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Archive for February, 2009
Search Engine Marketing Expo at SMX West included tactical sessions in addition to strategy. One of the tools presentations included a focus on WordPress plug-ins available to help manage Search Engine Optimization of blogs. There are lots of tools, these are some of the most important in getting started.
All in One SEO Pack – This is the must have plug-in for your WordPress Blog. It allows you to:
- Customize title tags, meta description tags, keyword meta tags
Automatically generates meta descriptions from excerpts or first paragraph
of your post.
Allows you to have tags become your keyword meta data as well.
Allows you to have tags become your keyword meta data as well.
Solves duplicate content issues.
A couple other plug-ins that will help make WordPress a bit more SEO friendly:
Headspace – http://urbangiraffe.com/plugins/headspace2/
SEO Title Tag – http://www.netconcepts.com/seo-title-tag-plugin/
Dofollow – www.semiologic.com/software/wp-tweaks/dofollow/
Allows you to remove “evil nofollow attribute” from your comments. Just plug n’ play.
ShareThis – http://sharethis.com/
A plug-in that will display a “Share This” button at end of your post which allows your
visitors to easily share a post/page with others. Plug-in supports both e-mail and
posting to social bookmarking sites. Just plug n’ play.
Twitter Tools – http://alexking.org/projects/wordpress
Integrates your WordPress blog and Twitter account. Bring your tweets into your blog and pass your blog posts to Twitter. Enter twitter user name and password and select options.
Subscribe To Comments – http://txfx.net/code/wordpress/subscribe-to-comments/ Allows readers to receive notifications of new comments that are posted to an entry.
Math Comment Spam Protection -
http://sw-guide.de/wordpress/plugins/math-comment-spam-protection/ This plugin asks the visitor making the comment to answer a simple math question. This is intended to prove that the visitor is a human being and not a spam robot. Does require adding code to comments.php file.
This set of tools was presented by David Wallace of
If you need help in starting your blog, the teams at Houston Web Design teams at Schipul will help create your blog site with the correct plug-ins and tools to manage your presence.
The 411 on 301s 24/7. Or in other words, the 301 redirect is probably one of the most powerful tools available to an SEO. Discover how to move your link equity from an old to new domain, deal with non-canonical domains that get indexed, how to best handle dead URLs and more.
Moderator: Alex Bennert, In House SEO, Wall Street Journal introduces each of the speakers for this session. Some of this gets a bit geeky, so be prepared.
Carolyn Shelby, Mercenary, CShel
301 rewrites redirect users and bots from the old location of a given Web page to new location (URL). Redirect users from alternate TopLevelDomains to the main TLD (usually the .com). Redirect from an old domain to a new domain. Corrects canonical issues www vs. non-www.
Basic relaunch -
Possibly moving to a new domain, changing file extensions, new pages but few new pages. Few old pages are "disappearing". No significant architecture changes. Small number of redirects required. Just use normal .hta access and you'll be golden.
Complicated Relaunch -
Significant architecture changes. Create a translation table or spreadsheet with all of current sites' indexed pages and their URLs. All backlinks and relationships from the old to the new.
How to prep for the move. Know the answers to these questions. How will your redirects be added to your system? How will you be watching and tracking your 404s? Track errors and manually update if needed. Use "Mint" to track 404s or Google Analytics or GoogleWebmaster Tools for external link tables. Your lists will help you write the redirects.
What to expect?
Major site overhauls will see anywhere from a 20% drop in traffic to be completely dropped from the index. Recovery time is generally 6 to 18 weeks. Teh long tail will suffer more than anything. Payoff is the new site will be better in long run for more keywords and traffic. Analytics should show 10-20% increases in traffic upon recovery and will grow weekly.
Stephan Spencer, Founder and President, Netconcepts
Stephan gets his geek on with the downloaded presentation on how to create Rewrite rules in mod_rewrite or ISAPI and pattern matching of regular expressions. If you want to learn how to do rewrites without "gotchas" and go down the Rabbit Hole of large rewrites, check it out.
Jordan Kasteler, Co-Founder, SearchandSocial.com
Redirects can work for Social sites to add link popularity and rankings. Digg and Overstock for example do not like linking to commercial sites. Post a story, submit to Digg and Sphinn, then redirect to the commercial site.
Is this a bait and switch? Not if you use multi-part story strategy. Create stories such as Top Free SEO Tools and Top Paid SEO tools as resources. Use 301 redirect to transfer and consolidate all of the inbound links to single location for the full story. Wait for links to come to a stop before redirecting.
Jonah Stein, Founder, ItsTheROI
2005 began the era of search engines saying duplicate content is a bad thing. 2006 brought the issues of canonicalization. Understanding redirects and when not to use 301 takes a greater importance.
Redirects come in many flavours – 302, 303, and 307 in addition to the above.
302 Redirects have legitimate uses including temporary pages, vanity URLs and microsites.
Geo-local redirection without changing the ranking for the underlying page is a valid use. Use a 302 for an "at this moment" this is where the content is for the user. Sales, seasonal products and events should use a 302 to preserve the base page rank.
Microsites in a sub-domain can maintain the hierarchy. Create search friendly URLs to redirect from legacy applications pages and overcome sticky SEO issues.
Use a 302 from Http to https to avoid canonical confusion. If using a 3rd party shopping cart and don't want url in code carefully use a redirect to display URL.
307 Redirects are supported by Google. 302 defaults to a 303 get method while 307 uses a post method. Not used often, but it is supported. For more information, check the latest information by contact your web professional.
SMX West 2009 – What are the SEO efforts from a technical standpoint? This session looks at "status report" metrics you can tap into such as link counts, page counts and more to measure value, set benchmarks and determine successes.
Moderator: Danny Sullivan, Editor-in-Chief, Search Engine Land
The first presentation of the session is from Seth Besmertnik, CEO, Conductor, Inc.
He brings up a few topics and how to dispel myths including, every keyword is equally important. There is a concept that all potential keywords are accounted for and known. Movement outside the first page does not matter – so myth that must be on the 1st page of SERP.
"Lack of metrics – 86% of all traffic going through Google is search engine clicks. But, 89% of spending budgets are on PPC. Why? Metrics should bridge the gap."
Chasing page rankings is counter productive, but still provides valuable insight. Rankings are good way to measure against competitors, but much of the progress happens before getting to this metric.
Action Optimization – The values of understanding small changes can be tested and focused for better metric performance. One example is Snippet Optimization for natural listings – the snippet from meta description can be multivariate tested. Can often find improvements from running 30 day testing of snippet by ranking. Run ranking reports showing ranking for keywords and movement traffic. If traffic increases, then metric is improved without drastically changing page rank. Next, run same against competitors and understand metrics available to create your scorecard. If you are ranking well for a keyword phase, testing will not let you fall far or fast, but A/B testing can help improve CTR.
Rand Fishkin, CEO, SEOmoz on SEO Status Metrics that Matter.
Data driven metrics should remove guesswork. Do we really know how good data is from Yahoo, Google PR? No, but, we all use this data. "Quantified" from Quantcast is like Google Analytics, but public. SEOmoz took this data for actuals and ran comparison to Alexa and Compete.com. Confidence is approximately 95% by statistical correlation as follows.
Compete.com uses the "Unique People" as best estimator of traffic in the US with about 86% correlation. If estimating traffic worldwide, then Alexa "Reach" is a higher correlation with data about 80% correlated with actuals. Don't use or trust a single metric to be the key. Link popularity is still defining factor by nearly 75%, URL keywords next and content
Kelly Kochert, Assistant Vice President New Media, NSI
How well are we really doing? Ask the questions to tell your story?
Analysis of SEO Traffic can be an example of telling a story by answering questions.
How much traffic? – do you see changes month to month, Seasonality or Year over Year (YOY)
From Where? – Does it align with market share? What search engines? Not showing well on Yahoo? what opportunities are there and then to be better on Yahoo, growing the slice of the pie for a larger share of overall traffic.
What moves the needle? Document start of major updates such as a linkbuilding campaign, site redesign.
Why? Keywords – align keyword traffic with ranking, this can show opportunities, misses and help to review new terms. Look at Branded vs non-branded and work on growth in non-branded.
Where? Understand the Entry pages from your analytics and are they aligned with keywords. Where do visitors go post-landing pages – these are opportunities.
What do they do? How long do visitors stay on a site and what pages have traction. Are they staying longer on the site and where did they go when they left the site. The abandonment rate is related and valuable only if know from where they are leaving the site.
What inbound links are working?
Referral sites and links give an opportunity to change anchor text. If getting good referral from a large site, evaluate if similar sites can be built as linking referrals and update anchor text on referral site. Build landing pages around the topic area.
Where are they from? Location and seasonality
What else? What are the engines doing and how often are they visiting including penetration (pages crawled versus indexed), look at reducing errors.
Brian Klais, Executive Vice President of Search, Netconcepts provides a presentation about Natural Search opportunities.
56% of Google queries serve 0 paid ads (Comscore), but have 10 results for the search results page. Stop talking tactics. Start talking Performance Metrics.
Click-through rate – Calculate your CTR as a benchmark, divide keyword market-size by keyword traffic. Compare CTR by SERP placement.
Acquisition costs – Compare PPC cost vs natural. Use Google's average CPC for each phrase, factor in our cost or resource time and average. You spend $0.75 per click vs. …. ? Focus on reduced acquisition cost.
Landing Page Yield – Determine available landing pages (crawled by the bots), what % of those pages are indexed, and yielding traffic. Searchers per page and CTR can help identify opportunities.
Landing Page Rankings – Engine placement of trafficked pages. YOY ranking analysis with number of pages and phrases on page1, page2, and page3.
Keyword Coverage – focus on non-brand pages and look specifically at these for YOY and MoM.
Incremental Traffic and Revenue – More than just "current' minus "previous" Can; presume non-brand rankings stay constant. YoY calculation should consider delta in KW volume, placement, traffic by keyword, sales by keyword. Proper attribution is often last click, but not necessarily the same in Sales.
Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) – Incremental revenue over incremental cost. Look beyond short-term revenue. Conversion rate variance, New-to-file customers, acquisition profitability and lifetime value of searcher.