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June 2, 2015

SMX Liveblog: Mobile Is Still the New Black Says Google’s Gary Illyes


April 21, 2015 arrived with a bang. Google announced it was the day that mobile-friendliness would officially be a ranking signal for Google mobile search results. That day, dubbed “Mobilegeddon,” wasn’t the the day search marketing changed, however. Improving a website’s experience for mobile users has been an SEO mission a long time in the making. SMX Advanced speakers, including a Google representative, share thoughts on improving a site in light of Google’s mobile-friendly update.

Read the liveblog coverage of the SMX Advanced session Mobilegeddon! Surviving Google’s Mobile Friendly Update.

May 27, 2015

The Complete Guide to Disavowing Links for Google and Bing

rotten links

The search engines’ disavow links tools are needed in today’s link penalty environment. As with all powerful tools, they come with questions about proper use and concerns for abuse. It doesn’t help that site owners have no insight into disavow data held by Google and Bing. As is often the case, SEOs have become comfortable with the unknown.

Are you at risk for a Penguin penalty? What about in the next update?

Are you a victim of negative SEO? Are you sure?

How do you know if you have backlinks that others have disavowed?

Would you like to know if another site has disavowed your pages?

On Monday, June 1, we announced the launch of our DisavowLinks service, a new tool that complements and brings transparency to disavow data. Shared at SMX Advanced, the crowdsourced tool was buzzed upon as it provides the search marketing community with much-needed balance to data ownership. Read more about the DisavowLinks tool.

In the meantime, let’s talk about the whys, whens and hows of the search engines’ tools for disavowing links. For steps on disavowing links with both Google and Bing, read the complete disavow link guide.

May 26, 2015

AdWords 101: Keyword Research Tool 1-2 Punch — How to Use Google’s Keyword Planner Tool & SEOToolSet Keyword Suggestions Tool

keyword research tools pack a punch

This post dives into two powerful keyword research tools: the Google AdWords Keyword Planner and the SEOToolSet Keyword Suggestions tool. SEMs have come to love these tools because they get to the heart of search terms that people may — or may not, as your research can show — be using to look for you and your competitors.

Both the AdWords Keyword Planner and SEOToolSet Keyword Suggestions tool are especially useful if you find yourself in any of the following scenarios:

• Researching keywords if you’re starting from square one: If you’re starting keyword selection with a mostly blank slate, get keyword suggestions based on seed keywords and info that helps you decide if it’s a good keyword (i.e., competitiveness and popularity of search use).
• Vetting keywords by checking to see if they’re actually used: If you want to vet a list of SEO or PPC keywords, check to see how much people actually use them to search with all sorts of filters and compare-views.
• Expanding your keyword list with new, relevant keywords: If you already have a list of SEO or PPC keywords, you may want to expand your list with opportunities you’re not currently aren’t aware of.

Start this lesson of AdWords 101: Keyword Research Tools.

April 29, 2015

How to Improve Quality Score without Modifying Your Landing Pages

Quality Score AdWords

We at BCI take Quality Score very seriously. After all, it has a direct effect on your ad positioning and how much you spend per click! Having a good Quality Score is a must for any account, however, it can be difficult to optimize for. What works for one account might not work for another, and some things aren’t in your control as the SEM account manager — most notably, landing pages which can require members of design, development or IT to update and manage. Thankfully, there are other components that contribute to Quality Score that are in your control and can make a big difference.

We recently accomplished Quality Score improvements for one of our clients by addressing CTR and ad relevance alone — things you can do, too! Here we get in to how we were able to achieve it, but first let’s understand Google’s formal definition and the components of Quality Score.

Read more of How to Improve Quality Score without Modifying Your Landing Pages.

April 28, 2015

The Comprehensive Mobile-Friendly SEO Guide for Business Owners Post-April 21st #Mobilegeddon

Content Writer Interview Questions(3)

Are you a hands-on small business owner managing your own digital marketing grappling with Google’s April 21st mobile-friendly update? We’re here to help. This article is your go-to guide for dealing with the aftermath of Google’s April 21st update. We’re one week out from Google’s latest major algorithm update and that means it’s time to dive into data and plan ahead — because even if the mobile-friendly update boosted your mobile traffic, we know search engine optimization is never complete.

Read on for post-April 21st advice! This guide discusses everything a hands-on business owner needs to know about improving your website’s appearance in mobile search results:

  • Creating a mobile baseline report in Google Webmaster Tools
  • Learning how to determine how your site was impacted
  • The mobile-friendly label vs. other SERP annotations
  • How to edit the new mobile breadcrumb URLs

Read more of The Comprehensive Mobile-Friendly SEO Guide for Business Owners Post-April 21st.

April 20, 2015

Google’s New Mobile Breadcrumb URLs: Making the Most of Your Site Name & URL Structure

New in Google: Breadcrumb URLs

Google announced two more changes last week to the way URLs are displayed in mobile search results:

  • Mobile search results no longer show the actual page URL, but instead show a breadcrumbs-like format of the URL structure. This is rolling out worldwide.
  • The breadcrumbs-like information can show the site name in place of the domain name. This is rolling out in the U.S. only for now.

You can specifically control how the breadcrumb URL for your search results will appear if you add markup to the HTML on your pages. Read more of Google’s New Mobile Breadcrumb URLs: Making the Most of Your Site Name & URL Structure

April 17, 2015

Tips for Getting the Most out of Call-Only Ads in Google AdWords

google adwords tools

Mobile optimized sites have been all the rage since Google’s explicit February announcement that mobile-friendliness will be used as an organic ranking signal starting April 21st. However, Google has not forgotten about the original purpose of mobile devices — phone calls. In February, Google made it easier for advertisers to engage smartphone users with call-only ads. Although call-only campaigns are fairly new to Google AdWords, there are certain steps you can take to get the most out of them.

Read on for tips on getting the most out of the setup, optimization, and reporting of call-only ads.

April 15, 2015

Why Is My Mobile-Friendly Label Missing in Google Search Results?

Mobile-friendly label missing from Google results

As the April 21st deadline to make your site mobile-friendly approaches, many sites are checking to see if their pages get the “mobile-friendly” annotation. Those two words are Google’s promise to searchers that a result meets a certain standard of usability that mobile surfers are starting to expect.

What’s concerning is that sometimes the label doesn’t show up — even though Google’s own Mobile-Friendly Test declares “Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly.” In working with clients and through research, we’ve uncovered little-discussed reasons why a mobile-friendly annotation may not show up despite a page’s being fully optimized for mobile browsing.

Read more of Why Is My Mobile-Friendly Label Missing in Google Search Results?

March 27, 2015

Apps: The New SEO Frontier?

Young couple silhouette busted up

Google’s Feb. 26 announcement that the search engine will now “surface content from indexed apps more prominently in search” is significant news for SEOs. If a user has downloaded your app, your app content can get a ranking boost in their SERP — and if a ranking boost is on the table, it definitely makes an SEO stop and consider the possibilities.

On average, people install 26 apps on their phone … but there are more than 1.3 million apps in the app store. And we know that 5 percent of apps drive 92 percent of all app downloads. Moral of the story? Apps are a very competitive space, and before any coding begins, it’s important to determine whether or not an app is worth the investment for your business.

Read more of Apps: The New SEO Frontier?

March 12, 2015

Two Power Players Talk SEO & Social: Bruce Clay and David Amerland’s Video HOA

state of SEO survey

Bruce Clay shared his marketing insights on SEO, branding and social media yesterday on “Social Media Today Power Talk,” a monthly digital marketing show hosted by David Amerland. Amerland is the author of many digital marketing books, including “SEO Help: 20 Semantic Search Steps,” “Google Semantic Search,” and “Google+ Hangouts for Business,” and a stand-out Google+ influencer with more than 350K followers. Watch the entire show above or read on for highlights, including Bruce’s thoughts on:

  • The evolution of SEO
  • Why some people think SEO is dead
  • The necessity of planning 2-5 years ahead
  • The cube theory
  • Making your team work as a team
  • The effect of social buzz on ranking

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