Tag Archive | "Important"

What Is More Important For SEOs To Understand; Guidelines Or Algorithm Updates?

Tomorrow at SMX West I am moderating a panel called Machine vs. Man: What Really Matters For SEO Success. One of the panelists is Frédéric Dubut from Bing and he posted a poll asking what is more important for SEOs, understanding the search quality raters guidelines or the ranking algorithm updates?

Search Engine Roundtable

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How Donald Trump, Heart Palpitations And A Trip To The Hospital Delivered An Important Reminder Of The Power Of Your Mind

Note From Yaro: This article is from my Change Manifesto series. Entrepreneurs-Journey.com and ChangeManifesto.com are being merged into my one main website, Yaro.blog, the umbrella brand for all my work going forward.  It was Tuesday night, election night in the USA. I was sitting on a couch in an AirBNB rental house in Venice Beach […]

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Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

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What Is A Strategy Versus A Tactic? (And Why It’s So Important You Understand The Difference)

Inside the Blog Profits Blueprint I talk about a key distinction, the difference between strategies and tactics when it comes to online marketing and building a blog-based business. Here’s a relevant quote from the Blueprint: Strategies are in place to educate your mind about why things happen. Strategy helps you understand outcomes and helps predict […]

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Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

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Important Announcement: I’m Quitting Coaching

This year is the final year I am going to offer group coaching. It’s time to move on, so there’s lots to talk about… Back in 2007 I released my first online course, Blog Mastermind 1.0. As part of that course I began running private group coaching teleconferences for my members. As bandwidth and technology […]

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Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

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SEO ranking factors: What’s important, what’s not

This week, Google celebrated its 19th birthday. A lot has changed in nearly two decades. Rather than relying primarily on PageRank to evaluate the quality of web pages, Google now uses a whole array of techniques to suggest a wide range of content in response to queries, from simple direct answers…

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

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My Business Made $153,428 While I Was Traveling In Europe Because I Made One Important Change Years Ago

Hello from beautiful Lviv Ukraine, the town I presently call home. I’ve had a very busy 2017, traveling from Toronto to Vancouver, then Paris, Nice, Monaco, Lviv, Kiev, back to Paris for the French Open tennis, London, Valencia, Barcelona, Warsaw, and then back to Lviv. Traveling this frequently is not…

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Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

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3 Important SEO Steps to Take Right Away

"True masters of search engine optimization are masters of listening and empathy." – Jerod Morris

What if we’re thinking about SEO all wrong?

You won’t be shocked to see such a question posed on this site — one that harbors posts in its archive with headlines like SEO is Dead and What if You Could Simply Eliminate SEO from Your Life?

Don’t get me wrong: we’re not anti-SEO.

Heck, we were recently awarded a U.S. patent for the Content Optimizer we developed that now powers the SEO tools bundled with our premium WordPress hosting.

We’re just anti some of the misguided notions and incomplete narratives about SEO that masquerade as good advice.

And one of the most fundamental mistakes I see people make is not fully appreciating the full breadth of each of the three terms that comprise S-E-O: Search. Engine. Optimization.

Notice the placement of that first period after “Search.”

It’s time to think beyond traditional notions of “search engines”

It’s easy to group the terms “search” and “engine” together. And for a long, long time, it made sense to do so.

When we used to discuss “search engine optimization,” we were mostly talking about searches typed into Google, perhaps Bing, or (going back further) Yahoo.

But now it’s 2017.

The new search

Gone are the days of only typed searches. People now conduct more and more searches with voice commands. A recent article on Forbes, 2017 Will Be the Year of Voice Search, makes a compelling case.

And who knows what will happen when we all have chips implanted in our brains that can read our thoughts. We might just be able to think our search and get results via the screens on our contact lenses. ”</p

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When to Send Article Pitches (and Other Important Emails)

"Forcing a project to completion, you ruin what was almost ripe." – Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

It feels good when you’ve done your research before pitching an article idea to an editor:

  • You know the publication’s audience
  • You know your topic offers value in unique ways
  • You know the editor’s content preferences and pet peeves

But you’re not done yet.

Although hitting the “send” button on your email seems like an inconsequential step in your article pitching process, I recommend pausing before you take that action.

That moment of excited impatience could spoil all the important research you’ve just performed.

Caution: avoid these days of the week

Have you ever suggested a fun activity to a friend, significant other, or family member when they’re in a bad mood, and they immediately decline?

Although they would normally love your idea, you’ve asked them at a time when they don’t want to be bothered.

I compare that experience to submitting an article pitch to an editor on a Friday or Monday.

Friday is a day to wrap up the workweek before the weekend and organize upcoming tasks.

Monday is a day to catch up from the weekend and start juggling pressing priorities.

When you reach out to someone you don’t know, your email might get lost in the hustle and bustle of those busy days. If you’ve worked with the editor before, it still might not be a priority to review your article pitch promptly.

Another warning

My theory about Fridays and Mondays is absolutely not a strict rule. After all, an editor may have requested that you submit a pitch to them on a Friday or Monday.

It’s simply a way to think about reaching out to someone when they might be more receptive to hearing your idea.

Keeping that guideline in mind, I’ve had a high success rate of getting responses from editors over the years.

Short-term and long-term to-do lists

We all have to prioritize our work, and there are two common types of to-do lists.

  • Short-term to-do lists: work that must get done that day … or that week
  • Long-term to-do lists: work that is not a top priority but needs to get done eventually

If you send an article pitch on a Friday or Monday, the editor might want to respond. But as they prioritize their work, your email could end up on their long-term to-do list (or even their I-keep-forgetting-about-that list).

Instead, if you send an important email on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, replying to your email might be viewed as a short-term to-do list item. It’s often a lot easier to tackle work as it comes in once the week is rolling along.

I used the phrase “an important email” above because this advice can also be applied to optimize your chances of reaching anyone (coworkers, managers, dental hygienists, etc.) at a favorable time.

People are people

You’re not sending a message to a continually enthusiastic robot that reviews all of the emails they receive with perfect objectivity and care.

You’re emailing another person … a human being.

Ask yourself:

How important is the content of this email for the recipient? Is it helpful to have this information right now? Or, is it just important to me because of the time and effort I’ve spent crafting it?

If it’s mainly important to you, is there a better time to send the email?

There may not be.

But pausing here gives you a chance to think about whether or not the person may prefer to receive it at another time.

What do you know about their current schedule? Do they have more free time the following week? If it’s an article pitch, would waiting to submit your idea until later in the year be beneficial?

Unless an email is urgent, I’ll wait a few days and then decide if it makes sense to send it or continue to wait.

What if you don’t hear back from the editor?

Of course, there is no guarantee you’ll get a quick reply — or any reply — even if you carefully choose when to send an email.

I like the Two-Week Rule when following up with an editor. One week can go by quickly, but after two weeks, it’s reasonable to check in to see if the editor is considering your topic.

And if you do get a response, it might not be the “Yes” you want to hear.

Pitches that are poorly researched or have grammar errors and typos will likely get marked as spam.

If you submit an article to a publication that doesn’t review unsolicited pitches, you likely won’t get a response no matter how compelling your topic is.

For example, Copyblogger does not currently review unsolicited guest post pitches.

There are also many factors out of your control, so be patient and don’t take any response personally.

Trust the editor’s judgment.

A different publication may be an even better fit for your idea … and a rejection from one editor creates an opportunity to explore other options.

Over to you …

What are your tips for sending article pitches to editors? Are there any days of the week or traps you avoid?

Let us know in the comments below.

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The Unusual (but Important) Combination of Creative Fulfillment and SEO

The Unusual (but Important) Combination of Creative Fulfillment and SEO

This year on Copyblogger, each month has a theme — and in March, it’s search engine optimization.

That’s great news for some of you, and terrible news for others. If you’d rather eat a bug than think about SEO, you and I have much in common. On Monday, I wrote about some solid SEO advice that won’t have you contemplating a heaping bowlful of breakfast crickets.

I also gave you some simple, “you-can-totally-do-this” suggestions on Copyblogger FM. And on The Digital Entrepreneur, Sean Jackson and Jessica Frick talked with SEO wizard Eric Enge about how search optimization has matured over the years and why it’s still important.

On Tuesday, Beth Hayden gave us a little gentle, user-friendly advice on keyword research. Finding your keyword phrases shouldn’t be a robotic process — it’s really about learning more about your audience and how they think.

Everyone on the editorial team has decided that Stefanie Flaxman won the week, with a Loverboy headline reference on Wednesday, combined with the subhead “The eye-roll heard round the world.” Well-played, Stefanie. This is a great post, too, about why writing actually is a pretty cool and amazing thing to do with your life.

Today we also published a new pair of Content Challenge prompts! These are exercises we do together as a community to get better at what we do … and more productive so we can make more great things happen.

Keep those creative thoughts flowing, and don’t overdo it on the breakfast crickets …

Hey, and don’t forget — tomorrow is the last day to try out StudioPress Sites with a free introductory month. You can click this link to get started, but the free month deal will go away Friday (tomorrow) at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

— Sonia Simone

Chief Content Officer, Rainmaker Digital

Catch up on this week’s content

some of us would rather eat a bug than try to figure out what headless crawling meansThe Wise Content Marketer’s Guide to Sensible SEO

by Sonia Simone

this is not a time to guess or assume you know your audience so well that you know what they’re thinking3 Simple and Effective Keyword Research Tips

by Beth Hayden

find the space where hard work and fun coexistEverybody’s Working for the Weekday

by Stefanie Flaxman

2017 Content Excellence Challenge: The March Prompts2017 Content Excellence Challenge: The March Prompts

by Sonia Simone

Does SEO Still Matter?Does SEO Still Matter?

by Sean Jackson & Jessica Frick

Brian Clark on the Productive Insights PodcastBrian Clark on the Productive Insights Podcast

by Caroline Early

10 Quality Factors Search Engines Need to See on Your Site10 Quality Factors Search Engines Need to See on Your Site

by Sonia Simone

Designing Your Lifestyle with EntrepreneurismDesigning Your Lifestyle with Entrepreneurism

by Brian Clark

How the Author of ‘The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking’ Oliver Burkeman Writes: Part OneHow the Author of ‘The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking’ Oliver Burkeman Writes: Part One

by Kelton Reid

9 Steps to Becoming a Better Podcast Listener (And Why That Matters)9 Steps to Becoming a Better Podcast Listener (And Why That Matters)

by Jerod Morris & Jon Nastor

The post The Unusual (but Important) Combination of Creative Fulfillment and SEO appeared first on Copyblogger.


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Just How Long Are Big-Company SEOs Waiting for Their Most Important Changes?

Posted by willcritchlow

What would you say if I told you that the average SEO at a big company has been waiting over six months for their highest priority technical change and doesn’t anticipate seeing it deployed for at least another six months? (40+% have been waiting over a year).

If you work in that kind of environment, there’s a good chance you’re not surprised, and if you’ve worked as a consultant and your experience is anything like mine, you might even be asking yourself “is that all?” It’s such a common challenge, and it’s so core to our fundamental goal of making a real difference for our clients, that the ability to effect change has even made it into Distilled’s core values.

Challenges in this area are a growing problem for big companies. As startups in particular come to grips with continuous deployment and similar approaches that bring agility to their processes, big companies risk being left behind on an aging technology stack.

Fred Wilson deploys code at Etsy

Board member Fred Wilson deploys code at Etsy. Photo credit.

The stats I opened with came from surveying a range of SEOs at big companies — a couple of dozen people responsible for billions of pageviews/month. I put together a survey form, sought out suitable people to respond — from mine and Distilled’s extended network — and then focused in on those managing big sites.

I’m still very interested in hearing more thoughts on this topic by the way, so if you haven’t shared your experiences with me, you can still go ahead and do that:

Take the Enterprise SEO Survey

If I get tons of new data, I’ll happily return to update this post.

My goal was to hear more about the real problems faced by enterprise SEOs and to collate that information for all of you so that we can all become more effective. To do this, I asked:

  • What is the technical change you are most desperate to make to your site that’s been difficult to get done?
  • How long have you been waiting for this change?
  • When do you anticipate you will finally see it live?
  • What is holding it up?
  • How big of a problem is this kind of thing for your organization?

Breakdown of the responses

Here’s how long people have been waiting for the technical change they are most desperate to get implemented (42% have been waiting longer than a year):

How long enterprise SEOs have been waiting for their top change

And most (58%) don’t anticipate seeing that change live for at least another 6 months:

How long enterprise SEOs anticipate waiting for their top priority change

Why does this happen?

The most common reasons given for the inability to get their top priority changes made were:

  • Marketing team priorities fall behind those of other teams (53%)
  • The change they want is “not possible” with current platform (37%)
  • Every change has to pass through a long dev backlog (32%)

The full range of answers can be mainly bucketed into two big reasons:

  1. Difficulty in proving the value in advance or making the business case
  2. Legacy technology or outdated processes hampering progress

Is it a big deal?

While the most common response was that it was “just” a serious frustration, almost half of the people I spoke to (47%) reported that inability to make these kinds of changes is stopping their team hitting their objectives or cramping the performance of the whole company:

How much of a problem this is to enterprise SEOs

Given the scale of company we are talking about here, this is incredible — especially for the fifth of people who said it’s cramping the performance of the whole company. That turns it from some geek thing into a burning issue for senior leadership.

What should we do about it?

1. Get better at consulting (even in-house)

The quickest win (which can feel like cheating) is to improve our personal consulting, persuasion, and communication skills. Getting things done sometimes comes down to making our case more effectively — either with more data or with a better argument. Some resources that you might find useful here include:

2. Make better business cases

One specific part of consulting skills that is particularly important in getting things done in big orgs is the ability to build a business case. This requires financial/data analysis skills, but it’s important to remember that it’s not enough to make an Excel model — you also need to tell the story (see some of the resources above).

I spoke on this subject a couple of years ago at our San Diego SearchLove conference in 2013 in a talk about technical (slides here, video here [behind a paywall — if you don’t have a DistilledU account, you can use this link to get access to that video for free]). I talked about:

  1. Winning hearts as well as minds — with descriptions of your vision, competitor comparisons, proof that customers care etc.
  2. Preparing like you are going to have to go into a meeting with Jeff Bezos (I love some of the stories here and you should particularly read about Steve Yegge’s experiences)

We’re getting really excited about the kinds of business cases we are able to build with split-testing. When you can present data like this, it gets way easier to get things done:

SEO split test results

(That’s a screenshot from our new tool — ODN — by the way. If you’d like a demo, you can register your interest here).

3. Make things better over time

All of the problems I’ve talked about here are compounded by technical debt. A great goal for enterprise/in-house folks is to build the flywheels and to do the things now that will make all of this easier in the future. Upgrading core infrastructure, getting towards continuous integration and fast deployment, and improving slow processes all have long-term ROI.

In particular, getting in place tools like tag management move many kinds of change directly into the hands of the marketing team. This is again our thinking behind building our ODN tool — in addition to building business cases, it’s designed to get changes live in the interim until they can be fully built-out into the back-end.

I think my best general recommendations in this area are to start with the lean startup — I had read some articles about it, but it was only when I saw Eric Ries speak (before I’d read the book) that I truly “got it” about what he was calling an MVP which is actually closer to what Rand called marketing first than it is to building an ugly prototype. This image explains it well:

Some more resources:

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments — and don’t forget that if you are in charge of search for a big site, I’d still love to hear your experiences in the survey:

Take the Enterprise SEO Survey

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