Tag Archive | "Think"

Why we need to think of entities and the future of SEO

It’s time to think of the future of SEO. What should we focus on? It’s time to find out more about entities and how they affect our SEO strategies.

Brighton SEO is an exciting conference for everyone who wants to find out more about the latest trends and tactics in all things SEO. No matter how experienced you are, there’s always a session to inspire you to try out new ideas.

Greg Gifford, Vice President of Search at Wikimotive, talked about entities and the future of SEO.

Brighton SEO speaks of the future of SEO

Defining entities for SEO

Google is considering an entity a thing or concept that is singular, unique, well-defined, and distinguishable. In fact, according to Greg Gifford, entities are the most important concept in SEO.

It was back in 2012 that Google moved to entity search. Real-world entities and their relationships started being ranking signals. A year later, Google started focusing on the semantics to make its ranking algorithm smarter. Then we found out in 2015 that ranking search results started being based on entity metrics.

Thus, it’s time to start focusing more on entities and how they affect our SEO.

It’s useful to remember then that every site consists of numerous entities. The internal links are simply the relationships between entities. Our content is simply made up of entities and their relationships.

The future of search

When thinking of the future of search, we need to keep in mind that Google is becoming smarter.

Here are Gifford’s tips that will future-proof your SEO strategy:

  • The ranking will be more about real-world signals. This means that we need to explore the right balance between our current SEO tactics and the brand we are building with old-school marketing.
  • Voice search is all about the intent of conversational queries. Conversational content will become very important.
  • Mobile search will continue to make local SEO vital for everyone. Consuming content through mobile phones is pushing us to think of our mobile strategies and how we can improve them. In fact, local SEO will be the key to our future success. As Greg Gifford reminds us, links from local businesses will matter even if they are unrelated to your business.
  • Google My Business is your direct interface to Google’s entity information about your business. It is further blending into mobile SERPs that will blur the lines even more between online and offline actions. In fact, real-world offline actions related to business entities will help your ranking.
  • Start writing content that answers questions in a unique way. It’s helpful to read your content out loud. Conversational content will help you master the new world of entities and their relationships that affect ranking.
  • Another excellent tip that can be very helpful is to think like you’re targeting rich snippets. It’s not the goal but it’s the right mindset to help you create more relevant content.

Four things we need to stop doing in SEO

According to Greg Gifford, we need to stop doing these things that will affect the future success of our SEO strategy:

1. Stop concentrating on keyword matching

SEO will be less about writing content with the right keywords and more about having the best answer based on the intent of the search.

2. Stop concentrating on single pages

Build your entity and pay attention to how it’s connected to other entities instead.

3. Stop thinking about optimizing individual page elements

The optimization should not focus on one page but rather on the overall entities and how their relationships can improve your success.

4. Stop concentrating on link building as the most important SEO tactic

Links will probably always matter but will be less important as Google gets better at understanding entity signals.

Focus on the entities and their relationships

There are many interesting takeaways from this session in Brighton SEO that can be useful when planning your strategy for 2020.

  • Make sure you’re paying attention to local SEO.
  • If you want to improve your online business, focus on the right balance between offline and online relationship building.
  • Mobile search will be more important than ever so make sure you create content for mobile users.
  • Your content should be conversational. Don’t be afraid to read it out loud before you publish it.
  • There’s no need to spend too much time on individual pages and keywords if you forget to look at the bigger picture.

You can also find the session’s slides here for more details.

What future trends can you spot for SEO in 2020? Share them in the comments.

The post Why we need to think of entities and the future of SEO appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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How to Strategically Think About Technical SEO – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by BenjaminEstes

We’ve all agreed that technical SEO is integral, and many of us know at least a little bit about the subject if we’re not already practitioners. But have you considered that the way you think about technical SEO could be hindering or helping your success? Today, Ben Estes from Distilled shares the agency’s tried-and-true framework for tackling technical SEO quandaries strategically.

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Hi. Welcome to another Whiteboard Friday. My name is Ben, and I’m a principal consultant at a company called Distilled. Today I’d like to talk to you about how we think about technical SEO at Distilled. Now, technical SEO is something that a lot of people know a lot of stuff about.

You accumulate knowledge over time from a lot of different sources, and that’s where a lot of the value that we deliver comes from. But not everyone can think about technical SEO from a strategic perspective, and that’s the skill that I think we should talk more about. 

Framing the problem

Let’s start by framing the problem. So look at these charts. Now, I would argue that most people’s mental model of technical SEO matches this first chart.

So in this chart, the solid black line is the actual traffic that you’re getting, whereas the dotted line is the hypothetical traffic you could be getting if all of the technical problems on your site were resolved. So some people see this and say, “Well, you know, if I can just keep fixing technical things, I can keep getting more traffic to my site.”

That’s one way of looking at it, but I would argue that it’s not the best way of looking at it, because really there are only so many technical things that can go wrong with your site. There’s a finite number of problems. It’s not an opportunity so much as an issue that needs to be resolved. So what I try and encourage my clients and colleagues to do is think about it in this way.

So it’s the same chart and the same situation. Here’s the actual traffic that you’re getting and the hypothetical traffic you could be getting. But really what’s happening is your technical problems are keeping you from realizing the most potential traffic that you could be capturing. In other words, there are technical issues preventing us from capturing all the traffic that we could. Now, once you’ve framed the problem in this way, how do you solve it?

So some people just say, “Well, I’ve got this big problem. I need to understand how all the things that could be wrong with this site. I’m just going to dive in. I’m going to go through page by page, and I’ll finish when either I run out of pages or more realistically I run out of time or I run out of the client’s budget. So what if there’s a better way to actually solve that problem and know that it’s been solved?

Well, that’s what this framework that I’m going to present to you is about. The way that we would recommend doing that is by taking the big problem, the overall problem of technical SEO and breaking it down into subproblems and breaking those down again until you have problems that are so small that they are trivially solvable. Now, I’m going to explain to you exactly how we accomplish that, and it’s going to be a little bit abstract.

The approach

So if you want something concrete to follow along with, I’d recommend checking out the blog post at this URL. That’s dis.tl/tech-audit. Okay. So when you have a big problem that you’re trying to break down, many people’s first attempt winds up looking something like this Venn diagram. So we take one problem, break it down into three subproblems, but there’s some sort of overlap between those problems.

Once there’s overlap, you lose a lot of confidence. There is, are you duplicating effort across these different areas? Or did you miss something because these two things are kind of the same? Everything just gets a little hazy very quickly. So to get past that, what I’ve used at Distilled is this consulting concept called MECE.

Mutually exclusive and comprehensively exhaustive

MECE stands for mutually exclusive and comprehensively exhaustive. That’s a lot of fancy words, so I’ll show you pictorially what I mean. So instead of having a Venn diagram like this, what if each of the problems was completely independent? Now they still cover the same area. There’s just no overlap between them, and that’s what MECE means.

Because there is no overlap between them, they are mutually exclusive. Because they cover all of the original problem, they’re comprehensively exhaustive. So what does this mean in technical SEO specifically? Now remember the problem that we’re dealing with is that there are technical issues preventing us from capturing traffic that we would otherwise be able to. So what are the three ways that that could happen? 

  1. Maybe our content isn’t being indexed. There’s a technical reason our content isn’t being indexed. 
  2. Our content doesn’t rank as well as it could, and therefore we’re losing this traffic. 
  3. There is a technical reason our content isn’t being presented as well as it could be in the SERPs.

This is things like having rich snippets, stars, things like that that could increase click-through rate. These things seem kind of trivial, but actually all of the technical problems that you can find on your site contribute to one or more of these three categories. So again, that was pretty abstract. So let’s talk about an example of how that actually plays out. This is actually the first technical check in this audit at that blog post.

An example

So, for instance, we’re starting by considering there is a technical reason our content isn’t being indexed. Well, what are all the ways that that could happen? One of the ways is that URLs are not discoverable by crawlers, and, again, that is a whole thing in itself that can be broken down further.

So maybe it’s that our XML sitemaps aren’t uploaded to Google Search Console. Of course, this isn’t a guarantee that we have a problem. But if there’s a problem down here, there’s a pretty good chance that that trickles back up to a problem up here that we’re really concerned about. The beauty of this isn’t just that it winds up helping us create a checklist so that we know all of the technical issues we ought to be looking at.



But it also helps us convey exactly what the meaning is of our findings and why people should care about them. So this is the template that I encourage my colleagues to use at Distilled. “We are seeing ________. This is a problem because something.You should care about that because something else.” The way this works is like Mad Lib style, except we work like inside out.

So we start with this point here. We are seeing that our XML sitemaps aren’t uploaded to Google Search Console. This is a problem because maybe URLs are not discoverable by crawlers. We should care about that because there is a technical reason our content isn’t being indexed, and that right there is exactly the message that you deliver to your client.

So again, this is exactly the framework that we use for our technical audits at Distilled. It’s given us a lot more confidence. It’s given us a lot more insight into how long this process should take for our analysts and consultants, and it’s also got us better outcomes particularly because it’s helped us communicate better about what we found. Thank you very much. I would love if more people use this, and feel free to reach out to me personally if you have any thoughts or questions.

Thank you.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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MarketingSherpa Podcast #5: Ten things you should think about before you do your next website redesign

Tips for avoiding some serious potholes on your journey while taking on a website redesign
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Tactics and Strategies that Help You Look (and Think) Like a Pro

This week, we’ve got a bunch of tips, tactics, and strategies to help you get more out of the work…

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Why You Should Think Twice about Writing How-To Posts

“Write what you know.” It’s an old adage you’ve probably heard before. And many bloggers and content writers have taken…

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Why Stress Might Be More Useful than You Think: December’s Selection for the Copyblogger Book Club

It’s book club time again! Over in Copyblogger’s Killers and Poets Facebook Group, we like to get together and discuss…

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How Wrenches Changed the Way I Think about Digital Tools

About a year and a half ago, I made up my mind to rebuild a motorcycle. I had no mechanical…

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Want Your Brand to Look More Sophisticated? Think Black!

Most people never think twice about the colors that their favorite brands use. However, businesses spend a lot of time and money deciding on which hue is best for their products. This is because colors affect people’s feelings on a subconscious level. They are also associated with certain cultural or social messages.

Colors come with so many meanings. Blue has a calming influence on people. It also gives off the impression of trustworthiness and dependability. In contrast, red is associated with passion and danger. It can also give off a refined and powerful vibe, which is why red wines are considered richer than whites.

Image result for colors and emotions

[Graphic via Medium]

As a small business owner, never underestimate the impact color has on your brand. Corporations with large marketing departments, understand this all too well. For instance, most skin care companies use white in their product packaging as it symbolizes purity and cleanliness. Banks tend to use the color blue to give off an image of dependability. But what if you want to give your product a luxurious feel and classy image?

Why Black is Considered Luxurious

No other color has such a polarizing effect as black. Some western countries associate it with death and mourning. The media has also used it to portray villainy and evilness. However, the past few decades have seen the color become the epitome of luxury and class.

Despite the negative connotations, black is also associated with power, authority, class, and sophistication. Consider how high-end events are often black tie affairs, with women wearing the requisite little black dress. The color is very formal and serious and can evoke feelings of strength and intelligence.

Interestingly, black also has a slimming effect, which is why the color is used to make a product (or a person) smaller than it really is.

Look Who’s Using Black

Related image

Numerous companies have taken advantage of the way black evokes power and sophistication. For instance, makeup brands have used the color to provide their products with a sleek and classy look. Notice how even simple makeup brushes look more expensive with the color.

Ralph Lauren has even named one of their men’s scents after the color and used it as the background of their ads. Their predominantly dark ads for Polo Black target men who consider themselves to be strong and mysterious but with a depth of personality.

Brands that cater to men and luxury items have found great success in using this particular color. Rolls Royce cars are typically black, with a sleek and shiny outline. The same goes for Don Q. The rum brand uses black with splashes of gold.

There’s no denying that black is a powerful color. However, it can also be overwhelming. Use black in your packaging, your ads, and website to give off the image of luxury. But try to pair it with colors like red or gold for a striking contrast. You’ll find that your customers will be more than willing to pay extra for something that looks expensive and luxurious even if the quality is average.

[Featured image via Rolls Royce]

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Why You’re Missing Crucial Opportunities if You Think You’re ‘Not Creative’

I can’t stand hearing people say they’re “not creative.” That happened to me recently, after I sliced a finger and wound up in Urgent Care. When the doctor heard that my fiancé is a graphic designer, he launched into a well-rehearsed monologue: “Oh, my mom is a graphic designer; she’s so creative! I do some
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Weak Email Marketing and Nickelback Have Less in Common than You Might Think

I’ve never admitted this to anyone before: I don’t always change the radio station right away when a Nickelback song comes on. See? That first line wasn’t hyperbole. How embarrassing. Here’s about how far I’ll let “How You Remind Me” play before finding something else to listen to: “Never made it as a wise man
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