Tamar Weinberg – Search Engine Land News On Search Engines, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Thu, 29 Mar 2018 20:05:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.3 How your old content can help with SEO /old-content-can-help-seo-254703 Thu, 28 Jul 2016 16:20:15 +0000 http:/?p=254703 Looking to get the most SEO value out of your content marketing efforts? Columnist Tamar Weinberg explains how to breathe new life into your content assets.

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As the volume of content on the internet continues to expand at jaw-dropping rates, it’s getting harder and harder to attract an audience.

And yet, publishers and brands are investing heavily on churning out new pages. The Washington Post publishes 1,200 new content assets every day, 500 of which are articles prepared by their in-house editorial team. Across the entire web, according to estimates from Internet Live Stats, over 4.3 million blog posts go up each day. Keeping up with that kind of competition volume is a bit of a non-starter.

What’s more, traffic referred from search, which was once considered to be the most attainable and most effective audience acquisition channel, is likewise becoming harder to attain. Depending on the user’s search term, geolocation and device, Google’s monetized SERPs are likely to aggregate fewer than 10 organic, non-personalized results. Regardless, social media is driving more traffic to content pages than search.

One recent study conducted by Boost the News found that 74 percent of new articles hit their traffic peaks on the same day they’re published, followed by 25 percent the following day.

Long live the king

“Content is king,” as the mantra goes, but where’s the ROI on publishing pages that are basically useless after less than a week? Why do you have to keep feeding fresh meat to the content beast if you’re not going to get anything in return? The answer is that you don’t.

Sure, it’s probably a good idea to publish new material on a regular basis, but don’t forget to also make the most of your older content assets. Regularly update that which is outdated, and upgrade that which is laggardly. Promote and repurpose that which stands the test of time.

By extending your content’s shelf life, you’ll be able to maximize your discoverability, while at the same time giving your investment in these assets a fighting chance at performing. Here’s how.

Determine what assets are ripe for life extension

Start by auditing the content that’s currently up on your site, deciding which pages should be unpublished, updated, upgraded, promoted or repurposed.

If you have old content that’s no longer relevant in any way to your ideal audience, then just go ahead and unpublish it. Content marketing is about quality, and if something isn’t helping you, there is no need to have it live. You don’t need anything unnecessarily slowing down your website and turning off readers.

Content that relates to old products or services that you no longer offer, job listings and previous employee information are some obvious things that can be taken down. Before you delete these unnecessary materials, though, set up 301 redirects so that people who head to the old URLs get forwarded to newer, updated pages with relevant information.

For example, when visitors try to access a job listing that’s no longer open, you can direct them to your updated careers page, where they can learn more about all of your current openings. This allows for longer time on site and can lead to increased brand awareness, trust and loyalty.

Update and upgrade

Spend some time reviewing your page performance metrics from the past. Were there any articles that should have been major performers but never lived up to their potential? Anything that was once a powerhouse, but audience interest dwindled?

Pages like these need your attention. Spend some good hours updating the talking points in your content to reflect the latest trends and information. Research your long-tail keywords and use these phrases organically within the content, to ensure that Google recognizes the usefulness of your page to the people who would benefit from it most.

Add visuals and subheaders to make the page more inviting. Cite some statistics to back up the arguments you make. Quote and link to experts who write about the topic at hand, so you’ll have a chance of obtaining some powerful ego-baited backlinks.

Google’s algorithms favor domains with an ongoing flow of fresh content, but they also favor pages that were published recently. To update your content without sacrificing its seniority benefits, make sure that the new version sits on the same URL as the old.

Using this powerful tactic, one recent experiment on Moz.com yielded a 66-percent lift in organic traffic to old blog posts.

Drive traffic to your evergreen assets

While page views don’t directly impact search rankings, on-site engagement signals can help holistically. By keeping people clicking around your content archives, your bounce rate will plummet, and by promoting your content to new audience members off-site, you’ll effectively also boost your site’s organic social shares, which also indirectly help with SEO.

Use your email list and your social media profiles to promote your best older content. For maximum email click-through performance, set up a series of rich content guides that are specific to topics, and then assign each topic to an audience segment.

Much of your content, particularly text-heavy blog posts or long webinars, can likely be atomized into short-form content optimized for your various social channels. You can create highly engaging graphics on tools like Canva and share content that’s relevant to your specific audiences on each channel. For example, knowing that videos perform well on Facebook, infographics perform well on Pinterest and listicles perform well on Twitter can help you distribute evergreen content with posts that will help maximize engagement.

The best part is, once they’re set up, social posts promoting your evergreen assets can easily be automated for periodic recurrence using an app like Hiplay.

Beyond email and social, CodeFuel offers a solution that helps site visitors discover content that’s both relevant and related. The system curates content for promotion via automated topic tagging, ultimately increasing time on site and giving your evergreen content the attention it deserves. CodeFuel’s metrics also allow you to easily see what content is performing best and where the biggest opportunities are for updating and monetizing pages.

No, repurposing content won’t kill your rankings

Well, it depends. It’s true that Google will penalize duplicate content, so you definitely don’t want to create a new blog post or section on your website with the exact same text or metadata that already appears elsewhere. However, syndicated content, especially when the original has had a chance to get indexed and when syndicated versions include canonical tags, poses zero SEO danger. Google is usually smart enough to recognize the oldest instance as the one that should rank, and it simply ignores the others.

That being said, there are many formats in which you can leverage to atomize your content assets. For example, a section from a text-heavy blog post could be turned into a video, infographic, slide deck or podcast episode. These are great ways to maximize your digital footprint and reach new audiences.

Podcasting is especially powerful in this regard. Since podcasts are favored by on-the-go people who don’t necessarily have time to look at your website or read your blog content, they represent a huge opportunity. All you have to do is record someone reading your old blog posts in a personable way, and you have your first episode. With new tools like Anchor, you can easily record yourself, share your content, and grow your audience.

One of the best examples of content repurposed for multi-platform promotion is Jay Today, an initiative of Convince & Convert’s Jay Baer, who published a short spoken word video, in eight different formats, for 149 episodes before he pulled the plug on it last summer. Each video clip was uploaded to iTunes, Medium, LinkedIn Pulse, Baer’s own blog and more.

Nine lives for your content

Enough with the volume game. It’s time to get serious about maximizing the life cycle of each and every content asset that you produce. Even if you end up publishing fewer new articles as a result of these efforts, you’re likely to still come out ahead.

Focus on quality, and don’t forget the opportunities you can find in your archives. When you think strategically about publishing ROI and repurpose, upgrade and promote your content, the benefits are huge. You’ll spend less on production, improve your SEO rankings and reach new audience members.

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6 Keys To Getting Local SEO Started On The Right Foot /6-keys-getting-local-seo-started-221442 /6-keys-getting-local-seo-started-221442#respond Fri, 22 May 2015 14:06:04 +0000 http:/?p=221442 For small businesses wondering how to get into local search engine optimization (SEO), contributor Tamar Weinberg has provided this handy beginner's guide.

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Local search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for brick-and-mortar or service businesses seeking to capture local customers who might be searching for you online.

By optimizing your website, as well as your business listings on external sites (like Google My Business or Yelp), you can gain visibility in search engine results when someone is looking for the product(s) or service(s) you provide. Without local SEO, your competition will score the business, while you’re nowhere to be found.

Consider the significant role local SEO plays in today’s day and age:

  • 92% of consumers have used the internet to search for a local business in the last year, according to BrightLocal.
  • Distribution of yellow pages has declined over the years, ending their door-to-door delivery in some regions according to MarketWatch.

The reliance on search for local businesses is likely to increase, especially as phones get smarter, making it easy to access on-demand content at one’s fingertips and on-the-go.

There are many factors that go into local SEO success.  I’ll summarize some of the key points to help make you a serious local contender.

Your Google My Business Page

While Google+ may be rumored to be dead, the truth of the matter is that this is not true. Your Google My Business profile, and especially its associated reviews, surface regularly when people perform local searches.

The best way to improve and enhance your local SEO with Google My Business is to update it with information about your offering and claim a custom URL. Your “Story” will become the meta description in the search results. Put in whatever you believe accurately represents your business.

hootsuite-google-plus

It is also helpful to verify your contact information, such as your business email and the website, as this establishes authority. Your business name should be what people know you as and would search for you by, and it is imperative for the benefit of local SEO to use your full and accurate business address and phone number. This ensures that you have the correct listing on Google Maps.

google-maps-dentist-office

Another benefit of having a Google My Business page becomes apparent in the screenshot above. Reviews are a great way to boost visibility for your business, and reviews encourage patronage. I can tell you myself that when shopping around for doctors in the past few years, I have considered reviews to be the most important deciding factor in my choice of providers. Encouraging positive reviews is a critical part of the Google+ strategy.

It is also important to provide categories so that you come up properly on search results, and don’t neglect to list your hours of operation.

Finally, remember to include a photo to make your Google My Business page look like a serious online presence.

Establish Your NAP Across The Web

Your what? Your “NAP” refers to your business’ name, address, and phone number. Getting your NAP information included on external websites, such as business directories and websites related to your locale, is an important part of the local SEO process. Each mention of your business across the web is referred to as a “citation,” and you want as many relevant citations as possible.

How do you do this most efficiently? At the end of the day, it’s about consistency. You should ensure your name, address, and phone number are accurate everywhere you turn, from Angie’s List to CitySearch to InfoUSA to the Yellow Pages and wherever else you would expect to be found.

Don’t “keyword stuff” your business name. It should be what people recognize you as.

Schema Markup

For those unfamiliar, schema is a type of markup you include in your website’s coding that gives search engines extra information about your page content. For local businesses, it can be used as a way to ensure that a business’s location and contact information is represented appropriately in search engines.

Schema.org has created a local business section, which lists the various types of information you can add this markup to on your website. An easy way to generate a business schema is to go to the MicroData Generator, confirm your business type and contact information, and let the code be generated for you. This code will be displayed as “div” tags for your website and will not be visible. Just have your developer add it into the website code.

Nurturing Reviews

Word of mouth marketing will make and break your business. Whether you have a presence on Facebook, Yelp, Foursquare, Yahoo, or Google+, you are bound to run into reviews sometime soon — and hopefully, they’re positive ones.

One of the best things you can do for your business is to be proactive about customer service for both negative and positive reviews. The reason for this is the positive impression your customer service will create. Thanking customers for their patronage or apologizing publicly for a bad experience are great ways to show that you care about your customers and want them to be satisfied.

Responsive Website

Having a mobile-friendly website is imperative. Nearly 80% of local searches on mobile devices lead to offline purchases. If your website is ill prepared to handle mobile traffic, that’s something you need to fix yesterday.

You can use a site like MobileTest.me to see how your website renders on many popular smartphones. If it doesn’t look so great, it’s important to invest in responsive design. Your website is likely in need of a design overhaul anyway.

Local Citations

As mentioned earlier, local citations, which hopefully includes your NAP, are crucial for local SEO. Citations are a critical factor in local search engine rankings. To boost your footprint, get listed where you can. Here’s a list of 50 local citation websites that you can focus on today. This list is far from exhaustive, but it will give you a foundation for what to consider when building out a local SEO presence.

The good news is that most of this is really easy to do! Of course, if you are looking for a solution that makes things easier and keeps your work to a minimum with very specific directives, there are tools such as Synup.com which is local SEO focused, or UpCity.comwhich is general SEO focused.

By now, you should know that local SEO is a great asset to any local business. If you’re not doing anything about your search engine visibility, why not?

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And The SMX West 2008 Schwag Awards Go To… /and-the-smx-west-2008-schwag-awards-go-to-13500 Tue, 04 Mar 2008 13:02:31 +0000 http:/beta/and-the-smx-west-2008-schwag-awards-go-to-13500.php As many of you exhibitors knew, Danny Sullivan sent me on a mission to find the best schwag ever at SMX West because I am a schwag addict. In the end, you all had a lot of great schwag, and it’s super hard to choose the “best” piece. Therefore, I’m going to categorize my favorites. […]

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As many of you exhibitors knew, Danny Sullivan sent me on a mission to find the best schwag ever at SMX West because I am a schwag addict. In the end, you all had a lot of great schwag, and it’s super hard to choose the “best” piece. Therefore, I’m going to categorize my favorites.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll feature all this schwag on my Schwag Addict site. Until then, here are the contenders for best schwag of SMX West 2008. By the way, only exhibitors with schwag available to all conference-goers were considered for these awards (unfortunately, that means that the eVisibility shirts, which totally rocked, were not valid for entry).

Without further ado, here are the best shirts of SMX West ’08:

SureHits Shirt (Type 1)
The SureHits shirt is stylish and cool. I saw one person wear it at the airport, and my husband wore it out to lunch yesterday. In other words, people aren’t embarrassed to take it with them, and you can’t blame them. This shirt is hot.

SEOmoz Shirt (1st Type)
SEOmoz has shirts! And I saw another guy at the airport wearing one!

RankSense Shirt
The RankSense shirts were clever.

MatchCraft Shirt
While I think supplies were limited, MatchCraft had an awesome colored shirt.

You can never have too many pens. However, one pen stood out in creativity above the rest:

WideMile Pen
At first glance, the WideMile pen looks like nothing but a pen with a lot of plastic. But in the dark, it becomes a pen that lights up blue!

And other winners of obvious prizes include:

SmartSearch Marketing M&Ms
SmartSearch Marketing wins the award for “Most Edible” Schwag with the M&Ms inside this little case. DoubleClick comes in a close 2nd with their mints.

Idearchsearch LED Keychain
Idearc ties for the “most useful” schwag award with this cool LED keychain.

WebTrends MarketingLab Magnets
Tied for “most useful” is the WebTrends MarketingLab magnets, which are extremely powerful fridge magnets. I like.

Highlighter Set from LookSmart
LookSmart wins the “most colorful” award with this sweet set of highlighters.

ABCSearch Click Magnets
ABCSearch wins the “most fun” (or “most annoying,” however way you look at it) award for the coolest magnets that you can play with. These things click and make a ton of noise, but they’re super addictive.

Bruce Clay Tangler
Another “most fun” award goes to Bruce Clay for the colorful tanglers. You can’t go wrong with these toys.

SuperPages Gun
Finally, in honor of my friend Curtis at Superb Hosting, this is his choice of “most fun” schwag (and I’d be inclined to agree if I didn’t actually spend 10 minutes with those little darts on my fingers. Beware; they actually do stop circulation!).

Laptop Stickers
Last but not least, the Sphinn and Search Engine Land stickers rocked. That’s my laptop you’re looking at, and there’s room for other stickers. (I like stickers.)

Thanks for playing and hope to see you at SMX Advanced in Seattle this coming June!

Tamar Weinberg is a social media enthusiast who blogs about Digg and other social news sites and services on Techipedia. She is also a huge schwag addict.

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Digg Updates Algorithm – Digg Community Revolts /digg-updates-algorithm-digg-community-revolts-13209 Thu, 24 Jan 2008 13:44:38 +0000 http:/beta/digg-updates-algorithm-digg-community-revolts-13209.php Two days ago, Digg went down for a short while while changes were being implemented in the system. While nothing was immediately apparent, Brent Csutoras noticed some slight changes, and after several hours, a bigger trend emerged: the algorithm had changed and you needed a lot more votes to hit the front page of Digg. […]

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Two days ago, Digg went down for a short while while changes were being implemented in the system. While nothing was immediately apparent, Brent Csutoras noticed some slight changes, and after several hours, a bigger trend emerged: the algorithm had changed and you needed a lot more votes to hit the front page of Digg. Brent says:

At 5:12 pm PST, about 7 1/2 hours after Babblin5 submitted the post Two Diggs One Cup made it to the front page of digg. It took 156 diggs with 33 comments for the article to make it, something it would have taken less than 100 to do a week ago.

In response, Kevin Rose used the Digg Blog to announce that yes, Digg implemented a recent algorithm change. Immediately, the Digg community reacted strongly to these changes. Digg’s “unofficial” podcast, The Drill Down, which is led by the the top three Digg submitters, went into emergency mode on Ustream and people began offering their thoughts on the implications of the change. The top users were ready to propose that nobody use Digg at least until Monday.

The involvement on the podcast was so strong that it ultimately came to the attention of Digg founder Kevin Rose and its CEO, Jay Adelson. Both called in late at night (11PM Pacific, 2AM Eastern) to voice their reasoning behind the changes and to address other user complaints. I ended up staying up nearly all night to “liveblog” the event and summarized the reactions of the Digg staff in a post entitled Kevin Rose and Jay Adelson Respond to Digg Complaints. The takeaways:

  • The Digg algorithm is still working itself out. We’re not seeing what will be the norm on the site right now, but in a few days, we will.
  • Digg’s algorithm has been implemented to get a diverse crowd to vote upon any specific story.
  • Digg is paving the road for a recommendation engine that will suggest stories for users to vote upon based on their past voting habits.
  • Users being banned from Digg was also a concern. Jay says that there are typically TOS violations that account for these bannings. Obviously, additional information is not available.
  • A concern also arose about an unspoken-about “autobury” list that would prevent certain domains from getting exposure on Digg’s front page. Neither Jay nor Kevin explicitly denied the existence of such a list. The tools available at the present time capture only a fraction of user data and cannot accurately pinpoint whether a story has been buried or not.

While I appreciate that Kevin and Jay came out to talk to the community on such short notice, after my story was submitted to Digg, it got buried within an hour, which makes Digg’s denial of the autobury feature still hard to believe. Meanwhile, two similar stories (that aren’t nearly as in-depth) are still on Digg’s upcoming list. Also, I’ve done my own observations using Digg Spy (Digg’s tool that records user activity on the site) and it has never missed any of my frequent activity, so while it’s believable that Digg Spy may not capture all data, it certainly does a pretty accurate job at capturing mine, and many people know that I’m a very heavy Digg user.

Is a Digg revolt still on the horizon? Quite possibly, yes. Concerns are still not being appropriately addressed. In the mass exodus that almost occurred, a Revoltnation website was erected to announce plans to revolt on Digg. Mashable and TechCrunch provide their own take.

Other Digg “revolt” coverage follows:

Tamar Weinberg is a social media enthusiast who blogs about Digg and other social news sites and services on Techipedia.

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Yahoo Celebrates “Ultimate Connection” Search Marketing Awards /yahoo-celebrates-ultimate-connection-search-marketing-awards-11672 /yahoo-celebrates-ultimate-connection-search-marketing-awards-11672#comments Wed, 11 Jul 2007 16:31:01 +0000 http:/beta/yahoo-celebrates-ultimate-connection-search-marketing-awards-11672.php Yesterday, the Yahoo Search Marketing team honored three small business owners at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ as part of the Yahoo! Ultimate Connection Contest. Of over 10,000 applicants, five finalists were chosen, and of those five, three special individuals, Glen Halliday of Kids Crooked House, Mike Willner of AlphaGrip, and Melissa Belland […]

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Yesterday, the Yahoo Search Marketing team honored three small business owners at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ as part of the Yahoo! Ultimate Connection Contest. Of over 10,000 applicants, five finalists were chosen, and of those five, three special individuals, Glen Halliday of Kids Crooked House, Mike Willner of AlphaGrip, and Melissa Belland of Made in Heaven by Missy were selected as winners.


YSM Power Lunch in the Sky - Contest Winners Mike Willner, Melissa Belland, and Glen Halliday

I had the pleasure of speaking with Kristen Wareham of Yahoo who told me a little more about the contest and its impetus. With the launch of Panama in February, the company decided to bring awareness to the new advertising platform in May and invited Yahoo small business owners to write an essay about how Yahoo could help them achieve success. The winners, who were selected by Yahoo! and Ivanka Trump, each received a trip to New York, a $25,000 budget from Yahoo! Search Marketing to be used towards a keyword ad campaign, access to a Yahoo! Search Marketing mentor throughout the year, and a website makeover from FastPivot.

In blistering 90+ degree heat and low visibility into New York City, the YSM team made strides with a great event. The Power Lunch in the Sky, as this was called, was literally a table held up by crane and suspended above the New York harbor.

Take off:

YSM Power Lunch in the Sky: Raising the Crane

One hundred and feet in the sky:

YSM Power Lunch in the Sky

As you can tell, I did not go up in the table, though they were kind enough to invite me.

This is a picture that was taken by Jim Larsen from the adjacent crane reserved for photographers—and no, I didn’t go in there either!

YSM Ultimate Connection Contest - A Table Suspended above NY Harbor

This contest was a great and successful way to help small businesses connect with customers. Great job, all, and thanks to Kristen Wareham and Dina Freeman of Yahoo, and Stephanie Luttringhaus of Voce Communications for your help and accommodations.

More pics follow.

The Yahoo Search Team, Ivanka Trump, and the winners:

Yahoo PR Department, YSM Team, Ivanka Trump, and Winners

Ivanka Trump and the presentation of awards:

Ivanka Trump @ YSM Event

Winners’ products:

Kids’ Crooked House by Glen Halliday (Yahoo! branded):

YSM Glen Halliday Kids Crooked House Winner

The Alpha Grip by Mike Willner:

YSM Winner Mike Willner's AlphaGrip

Melissa Belland’s “Made in Heaven by Missy” Handmade Fairies:

YSM Winner Melissa Belland - Made in Heaven by Missy

You can read more about the contest and winner bios on the official page of the Ultimate Connection Contest.

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