your website traffic closely. If a big chunk of your traffic is coming on from abroad and a variety of cultural communities, speaking various languages, and taking interest in your offerings and content, you’d be wise to take that as a sign. But before you start confusing international SEO, let’s draw a circle around what it is so we can tell what it’s not.

International SEO is simply your strategic reaction to international, multilingual consumers taking interest in your website from foreign regions.

You see international consumers want your business. You bring it to them by making websites that are optimized for their country or language (or both).

But what if you only want to sell locally? Well, it’s up to you, of course, but turning a blind eye on a market that’s showing interest in your business isn’t the smartest business strategy either.

It’s a matter of understanding your potential and fulfilling it. If you have an opportunity to grow, do exactly that.

Jimmy made a mistake in understanding his business potential. He went overboard. He didn’t see optimizing his web content for a generic keyword was beyond his capacity. Even if he somehow managed to get to the first SERP for the keyword, most of the traffic would be absolutely useless. He ran a bakery in Queens. Why would anybody from Ukraine want to visit his website?

When we ignore our business potential, we make wrong decisions. Jimmy did that. Don’t be like Jimmy.

Strategies to Follow

Once you know you need international SEO, you need to focus on the strategy with careful steps, but don’t think of it as something you can’t handle. If you’ve been working on your website’s optimization, you already know more about it than you realize.

1. Country/Language or Both?

Between the two factors, the more important one is language. Here’s why: A language may itself target more than one geographic communities. Let’s say you offer a product that connects with Spanish, and so when you decide to target Spanish speaking countries, you won’t have to make separate websites for all of them.

So, make separate websites for the same language only when the communities involved are too far apart or that location matters for your marketing efforts.

Pitfall to Avoid:

Don’t use Google Translate to “refresh” your website’s copy and serve it on the new website. That’s something Jimmy would do. You’re smarter, so you’ll hire a professional copywriter of your target language instead.

Oh, and don’t forget to use hreflang attribute in your code (and stating the country, if you’re going for targeting countries separately).

2. New Domains

This is also an important problem to figure out before you go on building your website.
This is so important because it’s more than just about the domain name. This is about your URL structure and, hence, your website architecture. You can’t expect the structure you have on your local website to work just as well on a different website targeting a different market.

In this infographic created by Moz, you can see there are three main decisions to make when it comes to your new website’s domain. Thankfully, the pros and cons are stated pretty clearly, so we don’t have to give this discussion more room (If you have any questions about this, feel free to ask us in the comments below).

3. Web Hosting

Everybody knows website loading time can be a determining factor in whether a user stays on your website or goes back to the SERPs to look for other options.

This is one of the most important reasons why you should always host your websites locally. Make sure your new website for an international market is hosted by a good (even if expensive) hosting service.

International SEO Myths

Now that you know what international SEO is and what steps you need to take to build your basic web presence in the new market, it’s time to bust some myths about international SEO.

Naysayers make up a big chunk of the world’s population. So, when people start pointing fingers at international SEO and ask questions they only need a minute to figure out themselves, it doesn’t surprise us. However, letting you know what’s what is part of our job. So, here you go.

1. “International SEO is confusing.”

Well, it’s a complex subject, just like any other major area of online marketing. You need to spend time and understand the guidelines that Google has so generously (and responsibly) been publishing as the needs arise.

Read the Webmasters blog.

2. “I need so many websites to rank globally.”

That would be a no. You don’t a separate ccTLD for your international SEO to work. The reason is, depending on your needs and niches, you might simply use subdirectories to tend to the needs of their multi-regional or multilingual content.

Use ccTLDs when it’s an absolute necessity.

3. “Let’s use the same content on all of my websites. That will do for their Google.”

No, it won’t. You can’t simply translate your website word-to-word into a new language, publish this content on the new website, and hope for it to optimize successfully on a country or language’s associated Google domain.

That’s poor geo-targeting. In fact, that’s missing the target altogether because your website will basically be cannibalizing your other websites.

4. “Why should I put in so much work on SEO when big global brands didn’t?”

That question would make sense if you were a big brand, too. You aren’t. So, stick to what’s good for you and don’t look at the big ones. They don’t even keep SEO as their priority, which leads them to make silly mistakes every now and then.

You’re not as big as they are, but you can definitely be smarter.

5. “Language URL parameters will do the trick for me.”

Again, no, they won’t! You might think it’s a technically sound idea to put your region or language of choice in the URL and let it be. But it’s a sound idea because a lot of times these parameters don’t get indexed.

You won’t like that happening to your website, will you?

6. “That hreflang tag I put in will make me get the top rank. You just watch.”

Yeah. We’re watching, but that’s not going to happen. Although hreflang tag is a great and powerful tool, it isn’t used among ranking factors. It’s there to make sure your localized page gets displayed properly when it’s called.

7. “Let’s use the flag on the site. That should tell everybody what language we’re using.”

Err… That’s a pretty silly thing to believe. Flag icons are just that. They don’t necessarily represent the language. Before we talk about other languages, consider the one you’re reading right now. England’s or USA’s flags do not represent all English speaking nations of the world.

This is something Jimmy would think. Don’t be like Jimmy.

Show This to Your Friends and Talk to Us

Share this article with anybody you know who’s struggling with the decision of taking up international SEO for their business. Tell us what you thought of the article in the comments section below.

 

Understanding Technical SEO for More Efficient Optimization

Technical SEO

The thing about SEO is, whichever one of its three heads you’re talking about, you know it’s there to make you rank higher (or lower) in the SERPs.

For those who didn’t get the hint, SEO has three big parts:

  1. Technical: SEO for making sure your website’s optimized for search engine spiders
  2. On-site: SEO for making sure your website content is optimized for your keywords
  3. Off-site: SEO for making sure you get quality backlinks from authority sites

While a lot is said about on-site and off-site optimization, there’s isn’t enough chatter about technical SEO on all those blogs you must have read understanding SEO.

What’s ironic is technical SEO is the foremost step of optimizing your website. If a house is your website, technical SEO is the walls, on-page SEO is the furniture and paint, and off-page SEO is your front- and backyard.

Late last year, SEJ conducted a study with their Twitter followers, asking questions about their SEO practices. In response to the question what component of SEO they attend to first after an audit, 39% people (making the biggest slice of the pie) said they start with technical SEO.

In this article, we’ll show you why understanding technical SEO will help your overall optimization strategies.

To do that, we first share a list of do’s and don’ts of technical SEO practices below.

But first things first!

Here’s one more way to understand what each of SEO’s three parts is about and how they work together for your overall SEO.

Technical SEO Checklist

As the image above tells you, technical SEO is basically all about your website’s architecture. We’ve discussed website architecture do’s and don’ts in detail already, but the list below provides further help with advanced tips and some new aspects of technical SEO.

1. Run Regular Audits

The first tip anybody should give you about technical SEO is to run regular and frequent audits. This is the most important part of successful technical SEO once you’ve created optimized website architecture.

And when you run one of these audits, make sure of the following:

  1. All of your pages are indexed (except the ones you don’t want to).
  2. Your URL hierarchy goes three layers deep (keep your architecture shallow).
  3. To know only those pages are unindexed that you wanted to, use a crawler.
  4. Your crawl budget is optimized and you’re not wasting any.
  5. Your internal links are up and running.
  6. Review sitemaps to make sure it accounts for all recently added (or removed) pages.
  7. Double check your design for mobile devices (especially those new pages).
  8. Test your load speed and improve it by removing unnecessary and heavy files.

2. Spiders like Mobile

Now that we know mobile devices are growing into a bigger medium for Internet connectivity in comparison with desktop computers, it’s time to understand how it can help your SEO.

It also becomes very relevant for you to understand how Google’s mobile phone spider crawls your content.

Related bonus tip: Google’s added AMP-optimized pages in its algorithm as a factor for mobile-friendly design and architecture. So, make sure your pages’ AMP versions are available for search engine crawlers.

3. Load Fast

And score fast. Page load speed is a factor in Google’s ranking algorithm, and for good reason, too, when you realize 40% users do not wait for a webpage if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. They prefer to go back to the SERP and try a different suggestion.

The simplest form of advice for this problem is not dump any content (especially images because they carry unnecessary metadata and weight) that isn’t necessary for your page. To optimize images, try to use .VSG images and small files.

Apart from image optimization, make sure of the following factors to improve your page load speed drastically:

  1. Ensure HTTP compression before you serve content
  2. Avoid unnecessary CSS image requests
  3. Ensure caching information is available
  4. Avoid unnecessary plugins
  5. Use CDN appropriately for your static files
  6. Get a good web host

List of Google’s crawlers: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/1061943?hl=en

4. Unique Content

By that, we don’t just mean you should create fresh content for your website. That tip would be on an on-page SEO checklist. Here, we mean your website shouldn’t contain duplicate content.

Search engines hate duplicate content.

Google launched a periodic update to its algorithm, which the company named Panda. All these panda did was look for duplicate or thin content on websites and penalize them for it.

As with the case with page speed, Google cares about duplicate content only because its users do. They hate it, so Google hates it, too, and punishes you for making its users drag into it.

Make sure you don’t have any duplicate content on your website. Fear the panda.

5. Befriend the Schema

Google introduced schema as part of its assessment measures of a website’s data structure. If Google likes how you’ve used structured data in your HTML code, it will reward your pages with rich snippets on its SERPs.

If you’re looking at that word schema with a confused expression, it’s simply a specialized vocabulary that you use to describe your content to your search engine. While Google doesn’t use schema as a direct influencing factor on rankings, the rich snippets you can win by ensuring structured data can definitely improve your ranks.

If you’re feeling intrigued, here’s a complete list of all schema terms.

6. Make Your JavaScript Behave

JS has caused optimization problems for a long time. While Google says it now handles JS content well, some people who’ve tested this claim aren’t sure.

With this problem still confusing a lot of people, it’s crucially important that you either avoid JS (if you can) or stick to only JS structures without add-ons (read AJAX), and even when you do that, make sure you do it carefully without getting too smart.

7. Why Not Go Secure?

Not only does Google use HTTPS configuration as an influence factor in its ranking algorithm, it started labeling HTTP websites that requested credit card details as ‘Not Secure’. This was a major shock to the e-commerce sector and a lot of them are now making sure they migrate to the secure configuration as fast as they can. This has resulted in a couple of interesting things: (a) almost all results on Google’s first SERP, the most revered of them all, are now usually HTTPS migrated sites, and (b) commercial websites that do not have the secure status yet get hit with visibility push-downs because users believe they’re unsafe.

So, make that journey. Migrate to security.

Get in Touch

Let us know which of these steps you’ve already taken and ask us if you don’t understand any of the rest. We’d love to hear from you and receive your comments on the article.

Goralewicz’s experiment: https://goralewicz.com/blog/javascript-seo-experiment/

SEO Industry’s Insane Growth and Why It’s Only the Beginning

SEO Industry’s Insane Growth

SEO Industry’s Insane Growth

SEO has come a long way. It’s not too far in the past when everybody thought it was just a fancy trend that would fade away in a few years.

It didn’t. With time, as SEO started to show its potential and earn respect, the number of its critics started to decline and now most online marketers just love it.

In fact, some of them still hate it, but they still have to show it love because that’s how good it is.

SEO Industry

The SEO industry started out as risky business and it has now grown into a mammoth and every smart marketer wants a piece of it.

The industry is growing fast. If you look at SEO’s history, however, nobody could’ve guessed it would come this far.

A Little Bit of History

While the first website was created by Tim Berners-Lee in 1991[1], the first search engine ever to develop was Archie in 1990[2]. It was a simple enough FTP website that allowed searches for directory listings that could be downloaded. You could download the listings, but not individual site on them (because servers couldn’t handle large amounts of data).

Next came a few more search engines that were designed for specific kind of content searches, including Gopher in 1991, Berners-Lee’s VLib in 1992 and a few more before Yahoo was launched by Jerry Yang and David Filo in April 1994. Back then it was only a directory of web pages it liked. It did come with an individual URL and some description of each listed page.

As 1996 began, Larry Page and Sergey Brin started working on BackRub, which was a directory of websites that ranked them based on how many citations they had from other websites. BackRub later became the mighty Google.

Google

Google

You’ll note even in its primary phase, Google focused on citations (read backlinks). It was always the clever kid in the block.

[1] The website is still online after 26 years: http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html

[2] Archie is still alive and kicking (so to say): http://archie.icm.edu.pl/archie-adv_eng.html

As a new century began, search started to grow into an industry. More search tools were developed and the old ones became stronger. With these upgrades came upgraded offerings and users started to see businesses and resources closer to them (which is the start of what we now call local SEO).

This is also the time when finding inbound links started to become a marketing strategy, since businesses started to realize the potential of the search economy. Search engines, especially Google, focused primarily on making sure websites earned their ranks through ethical means.

  • Google launched Google Suggest in 2008 for more relevant search results by giving users suggestions for their keywords.
  • In 2010, Google announced it would start penalizing websites for not using quality content, which followed with regular updates in Google’s ranking algorithm.
  • In 2012, the formidable Knowledge Graph was announced[3].
  • Currently, websites without mobile-friendly design lose visibility in Google’s SERPs[4].

With the advent of ecommerce, and its continued growth, SEO has become an increasingly important resource for businesses of all kinds.

Why SEO’s Not Going Anywhere

Internet’s a growing marketplace. It’s like a huge, beautiful shopping mall people enter to buy things they like, but these users want more and more contextually relevant merchandise in the mall. They want guiding panels that can show them what kind of goods are in which section and how to get to them.

While search engines play the role of these guiding panels, SEO is the life force behind them. In the future where personalized user experience is the key, SEO will evolve accordingly and provide more and more personalized value propositions for the user. Marketers will need to steadily grow their brands by making sure they’re visible across the digital realm and continue to show social influence.

For that, they’ll need SEO.

SEO is Going Places

Among other arenas where SEO will either continue to retain its share or begin to grow as an important marketing pathway, the following three should be enough to convince you of the upcoming SEO revolution.

[3] A great introduction to the KG: http://searchengineland.com/library/google/google-knowledge-graph

[4] Here’s how it began: http://searchengineland.com/googles-mobile-friendly-update-opportunity-219372

1. Internet of Things

Machines will start to interact with each other based on data soon. In fact, that has already begun. The Internet of Things is a phenomenon where everyday objects are enabled to connect with each other and the Internet to better assist their human masters. From keeping track of your health with smart watches to making your grocery lists with a smart fridge, The Iot will soon take over our homes.

Cisco

Cisco

Cisco recently conducted a detailed industry analysis[5] to make projections for the IoT market and came up with these huge numbers. With this potential of the IoT market in mind, you’ll realize SEO professionals will have so many more products and brands to optimize for SERPs.

Their efforts will make the following things happen:

[5] Cisco’s amazing study: http://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en_us/about/ac79/docs/innov/IoE_Economy.pdf

  1. Local SEO will become supremely important.
  2. Local SEO will divide into mobile and residential segments.
  3. Highly personalized consumers demands will shape product design and psychographic data will be at the centre of all optimization efforts.
  4. Great quality content will become even more important than it is now.
  5. Ecommerce SEO won’t lose its place and will continue to represent desktop and mobile search.

2. Virtual Reality

Another vast arena in emerging technologies is the rise of virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR). This medium brings along a completely new way for users to connect to the Internet. While, for now, all those amazing devices out to experience VR, including Google’s Glass, Microsoft’s HoloLens, Oculus Rift, and whatnot are experimenting with gaming and new environments with immersive UX, they will soon become a medium for users to connect with the Internet.

Here’s how VR has already caused SEO to become relevant in the new medium. When Pokémon Go was launched in 2016, it became an instant hit, and, while gamers were moving in real-life environments, local businesses used content marketing to engage these gamers through tournaments and competitions.

3. Conversational Search

If current challenges in optimizing one’s content weren’t enough, conversational search is going to make it a lot more difficult (and important) to rank higher in SERPs.

Smart assistants on our smartphones and such devices now allow us to use speech to instruct our device to perform commands. Google’s search app in all of its current versions in Android devices already runs voice search.

With conversational search comes the advent of these smart search assistants’ dilemma to get you what you want, because when you run a voice search, you tend to use a conversational tone, long phrases not arranged how you would write them. So, instead of finding you a list of results, these assistants focus on getting you only ONE RESULT that matches your search exactly.

SEO STATISTICS

SEO STATISTICS

If you look at the image above, you’ll see incredible data about the search industry that shows top ranking results on Google SERPs get the most advantage and traffic.

Combine this data with conversational search and you realize how important SEO is going to be for the future.

SEO is Here to Stay

SEO isn’t dead, like people keep asking. It’s alive and kicking, and it will continue to grow because of one simple reason: Users will continue to search the web, regardless of the medium they’re using to connect with the Internet. SEO is simply a collection of techniques used by marketers to improve their visibility in search engines, and, as long as people are searching for things, marketers will continue to use SEO. If they’re smart.

 

Ultimate SEO vs PPC Comparison for Marketers

Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing

For years now, the debate over whether to use PPC or SEO has taken a lot of room on the Internet.Marketers and content creators are churning out articles, videos, podcasts, infographics, and just   about every other kind of content to help (read confuse) business leaders in their attempt to stay top for any  searchable variation of SEO vs. PPC.

We feel there’s no need for the debate, and so we’re writing this one article as the ultimate  comparison of SEO and PPC.

Read this one and you’ll see no need to find any other on the subject.

In fact, we won’t even try to keep you tagged to the end of the article before you get to know what  we know is the right option for you. There’s just no need for that suspense. Let’s get you that  answer right now:

If you want quick, but temporary, results, choose PPC. If you want slow, but lasting, results, with  much higher traffic (CTR) go for SEO. If you’re really smart, mix them together and get the best of  both worlds.

The rest of this article talks in considerable detail about why we know what we just told you. It’s  mostly just statistics and data from some of the most reliable institutes in data analysis industry and online marketing. Something like this: Forrester Research, a leading market research firm, and  Forbes predict US market’s total spending on digital marketing will reach $118 and $120 billion  respectively.

Those are big number, we’ll say. Here are some more big numbers for you.

US Retail Industry Digital AD Spending

US Retail Industry Digital AD Spending

The picture above allows us to have a look at how much the US retail sector will be spending in the coming years. Retail is the biggest spending business sector when it comes to digital marketing.

eMarketer produced these predictions. While the image is quite self-explanatory, you can see the budget for digital ad spending increases from around $11 billion to over twice the number between 2014 and 2020, with the sector maintaining a consistent 22% approx. of total money predicted to be spent on digital advertising.

WHAT ARE SEO AND PPC?

In case some of you are new to the concepts of SEO and PPC, let’s begin with showing you what  these terms mean.

PPC, or pay-per-click, is one technique for advertising your business online. You pay a search engine, such as Google, for every click you get on your ads based on the keywords you picked to pay for. You pick the keywords you want to attract customers with, make your ads around them, and pay the search engine every time those ads are clicked on when they’re showed in the said search engine’s search results.

In contrast, SEO, or search engine optimization, is the collection of all techniques you use – starting with proper web design, integrated customer support, high quality content, going all the way down to guest writing and building formidable backlinks — to reach the top of search engine results without spending on online advertising.

When you search for a keyword in a search engine’s text box, you get suggestions in return, which are a mix of paid ads and organic results that are laid out in a particular manner.

With Google, the usual layout of the first SERP (search engine results page) has a few ads on top, followed by what Google calls a featured snippet, which is followed by a list of organic results. Many SERPs contain more ads at the bottom.

This is what the picture looks like:

These paragraphs should give you a perspective on how there may be a debate over SEO and  PPC like they’re mutually exclusive choices, and the reason there’s actually a debate is the fact that incredible amounts of money and commercial activity are involved in these two phenomena.

In any case, let’s get on with the statistics we were talking about. Remember: whatever the numbers   say they don’t lie.

STATISTICS ABOUT SEO AND PPC

Starting with a bit of stats from previous years, Rand Fishkin of Moz, after attending Enquisite’s  summit for digital marketers in late 2008, shared some numbers about the amount of money spent on  both PPC and organic search between 2004 and 2007.

Statistics About SEO And PPC

Statistics About SEO And PPC

The chart shows US businesses spent over 85% of their online marketing budgets on PPC between 2004 and 2007 year-on-year while investing only 11 or 12 per cent of it on SEO, which means US firms spent 8 times more on PPC during these years.

The disparity may still be quite shocking and may even stay that way for many years to come,  thanks to the quick results of PPC, but the Forrester and Forbes predictions we shared earlier in  this  article say the trend is changing and that marketers will shift toward organic methods in the  years  to come. Their leading analyst, Shar VanBoskirt, said:

“Within the next five years, we anticipate investment in ad impressions going down. Instead, marketing budgets will go towards brand experiences, CX and in-store experiences and knowledge of sales agents – the things that will help demonstrate  brand promise.”

With knowledge and experience, marketers will deliberately spend on methods and media that are  closer to their goals in comparison and not just on quick sales.

The thing to understand here is that online marketing includes all sizes of firms and businesses, but the bigger the firm the more the spending power on marketing and advertising. With greater capital, bigger firms go after PPC more avidly because it brings quicker sales, and, since they have really deep pockets, they can spend the same kind of money on PPC year after year.

Now, the reason PPC is quicker at landing sales is because the advertiser is allowed to customize  the ad for their target audience. For example, with a Google PPC ad campaign, you decide which  region’s consumers can view your ad, what their age should be, what time of the day the ad should be visible, etc. With all that customization, your ad appears only to your ideal prospects, many of  whom end up clicking on your ad (and may even go on to purchase your product or service).

Another incredibly important thing to remember is the search engine’s incentive in paid search, such as PPC. Paid search is the biggest source of income for search engines. This is why they invest heavily in making sure they engage more and more search engine users so they can attract more advertisers and get higher prices. For instance, in March 2012, Google resealed results of a study they conducted on ad clicks related to organic results on first page of the searches. Here’s the nifty graphic they used to report their results (click on the image to read more of the results):

Impact of Organic Rank

Impact of Organic Rank

In short, the study shows how having a paid ad on Google gives you a huge (apparent) advantage over organic results on the page. So, it pays to get PPC when you aren’t doing well in organic searches, but we’ll get to these pros and cons in a bit.

This intent to provide advertisers better opportunities led Google to change the layout of its desktop SERPs (search engine results pages) so that now four paid ads show on top of the search page.

According to Net Market Share, Google currently (July 2017) owns a little shy of 80% of the online search market, which is to say 80% of global online searches are currently being done using Google.

So, the practices Google adopts have a big impact on the economy of online search market, as a whole. So, businesses (and the agencies they hire for optimization services) invest more and more in Google PPC, as shown in this graph from IgnitionOne research below that shows Google’s search market share (75.5%) in terms of the amount US advertisers spent on it between 2007 and 2015 in comparison with Yahoo and Bing combined

In short, Google holds about 80% of the world’s search market share and gets over 75% of the money advertisers in the US spend online

US Paid Search Advertising Spend

US Paid Search Advertising Spend

Organic Search Still Wins on Click-Throughs

It might sound improbable after all the data you’ve just seen but organic searches are still more profitable to businesses, and there are a number of reasons for that.

The most important of those reasons is the click-through rates (CTRs), which is simply the rate at which visitors on SERPs click on either paid ads or organic results.

Let’s have some numbers on this factor, too.

Paid Search and Organic Search

Paid Search and Organic Search

In 2016, SimilarWeb conducted a detailed study on global online shoppers and came up with some very interesting results.

One of the first simple facts that the report shares with the reader is that only 5% of the click-throughs on a SERP are on paid searches, or PPC ads in Google, while a staggering 95% approx.

Furthermore, when the research studied traffic sources for the studied shopping websites, the results showed organic results to be the biggest source for any website’s traffic while PPC remained the smallest source of traffic. While almost 39% traffic to shopping websites came from organic searches on search engines, only 1.3% of the total traffic came in from paid ads.

So, among all the measures, CTR, which is the most prominent measure in gauging search engine users’ interests and preferences, speaks in favor of organic search and SEO.

You might be thinking how that could be possible when we just showed you all those graphs with incredible amounts of money being spent on PPC year after year. Are those businesses crazy? Or just plain ignorant?

But the answer isn’t so difficult to understand. Answer this: How many times have you ever looked beyond the first page of any search you ever did on Google? Hardly ever.

Take another one: How many times have you ever clicked beyond the first few results on the search results page? Probably never.

This behavior is yours as a consumer and it is independent of what the search engine might be trying to achieve through a search. This consumer behavior is the main reason SEO is still winning and might always win when it comes to quality and lasting relationships.

Then, why do businesses spend such huge piles of money on paid search? You’ll find your answer to that question in the discussion below.

 

Understanding the Use of PPC and SEO

This is where you need to sit down and understand what each of the two optimizing techniques stand. This can be done easily by simply putting in the uses of each of them in a table. That way you can read through the advantages each of the technique brings and decide which one suits your goals better.

Understanding the Use of PPC and SEO

Understanding the Use of PPC and SEO

VISIBILITY VS. AUTHORITY

 

What becomes evident from this table is choosing between SEO and PPC is actually choosing between visibility and authority. When you pursue PPC, you’re putting up ads over organic search results that will be visible over everything else. They might make a visitor click through to your website, but there’s no guarantee they’ll purchase your service of product but you will pay for that click regardless.

Also, you need to remember what we showed you earlier: Only 5% searchers ever click on paid suggestions in SERPs.

Assuming these figures are true for searchers in all industries, while spending a ton of money on paid search, you’ll be neglecting over 95% of the people looking for services for your target keywords (how could that be prudent?).

Another problem with paid suggestions on SERPs is there’s no guarantee of expertise. Anybody with a website can pay a certain amount for their ad and have it placed over organic results for a given period of time.

Visitors know that. To them every paid suggestion in the SERPs can as much get them in trouble as it can do the work right. They know it’s risky business (why do you think such a huge majority of people simply ignore these ads?) and everybody likes to reduce risk when they’re paying money.

On the other hand, if you’re on the top of organic results, visitors on the page already take you as an expert in the field and half expect to end up purchasing your offerings because their mind is already expecting to be impressed when they click through to your website.

In short, while you’re spending more money to get instant visibility, you’re actually making searchers wary of your service. That doesn’t sound cost-efficient to us from any angle.

COSTS VS. VALUE

When going for PPC, you’re looking at high advertising costs. Let’s break it down for your ease:

When you choose your search engine, you’ll place bids for your selected keywords according to what the price it suggests. Depending on your CTR history, the bids you get might be higher or lower than the search engine’s average suggestion for the keyword.

Either way, you set a price for every click your ad will get. What happens after the click’s done is none of the search engine’s concern. You pay for the click, not for your visitor buying your offerings.

Here’s another tormenting fact: A lot of those clicks can actually simply be mistaken clicks. A visitor clicking on a paid ad just because it was more prominent or because they weren’t paying enough attention to tell paid ads and organic suggestions apart; that happens more than you’ll think. We know that for sure for over 50% clicks on banner ads on mobile devices. Even if Google fixes this problem completely and you don’t have to pay for such clicks, you’ll still be getting false clicks.[1]

Discussing the matter of paid ad costs in detail, Wordstream recently discovered Google AdWords has recorded the average CTR of less than 2% across 16 industries (which is to say about 2 out of every 100 searchers who see your ad will click on it).

More importantly, the study showed an ad in any of these industries costs $2.32 per click on average. Have a look at the data in this image:

[1] Although Google is taking care of this problem (http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2015/07/06/mobile-clicks), it isn’t completely fixed yet.

:

Google Adwords Industry Benchmarks

Google Adwords Industry Benchmarks

Source: Wordstream

So, while paying more than a dollar for every click you get on your ad, where there’s no guarantee the visitor will actually buy your product or service, you’re also losing value for your offerings, since most searchers either won’t click on your ad or will click thinking you’re probably not an authority in your field.

That sounds really bad.

On the other hand, with organic search, the matter of cost is much more complicated than evaluating value fluctuations. Since there are a number of modes for setting an SEO project fee, such as monthly, hourly, and per-project scales, which are widely practiced in the industry, it’s hard to establish statistical data on the matter.

Another reason for lack of data is the wide price range of SEO professionals and agencies (Rand Fishkin of Moz conducted a detailed study of the industry).

However, the matter of understanding how SEO is more cost-effective than PPC is quite simple when it comes to the basics of it. You see, once you’ve done your part of creating great quality content, promoted it and earned quality backlinks from authority sites, and found your way to the first SERP on Google, you’re most likely to stay there for a long time and reap rewards even after you stop paying for any SEO services. You’ll keep getting non-stop traffic for all the SEO you did and as long as searchers click on your links and pay for your offerings, Google will keep you close to the top..

NOTE: We don’t recommend letting go of your SEO service even after you’ve reached the top place in SERPs, since it’s a constant race between you and your competitors. You may stop paying for SEO, but your competitors on the same page won’t get so complacent. In fact it has been our experience that the more successful an organic SEO campaign is,  the more aggressive business owners become to get found for even higher conversion keywords!

Since SEO is much more than just reaching the top of the organic search results, it encompasses many more advantages that last, while PPC offers that one moment of attention where the visitor may or may not choose to click on through to your website..

MIX ‘EM UP?

This is a complex thought, but a valid one. People have tried this technique and it works, if done right, which is again something a professional or an agency could guide you with more effectively.

These are differences that we at SEO Resellers Canada always discuss with clients asking us to help them with optimization. As honest, customer-oriented business people, we believe it’s the client’s right to know their options before they decide what they want us to do for them.

Then we deliver precisely that.

THE VERDICT

Didn’t we already give it to you in the very beginning of this article? The smartest thing to do with SEO and PPC is to use a smart mix of the two. With most of your focus on establishing your business as an authority in your industry, there’s nothing wrong with getting more visibility as long as you’re smart enough to make the ads clever and based on thorough research.

At the same time, your long-term plan should be to focus on creating great content, promoting it, and earning higher rankings in Google’s organic results. This can actually work as a safeguard against the disadvantages of PPC. As you earn higher rankings in Google’s SERPs, you can attract more organic traffic and, once you’ve reached the first page of Google’s long list of suggestions, the money you spend on PPC can do something unique and extraordinary.

When this happens, you’ll have your website listed both in the ads as well as in the organic suggestions. This only adds to your visibility and increases the chances of you getting a click.

In short, focus most of your efforts on organic SEO and maybe spend a little money on PPC for the sake of visibility.

 

HERE’S WHAT YOU SHOULD DO NOW

Now that you know so much about SEO and PPC, share this knowledge with other people you know who could use it.

Also, don’t hesitate to call or email if you have any further questions in regards to PPC and or Organic SEO.

 

The A-to-Z of Backlinks for SEO in 2017

SEO Backlinks

Backlinks are among the most important tools you’ll ever use to optimize your web presence.
Scratch that.

Backlinks are the most important tool you’ll ever use to optimize your web presence. On the other hand, backlink and backlinking are words that Microsoft Word doesn’t recognize yet. When you type the words out, it draws that wavy red line under them to tell you these words don’t exist in its dictionary.

The same can be said about most people starting out their businesses online. When they hear the word for the first time, they make up all sorts of definitions for it themselves.

So, we’ll begin with definitions and then give you all the crucial information you need to understand backlinks and what makes them so important. Once you’ve carefully read this article, you’ll be able to start working on your backlinking strategy with confidence.

Defining Backlinks

To define the term, we looked it up in multiple variations on trusted online dictionaries, only to find most of them didn’t recognize the word either (You disappoint us, Merriam-Webster and Cambridge).

Don’t lose hope, though. Oxford dictionary defines the word backlink as follows:

“An incoming hyperlink from one web page to another website.”
Wikipedia also has a definition on its dedicated page for the word. It says:
“A backlink for a given web resource is a link from some other website (the referrer) to that web resource (the referent). A web resource may be (for example) a website, web page, or web directory.”

In simplest of words, a backlink “is any incoming link to a website from any other website,” which is how Technopedia defines it.

That should settle it. The term is fairly easy to understand: a website is referred on another website with a hyperlink so the reader can go to the linked page.

An even simpler way to recall what backlinks mean is to just remember these are links that lead back to your page.

Understanding SEO

Now, to understand why backlinks are so important, you need to know why the technique was ever needed. SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, is the mix of strategies and activities that you adopt to rank higher on SERPs, or search engine results pages.

Ranking on top of the search results for important phrases and words people use for searches (keywords) on search engines – such as Google, Yahoo, or Baidu – is the ultimate purpose of SEO. The higher your website ranks the more visitors you can expect and the more visitors you get the higher number of them may convert and purchase your product or service (Note: there are a number of other factors that are important in converting a visitor).

That’s how the search economy works. Users look up keywords on a search engine, the search engine gives them a list of suggestions, and most users click on one of the three top suggestions.

The Hotel Metaphor

Consider this metaphor. When your flight lands in a new city, you ask the information desk at the airport to book you a hotel. They start giving you names without missing a beat. The first quality they tell you about the names they pick is these are quite close to the airport. You thank the desk attendant for their expert advice, take a list of a handful of names and addresses, and take a taxi to the first address.

Now, when you reach the hotel, you find it’s rather shabby. You don’t like what you see. So, you take a taxi and go to the second address on the list. It looks like a better place and you book a room for the night.

While you definitely understood the first part of the metaphor, the other bit can also be explained easily. You see, when a user visits the search engine suggestion on the very top, they might not like it for a number of reasons (It could have spelling mistakes, which would simply put off any decent user of the language. It could have a repulsive design. Et cetera). So, you hit the back button on your browser and then visit the second suggestion on the SERP list.

The Need for SEO

The Need of SEO

This is where the necessity for good SEO comes from. Once more and more users refuse to stay on that top suggestion for long, the search engine stops putting it on top, since its users don’t appear to like the result.

As these changes may occur time and again, there’s a constant need for all websites competing on that keyword to work on improving their visitors’ experience.

That’s what SEO is. A combination of all tactics you use to make your website rank higher on SERPs, which is to say you do what it takes to establish it as an authority and the search engine’s top choice for that keyword.

As you can see in the image above, SEO is complex and consists of a number of pertinent activities.

Back to Backlinks

Backlinking is one of the activities that you need to master if you’re ever going to survive your search competition and get to the top of your target keywords’ SERPs.

If you called backlinks the backbone of SEO, we wouldn’t really mind it. Why?

Well, because backlinks are a very important factor that search engines use for determining which of the search results are more relevant than others and should be suggested over their competition.

Let’s show you exactly how important backlinks are when it comes to getting high rankings in search results.

In a recent study of a million websites, Backlinko found backlinks are the strongest indicator of a website getting higher rank in Google’s SERPs (Note: Google currently holds around 80% of the global web search market).

Referring Backlinks

 

 

As the image above shows, higher number of backlinks leads to higher Google ranks for your website.

In a Q/A session in March last year, Andrey Lipattsev, part of Google’s Search Quality team, explicitly said number of backlinks is the biggest factor for Google’s ranking algorithm after your website’s content.

Why are backlinks so important? It’s quite simple once you get to think about it. Backlinks are referrals other websites are giving toward your website. These websites are smart enough to suggest other web pages only when the content there is good for their readers. If they point their readers to poor, useless content, they’ll lose their audience (and their own rank). So, just as search engine users’ number of visits to a website tells the search engine the website must be ranked higher, other websites linking to it also tells the search engine the content there must be good and so the website should be ranked higher.

What You Should Do Now

With what you now know about backlinks, you understand they are extremely important to succeed in search results. Here’s what you should do now:

  1. Write to us in the comments section if you have any questions about backlinks.
  2. Start working on your backlinking strategy today.
  3. Share this article with your friends.

5 Reasons Why Hiring a White Label SEO Company is Good for Your Business

Learn Why a White Label SEO Reseller Program Is Necessary in Today’s Fast-Moving Marketplace

White Label SEO Reseller Program

 

Although relatively new to the world of online marketing, the popularity of white label SEO services has grown exponentially in the last few years.

According to a recent survey around 59% of small to medium-sized firms had engaged white label SEO reseller services in 2015, a percentage which grew to 68% in 2016.

This dependence of businesses on white label companies is not really a surprise when you think about it. You can outsource your SEO services and sell them as your own.

The costs are cheaper too. This is especially true when you consider that some of the very best SEO resellers are located outside the US, for instance in Canada. You get expert readymade solutions and services at a much more reasonable price compared to service providers in the US.

As a digital marketer, you have to understand that SEO has become the backbone of online marketing today. If this is an area where you lack, the chances of you not being able to establish yourself in the market are very real.

You could try building expertise yourself, which is not impossible by any means, but it would cost you in terms of time and resources as well. Then there is always the chance that your risk might not pay-off. Your best bet would to work with a reputable white label SEO company instead.

Still not convinced that this the way to go? Here are 5 reasons that should help make up your mind:

1. Expert SEO Services at Lower Cost

Most white label SEO companies, or at least the ones with some repute, are experts. They are not in the business of selling SEO tools, services, or APIs that are a work-in-progress or yet to be tested. Their calling card is proven, result-oriented, industry-tested solutions.

As a digital agency, what this means is that you can enjoy the results of working with an experienced, high-performing team but skip most of the hard work and costs that go into developing and maintaining it.

On top of that, using an SEO reseller gives you access to a resource pool of people having that you lack. They are masters of their craft and have the resources that you don’t. From analytical tools to tracking software or even performing SEO audits, you can expect a good white label company to have your back every step of the way. And since they are working on multiple projects at the same time, they can offer solutions at a much lower price than what it would cost you to do yourself.

Internet Marketing Services

SEO is constantly evolving as search engine algorithms change with the times. Marketing trends and technologies change too. If you don’t stay abreast, you can be left behind in no time. SEO specialists stay up-to-date on what’s what and keep adapting to ensure that their services are up to your expectations.

2. Opens up New Markets and Areas of Expertise for Your Agency

The biggest cause of concern for an agency is facing a situation where you have to turn business away. There is also the possibility that there are new avenues of business available to you that you can’t avail.

Now, the primary reason this happens is because you don’t have the capability or the products needed to tap into that market. Every day that you miss out you fall a step behind your competitors.

By partnering with a white label SEO service, you can open new business avenues for yourself and expand your reach. You can attract a different type of clientele and make a name for yourself in a market which you didn’t think was possible before.

No one knows that you are using services of a reseller since you brand them as your own. You are using their expertise to build your brand. Your agency’s stock is bound to grow.

You have to remember that like any other business, online marketing is as much about building your brand as it is about anything else. A positive word of mouth can go a long way in establishing this brand. As your range of expertise increases, you are bound to attract new customers and enhance your brand name as a result.

Search Engine Optimization

3. Leverage Your Existing Clientele by Adding Value to Your Services

Carrying on from the last point, another reason where you have to give up business is where an existing client asks for a service that you can’t provide. Nothing can be more annoying than having a client but not being able to satisfy it.

What will the client do? It’s not like they’ll stop needing the service since you don’t provide it.

No, they will turn to someone else. The fact is, and this is irrespective of your track record and relationship with your client, your client could very well move all of their business to this new agency as well.

It’s basic business psychology on their end. Why have two different agencies on the books? Why deal with two separate sets of staff when they can do with one?

Plus the cost of using one agency for complete end-to-end solutions is always going to be lower than having two perform the same tasks. You could be the very best in content marketing, but if you don’t offer SEO services as well, you risk losing out.

There is no reason for this to happen. Engage with a professional white label company and make SEO a part of your service offerings. Your customers are going to appreciate the fact that you realized your shortcomings and are making an effort to address their needs. Most of them are going to stick by you just for the effort. You build a strong brand loyalty and are much better off for it.

4. Positive Impact on Your Agency’s Bottom Line

Ask yourself this question – what do you want from your business?

9 times out of 10, it’s about the bottom line. Personal growth and brand recognition are fine answers, but without a favorable bottom line, it means nothing.

Outsourcing SEO to a white label reseller is bound to improve profits. Whether it is by allowing you to engage new clients, or garner more business from existing clients, or even taking advantage of the economies of scale that a white label SEO firm provides, you can expect your bottom line to show an upward trend over time.
SEO Reseller

Think about it for a second. Engaging with a white label SEO reseller is always going to be more economical than trying to do it yourself. They work on multiple projects simultaneously and have no marketing costs, so they can offer you superior value for money. And since you already know the costs involved, you can plan accordingly.

It’s a win-win situation no matter how you look at it. As your company continues to grow, as it continues to challenge itself, your bottom line is sure to reflect this.

Remember, since you’re working with experts, you aren’t compromising on the quality of your work either. Additionally, if you decide to go with a reseller from Canada, the favorable exchange rate makes it all the more profitable for you.

5. You Can Give Business Development Your Undivided Attention

SEO is a technical field that requires a great deal of understanding and work to master. It’s always better to find a reseller you trust and outsource your work to them. This removes a huge chunk of workload off of your shoulders.

You get experts onboard who are responsible for their own work and avoid the unwanted headache of looking after something that would otherwise need a lot of attention.

Instead, focus on other aspects of your business that interest you. Say, content marketing is your strength, stick to it and excel in it. It’s always better to hone one expertise than trying to wear a lot of different hats at the same time. You will be offering SEO services too, but it’s not your forte. It’s a value added service.

If everything works out for you, SEO could even turn into a major revenue earner down the line. You can continue to market it, focus on business development, growing your business, growing your brand. Since you’re range of service offering is now more expansive, you will be able to attract more clients.

At SEOresellersCanada.com, we have a team of experts who know the ins and outs of SEO  like  the back of their hands. From keyword research, on-page and off-page optimization to analytics,  we can take care of everything. Located in Canada, we offer affordable white label services that you can market and sell under your own brand. We are not competitors in your market so all of our expertise is for your benefit. Call us Toll Free on 1-877-292-7467 or contact us and let us convince you why we are the right white label SEO company for the job.

Why SEO sells itself

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a process to improve the visibility and search engine rank of a website. The results are evident in the form of increased traffic on the website.

Did you feel overwhelmed after reading that sentence? It seems like a lot of words and processes have been packed together.

In order to clarify, let’s unpack these words and elaborate them.

Search Engine Optimization

 

What is SEO?

SEO is the act of improving and innovating web pages so they appear higher in search engine queries. It is a set of rules that websites and web pages follow to optimise their search engine rankings. Moreover, there is no payment involved.

It is a term that will emerge in conversations very often in the world of digital marketing. This is because good SEO leads to ranking highly in search engine results. It is a known fact that the higher you are ranked in search listings on search drives, the more visitors you will have browsing your website or web page.

According to a statistic by Search Engine Journal, 75% of users never go beyond the first page of results when they type in their query. Therefore, it is essential that you rank among the top results on search engines.

SEO Company

A good SEO will ensure that traffic to your website grows consistently and steadily.

With the help of SEO, professionals are essentially optimising the communication between the website and the search engine. The better the search engine’s algorithm recognises and understands your website, the more likely you are to appear at higher rankings during search results.

How does an SEO work?

SEO understands and works according to the workings of search engines.

In order for your page to appear at the top of a search engine, you need to take certain factors intoaccount. One such aspect that you need to be wary of is that the words you use must match the words typed in by the user in his/her search. Another key concern is that the content (including images and videos) that appears has to be germane and relevant.

Content Marketing Services

How to Optimize Images

The presence of a website or a web page in search results is dependent on both these factors. It will be difficult to match a word you have used with the one the user uses, if a multitude of other web pages have also used it. In a case like that, if your website is one of those that are ranked highly, it will be the one that is most relevant.

SEO is not a stagnant process but a comprehensive framework with a plethora of processes. The entire action comprises of two main stages:

  • On-site SEO:These are the techniques that you can use and apply to your site to make your page search engine.These are factors that are within your control. It comprises of simple techniques such as unique page titles, permanent link structure, internal links, page speed, key word density, page links and content that increase the search engine visibility of your website or web page.
  • Off- site SEO: These are methods to promote your website or blog so that it can rank better in search results. This is generally known as link building or website promotion and is dependent on users’ perception of your page’s popularity and credibility. In essence, search engines are trying to find the most significant pages on the web and show those first when a user enters a search query.

Two factors that ensure the position and appearance of a web page in search results at a higher rank are the site’s popularity and the number of incoming links. The fame of your page or site can be scrutinised by how well it does on social media and how often it is visited.

The incoming links – how many other pages have linked your page to theirs so that users who browse those end up browsing yours as well – is dependent on a few other factors.

Other reputable Internet sites will only vouch for your page if you have built that trust, relevance and authority. These links can greatly affect your ranking position: an impact will be positive if the link sare coming from credible, reliable and well-known sites and negative if they are coming from links that are paid or from article directories.

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The significance of SEO

You might be producing high quality content but it may remain hidden and invisible, waiting to be unlocked. That is where SEO becomes crucial.

Millions of users are searching for answers to their questions. Millions of them are in search of solutions to their issues each day. A comprehensive SEO approach can drive more traffic to your website or web page and assist you in gaining more customers, building a stronger clientele base, increasing your sales and help you achieve and surpass your business purposes and goals.

Google Local Listing Optimization

  • According to a study, marketers see SEO as an extremely effective tool to employ. At least 82% of a study group stated that the effectiveness of SEO was increasing dramatically. Another42% of the same group remarked that the effectiveness of SEO was highly important and was consistently on the rise. This means that more and more businesses are relying on SEO to help users find them.

This stance gets buttressed by the claim that there is a high probability that a majority of search engine users will click on one of the top five suggestions that appear on the search results page. In order
to capitalise on this opportunity
and gain visitors to your website or more customers to your online store, you need to be in those top five suggestions and position.

According to MOZ, a study from Slingshot SEO for a particular search engine revealed that 18.2% of people clicking on links suggested by a search engine go to the one that occupies the first position, around 10.1% of them click on to the one suggested in the second position and at least 7.2% of them click on to the one that shows as their third search result.

  • SEO becomes even more vital for businesses that are highly competitive. This optimisation tool ensures that your web page is more conspicuous, accessible and visible so as to attract more users.

Businesses that ensure that their name and title makes use of a strong keyword are more likely to rank higher in search results. The slots can be higher by 1.5 numbers than those ventures that make no use of keywords in their business names.

  • SEO is also a great way to increase the quality of your website. This is because in order to become easily and more approachable, you will end up designing a site or page that is user- friendly, faster and easier to navigate.

SEO is an investment and forms an essential part of your marketing mix. While working out your marketing techniques and the allocation of your marketing budget, it is important that you realise that your profits outgrow your costs. Spending money on SEO will increase your sales without increasing your marketing costs exponentially, thereby resulting in rising and steady profits over time. If a SEO company is expensive and costly, but ensures that you reach your financial goals and growth targets in a shorter amount of time and at a much higher price, you can hardly say that heavy costs were incurred during the process.

SEO sells itself because it is one of the most fundamental bricks of any business today. An online presence for most businesses is vital and for that presence to be visible and felt, it needs to be effective. SEO serves as a tool that can ensure your business and/or web page remains relevant and conspicuous on search engines. It makes sure that you remain easily accessible and continue to attract traffic, which will bring in more customers and clients and subsequently increase your sales and profits.

W3C errors and why they’re ruining your SEO

Does the title seem a little overwhelming?

Let’s clarify and elucidate the terms and what they mean for your search engine ranking.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C /WWW/W3) is an international community where the public works with around 500 member organisations of the consortium and a full-time staff to chalk out the standards of Web. Web is defined as a space where resources or items of information are identified by a string of characters known as Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI). W3C works on developing open standards so as to make sure that all content can be displayed across all arenas all the time.

One of the most remarkable, relevant and useful tools of the W3C is ‘Markup Validation Service’ that checks the validity of Web content in HTML, XHTML, SMIL, MathML and others. This tool checks errors from codes, removes them and validates Web content. This ensures that all the pages of a website are in accordance with Web standards.

Why W3C errors should be eliminated

Markup Validation Service validates codes and conforms pages and documents to Web standards. This is highly significant for a variety of reasons.

  • Keeping W3C errors in check will ensure that your website is functional across different browsers and different operating systems.
  • Apart from browser compatibility, W3C compliant documentscan be easily and swiftly converted into other types of documents with different formats.
  • Not only is data and information that conforms to W3C standards viewable across multiple browsers but data that is written in old standards is also viewable and editable in new browsers.
  • W3C errors need to be removed so as to ensure that all and any major issues that could be created with regards to styling from a web design viewpoint are avoided.
  • This point can be enunciated further to reveal that W3C errorsif removed and eliminated can create documents that are Consortium standards-compliant and have standard coding. This means that developers anywhere can easily comprehend the coding and work further on material that had been documented by other people.
  • Avoiding W3C errors will increase traffic to your website. Since the loading time for your page will become faster, more visitors will be attractive to your page. Additionally people who had browsed your page or site previously will make repeated visits.
  • Clean codes will also enhance your SEO visibility and ranking. This is a point that has become highly debatable and controversial in the SEO Let’s focus more on how this works.

W3C errors and what they mean in the world of SEO

The issue of W3C errors and validation and what they mean in the world of SEO is a topic that requires more focus. Before we elaborate on the workings of the system and highlight its effects, you must bear in mind that on a wider practical realm, W3C errors will pose problems and negatively affect your SEO visibility and ranking.

Opponents of negative effects of W3C errors on SEO state that browsers manage just fine with broken and imperfect codes. Hence there is no effect of errors in codes on SEO. Moreover since many multimillion sites like Twitter and Amazon do not validate codes and focus more on content, the debate on doing away with W3C errors for its consequences on SEO suffers.

While these views and a handful of other search engines believe that rewarding you for a valid W3C code seems like a futile activity, many SEOs have observed that the advantages accrued from having a valid code are worthwhile and immense. The most prominent among these being that search engines can understand exactly what your page is trying to state, without being baffled or perplexed. This will inevitably lead to more traffic on your site and page and result in greater revenue.

Moreover, the type and number of errors matter a great deal. While SEOs more or less agree to the fact that W3C validation does matter when it comes to SEO, they emphasise that this is only for those W3C errors that cause poor rendering.

A case in point

The fact that W3C errors need to be removed for better SEO rankings is further buttressed by the MarketingLand’s 2016 research that indicated that many smartphone search results were unusable. Out of the total sample of sites tested, 66% of them gained a zero out of 100% on the W3C’s mobileOK test – a test that is used to gauge the possible usability of sites on mobile devices.

If you are putting up content on the Web today, it would be a great idea to utilise all platforms. Your burgeoning business will flourish dramatically if your content does well on mobile devices and other gadgets like tablets. To put up documents and information up without ensuring the best and most friendly user experience will harm your search engine rankings. Hence mobile user experience is crucial – as evidenced by recent research – when it comes to SEO and SERP visibility and ranking.

Since mobile SEO exists and is becoming an increasingly popular and significant phenomenon, W3C’s announcement of new standards that will make mobile Web browsing easier and faster becomes more relevant against this backdrop. The W3C has released a mobile Web code checker to allow developers to rectify code errors for sites and pages to be viewed on a mobile. Given this development, the harm inflicted by W3C errors to SEO becomes even clearer.

Verdict: bolstering the stance

W3C errors can often lead to bad rendering of your site or page on various arenas, which in turn can create user experience and site speed issues. Subsequently, the performance of your site and page will suffer from search engine rankings point of view. This may not be a direct impact from a rankings perspective, but if your site has used the codes correctly and conformed to W3C standards, you can still see an increase in rankings because W3C gives great layouts that are optimised and also grants better coding techniques that make your page speed faster. In other words, W3C validity is not a prerequisite of ranking sites, but does lead to an indirect increase in rankings.

SEO Canonicalization — why it’s important

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a process to improve the visibility and search engine rank of a website. The results are evident in the form of increased traffic on the website. Almost all search engines use SEO today.

But what happens if the link to your website displays the content that another website also displays? In simpler words, what happens when two URLs (Uniform Resource Locator) display the same content?

Duplicate Content Check

What is a canonical tag?

A canonical tag (an HTML link tag with attribute rel=canonical) is essentially the marker between duplicate content and preferred content. It specifies the source URL (the first and original page of content) of a given page to a search engine. It is, in essence, a method of informing search engines that a particular URL is actually the authentic and original source of the given content.

Canonical Tag Optimization

How does a canonical tag work?

Canonical tags are used to establish the fact that a particular page is the true source of content.

Canonical Tag

Let’s elucidate the concept:

http://www.yourarticle.com

https://www.yourarticle.com

http://yourarticle.com

phttp://yourarticle.com/index.php

http://yourarticle.com/index.php?refer=twitter

All of these URLs will lead you to the same page but to a search engine, each of these represents an exclusive page.

Canonical tags are used by search engines to sift through pages and retain original content on the original page. In this way the issue of duplicate and identical content can be addressed and the source URL can be given its due search engine ranking value.

Why do we need SEO canonicalization?

A dearth of canonical tags can cause a plethora of problems.

  • In the event of identical content, search engines will not know which pages to exclude and which to include in its search indices.
  • This means that search engines will also not know whether or not to link the content to one page or keep them separate.
  • The search engines will crawl (visit your website to track a process) various URLs with identical content and will skip/skim/fail to pick out your website’s crucial and extraordinary content. This would mean loss of unique content from your website.
  • From an SEO viewpoint, duplicate links to the original content splits up duplicate URLs and minimises the significance of link building. This means that production of vast amounts of similar content will jeopardise your search engine ranking value.
  • A low search engine ranking value will cause low flow of traffic to your website. This would inevitably decrease the popularity of your website and cause a decline in your revenue.
  • The search engine itself can, subsequently, become less germane and relevant.
  • Original URLs may not appear as original and an incorrect URL may display the authentic content as ‘the source.’

Canonicalization is the fundamental step to improving your website’s credibility and SEO ranking. It will give more authority to your page. Since canonicalization consolidates traffic metrics of different similar content pages into a single URL, your day-to-day website can be gauged, measured and tracked.

Canonicalization becomes more important for e-commerce websites that generate links based on several versions of a sole product.

How to set up a canonical tag?

1.Select a preferred URL.

2.Now add “rel=canonical” in the link element or the section of the preferred URL and all its variants:

3.Be sure to use only one canonical link specified in the, otherwise all of them will be dismissed. A faulty SEO plug-in could easily result in such a scenario.

4.Use 301 redirects for all URLs that are not canonical. This will direct traffic from other URLs to your preferred URL.

How to Setup a Canonical Tag

When should SEO employ canonical tags?

The choice of a proper canonical URL for every series of similar URLs improves the SEO of your website. The search engine will know which version is canonical and will, therefore, compute all the links towards all the different versions, as links to that sole authentic version.

The most common case of when to use canonical tags is when different URLs exist for the same content.

Another situation where the employment of these canonical tags is helpful is where several categories and tags result in the same content.

At times mobile and phone websites display similar content but through a different domain. In a situation like this, canonical tags can be useful.

The relevance of 301-redirect and canonical tags

While both of these phenomena act similarly, from an SEO standpoint, they are not interchangeable. Remember a 301-redirect takes the person browsing a website or web page to the canonical URL, while a rel=canonical tag does not do this.

Usually, only one of these should work. If your aim is to permanently consolidate and combine two pages and remove the duplicates, using a 301-redirect is advisable.

Moreover, if your site structure has altered, a 301-redirect would be a good option since it will also correct bookmarks. However, if you wish to keep both pages available to people browsing your site but only have one appear in search results, it would be smarter to use rel=canonical.

SEO Redirection

Remember, having search engines index all of your duplicate content affects the relevancy of their results, and inevitably affects the ranking of your page. This leads to other domino effects like reduction of traffic on your site and a decrease in your revenue.

However, it is also crucial to bear in mind that canonical tags will not instantly and automatically enhance the conspicuity and visibility of your website.

The results of using canonical tags will vary depending on how effectively you use them. They will also vary considering they are actually needed to be used. It will be helpful to evaluate if your website has duplicate content or multiple URLs pointing to the same content. If the answers to these are yes, then you should devise a strategy on how to implement these tags and on what pages.

Why SEO Backlink Building Is More Important Than Ever 2017

SEO backlink building has always been the most powerful method for ranking websites quickly and attracting targeted traffic from Google. That is truer today in 2017 than it has ever been before. But what is a high-quality backlink? What do search engines look for? What kind of linking practices will get you penalized in 2017?

What Is A Backlink?

A backlink is basically a vote of confidence in the site being linked to. But unlike political elections, when it comes to SEO, all votes are not equally valued. Some backlinks are more valuable than others, and some backlinks can actually be harmful, as you’ll see in a moment. But if your website has the right kind of backlinks pointing to it from the right sources, you’re guaranteed to get better search rankings than sites without those links.

Simply put, backlinks are the most important ranking factor that Google and other search engines take into account when determining how to rank a website today in 2017. There are many factors to consider, but backlinks are at the top of the SEO hierarchy. If your website doesn’t have high-quality backlinks, then you are missing out on targeted traffic, conversions and earnings.

Penguin 4.0

In September 2016, Google rolled out version 4.0 of its infamous Penguin update to its algorithm. Penguin devalues websites with unnatural backlink profiles, but it hasn’t really changed much with this latest update. Spam, automated, low-quality backlinks are still targeted as before, but now Google is attempting to have Penguin work in real-time as opposed to being refreshed every few months or so.

Also, Penguin 4.0 penalizes the pages containing spam links themselves rather than the entire website on which they appear.

What Makes A Quality Backlink?

The most important factors Google looks at in a backlink are relevance and authority. Google wants to see natural backlinks, so anything that looks unnatural is likely to lead to a penalty. So when attempting to build backlinks, you want links that come from sites that are relevant to your own site. If a website about car repair is linking to a website about pet care product, which looks unnatural and is not likely to carry much weight.

Authority is also important. Links from websites that Google considers authoritative – such as major news sites or government websites – will push a lot of link juice to your own website, but links from low-quality sites like content mills and spam niche sites will bring little value or may even lead to penalties.

Contextual links embedded naturally within the body of the content carry more weight than backlinks tacked on at the bottom of the page as a footnote or as a blog comment. Some links do have more impact than others, but that doesn’t make those other links worthless. You might even argue that the “worthless” links are necessary too.

The Importance Of Backlink Diversity

You want your website’s backlink profile to look natural, and to accomplish that you need a diversity of links out there on the web. It’s natural for people to link to great content on social media, in blog comments, in blog post content and on forums. For this reason, you want your backlink efforts to include all of these, but with an emphasis on getting those links from high-quality, relevant and authoritative sources.

Going overboard on contextual links with unnatural anchored text will get you penalized.

What To Look For In An SEO Backlink Building Service?

With today’s economic climate and the growing strength of the Canadian dollar, Agencies are able to deliver great value to their clients and offer back linking services that can catapult their clients’ websites up through the search rankings.

If you’re looking to hire an agency to do your SEO backlink building for you, it’s important that those links are built manually to ensure the quality of the links it kept high – that they are going onto relevant websites that carry authority in the eyes of the search engines rather than being blasted out using spam bot computer programs.