EBS Marketing’s Favourite SEO Blogs

At EBS Marketing, we always love reading about the latest developments from the world of SEO and Digital Marketing. But although Google announcements and company statements are often a great way to get right to the point information, we also enjoy reading what real people think.

ebs marketing manchesterAfter all, the true facts come from those working in the industry not those outside it looking in. That’s why we at EBS Marketing enjoy reading blogs written by Marketeers and active SEO, because the information and thoughts you get are honest and from person to person.

So with this in mind, at EBS we thought we’d share a few of our favourite SEO and Marketing blogs/websites at the moment. So if you’re looking for the best places to find up to date and relevant information from the industry, then look no further…

Search Engine Land

An endless resource for information and news from the world of SEO, SEM, Content Marketing and beyond, Search Engine Land is an amazing place to find updates on a daily basis.

Featured Post: 21 Metrics For Monitoring SEO Health

Blind Five Year Old

From mass magazine to a one man operation, Blind Five Year Old is the blog of SEO mastermind AJ Kohn. AJ’s deep understanding of content and SEO makes for some incredibly insightful reading and some detailed findings.

Featured Post: Social Signals and SEO

Occam’s Razor

Occam’s Razor is run by Author, Digital Marketing evangelist and CEO, Avinash Kaushik, and features a series of amazing tips and tricks for SEOs and marketeers. Avinash’s Analytics Tips are particularly brilliant.

Featured Post: Excellent Analytics Tip #26: Every Critical Metric Should Have A BFF!

Copyblogger

More suitable for those interested in copywriting and content marketing, Copyblogger is a company run blog that aims to help people create “killer online content”. And with their extensive range of articles, Ebooks, Seminars, Webinars and Forums, Copyblogger is a great place to get your writing and marketing on the right track.

Feature Article: 5 Innovative Email Marketing Tips That Drive Readers to Action

If you’re interested in SEO and digital marketing, be sure to visit EBS Marketing today, for a full range of amazing services.

For more information and stories like this, be sure to follow EBS Marketing on Facebook.

Google Say Goodbye to Authorship Photos in Results

As we know very well here at EBS Marketing, Google are always changing and tweaking their products and services. Whether its slight algorithmic edits that no one will ever notice, the change of spacing in the company’s logo or even the introduction of a brand new service, Google have an immense amount of influence over us and our day to day online lives.

EBS Marketing Google+And who’s to stop them! Google holds an overwhelming stake of the search engine market share, and provides its services to millions of users worldwide, racking up approximately 11 billion Google searches per month. So as Google’s seemingly endless alterations continue, it would be wise to remember that whilst some changes may seem pointless or impractical, others may lead to the development of a better user experience.

But, in more recent news, it seems like the multi-billion dollar search company are taking a step backwards in their latest update, with the removal of some of their authorship features.

What Is Authorship?

Authorship, for those of you who don’t already know, is a feature within Google which enables writers and publishers to link their website or blog with their Google+ account. This verification between services could then enable the visualisation of the author within the Google search.

What did it used to look like?

So, originally, before the update, if you wrote a blog with authorship in place, and your article cropped up in the results, a photo (taken from your Google+) would be listed alongside the article. As well as a small headshot, your name, link to your Google+ profile and the number of circles you appear in also appeared in the search results.

Matt Cutts Authorship New

Why was Authorship good?

Naturally, this personalisation brought about a vast increase is authorship users, particularly within the world of SEO and marketing. Although authorship did not directly affect search rankings, the introduction of the feature brought about optimised results for other Google+ users in author’s circles and advances in click-through rates.

What is Authorship now?

But now – as John Mueller recently stated – Google have started to move away from visual authorship results, favouring a stripped back, more consistent look. Having removed photos and listing the number of circles the user was in, now authorship on posts is as simple as a user’s name with an anchor link.

Matt Cutts authorship 2

John Mueller’s statement from Google reads:

“We’ve been doing lots of work to clean up the visual design of our search results, in particular creating a better mobile experience and a more consistent design across devices. As a part of this, we’re simplifying the way authorship is shown in mobile and desktop search results, removing the profile photo and circle count. (Our experiments indicate that click-through behavior on this new less-cluttered design is similar to the previous one.)”

But with these new developments comes disappointment for many authorship users, who were seeing positivity from its old features. Yes, Google search results will be clearer and more succinct, and will decrease spammy users, but the personalisation and individuality added with the original Google authorship will be lost forever.

Let us know your thoughts on Google’s new update in the comments section below.

For more information and updates like this, be sure to stay in touch with EBS Marketing on Facebook.

EBS Marketing’s Steps to Avoiding a Dealing with a Penguin Penalty

In modern online marketing, that old phrase ‘Google is King’ really is one to live by, especially when it comes to navigating its all-powerful Penguin algorithm. That’s why this week EBS Marketing thought we’d provide a guide to dealing with a Penguin penalty.

Google is essential to any online marketing strategy because so many people use it to look you up. That’s why if you want them to know who you are, you must rank for your industry specific search term. You achieve this through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), which sees your keyword rank because it is used in your content.

The search engine has long been concerned with minimising black hat SEO practises – people using SEO in ways that don’t actually provide useful information to the user. This is why it values natural SEO and why you must always write keywords into your content in a way that is relevant.

In its endless quest to battle black hat SEO, Google has introduced several algorithms designed to root out and punish offenders, including Panda and Hummingbird. One of these is Penguin.

The Penguin algorithm in its earliest form went into effect in 2012, and was specifically aimed at punishing sites by decreasing rankings for those sites that violated the Google Webmaster rules, as other algorithms did. Penguin specifically dealt with black hat SEO practises that were used to artificially raise a sites page rankings, known collectively as ‘link schemes.’

Penguin has been quite effective in punishing those sites that contravene the webmaster’s rules by downgrading they’re ranking, and it can be a real hazard for your online marketing strategy. How can you recover when you fall foul of Penguin?

Steps to Deal with Penguin.

First, check the bad links: If you suspect you’ve fallen foul of Penguin, you’ll first need to check if you have any bad links that have caused it to happen.  Do this by downloading your backlink from various sources including Google webmaster tools, which will then analyse the backlink.

If you’ve then identified bad links, remove them immediately. Then you need to disavow them by requesting they not just be removed from the site, but the domain. If the work was done by an SEO company, get hold of them and get them to do it. Then wait for the next penguin update. The problem should have been dealt with. If you’ve been hit with a manual Google Penguin penalty, send a reconsideration request after, showing you have cleaned up your act, to the website.

At EBS Marketing we realise that’s it’s easier to fall foul of penguin than you might think. However, if you take steps to deal with it, then once the next Penguin update rolls around, the problem should be cleared up.

Yahoo! beats Google in US traffic?

So according to comscore Yahoo! beat out Google as a top destination for US traffic. Their recent acquisition of Tumblr didn’t assist in this. This event is pretty surprising – what does it mean for SEOs and website owners?

#1 Don’t focus just on Google – or specifically on any search engines. Make your website technically excellent and your content compelling. We discussed this previously and I’m on the side of the 2nd section in that article – “Good SEO is Universal”.

#2 Things can and do change. Google & Facebook are here now and are very strong – so people spend a lot of time on them, but remember myspace and ask jeeves?

#3 Take advantage of Bing’s website toolset (Bing and Yahoo! currently partner on traffic). Remember that setting up with Google’s tools gives them more information and appears to help get pages indexed? Well, try that with Bing/Yahoo! too.

#4 Advertise on Yahoo! This is a no brainer – take some of your Google PPC budget and bring it over to Yahoo! as an experiment. You may find that there’s less competition for those clicks – could be more efficient.

You’ll also get Bing exposure and coverage on other partner websites.

#5 The figures don’t currently include mobile data. This could swing the results significantly but the point here is to make sure you include all relevant and significant types of visitor and optimise for them accordingly. Mobile is big and is only set to get bigger – so make plans to check your mobile website – is it fast? Is it easy to use? Does it look good? Test this comprehensively.

Get in touch with us for help with SEO, E-commerce websites, Social marketing and more.

SEO: Where to start?

SEO is vast – so where should you start? Should you re-write all your tags? Where should keywords in an h2 tag go – the beginning or the end? What social channels do you need? Do I need complicated analytics?

Relax

Take a deep breath. Trust me when I say the complication scales as you learn SEO. This is great because it means you can start small and build up from there. You can also get a marketing firm on board – such as EBS Marketing! – who can hold your hand as much or as little as you require.

Content

Let’s start with content. From now on ‘content is king’ is your mantra. The web is built on content and the better you make that content – be it funny, informative, entertaining – the better chance you have of rating highly for relevance in your chosen field.

Use your keywords, but don’t overdo it. Need help with keyword ideas? Sign up and use Google’s keyword tool. This will give you local and global monthly search volumes for the phrases you’ve entered and importantly variations upon these. This can help you see if you’re using the correct keywords and if you’re missing any potential opportunities for high volume keywords. It may also help you identify long tail keywords – these are keyword combinations that have a low search volume. Why is that good? It’s easier to convert these as competition is lower and the targeting is much more specific.

Length is important on things like blog posts – aim for 400-600 words. Not only is this about SEO, but it’s about good writing: creating substantial content. A potential issue is that frequency is also important, so posting once or twice a week is a good minimum amount. I understand that as a business owner you’re unlikely to have the time to write all week – so try to strike a happy medium or outsource the work.

Navigation

Certain navigation systems can obscure your content as search engines can’t always follow it. Google is the only known entity to support Flash navigation – but that is not 100% guaranteed. The best thing to do is offer an alternative menu in HTML, verify your website in Google Webmaster tools & submit a sitemap. After a delay webmaster tools will tell you if your site has any crawl errors – hopefully none – and the sitemap gives Google an idea of the structure of the website’s content. It does also seem to give it a little bump towards indexing it – almost like a little thank-you from Google for giving them more data!

Where can I go from here?

Feeling confident and want to build up your SEO prowess? Why not take a look at these areas:

  • Page Title tags
  • Image alt tags, captions & filenames
  • Demographic data from Google Analytics
  • Link building
  • Guest blogging
  • Social media
  • PPC advertising

See – that wasn’t so hard was it? Start with your content and your navigation, build up from there and don’t be afraid to ask for help from some self-confessed SEO obsessives.