Manual Google Best Practices Guide SEO (2014 Updated Edition)

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What is PageRank?
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  5. Conclusion: Google My Business Optimization Guide for SEO

We train and develop thousands of professionals each year as well as running events and networking that bring the Econsultancy community together around the world. You can also contact us online. Search marketing, sometimes referred to as search engine marketing SEM , remains one of the key supporting pillars of online marketing, which is unsurprising given the continued growth in the popularity of search engines amongst users to research products, services and organisations.

The two are inter-twined, with SEO specialists adapting their strategies to respond to search engine updates and the big search engines working more closely than ever with search marketers. This report tackles the weighty challenge of translating years of learning and insight into a practical guide to SEO that can be used by beginners and advanced digital marketers alike. Search marketing is about connecting searchers looking for information with the most relevant information available online. It is about making yourself visible within the search engines, in order to attract new and returning visitors to your site, which requires the discipline of marketing your products, services and content via search engines like Google and Bing, through both paid and natural search.

Search marketing helps site owners meet their various online marketing objectives such as generating leads, sales or simply building awareness and delivering the right message to their audience.

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A comprehensive SEO plan will need investment in areas like content marketing and link building. A good example is paying a copywriter to write tailored content for your website which is optimised for SEO.

A successful search engine optimization campaign will have, as part of the improvements, carefully selected, relevant, keywords which the on-page optimization will be designed to make prominent for search engine algorithms. Search engine optimization is broken down into two basic areas: on-page, and off-page optimization.

On-page optimization refers to website elements which comprise a web page, such as HTML code, textual content, and images. Off-page optimization refers, predominantly, to backlinks links pointing to the site which is being optimised, from other relevant websites. SEO is a changing beast.

SEO is also a sophisticated industry that relies on data and analysis to underpin creative intelligence. There has been a gradual, and some would say too slow, evolution from a focus on quantity to quality, especially in regards to link building see the chapter written by Nichola Stott, Founder of theMediaFlow.

Top 7 Ranking Signals: What REALLY Matters in ?

Measurement and reporting is also covered by Cheri Percy from Distilled in the relevant chapter. Why is it important? Web users love to search. There are approximately bn searches performed every month worldwide by 1. What sort of information are they looking for? Clearly this depends on the individual. They might be looking for entertainment news, hunting for product recommendations, trying to compare vendors and services, seeking their soulmate or buying a second-hand car.

All these goals can start with a simple search query. Modern search engines are generally great at delivering relevant results to users and relevance, or relevancy, is the mantra of all search engine engineers. The use of keywords or keyphrases combining several keywords helps users find exactly what they want and understanding keyphrases enables marketers to target users showing intent or interest in their products. This, plus much more, is covered in the guide.

Being visible is key to success; research shows that click through rate for organic search results decreases the further down the page you appear, so position 1 has a significant commercial impact. For branded search, UK searchers are far more likely to click on the first three results. From Q4 to Q4 , the percentage of website traffic from mobile devices nearly doubled from Mobile search is growing and this raises the bar for organic search competition; smartphones display search results before scrolling, so achieving 1 position is even more important for mobile search.

Mobile SEO is covered in more detail later in this guide. Figure 3 — Average Google search results returned by device type [Source: L2, January ] There is a keen interaction between search and offline media consumption. Research demonstrates that consumers use online search in conjunction with TV advertising and there are examples of brands creating customised search hooks that lead to campaign landing pages in organic search results. Figure 4 — Organic search result for TV led search activity Online search also influences offline behaviour, which is especially true for products with a long purchase cycle like cars and furniture.

The final purchase is most likely to be made offline, though it may also occur online. Interestingly, SEO investment is diversifying; less is being spent on traditional link building and more on content and community initiatives such as blogger outreach that aim to build high quality links through quality content. Market context In all countries, there are around three to five core search engines that you should focus your efforts on.

Often, there is one dominant search engine, and a few smaller ones. In most countries, such as the UK and US, the search engine of choice is Google, as this is where the vast proportion of user search queries occurs. Consequently, our best practice recommendations within this report are squarely primarily focused at generating high visibility on Google. However, the market share of each search engine varies from region to region, something that SEO practitioners need to be aware of, especially when engaging in international markets.

Search patterns are constantly evolving but what we do know for certain is that the total search volume is increasing. Getting to grips with the fundamentals Where do you begin to identify what users are searching for and how do you begin to understand this in relation to your own search campaigns? Completing keyphrase and demand analysis is an essential planning activity for search engine marketing and will help answer these key questions. There are some great tools available, such as Google Trends, which can help you find out the relative importance of different keyphrases in different countries, at different times of the year.

More about the tools you need is detailed throughout this document. In terms of clicks and click through rate, the proportion of clicks against search phrases is greater the more niche the keyword, due to increased visibility and a lesser ratio of competition. This is especially true for brand terms and product specific keyphrases.

There are broad search terms e. As people refine their needs and shape requirements during the search journey, searches become increasingly specific, often with longer keyphrases, and the volume of search activity reduces.

23 SEO Mistakes To Avoid in 12222

This is because there will be a much wider range of keyphrase searches at this stage, so the total search volume is shared across all of these options, diluting the volume for each keyphrase. This is commonly called the tail of search and refers to the fact that as the search query becomes more specific as search intent moves from browsing to completing , the volume decreases. As searchers make their searches more specific through the buying process, the number of people using these search terms naturally decreases.

This summarises the essential challenge of search engine marketing. Highly-refined phrases indicate intent to purchase, yet the search volume on these phrases is much lower, so that if we only targeted these phrases to gain visibility in the search engines, we will often not get the volume of sales we are seeking. The search behaviour we have described where we have a large number of searchers searching on generic terms and a smaller number searching for more specific niche terms is described by the Long Tail concept7.

The long tail is simply a form of frequency distribution such as that in the chart below which tends to be followed when consumers have choice from a range of items. Chris Anderson described it in the popularity of retail items for a retailer such as Amazon, but evidence from services such as Hitwise shows it is also followed within a given business sector.

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The Long Tail concept was defined by Chris Anderson while editor of Wired Magazine and is described in his book and blog www. Figure 6— Chart showing typical pattern of decline in relative keyphrase popularity 2. The way that internet users are searching is becoming more complex and sophisticated. Interestingly, there has also been an increase in the volume of searches using more than six keywords! Now, you need to add some context.

Remember also that many of the one and two word searches are for relatively short brand names, so for product specific searches, longer phrases are likely. The more tailored and targeted your keyphrases, the more successful you are likely to be at search engine optimization. Because of the range of keyphrases used by searchers which form a long tail distribution a key aspect of search engine marketing is deciding which phrases are used to promote a company.

Once you have a list of keywords and phrases, the next goal is to try to achieve favourable listings within the search engine results pages, widely referred to across the industry as SERPs. Remember that small variations in the search query entered by the user can deliver completely different listings on the SERPs. Figure 7 — Google. Within search marketing, there are three main opportunities for organisations to get their message across, to gain visibility and to direct visitors to their sites.

The first two opportunities are via the SERPs and the last is on third-party sites. The natural or organic listings.

Conclusion: Google My Business Optimization Guide for SEO

The method for achieving placement in this part of the page is called search engine optimization SEO and is the focus of this best practice guide. Figure 8 — Google.

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Google has not officially explained the algorithm, but we give advice to maximise your chance of sitelinks in the report. The paid or sponsored listings. A relevant advertisement typically text-based with a link to a destination page is displayed when the user of a search engine types in a specific phrase. A fee is charged for every click of each link, with the amount bid for the click the main factor determining its position9. The method for achieving placement in this part of the page is called paid search aka pay per click or PPC. Econsultancy publishes a dedicated best practice guide to paid-search marketing to help you plan, launch and optimise PPC campaigns.

Figure 9 — Google. Content-network listings. These ads are displayed on third party sites that have an AdSense relationship with Google, or which display Yahoo listings on their website. These actually account for a sizeable proportion of Google revenue but tend to have much lower click through rates. For each organic listing, there are three primary data types that SEOs can control and are used to help optimise web pages: 1. Page Title 2.

URL 3. As a rule of thumb, you have a maximum of 70 characters including spaces, hyphens etc. Meta description Although the meta description is no longer a key ranking factor though this could always change again, so keep an eye on the latest news! SEOs test variations in the meta description to determine which approach helps drive the best click through rate.

As a rule of thumb, you have a maximum of characters including spaces, hyphens etc. The different types of organic search result The major search engines have increased the variety of content formats that can be surfaced on SERPs, so you need to think of SEO in the wider context than just key URLs.

You will notice at the top of the search results page there are various tabs that allow searchers to refine the results. These cover content formats including images, videos and shopping.