Search Engine Tips : 6 Best Practices for
Search Engine Tips : 6 Best Practices for 1. Local SEO Is Taking Over
There’s a good probability that a large chunk of the
Google’s search results aren’t what they used to be. Google searches you perform will display Google
Need proof? Just look at its results page. No lon- Places listings – and consumers are taking notice.
ger solely comprised of traditional, organic site SEO software firm SEOmoz did some eye-tracking
matches, Google now lists local maps, images, vi- case studieson Google’s SERP (search engine results
deos and social cues as well — and it’s affecting page). The results show that users heavily gravitate
more than just what you see. toward any of Places’ listings, whether they’re mixed
into organic lists, concentrated in a group of seven
If you rely heavily on search engines for pageviews or even listed in the middle of the results page. The
and sales, as many businesses do, Google search re- heat map above shows the activity around a Google
sults will drastically affect how your customers find search for “pizza.”
you. If your business needs to be seen and clicked,
take into account the following six search engine If your business relies on local listings, concentrate
tips. on scoring a seat at Google Places. You can do this
• Citations: Ensure that your correct business
information is listed in as many (reputable)
sources as possible around the Internet.
As always, consistency is king. If you write
“Blvd.” instead of Boulevard on your Google
Places page, make sure your other listings
reflect the same.
Search Engine Tips : 6 Best Practices for Modern SEO
• Google Places page optimization: Just like 4. Content Links Are King — Good
your website, make sure your Places page is Writers Are Sorcerers
properly optimized. Include categories that
match exactly, and point your Places page Google is not stupid — it can spot paid and spam
back to a city-specific landing page if appli- links. For the most effective long-term SEO strategy,
cable. move the focus back to great content, both on your
• Reviews: Google will only display reviews website and across other sites. Guest blogging is
from Google, but getting reviews from great, for instance, but to get a leg up on your com-
aggregators like Yelp, Superpages or Trip petition, target blogs that aren’t direct matches to
Advisor will help increase your presence. your industry.
2. You Can’t Have Search Without For example, a client of my company sells golf carts,
Social so we wrote a blog post about the most tricked-out
golf carts for tailgates, and the link we got back was
The separation of search and social has officially one their competitors didn’t already have.
ended. Social cues such as Twitter shares, Face-
book likes and social bookmarking heavily influence 5. Check your Backend: Schema.
search rankings. Essentially, search results are per- org, Microformats and Rich
sonalized for each person. With any SEO campaign
you put into motion, include a social aspect to it to
facilitate information sharing.
See Also:How Google User-Generated Content Is
3. Think of People, not Robots,
When Optimizing Keywords
The Big Three (Google, Yahoo and Bing) have worked
People search in Google because they have a ques- together to develop Schema.org, a set of website
tion. Anticipate those questions — whether about standards that will tell search engines what your
the best style of yoga pants or where to get the lowest site is about, making it easier for those engines to
mortgage rate. Your keywords and the content on read the site’s data and index accordingly.
your pages should reflect the answers to those ques-
tions. Keyword research is tedious, but it’s arguably By using rich snippets, for example, you’re able to
the most important aspect of SEO. Transition away tell Google what information to feature in SERPs:
from thinking of keywords like data, and put more product reviews and prices, upcoming events, recipe
of an emphasis on the person who will be typing cooking times, etc. The added data will increase
in that keyword. your click-through rate because users are able to
preview more about the link before they commit
to the click.
Search Engine Tips : 6 Best Practices for Modern SEO
6. It Doesn’t Mean Anything
Whether you’re a one-man SEO show for your com-
pany or working in an agency with several clients,
your site needs to see results. While ranking reports
of keywords is still a great indicator of progress,
personalized searches make it difficult to get the
most accurate readings. Plus, when Google defaulted
to private searchesfor users signed into their Google
accounts, the company made it harder to track how
people arrive at your site.
Start relying more on simple key performance indi-
cators (KPIs) to show results, for instance, the num-
ber of landing pages you have, the bounce rate of
those pages, and the number of keywords driving
traffic to each of those landing pages. Google Ana-
lytics displays all of this data.
What are some other things you see that are affec-
ting searches, and what are you doing to improve
your rankings in these areas?
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