Tag Archive | "Start"

If You Start A Business Today How Long Will It Take To Earn A Full Time Income?

If your goal is to earn a stable full-time income from your own online business within 12 months, then now is the time to take things seriously. What you start building today, will bear fruit next year, probably LATE next year at best. I’m being brutally honest here — there…

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Authentic Blogging: Stop Trying To Make The Right Impression And Start Being Yourself

Have you ever written a blog post and read it back only to find it sounds nothing like your style or voice? A lot of new bloggers create a frame in their mind about how they think they need to present themselves to the world. This is especially true when starting…

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Why There Are Only A Few Times When It Is Smart To Start A Second Business

 [ Download MP3 | Transcript | iTunes | Soundcloud | Raw RSS ] A friend of mine in Vancouver called me up to do a mastermind session to help him deal with a situation in his business. This particular situation is one I think a lot of entrepreneurs run…

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Site Crawl, Day 1: Where Do You Start?

Posted by Dr-Pete

When you’re faced with the many thousands of potential issues a large site can have, where do you start? This is the question we tried to tackle when we rebuilt Site Crawl. The answer depends almost entirely on your site and can require deep knowledge of its history and goals, but I’d like to outline a process that can help you cut through the noise and get started.

Simplistic can be dangerous

Previously, we at Moz tried to label every issue as either high, medium, or low priority. This simplistic approach can be appealing, even comforting, and you may be wondering why we moved away from it. This was a very conscious decision, and it boils down to a couple of problems.

First, prioritization depends a lot on your intent. Misinterpreting your intent can lead to bad advice that ranges from confusing to outright catastrophic. Let’s say, for example, that we hired a brand-new SEO at Moz and they saw the following issue count pop up:

Almost 35,000 NOINDEX tags?! WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?!!

If that new SEO then rushed to remove those tags, they’d be doing a lot of damage, not realizing that the vast majority of those directives are intentional. We can make our systems smarter, but they can’t read your mind, so we want to be cautious about false alarms.

Second, bucketing issues by priority doesn’t do much to help you understand the nature of those problems or how to go about fixing them. We now categorize Site Crawl issues into one of five descriptive types:

  • Critical Crawler Issues
  • Crawler Warnings
  • Redirect Issues
  • Metadata Issues
  • Content Issues

Categorizing by type allows you to be more tactical. The issues in our new “Redirect” category, for example, are going to have much more in common, which means they potentially have common fixes. Ultimately, helping you find problems is just step one. We want to do a better job at helping you fix them.

1. Start with Critical Crawler Issues

That’s not to say everything is subjective. Some problems block crawlers (not just ours, but search engines) from getting to your pages at all. We’ve grouped these “Critical Crawler Issues” into our first category, and they currently include 5XX errors, 4XX errors, and redirects to 4XX. If you have a sudden uptick in 5XX errors, you need to know, and almost no one intentionally redirects to a 404.

You’ll see Critical Crawler Issues highlighted throughout the Site Crawl interface:

Look for the red alert icon to spot critical issues quickly. Address these problems first. If a page can’t be crawled, then every other crawler issue is moot.

2. Balance issues with prevalence

When it comes to solving your technical SEO issues, we also have to balance severity with quantity. Knowing nothing else about your site, I would say that a 404 error is probably worth addressing before duplicate content — but what if you have eleven 404s and 17,843 duplicate pages? Your priorities suddenly look very different.

At the bottom of the Site Crawl home, check out “Moz Recommends Fixing”:

We’ve already done some of the math for you, weighting urgency by how prevalent the issue is. This does require some assumptions about prioritization, but if your time is limited, we hope it at least gives you a quick starting point to solve a couple of critical issues.

3. Solve multi-page issues

There’s another advantage to tackling issues with high counts. In many cases, you might be able to solve issues on hundreds (or even thousands) of pages with a single fix. This is where a more tactical approach can save you a lot of time and money.

Let’s say, for example, that I want to dig into my 916 pages on Moz.com missing meta descriptions. I immediately notice that some of these pages are blog post categories. So, I filter by URL:

I can quickly see that these pages account for 392 of my missing descriptions — a whopping 43% of them. If I’m concerned about this problem, then it’s likely that I could solve it with a fairly simple CMS page, wiping out hundreds of issues with a few lines of code.

In the near future, we hope to do some of this analysis for you, but if filtering isn’t doing the job, you can also export any list of issues to CSV. Then, pivot and filter to your heart’s content.

4. Dive into pages by PA & crawl depth

If you can’t easily spot clear patterns, or if you’ve solved some of those big issues, what next? Fixing thousands of problems one URL at a time is only worthwhile if you know those URLs are important.

Fortunately, you can now sort by Page Authority (PA) and Crawl Depth in Site Crawl. PA is our own internal metric of ranking ability (primarily powered by link equity), and Crawl Depth is the distance of a page from the home-page:

Here, I can see that there’s a redirect chain in one of our MozBar URLs, which is a very high-authority page. That’s probably one worth fixing, even if it isn’t part of an obvious, larger group.

5. Watch for spikes in new issues

Finally, as time goes on, you’ll also want to be alert to new issues, especially if they appear in large numbers. This could indicate a sudden and potentially damaging change. Site Crawl now makes tracking new issues easy, including alert icons, graphs, and a quick summary of new issues by category:

Any crawl is going to uncover some new pages (the content machine never rests), but if you’re suddenly seeing hundreds of new issues of a single type, it’s important to dig in quickly and make sure nothing’s wrong. In a perfect world, the SEO team would always know what changes other people and teams made to the site, but we all know it’s not a perfect world.

I hope this gives you at least a few ideas for how to quickly dive into your site’s technical SEO issues. If you’re an existing customer, you already have access to Moz’s new Site Crawl and all of the features discussed in this post.

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!


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New Course Open: How You Can Start A Business Selling Services Online (Services Arbitrage)

I’m excited to announce I have opened the doors to the Laptop Lifestyle Academy, which includes my new Services Arbitrage course. I’m teaching Part 1 of Services Arbitrage and taking questions live on February 1st, and Part 2 with another live coaching session on February 15th, 2017. As an Academy member you can…

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Featured Snippets: From Start to Finish

Posted by Dr-Pete

You’ve been hearing a lot about featured snippets from us at Moz lately, including how they power answers on the latest technology wish-list item, Google Home. I hope by now that you understand the value of ranking “#0,” but you might be left wondering where to start. How do you find questions, determine if they have featured snippets, and track them over time?

I’m happy to say that, between Keyword Explorer and Moz Pro, we now have all of the tools you need to practically tackle featured snippets in a way that will be familiar for almost any SEO. This post takes you through the full featured snippet discovery and tracking cycle, from start to finish.

Step 1 – Finding questions

Finding question phrases that might trigger featured snippets is, first and foremost, a keyword research problem. So, let’s fire up Keyword Explorer and check out some keywords for “seo.” Click on “Keyword Suggestions” and you’ll see a list like this one…

The third phrase on this list — “how to do seo” – certainly looks promising. Indeed, if I run a Google search for that phrase, I see a featured snippet from Search Engine Land:

This is all well and good, but it’s going to take a lot of manual digging through keywords to find questions. Isn’t there an easier way? Thankfully, yes. On the pull-down on the upper left, the last option is [are questions]. Give it a try, and you’ll get back something like these results…

I’ve filtered the list to contain only phrases with search volumes of 101+, and now we’ve got a pretty solid list. These questions are a mix of machine-gathered and machine-generated, so some of them will need a human touch, but it’s a great starting point.

Step 1b – More questions

Here’s another trick to try out. What if you’re interested in a specific type of question, like “Why…?” questions? Try entering a generic question into Keyword Explorer, such as “why seo.” You’ll get back ideas like these:

Non only do some of these queries show featured snippets, but this kind of research is also great for content brainstorming. These are exactly the kinds of questions people want answered, including prospective customers.

Step 2 – Choosing questions

So, let’s put our first list to work. You might want to verify the presence of featured snippets manually, in some cases, but since I’ve only got 38 questions to deal with, I’m going to go ahead and track all of the ones that seem reasonable. So, I’ll select what I want from my list, and then, using the pull-down above the keyword list, I can add those keywords to a list in Keyword Explorer:

In this case, I’ve selected 20 keyphrases of the 38 I filtered out. Give the list a little time to collect stats, and then you can visit the list page directly. At first glance, we’ve already got some good news on the list page – 16 of 20 phrases are showing featured snippets:

Scroll down to the full list details, and you can see more stats for the keywords/questions. You can use these stats to filter your options down even more, but since I’ve only got 20 in this list, I’m going to go ahead and add them all to one of my Moz Pro campaigns. Just select “I want to…” at the top-left and then [Add ... to campaign]:

You’ll get a pop-over (which is hopefully self-explanatory) asking you to select a campaign.

Step 3 – Tracking questions

This is where the fun really begins. Once we’ve collected campaign data on the new keywords, go to your campaign, select the “Rankings” menu, and then go to “SERP Features.” I’ve added the label “questions” to my new keywords, just to make tracking easier. You’ll see a graph of all features across the top, and then a search filter and list below. I’m going to filter on my label, and I end up with something like this:

From here, I can easily see which keywords have which features (featured snippets are marked by the scissors icon). For featured snippets, the color codes also show which snippets my campaign is represented in vs. my campaign competitors. For example, the snippet for “how to do SEO” is occupied by a competitor I track. Notice, though, that I also rank #2 for that query, and there’s an additional option labeled “Insights” next to the ranking. Click on that, and you’ll see a message from our lead SEO, Britney Muller:

Featured snippets are organic results that Google visually enhances and places above organic position 1. For this reason they appear more authoritative to users and experience higher click-thru rates. Since you are in the top 5 organic results, you may have a chance to win this featured snippet and increase your traffic.

We’ve determined that, if you rank in the top 5 and don’t currently occupy the featured snippet, this is a good opportunity to invest in rewriting your content to better target that question and potentially take the “#0″ spot. Looking across my entire list, which I pruned down to only 20 questions, I can immediately spot a solid handful of opportunities – specific query/page combos to target for featured snippets.

Step 4 – Getting to work

I’ve written more in other posts about how to win featured snippets, and Ronell Smith had a good post recently on keeping those hard-won snippets. The next step is doing the work and continuing to track your question keyword list until the scissors finally turn blue:

I’d like to say that featured snippets are something you get to keep forever, but like organic rankings, they’re awarded in real-time and are an ongoing battle. Fortunately, with Moz Pro, you can monitor featured snippets just as you would organic rankings.

You can try out some question research in Keyword Explorer for free (even if you’re not a Moz Pro customer), so give it a spin and start thinking about how you can provide better answers for search users.

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!


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If I Could Start Over As An Entrepreneur Again This Is One Thing I Would Do Differently

It was the year 2003… Like most days, I started my morning lying in bed on my back, feeling a combination of excitement and stress as I stared at the ceiling, thinking about all the things I’d like to change about my life. I was 23 years old, graduated from…

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Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

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How Kickstarter, Crowdfunding And The Presell Process Are Changing The Way Entrepreneurs Start A Business

Last night before heading to bed I was browsing through Kickstarter, in particular the film and video category, to see what projects are raising funds or have been funded already. In case you have been living under a rock (or maybe you just don’t live online like I do), Kickstarter…

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Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

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Have You Seen My “How You Can Start Making Money Online” Mega-Resource Page?

We Just Updated My “How You Can Start Making Money Online” Mega-Resource Page. Have You Seen It?.. The sun is shining here in Melbourne as the cold weather is leaving us down under and no doubt making its way slowly back up to you guys in the northern hemisphere (sorry…

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Tired Of The Slow Start, Why Not Buy A Blog To Speed Up The Process

Tired Of The Slow Start, Why Not Speed Up The Process And Buy A Blog? Many many years ago I was on skype talking to a friend in the USA. My friend had a blog, one that was similar in audience size to my own, about small business branding. We…

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