It's been another eventful year in search, mainly thanks to Google, and the role of the SEO has changed, even in this short time.
We've had Penguin 2.0, the under the radar Hummingbird update, as well as the removal of the last remaining keyword referral data.
I've been asking folks in the industry about their thoughts on SEO in 2013, and the most significant events over the past 12 months....
I really enjoyed reading Graham’s article about great ecommerce product page copy last week. It set me thinking all afternoon and all night.
Ecommerce is an area I spend most of my time working in, both on my own ecommerce websites, and my clients’ ecommerce websites.
While a lot of the people that contributed to Graham’s article represent 'the big boys' of ecommerce and online marketing, I wanted to share my personal experience with writing ecommerce copy.
My operations are a lot smaller than those of the contributors to Graham’s article, but at the same time my experience is just as important to 'the little guys' out there, running ecommerce websites on a shoestring budget.
You don’t necessarily have to add amazing functionality to your product pages in order to make sales. Perfect the copy and you’ll be well on the road to success.
Over the last four months, Google has been ramping up its publicity of a more aggressive target for mobile site performance: sub one second page load times.
Enforcement of this aspiration comes from Google's usual source: algorithmic rewards for sites achieving this goal. You just need to look at how industry commentary has exploded around site speed issues over the last couple of years to see the impact this strategy has had.
I fully expect to see this industry focus switch to mobile-specific commentary through 2014.
Let's take a look at the evidence, and the SEO opportunity...
‘Nofollow’ tags are an HTML attribute that tells search engines not to pay any attention to links that appear on a webpage.
It was created in 2005 by the major search engines as a way of combatting link spam and dodgy SEO practices, though its impact in helping to win that fight is debatable.
Recently I’ve had a few conversations around the use of nofollow tags so thought it would be helpful to give an overview of why they’re important and in what context they should be used.
Earlier on, I published a post looking at best practices for product page copy, now it's time to show some examples of ecommerce sites doing this well.
In a nutshell, copy should be easy to read and scan, it should sell the benefits of the products and entice shoppers to make a purchase.
Different approaches will work for different sites, so some of these examples are descriptive, some funny, and some technical...
Product page copywriting is vitally important, but seems to be overlooked by some ecommerce sites, which simply plonk the standard manufacturer's descriptions on their pages.
Paying attention to product page copy can help improve conversions rates, as better copy can be more informative and persuasive.
It can also help your site to stand out in the search results over competitors who have paid less attention to their product descriptions.
I've rounded up some examples of great product page copywriting here, but first some views from the experts on the essentials for effective copy...
PR is no longer the future of SEO. It already is PR.
SEOs recognise this, and the majority are now carrying out online PR: whether they call it that or not, all decent SEOs are now creating content and reaching out to online influencers.
General marketers realise this. In a survey we recently conducted of 250 UK marketers, 52% said that PR and SEO work closely together in their organisation, and a whopping 71% think their PR agencies are experts at SEO.
But how are those PR agencies performing in their newfound position as SEO experts?
One of my favourite talks from SearchLove London 2013 was Hannah Smith’s ‘23, 787 Ways To Build Links in 30 Minutes’.
Among Hannah’s tips for sustainable link building, she mentioned a neat tool that helped her pick up 257 links at around $14 per link.
This tool was Zemanta, a seemingly fantastic way of providing scalable outreach.
For the forth year running, we’ve been asking search marketers in North America to give us their views of the state of the industry.
Previously we’ve covered a broad area of concerns, from how search marketers set objectives and metrics, right through to budgets, resourcing and the integration of social media.
This year while covering similar areas to the previous, there are a few differences. Below are some of the things we are looking for, but better yet, take our survey before the start of next week and you’ll get a complimentary copy of the report worth $695 before anyone else gets a look!
And do feel free to share the link: http://ecly.co/SEMPO-2013
Effective site search functionality on a company’s website is an increasingly important component of a successful digital strategy.
Companies are typically increasing their investment in site search because they recognise the range of benefits that effective technology can bring to their businesses.
Terms that consumers type into a company’s site search box can give a company huge insight into the users’ behaviour and give the company invaluable data to be learned from.
Used successfully, this information can increase conversions and improve customer retention.
During a recent Econsultancy roundtable with site search experts, interesting advice was given with regards to improving the site search experience for users and increase conversions.
This advice compliments trends found by Econsultancy through company research to provide a diverse range of key takeaways.