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February 20, 2018

5 Reasons Your SEO Consulting Project Is Failing and How to Turn It Around

goats-in-road-blocking-project-progress

The relationship between a business and its SEO consulting firm is a delicate balance of give and take.

In order for an SEO strategy to deliver the best results, the SEO consultant must give accurate and useful recommendations, and the client must take that guidance and implement those recommendations.

This is a team effort where the consultant solves problems and mentors the client, and the client then learns and implements. Seems fairly straightforward, but it’s not always so.

You have no doubt experienced this in your business. A project can have great energy at the outset. But as time passes, progress can be delayed and momentum stalled for a variety of reasons.

Here’s the good news: We’ve observed that there are five common roadblocks affecting SEO consulting projects that can absolutely be surpassed — once you know how to identify and push through them. In this article, I’ll go over the five common issues that threaten an SEO consulting project’s success AND how a business can overcome them:

  1. Misaligned expectations
  2. Time constraints
  3. Budget constraints
  4. Lack of SEO knowledge
  5. Website back-end and architectural issues

Read more




January 16, 2018

Bruce Clay’s Predictions for Digital Marketing in 2018

checkers move

Marketing teams across the board will face receding budgets as the C-suite becomes increasingly unwilling to dole out money without solid proof that it delivers results. As a result, I expect to see a focus on attribution tools and better data reporting as the industry scrambles to connect the dots of customer journeys and justify marketing spend.

Predictions for digital marketing in 2018 are fairly easy to make — at least compared to the last 13 years of annual prediction posts I’ve written. I am sure that most in the SEO industry who follow Google see these trends already progressing. In a nutshell, the hot buttons SEOs know now will stay hot.

Here are my predictions for mobile first, voice search, content, linking, speed, SEO, ecommerce, machine learning, virtual reality and video — to help you be informed to make the right marketing moves this year.

Read Bruce Clay’s 2018 Predictions for Digital Marketing




January 10, 2018

Are Writers Expected to Do SEO? New WordPress SEO Tools to Support Content Writers

writers do SEO

We’re in a time when writers carry a heavy responsibility. They produce the fuel that SEO and marketing engines need to drive sales forward.

That’s because content marketing requires a LOT of content. In fact, 72% of marketers surveyed said relevant content creation is the most effective SEO tactic.

It makes sense, then, that writers should be equipped with tools that help them make informed SEO decisions along the way to making relevant content.

Read about why original content is harder to produce and the solution to the growing need for SEO-skilled writers who can analyze data and decide what content needs creating in this post.

Are Writers Expected to Do SEO?




December 18, 2017

The Digital Marketing Conference Calendar: 250+ Events Across the Globe, Updated for 2018

conference attendees

Digital marketing conferences are held all over the world, from Los Angeles to Beijing and everywhere in between. Thousands of SEOs, SEMs, content marketers, social media strategists and business owners attend marketing events for the whirlwind of information, education and networking.

Where else but a digital marketing conference can you learn from the likes of Gary Illyes, Purna Virji, Rand Fishkin, Larry Kim and Bruce Clay all in a single day? We’ve updated our Digital Marketing Conference Calendar for 2018 with more than 250 events worldwide so you can start planning your year ahead.

We’ve organized this massive list — 250+ digital marketing conferences! — in three ways. You can view events by regional location, by topic focus, or by month on a calendar that can also be downloaded. Whether you’re looking for an in-person networking opportunity that’s close to home or willing to travel around the world to find the perfect conference experience, this list will make it easy for you to find digital marketing events that fit the bill. Happy planning!

Read more of The Digital Marketing Conference Calendar: 250+ Events Around the World, Updated for 2018.




November 29, 2017

How Do I Rank Higher in Google Local Search? Our Checklist for Local SEO

Local business found by customer

The good news: Showing up in Google’s search engine can be extremely beneficial to your local business.

The bad news: Google doesn’t care if you rank high or low. It cares only that there are quality results that answer the query to the total satisfaction of the searcher.

So the pressing question is, how do you rank higher on Google Maps and Google local search results? Improving your local search rankings is possible, and the results are very real. A Google study found that:

  • 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find local information.
  • 50 percent of local smartphone searches lead to a store visit in less than a day.
  • 18 percent of local searches on a smartphone result in a sale within a day.

If you’re asking, “How does Google local search work, and how can I rank higher in local search?” then read on … this local SEO checklist is for you!




November 10, 2017

How to Optimize for Voice Search – Content Marketing & Technical SEO Tips

Voice search mobile user

In 2016, Google reported that 20% of the queries it gets today are voice searches. (Source: SearchEngineLand)

Around the same time, Mary Meeker shared a prediction that by 2020, 50% of searches will be voice or visually based. (Source: Recode)

If you’re not familiar with visual search (and I wasn’t in this context), it’s search and retrieval instigated by the searcher “showing” a device or product like the one they’d like to buy (or if not buy, then get more information about). Here’s an example: shop for dog food by showing your device the near-empty bag of dog food in your pantry, and then buy it from Amazon or another online retailer. Go ahead and look into the Amazon Echo Look for a visual-search-type device that’s almost to market.

If we as marketers understand that text-based search is trending-down-to-obsolete over the next two years, and that our customers will be searching with their voices and images, what do we do to evolve our marketing strategies?

Director of Account Strategy at Marketing Refresh, Katy Katz, and VP of Industry Insights at Yext, Duane Forrester, shared their plans of attack for exactly that with the rapt audience at Pubcon Las Vegas this week…

Read more




November 6, 2017

Bruce Clay’s Views on Building Links for SEO

Links are the fabric of the web. And in the SEO world, how we view them and earn them has changed dramatically in the past 20 years.

If you’re in the business of attracting traffic to a website and building brand awareness, you should care about how links impact your key performance indicators. As an SEO agency, we’ve written about how to get high quality backlinks in the SEO Tutorial. That resource covers link building best practices in black and white. But where personal experience and opinion is concerned, we have our own view of how links should be managed.

While we are sure some people will disagree with some of these views, we created this declaration that outlines what we hold true when it comes to web links.  

We believe …

Read Bruce Clay’s Views on Building Links for SEO.




October 24, 2017

The WordPress SEO Enhancements You Wish You Had, And Now Can — Part 3

bridging gaps

Announcing Bruce Clay SEO WP™ …

If you’re a WordPress publisher, you have many options for boosting your search engine optimization. You may be using Yoast SEO, All in One SEO, or another plugin to help you cover many SEO bases for the content you publish.

However, as I’ve been pointing out through this series of posts, current SEO plugins don’t go far enough. A lot of enhancements are needed to take you from just “best practices” to targeted and specific guidance that shows you how to get the maximum visibility for each of your posts.

In Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, I explained gaps that currently exist between SEO plugins available and the needs today. It’s a topic I’ve been thinking about for well over a year, as well as dreaming, planning and developing …

Now in this Part 3 post, I’m pleased to share a solution that has been months in the making.

The Bruce Clay SEO plugin for WordPress brings the power of our proprietary SEO diagnostic tools to the WordPress environment. And it adds search ranking and analytics performance metrics to the WordPress interface.

The combination of the new plugin and the SEOToolSet™ powering it is a MASSIVE difference-maker. We set out to “bridge the gaps” and enable any WordPress copywriter, editor or publisher to implement smarter SEO improvements, monitor their content’s reach, and much more.

Here’s what WordPress SEO has been missing until now.

Read The WordPress SEO Enhancements You Wish You Had, Part 3 — And Now Can.




September 25, 2017

4 WordPress SEO Enhancements You Wish You Had – Part 1

WordPress.org has 52000 plugins

WordPress is the most popular content management system out there and powers more than a quarter of the world’s websites. Huge brands are hosted on it, like TechCrunch and BBC America. You likely have a WordPress site, too.

The fact that it’s open source and easy to use makes it desirable for all types of brands, businesses and professionals. Enter WordPress plugins — one of the easiest ways to customize the functionality of a WordPress site. At the time of writing, there are almost 52,000 to choose from.

However, WordPress is not SEO enabled by default, and finding the right plugins to help you accomplish everything you want in SEO can be a challenge.

Whether you use Yoast’s WordPress SEO, All in One SEO Pack, Ultimate SEO, or other plugins, you probably have many needs covered — like being able to craft custom titles, meta descriptions and slugs for your posts. But beyond these basics, does your plugin:

  • Give you visibility of your posts’ performance?
  • Allow you to distribute multiple keywords through your posts?
  • Alert you of potential broken links or usability problems?
  • Help you optimize for multiple keywords or variations?

Continue reading …




September 18, 2017

What Are the Most Frequently Disavowed Domains, URLs, IPs and ccTLDs? DisavowFiles.com

1.8 trillion disavowed URLs later

In June 2015, Bruce Clay launched DisavowFiles.com. Our goal was to create an easy to use tool that allows you to see whether or not other webmasters are disavowing a site. DisavowFiles is a free, crowdsourced project that everyone is invited to participate in to put the power of disavow transparency back into SEOs’ hands.

There’s been lots to learn along the way.

Since release, we’ve captured a lot of data. To date there are:

  • 1,840,287,252,622 disavowed URLs
  • 13,997,396 disavowed domains

This is a lot of data from the SEO community, so we thought we’d say thank you by sharing some crucial information about the disavow files that have been uploaded.

Click through to enjoy!




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