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Are You Chasing Algorithms or are They Chasing You?

Chasing-Algorithms

I’m not much of an algorithm chaser, but I fully understand the need to stay abreast of the algorithm changes and updates. In fact, the best SEOs are those that refuse to chase the algorithms but rather understand what it is the algorithms are looking for with today’s changing technologies.

For the most part, algorithm changes shouldn’t have a significant impact on how we do SEO. SEOs who are doing it right do more for the visitor than for the search engines.

However, because technology changes, as does how people use the web, search engines have to adapt to stay relevant. Which means that there are some factors that will be a part of tomorrow’s algorithms that we’ll need to account for.

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URL Readability Still Matters

URL readability helps search engines and visitors.Over the years, many things that were important for optimization have become less so. But even as the search engines add, remove or tweak the factors in their algorithms, even things that become less important overall are still important.

Quick example: If today the search engines looked at 10 factors for rankings and tomorrow they added 5 more, would you assume that the first ten are no longer relevant? No, of course you wouldn’t. Certainly they are less relevant, but not irrelevant. Each factor went from a relevance of 1 in 10 to 1 in 15, but that doesn’t diminish the the fact that it is still a factor.

It’s with this premise in which we look at SEO. While the search engines look at hundreds of factors, and the weight of each factor changes with each tweak, we still understand that a factor is a factor.

And URL readability is a factor. Do the search engines care about readility? No, but using relevant keywords in the URL can and does play a small role in the ability of the search engines to determine the topic of the given page.

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Don’t Throw Optimized Content Out with Lawyers, Politicians, and Insurance Agents

Don't throw all keyword optimized content and SEOs out with the lawyers, politicians, and insurance agents.

There is an old myth out there that keyword optimized content sucks. There has been some truth to that, much as there is truth to the common belief that all lawyers, politicians, and insurance agents are shysters. Yes, some are, and some “SEOs” have been known to produce really crappy content.

But don’t throw all keyword optimized content and SEOs out with the lawyers, politicians, and insurance agents.

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Stoney’s Interview About Small Business Marketing Plans

Stoney's interview about small business marketing plans for 2015
Digital marketing allows small businesses to compete with the “big boys” in a way that has never been possible before. But what are small businesses doing with this opportunity? Clutch, a research company that provides analysis on leading service firms, sought the answer to that question with their recent survey “Small Business Marketing Plans 2015.”

I was honored to be asked to provide some insights on the survey results. Some of my comments are included in Clutch’s analysis of the survey results, which you can read at https://clutch.co/digital-marketing/seo-ppc-2015-small-business-survey

Here is the entire text of my interview with Clutch Analyst Natalie Beach:

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Yesterday’s Algorithms are Dead Today. Today’s Algorithms Will Die Tomorrow.

Focusing on user factors can help lessen the impact of algorithm changes.

Too many SEOs rely on the search engine algorithms of today to guide their SEO. The problem with that is that algorithms change. Yesterday’s algorithms are gone, today’s algorithms will be dead tomorrow, and tomorrow’s algorithms will be out of date before the next presidential scandal is pushed out of the news cycle by the next scandal.

Search engines change their algorithms as a means to combat manipulation. The problem is, as long as there are algorithms, there will be people trying to manipulating them. So that means algorithms are in a constant state of flux.

But it’s not just spam tactics that get tossed to the wayside. Sometimes legitimate optimization tactics–those designed solely for the purpose of giving value to website visitors–can get thrown away too. Not to anyone’s particular fault, it’s just that signals that were once considered important or valuable are truly less so today. A great example is the Yahoo! Directory. For years getting listed in this directory was an important part of SEO and was a legitimate search ranking signal. Today, not so much. The Yahoo! Directory closed it’s doors in 2014.

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There is No Optimization Without Interaction

There's no optimization without interaction

Are you focused on interactions? If not, all of your “optimization” efforts could be for naught. Interactions form the foundation of a growing web presence by helping you establish links, get business, communicate authority, and maintaining your reputation.

In my latest LinkedIn article, I present the three main focuses of interaction and how to manage them.

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How I Lost My #1 Ranking and My Profits Exploded Overnight!

lost #1 ranking

Getting the coveted #1 ranking in Google search is something companies spend a lot of blood, sweat, and tears on. So losing that top spot would be devastating, right? Not necessarily.

In my latest Search Engine Land article, follow the journey of a small mom and pop company from Internet oblivion, to the top spot, and then back down a little to see how you can actually GAIN traffic and profit by losing your #1 Google ranking.

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XML Sitemaps: To Submit or Not to Submit?

Submit XML sitemaps

Submitting an xml sitemap to Google via Webmaster tools can be a great way to get Google to spider all your pages quickly. But before you go and hit that submit button, make sure that’s what you really want to do.

For the most part, the traffic and data you receive from submitting your sitemap to Google far outweigh the negatives of doing so. But there can be a plus side to waiting on that submission.

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A Newbie’s Quick Start Guide for Website Optimization

5-website-optimization-essentials
Whether we are talking about dieting or web marketing, everyone wants the quick fix. The one thing that can help you lose 10 pounds . . .yesterday. Or that one tactic that can make your company wildly successful on the Internet.

But just as with weight loss, there is no one thing that can make you successful in web marketing. It takes a combination of things. When you are trying to lose weight, that combination includes different types of foods and exercise. The important things is to START. But WHERE do you start? With web marketing, we can break it down to five main “optimization essentials” that will help anyone building a long-term web marketing strategy get off to a good start.

To find out what those optimization essentials are and how to apply them, check out my latest LinkedIn post.
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