If you’ve had your head down, working hard to smash your SEO targets for 2018, then you might not have had a chance to check out what’s been happening in the SEO world at large over the last few weeks. Have no fear; I’ve shared the stories that have piqued my interest or that I feel offer value, to make life easier for you! Enjoy.
Why the F*** is my page not ranking?
There are almost limitless reasons why the page you created is not showing any signs of ranking for the keyword you’re targeting, but if you’ve done the usual audit in terms of competition and links and all that jazz, and you still can’t put your finger on what the problem is, it could be something as simple as content.
One of Google’s main targets for 2018 is to focus on tweaking the algo so that searchers are getting the best experience in terms of content. So why not make sure you’re giving Google exactly what they want?
Make sure the basics are right. With so much to do, it’s sometimes easy to overlook the basics, even the most skilled SEOs can fall into the trap.
For example, you’ve got the keyword in the proper onsite placeholders, right? Because that’s essential.
What about the quality of your content? You haven’t filled it with rubbish to get a higher word count? One great piece of advice I’ve heard a lot recently is “make every word count”.
Create guides with two-three thousand words, but equally, some articles may be better articulated with just 300-400 words. Do what’s right for the article. The best way to make it look natural is to write it naturally.
Searcher intent is massive right now, have you checked your content over to ensure you’re giving Google what they need in terms of searcher intent?
How optimized are your title tags?
It’s just a frickin title tag, right? Stick the keyword in, and you’re rockin. Some might argue there’s a little more to it than that.
Anyone who knows me will know that I love two things. Data-driven testing and creating processes that lower costs, save time or creates consistency. That’s what interested me in this article as Ken Roberts shares his own process for optimizing title tags.
Ken is literally going to walk you through it, from the Spreadsheet he creates to the data he’s looking at from Ahrefs, Google Analytics etc Plus he looks at CTR so it is pretty comprehensive.
If you are not going back and looking to optimize your own meta titles, you could well be leaving some traffic out there. Often as SEOs we can get so focused on creating more and more content to target more keywords, or to increase relevancy, rather than maximizing what we have.This article is a great reminder to optimize the pages we have and if you’re not quite sure how to go about doing that, this article (or my onsite guide) is a great place to start.
The power of branded long tail keywords
“Give the people what they want” That’s the main aim of Google, isn’t it? It’s more and more about searcher intent, which is exactly why you may want to ensure you’ve taken a look at branded long tail keywords.
There are two main benefits to this, depending on the type of SEO you’re looking to do. On a basic level, it makes sure you own all the intent searches for your own brand, which is important, especially if you are doing SEO for a particular business.
That can be “Brand + opening times” or “Brand + prices”.
Obviously, you want to own that search, but also, you want to ensure that kind of information is really easy to find because it’s the type of search that shows a lot of buyer intent.
But then, there are the branded long tail keywords which might be attractive to affiliate site owners. Keywords such as “difference between Brand 1 and Brand 2”.
This is prime real estate because it’s buyer intent rich. The searcher has got to the point where they want to compare a couple of products or services, so for some, the next step would be to make a purchase.
Research has shown that a large number of searches are not owned by the brands involved. They are often taken up by third- party sites that are creating pages to offer value and help visitors make a decision.
Are you reading too much into your readability level?
When you are creating content, what readability level do you aim for? High School? College? Do you think about it at all?
More importantly, what’s Google’s take on it? There’s been a rumor around for a couple of years that they are working on a metric for the reading level of content.
When put to Google’s John Mu he confirmed that it matters, but only in the way it really should matter, and that’s to your audience. Common sense prevails, which is always nice.
If you happen to have beginners or an audience that aren’t specialists and could come from a variety of countries and educational backgrounds, you play to the lowest denomination while ensuring the content is valuable and engaging.
But if your site is for people who know the subject well or are likely to be higher educated or academic, you adjust your content accordingly. It’s all about user experience. So, one less thing to worry about.
So pretty simple, I just wanted to make sure people are not overthinking it.
What is the average price of paid guest post in 2018?
It’s not something I’ve really had to worry about recently since I became involved with Authority Builders, but it’s interesting to have a snapshot of what it is like out there in the Guest Post jungle?
Join any SEO Facebook Group and you’ll find plenty of anecdotal evidence of how much people will buy backlinks for, but you have to take what you read with a pinch of salt because as an industry, we’re prone to exaggeration.
That’s why I quite enjoyed this article on ahrefs. They went out and asked 450+ different blogs from various industries with different authority and traffic.
They’ve come up with a figure as an average price quoted, from their research. They also give an insight into the prices that are being quoted. They look at the various metrics these sites offer for their price. This gives you a point of reference so you can see how you’re getting on in relation.
Google Really, Really values mobile page speed
Google hasn’t been subtle with their hints that page load speed matters, particularly on mobile. It’s a no-brainer really, especially when looking at conversion rates, which is ultimately the most critical factor. We know that searchers have very little patience, have a slow page load speed and a hefty chunk of your audience will click away and look elsewhere.
Any serious affiliate marketer worth their salt has decent hosting, because they know it’s an easy fix to have decent page-load speed. But with client work, there’s an additional hurdle to overcome, the client.
Google is lending a hand with the launch of their Mobile Scorecard. It allows you to compare the speed of your client’s sites against their competitors. That’s a very visual and real piece of data you can take advantage of, but if we are honest, it’s really only money that talks.
Google has launched a tool that allows you demonstrate how a site’s page load speed is affecting conversions and therefore sales. We’re talking about financially-driven decision making. And because it comes from Google, it reinforces what you’ve probably been telling your client all along.
“People Search For”: Is a question graph?
There’s been a great bit of detective work done by Bill Slawski that helps us get an understanding of what’s going on with Google’s “People Search For” function. By checking out the status of Google’s “related questions” patent and the terminology used to describe it.
What immediately jumps out in the description is the use of the phrase question graph which pretty much signals that Google is attacking this from a semantics direction.
There’s also news coming out of Google that they’ve tracking data on how often different questions are being clicked on.
It’s interesting and it should make some SEOs start to question the conventional wisdom of how they present FAQ’s and in fact, when done properly, FAQs could represent an opportunity to be ranking for many of these searches.
It all boils down to searcher intent and how you can centralize that in your SEO strategy to take advantage of Google’s “People Search For” function. Or at least it’s food for thought.
What matters with voice search?
It wouldn’t be a news roundup without mentioning Voice Search, would it?
Brian Dean is looking at some insights from 10,000 voice search results and how we can use that data to adjust our own SEO strategy to incorporate voice search, moving forwards.
Here’s a quick skinny at what Brian found out, but you should definitely click and read the whole article. Lots of data there that you might find useful.
- Sit down for this one. Page speed plays a major role in ranking for voice searches. The results are 50+% faster than the average page load speed.
- HTTPS websites matter with Google’s voice search results. 70.4% of the results are HTTPS.
- Short answers are popular too. The average being 29 words. There are going to be some disappointed content writers out there, who charge by the word!
- Only slightly more searches present schema than a normal search.
- Authority matters. Over 70% of the voice search results come from authoritative domains, with the mean DR (Ahrefs) rating being 74%.
There are 6 more factors that they’ve extracted from the data. Including the effects of social engagement, the average reading level (which is something we’ve covered this month so that’s an interesting new perspective) and desktop SEO rankings seem to have a positive effect on voice search results.
Lots of valuable stuff to chew over, and worth a read.
Is there a search engine you’ve never heard of?
The idea is pretty simple. There are a lot of comparison sites. In some industries, they are so big they run national adverts and have catchy theme music. They position themselves to be part of the establishment. We know they are nothing more than an epic affiliate site. We are envious.
However, even with the best will in the world, they are not neutral; they are taking a cut from the traffic they provide and as soon as that happens, questions can always be asked as to the authenticity of the information they provide. Plus they are squeezing retailer’s profit margins.
So there is an opportunity for a price comparison platform that is neutral.That doesn’t take a cut. Enter Pricesearcher. They boast of being the UK’s largest product search engine. 500 million products uploaded and 6 billion price changes tracked since their launch in 2016.
Whenever there’s a platform, there’s an opportunity to get your offer in front of an audience. Although they started life in the UK, they have investment in place to expand and are doing that, moving into the US and other markets.
Can you optimize your products to rank in the algorithm? Yessir. And that’s where it might start to get interesting, especially if you are targeting UK customers, or you just want to get in on the ground floor of something that might be “the next big thing”.
Is it worth your time? Who is to say, at this point, but it has to be worth a look if you have Ecom stores or clients.