SEO News – 14 September 2009
Once again our SEO analysts have been scouring the web to bring you some great informative posts in the world of search and online marketing in general. This week’s roundups include: How To Integrate SEO Into Your Business, 5 SEO Tips For Maximising Facebook Visibility, How Rapid Growth in Mobile Technology & HTML 5 will Impact Video and Learn from your competition.
- If you have an ecommerce websiteAdd friendly reminders (otherwise known as calls to action) to link to your site in your thank you emails
- Keep key phrase research in mind when naming both product categories and products themselves
- If you have a content website
- Motivate your content writers with analytics so that they get excited about writing content which gets lots of page views/SEO traffic
- If you have a physical presence
- Engage in the local community (get links)
- If you have UGC on your site
- Build your systems in such a way that the data inputs from your users structure your data in an SEO friendly way
- Ensure that your community manager understands the importance of link building and SEO in general
- If you have a PR agency
- Ensure that the PR they’re generating gets you links
- If your PR agency isn’t focused on getting you links then make sure someone follows up with any places which mention you but don’t link
- If you are doing PPC or conversion rate optimisation
- Don’t leave your PPC or CRO guys locked up in a dark room separate to your SEO team, instead make sure they talk to each other
- Search results continue to include people’s profiles as well as pertinent Facebook pages, groups and applications.
- Facebook gives us some clues regarding its algorithmic ranking factors. In addition to wall posts, think SEO in tendering status updates, links and notes.
- Wall-post external content like blog posts and news should be optimised for important keywords, especially the content’s title tag.
- If you want your promotional data indexed in the wider Facebook, outside of your friends, make sure you select “everyone” in privacy settings > search.
- Back in February, Cisco released its Visual Networking Index, which forecasts that mobile traffic will reach over an Exabyte per month by 2012-2013.
- To help put that in perspective, the online web hit the Exabyte milestone in 2004, more than 30 years after the first email was sent.
- However, the mobile web will reach this milestone only 18 years after the first text message was sent.
- Michael Boland (Program Director of Mobile Local Media for The Kelsey Group) says there are mobile browsers supporting HTML 5 already such as the latest Safari browser on the iPhone. Because HTML 5 allows you to pull in location directly into the browser, it’s opening up capabilities that only native apps had previously. He’s essentially hinting that “apps” on mobile devices might be made obsolete by the use of HTML 5; you won’t need to download apps, because they’ll be browser based.
The article discusses what factors you should analyse on your competitor’s websites. This was a rather long post so the key points taken from the article.
On-Site Competitive Intelligence:
- Site URL Structure: tracking the URL structure and file naming structure of your competitors, you can determine the best route to gain a competitive advantage over other companies
- Site Development & Coding Structure: Which language is the site coded in? Are there any conflicts in programming language or separate Ips?
- Use of Analytics: Is the competitor tracking user behaviour and referrals via GA, Hitbot, and Omniture? Looking into their analytics systems help give an idea of how much information they are capturing from their visitors and how advanced their internal tracking is which may define how advanced their SEO team is.
- Directory files and URL structure of listings pages: This will be used to determine which techniques these competitors are using for their individual pages, their content, meta and URL structure and how these reflect in the Google, Yahoo and MSN rankings.
- Page Title and Meta Title Review: Page titles are one of the most influential HTML elements used in an optimisation campaign. Since the optimisation of this variable is connected to rankings and actual links in the SERPs.
- Navigational System Review: Search engine spider, or seek out new content based on the links they find to resources on a page. Navigation systems are the most consistent manner for building internal link popularity.
- Broken links: If a site has broken links, broken files or list non-existent pages then Google will lower the ranking of that site because the engine believes that the site is under construction.
- HTML Code validity: using the w3c validation tools your competitors web sites have been reviewed. This allows the engines to promote sites that deliver a consistent and predictable user experience. Run each site through the validation tool and reported back the number of errors noted
- Design & SEO: Similar to the internal navigational structure, the use of HTML elements are preferred over others for SEO purposes
Off-site Competitive SEO Elements:
- Local listings: Determine the local SEO listings that your competition has made on Yahoo Local, Citypages, BOTW local, MSN Live and other local search engines or local profiles. These differ from the results shown in organic web search sometimes and can be an indicator of local seo techniques used.
- Number of inbound links: Using Yahoo! Site Explorer, report on the number of inbound links to each of the analysed web sites. As a rule, the more links and the more relevancy – the better. Search Engines like Google use inbound links to help shape the overall level of authority of a website.
- Linkbait or Viral Marketing: How are these competitors building links? Are they running link baiting programs and actively having articles submitted to Digg & StumbleUpon?
- Social Media: Do they actively use social media to market their business? Does their company have a Wikipedia page? How do they rank for their own brand name and are social profiles served in these results? Have they even secured their brand across all social networks? Do they distribute online video? This research will help you determine a social media plan and also identify competitive advantages that you can use to your advantage.
- Blogging: Do these companies blog and who is doing their blogging? Are the blogs on a subdomain, a whole other website or in an internal directory file? How often do they post? How many subscribers will they have? This information will assist you construct your blogging strategy and possibly unearth some ideas.
- Paid Link Search: It is difficult to say with certainty that an inbound link has been purchased. There are however signs where common systems like Paid Directories and Link Networks are used on a site. Research of inbound, paid links to your competitors from sidebars, ads on newspaper sites or bad paid linking in footer links may give you some insight as to which anchors they are targeting.
- Site Visits & Traffic: Using a mix of data from Alexa, Compete and other web traffic estimate tools, estimate the traffic of the competitors in terms of visitors, time spent on site, top referrals and other information driven by third party tools.
- Page Rank: Compile a list of competitive metrics including Google PR, SEOMoz PageStrength, Deliciious bookmarks, StumbleUpon, page indexing etc.
Hope you enjoyed the fortnightly SEO recap, have a good and productive week.