Tag Archive | "Forget"

Why we shouldn’t forget about PageRank in 2019

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Forget Your Muse

Forget your muse. That’s right, you heard me. You don’t need her bullshit anymore. Your muse is a flaky friend, who promises to hang out but never calls. Your muse is a boss who promises a raise but never gives you a review. How many times has she left you alone at your desk, waiting
Read More…

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Forget SEO

"Imagine a world without search engines ... it's easy if you try." – Brian Clark


Imagine a world without search engines …

It’s easy if you try.

No more surprise Google updates. No more worrying about XML sitemaps, robots.txt, and content analysis and optimization.

And perhaps most importantly, no more keyword research.

That last one means you’re going to have to go old-school to figure out the language of your audience to reflect it back to them. It’s going to take a lot more work.

You didn’t think you were going to get out of that one, did you?

Choosing the right words

“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” – Mark Twain

When you’re executing on your content marketing strategy, what you say is crucial. But when it comes right down to engaging and converting your intended audience, how you say it becomes the definitive difference.

You need to speak the language of the audience. In a world with search engines, you get a glimpse directly into the mind of your prospect, based on the language they use when seeking a solution to a problem or looking for the answer to a question.

Back before search engines, writers and advertisers still had to discover the language of the intended audience. It just took more work.

You’ve likely heard of Eugene Schwartz, one of the most influential copywriters in the history of the craft. This is what he said on the topic back in the 1960s:

“One hour a day, read. Read everything in the world except your business. Read junk. Very much junk. Read so that anything that interests you will stick in your memory. Just read, just read, just read … There is your audience. There is the language. There are the words that they use.”

In that scenario, you’d have to rely solely on other content creators to get the language right. How do you know they did the proper work?

Still want to live in a world without search engines and keyword research?

You’re already doing the work

Let me be frank … it’s simply negligent to not use keyword research to understand the language of your audience so that you can reflect it back to them. And even when I’m not Frank (who is that, anyway?), you’re simply doing content marketing poorly if you’re not discovering and addressing the related topics that your prospects care about.

And once you’re covering the topics that matter, and using the language your audience uses, you’re doing most of what matters for search engine optimization. You don’t have to obnoxiously repeat keyword phrases anymore — Google has been smarter than that for years now.

For example, voice search has increased sevenfold since 2010, thanks to mobile. This gives you a more conversational glimpse into the minds of your audience, while also allowing you to write in a natural, engaging manner that Google still understands.

Plus, Google’s semantic abilities continue to improve. The algorithm interprets queries based on what users mean, even if that differs from what they searched. And Google’s AI is even beginning to understand metaphors.

In short, if you do the work that’s required to understand the language and cover the topics your audience cares about in the context of doing business with you, you’re doing the bulk of the work that constitutes modern SEO.

From there, the rest of the learning curve isn’t that bad. And you’ve got technology on your side for that.

The real danger of focusing on SEO

The real danger of SEO isn’t that you’ll create content designed for robots. People use search engines, not robots — so you’re always creating for humans. And Google not only wants you to do that, they require it.

You run into problems when you chase search traffic as if it’s an end instead of a means. The intentional nature of search traffic makes it a potential gold mine, but only if you do something with it.

In other words, ranking number one in Google for a coveted search term means nothing if that traffic doesn’t further a business objective.

  • Are they likely to click deeper into the site?
  • How about a content upgrade that gets them on your email list?
  • Can you get them to check out your product or service?

There’s nothing worse than a quick bounce. And search traffic bounces even if you do a great job of answering the initial question — if you don’t give them a next step, that is.

Traffic doesn’t mean squat without some form of conversion. And search traffic is not your audience; it’s just a highly qualified missed opportunity unless you get them onto an email list or prompt them to make a purchase.

The SEO last mile

If you’re doing the real work of understanding the problems, desires, and language of your audience, you might as well do the remaining work of optimizing for search engines. And most of that is handled by technology.

Primarily, you need a mobile-friendly site that loads fast. Which, let’s face it, you’d need even in our imaginary scenario where search engines don’t exist. People are still people, and that’s why Google wants you to optimize for their experience.

If you’ve done the extra work to rank well in search engines, you now owe it to yourself to optimize for conversion as well — because that’s what you need to do for any kind of traffic, right?

Which brings me to my real point here. Outside of purely technical issues due to legacy website problems, SEO is not separate from content marketing. It’s an integrated aspect of content marketing.

And if you need a fast-loading, mobile-responsive website, that’s what we’re here to help with.

Our StudioPress Sites come standard with all the SEO functionality you’ll need, including:

  • Our patented keyword research, content analysis, and optimization tools
  • Advanced schema control
  • XML sitemaps
  • Robots.txt generation
  • Asynchronous JavaScript loading
  • Enhanced Open Graph output
  • Breadcrumb title control
  • AMP support, and more.

Find out more here.

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Forget Your Testimonials Page, 2016 Is The Year Of Reviews

Let’s face it: Customers aren’t reading your testimonials page. So what can you put in its place? Columnist Greg Gifford shares his ideas.

The post Forget Your Testimonials Page, 2016 Is The Year Of Reviews appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Google: Don’t Forget To Upgrade Your URLs By This Date

Back in February, Google announced the launch of new “Upgraded URLs” for AdWords Ads, which enable advertisers to spend less time managing tracking updates while reducing crawl and load times for their websites. They also come with new ValueTrack parameters, which provide new insights about ads. The deadline to upgrade your URLs is July 1, and Google is reminding advertisers …

The post Google: Don’t Forget To Upgrade Your URLs By This Date appeared first on WebProNews.

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After You Read this Article You’ll Forget It (at least the first half)

Cover of Book Yourself Solid Illustrated

You will have trouble remembering what I’ve written in this article — the first half at least.


Because it’s all words. There’s nothing to see. Nothing visually illustrating the concepts I share and the points I attempt to make.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll try my best to help you understand what I’m saying; that’s the goal … but it’s an uphill battle.

I’ll use the visual tools at my disposal, like short, punchy sentences separated by whitespace and bold to highlight important phrases. Good copywriters are masterful at this.

I’ve written four books: Book Yourself Solid, Beyond Booked Solid, The Contrarian Effect, and The Think Big Manifesto.

That’s about 260,000 words in total. Each book is popular in its own right, but Book Yourself Solid has always been the most popular. In fact, it has a perfect five-star rating at Amazon.com based on hundreds of reviews.

Nonetheless, I meet thousands of people who don’t finish it. They tell me that they love it, that they need it, but that they don’t finish it. Why? They tell me that they don’t love to read — and I get that. It’s long. It comes it at 92,750 words.

This is a problem.

Don’t tell my publishers or agent, but I don’t care how many of my books are sold. Rather, I care about how many are used to produce more clients for the reader. If you don’t finish the book and implement what I’m teaching, how do you get the results you want? You don’t.

I’ve been concerned about this for a long time.

Enter Jocelyn Wallace, a master in visual strategy. When I saw how she could take ideas and make them easily understood, I knew what I had to do.

I had to create an illustrated edition of the book

Allow me to introduce: Book Yourself Solid Illustrated.

And it worked. Brilliantly.

I can say that because Jocelyn did 95% of the work. She forced me to cut about two thirds of the text and, as a result, we were able, through her illustrations, to convey more strategies, tactics, and tools to get booked solid than in either of the first two editions of the written book.

For example, in the original, it took me 20 pages to teach you how to create an information product. In Book Yourself Solid ILLUSTRATED, I do it with 5 images. Of course, I still offer some supporting text, but the combination of those two learning tools — text and visuals — helps you retain what you’ve learned so you actually use it.

Here are the first 4 out of 5 Steps to Developing Your Product. You’ll see what I mean.

Or, take the Book Yourself Solid® system itself. Using words it takes numerous pages to describe the process. Now, I can show you this picture with just a bit of supporting text and you get it.

I said you wouldn’t remember the first half of this article. It’s likely that you can’t recall what I actually wrote outside of the fact that you will learn more if you see an idea than just read about it.

But you will remember these images. More importantly, if you don’t remember every step of the Book Yourself Solid® system, like how to create an info product, with these images you can simply pick up the book, glance at the illustrations, and get it. And it’ll take you all of 30 seconds.

Book Yourself Solid is a complete creative makeover to the original world-wide bestseller. Rather than slapping on a new cover or adding a “lost chapter,” I’ve delivered an ever-easier way to access the fastest and most reliable system for getting more clients than you can handle, even if you hate marketing and selling.

Thank you for taking the time to “read” this article. It’s an honor to be of service. I never take your time or attention for granted. I feel I have to continue to earn it and I hope I have with Book Yourself Solid.

About the Author: Michael Port is the author of four bestselling books, and a renowned speaker at conferences around the world. He’s currently developing marketing and productivity software based on the ideas and strategies in his books.

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Moving to a New Location? Don’t Forget about Local Search

Posted by David Mihm

It’s obviously not uncommon for small businesses to move — fluctuating rents, growth, lifestyle concerns for the business owner or employees, and any number of factors make good reasons to move. However, few business owners understand the Local Search headaches they may be creating for themselves or their customers as a result of a move.

Celia Bell, Assistant Director of SCORE’s Austin chapter, is currently experiencing some of those headaches and sent me an email last week to ask for my advice on how to alleviate them. Given her essential help with Local University Austin next week, it was the least I could do to respond. The problem Celia’s having is so common, though, that I thought I’d just turn my advice into a blog post/case study.

The situation

SCORE is a nationwide volunteer-driven non-profit organization that mentors small business owners and prospective entrepreneurs in 340 markets across the country. Each of its chapters operates relatively independently from a physical location, with significant support from the parent organization — not unlike a typical commercial franchise or chain-store model.

SCORE’s Austin chapter recently moved to a location about eight miles northwest of its old local headquarters. Unfortunately, Google was displaying its former headquarters right on the main search result for “SCORE Austin,” and SCORE clients were actually visiting the old address for meetings and workshops. (In fairness to Google, other search engines were confused as well, though not quite to the same extent.)


The goal of this exercise: Ensure all prominent web, mobile, and app search results display only the current, proper information for the SCORE chapter.

Getting started

SCORE’s volunteer webmaster only increased her frustration level by attempting to edit the group's Google Plus Local page over and over again, with nothing to show for it. Sadly, I suspect many business owners (and marketing agencies) go through the same process, with equally unsatisfying results. I hope that this guide yields more success and helps explain why the process must be more comprehensive than just a quick edit at Google.

The reason that simply correcting misinformation about your business at Google does not solve the problem is that Google's Local index pulls in business data from a nearly-infinite number of sources across the web. Some of these are more authoritative than others (such as those provided by Localeze, Infogroup, and Acxiom–see below), but a business owner's verified listing is only one source of this data. If all you're doing is updating your Google+ Local Page, you're going to continue to see problems because "new" erroneous data will constantly feed into Google from all of its other sources.

Assessing the damage

One of the central tenets of local search engine optimization is to ensure that your business’s Name, Address, and Phone number, NAP for short, is consistent everywhere it’s mentioned around the web (and offline, too). Your NAP is basically your digital thumbprint — Google’s unique identifier for an individual business.

When you move locations, you create an inconsistency in the A of your NAP. Sadly, there’s no “301 redirect” or “forward location” command that you can give the local search engines, similar to what you can file with the U.S. Postal Service. Google, Bing, and others can't identify your new NAP as belonging to the same business. In the best case, inconsistencies lead to lower search engine rankings for keyword searches you want to rank for. But in the worst case (SCORE’s), not even customers who are specifically looking for your business can find you! So, unfortunately, it's up to you to update this information yourself.

The first thing I did was to run an Accuracy Report on GetListed for both SCORE's old and new NAP information. I wanted to see which search engines had indexed which location(s), and in what manner.

Incorrect (Old) NAP:
SCORE Austin
3809 S 2nd St
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 928-2425
Correct (New) NAP:
SCORE Austin
5524 Bee Cave Rd., Building M
Austin, TX  78746
(512) 928-2425

Running this report provided three key insights:

1) SCORE’s phone number did not change during the move.

2) Their business name is actually an acronym for “Service Corps Of Retired Executives” — which is how they’re listed on four of the most prominent local search engines:

US Score-Services Corps of Retired (Google)
US Score-Svc Corps of Retired (YP.com)
Service Corps of RTRD Exctvs Assctn (Nokia)

3) SCORE recently implemented a nationwide effort to unify branding across all of its chapters–moving from an older strategy of each chapter operating its own unique website (scoreaustin.org, e.g.) to giving each chapter its own subdomain on the national website (austin.score.org).

Item #1 is a major advantage over many small businesses who move locations — a constant phone number means that Google and other search engines should be able to verify changes much more quickly. Item #2 is a disadvantage, since neither the old NAP or new NAP is 100% clean. This will mean multiple rounds of clean up. Item #3 may be a disadvantage depending on the email address in which SCORE’s Google Plus Local pages are claimed.

The cleanup process

After running your Accuracy Report, go back to Google and perform a search, where your query is any combination of incorrect/old NAP information. Make note of the webpages that Google returns near the top of its rankings, as Google is likely pulling data from most of these sites. I find it useful to keep track of this information on an Excel or Google Spreadsheet, from a task management standpoint.

You can also click through to any Plus Pages returned by these searches. If you're lucky, sometimes Google will even tell you a few of the sites they are pulling this information from towards the bottom of those pages. In SCORE's case, Citysearch was a very important site feeding Google bad information.

You should also search Google Maps for out-of-date information. Once you do, click the little triangular drop-down button and select "Report a problem" at the bottom of the list. On the report a problem screen, correct any misinformation and explain to Google why you are requesting the change (i.e. you've moved!).

Pay special attention to the bottom of the webpages where your information is incorrect. Many of these are local directory sites where you will be able to update the information yourself--but they, in turn, may be getting this misinformation from another source. Good examples of this in SCORE's case were sites like this one for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser – a newspaper that was not even in SCORE's market — which was supplied with data by both Local.com and Acxiom.

In addition to fixing your data on these local directories, you'll want to fix it on sites that supply them with this data. These sites are Acxiom, Infogroup (ExpressUpdateUSA) and Localeze. Together, these are the three most important business data providers to Google, and if you want to update your old information permanently, you'll need to update it at all three of these sites. These companies also feed most major mobile apps like Facebook Nearby, Foursquare, and Apple Maps.

After searching Google and Google Maps, reporting problems directly, and keeping note of all of their erroneous data sources, you'll want to check one more site that Google operates: Google MapMaker. Think of MapMaker as a Wikipedia for locations. Google users from all of the world can add, edit, delete, and consolidate business information using this tool. For the most part, each edit is reviewed by other Google users before it goes live to the public.  

Not many business owners (or even marketers, for that matter) know about MapMaker, but it seems to have become a very important element in Google's business data cluster over the last few years, and it can be very helpful in cleaning up out-of-date information. Remember the "Report a problem" step above? My understanding is that that process actually feeds into the MapMaker community, but I've found that edits requested directly in MapMaker sometimes get processed more quickly than "reported problems."

To request an edit, simply click the "Edit" link under any incorrect listing for your business on MapMaker, update your information, and tell the community why you are asking for a change (i.e. your business has moved!).

Whew! This all seems a little complicated. As I said above, though, keeping track of all of the sites where you're listed incorrectly via an Excel or Google Spreadsheet can make things a lot simpler.  

Most of these major data sources for Google allow you to update information on out-of-date listings by creating a free account. Note: it's important to UPDATE old, out-of-date listings rather than create new ones. Just creating new, correct ones won't make the old, incorrect ones go away. During the course of your research, you may also find some independently-operated sites (such as local libraries or chambers of commerce), where you'll just have to reach out via email or by placing a phone call.

In my spreadsheet, I typically enter the profile page along with username, email address, and password information for each major data source on its own line. I then make a note of the last time I "touched" each listing and any notes that will help me remember special treatment for each.  

It's a best practice to choose a generic email address for your business (something like frontdesk@mybusiness.com) rather than a personal one (doglover@yahoo.com), so that future employees or agencies will be able to log in and update your information without you giving away any personal details.

Frustratingly, even though this is 2013 and this is the INTERNET, it typically takes 2-3 months for all of these updates to flow through the Local Ecosystem. So you may continue to see incorrect information showing up at Google while it assimilates all of these changes. If you've followed the process above, however, you should see a permanent update of your information at Google and other major search engines and mobile apps.

N.B. #1 I realize this guide is U.S.-Centric, and here on the SEOmoz Blog we have many international users. Over the course of the Spring, I'll be releasing Local Search Ecosystems for a number of major search markets around the world, including the UK, Germany, France, Spain, and Brasil. I already released the Canadian Ecosystem last year.  Although the data aggregators that feed Google vary across the world, the same process can be followed in other countries.

N.B. #2 I realize the additional step of querying Google and Google Maps for out-of-date NAP information seems unnecessary and duplicative, given what GetListed.org is designed to do. We are currently working on surfacing this information much more efficiently within the next version of GetListed, so stay tuned!

Fixing bad data across the Local Search ecosystem: The Cliffs Notes Version

1) Search Google.com and Maps.Google.com for your business name and city.
1a) In this era of increasing mobile engagement, you may also want to check Apple Maps or other primary mobile applications.

2) Run an Accuracy Report on GetListed.org for both correct and incorrect information returned by Google.

3) Search Google.com for your incorrect NAP. 

4) From your Google.com searches and GetListed.org Accuracy Report, keep track of major data sources that list your information incorrectly in an Excel or Google Spreadsheet.

5) Search Google Maps for your incorrect NAP and "Report a problem" for any listing that is incorrect. 

6) Visit Infogroup, Localeze, and Acxiom to check for out-of-date information.

7) Create accounts on major search engines and update incorrect listings.

8) Search Google MapMaker for your incorrect NAP.  Make edits as needed for any listing that is incorrect. 

9) Keep track of your accounts and your progress in an Excel or Google Spreadsheet.

Other great resources for helping you move locations digitally

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

SEOmoz Daily SEO Blog

Check out the website and sign up: warframe.com TotalBiscuit takes a look at a new co-op F2P shooter developed by Digital Extremes. The game is currently in Beta, with a lot of websites giving out keys.
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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Will Twitter Photo Filters Make Users Forget Instagram?

The dust that has been kicked up between Twitter and Instagram-book over photos and the 140 character social world has settled. Twitter has announced their own filters for their Twitter app. Now bad pictures can be covered up with filters from right inside your favorite microblogging site.

Here is a video from the Twitter blog

Here is some more information from the blog post

Starting today, you’ll be able to edit and refine your photos, right from Twitter. The latest versions of Twitter for iPhone and Twitter for Android introduce a few new ways to enhance the images you tweet. We’re grateful to our partner, Aviary, for powering our filters and effects.

Filters. Apply one of eight filters, ranging from black & white to vintage, to add a new look and feel to your photos.

Take a bird’s-eye view. See how each filter would affect your photo in a single grid view, or swipe through looks to compare your options.

Frame the action. Crop and pinch to zoom in order to focus attention.

Auto-enhance. Make your photos pop with balanced light and colors by tapping the wand.

So how will this work for you? Will this force you to go one way or another or will you use both? As sharing across platforms becomes less available what does this mean to marketers who must now create full programs for each social platform’s way to handle photos and other content? Is it really being social when it seems like all we are forming are larger cliques by who uses what platform? So many questions …..

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Marketing 101: Don’t forget about the “Holy Smokes!”

After a career of KPIs, lead nurturing and discount deadlines, it’s easy to lose that sense of wonder and forget about the power of creativity, or as Jason Falls calls it … the “Holy Smokes!” factor. Read a few tips from Jason on how to create a powerful marketing message, as well as a brief case study explaining what “holy smokes” content really is.
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In This Bright SEO Future, Don’t Forget The Basics

We finally made it to April, folks! And I say this with more joy than usual, since March was a crazy month for SEO. If you made it through March without an email from Google or a penalty from Google or a drop in Google organic search traffic due to Panda updates or paidlink-related issues, [...]

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