Archive for the ‘Search Engine Optimization’ Category

Seattle SEO Management Tips for Business

If you’re running a local Seattle business and you want to rank for local searches for your types of businesses then you have your job cut out for you. Without a professional Seattle SEO manager to help you out, you’re going to have to research, plan, and strategize an SEO plan that will hopefully get you onto search above your competitors. Unfortunately, that’s not always easy. Seattle is a hotspot of small and medium businesses that are growing under the huge job market thanks to big tech companies in the surrounding area. With that in mind, here are a few handy tips to help you rank higher in local Seattle SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages).

seo tips

Content Marketing

Content is one of your most powerful marketing tools because content attracts visitors. By ensuring that your pages are localized and relatable to local readers, you are encouraging the citizens of Seattle to read your website. You’re also giving yourself more fodder for sharing on social pages to make them more popular.

Hyper Localization

What’s more, you also want to hyper localize your content. Yes it’s important to tell your readers, your ads, and to put on your website that you’re in Seattle, but don’t forget your local area, neighborhood, and street. For example, if you search for ‘restaurants in Seattle’ there are over 3,397 competing restaurants. On the other hand, if you search for “Restaurants in Georgetown, Seattle”, there are just 125 restaurants within that local area competing with you in search. When you narrow that down to “Restaurants on Airport Way, Georgetown, Seattle, you’re looking at just five search competitors. Apply that concept to your local area and your business and you could find yourself capturing hyper local customers.

Website Speed

You’ve probably heard this half a million times already in 2014, but it’s important. Make sure that your website loads quickly on every device or you are loosing your hard earned clicks. Enough said.

Go Easy on the Links

While Google loves to see new content, they’re not so hyped about the links. Take it easy on linking to and from other websites, and try to avoid guest blogging for the same of links. If you do include guest blogging in your policy, try offering your website URL without linking it. This will allow interested readers to follow you to your site without bringing unnatural links that could result in a Google penalty.

You probably already know that the backend of your site has to be in shape, that you have to research keywords, and that you should use them sparingly. You should also know that quality is more important than quantity, and that you will be penalized for trying to influence search. With that out of the way, you just have to make sure that your website is for your readers, offers value, and is what it appears to be about. Other then that, you’re on your own with creating your SEO strategy.

If you want to know more about what a professional Seattle SEO manager can do for you in terms of results, contact us at Rory Martin.

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Integrating Global Search Into Your Seattle SEO Campaign

International SEO is one of the most effective ways to reach a global market, even if you are already successful with your local SEO. While international SEO is not right for everyone, it does provide search-marketing results on a global scale, meaning that your products and services are exposed to people from around the world. While international SEO is an extremely complex process and can take years to set up effectively, the following includes a few quick tips to get you started with integrating an international campaign into your localized Seattle SEO tactics.

international SEO

Domain

There are two basic routes for setting up a domain for international SEO. These include using a basic URL (typically a .com) or choosing a top-level domain (TLD) for the country (such as a .de for Germany). These are Generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) and Country Specific Top Level Domains (ccTLDs). You probably already have a gTLD, because that is typically a .com. This type of domain can and will come up around the globe and is therefore ‘generic’. gTLDs have a number of pros including that they make SEO campaigns easier. One domain means one campaign, and ranking for a .com in France increases the ranking in Germany, meaning that your current sucessful campaign will boost your international results. The only catch is that you have to create subdomain language folders, but we’ll get to that later. It’s also considerably easier and more affordable for lower budget companies to take this route.

ccTLDs

Utilizing ccTLDs in an international SEO campaign means purchasing individual TLD domains per country. Unfortunately, that usually requires that you live there or have a registered address or office there. Therefore, for example, Rorymartin.com might become RoryMartin.ge, or RoryMartin.ca. This is advantageous for a number of reasons including that each individual site is more likely to rank in its country and that local searchers are more likely to see the site as a local and trustworthy website. ccTLDs also allow marketers to utilize local hosting and servers, which sometimes benefits SEO, and sometimes benefits website loading speed. However, using ccTLDs is resource consuming in that it literally requires the owner to manage and keep up individual websites for each ccTLD. Essentially, you’ll need separate SEO campaigns, and very little cross-link value between sites. For this reason, ccTLDs are mostly only recommend for very high-budget campaigns.

Subdomains

Some marketers choose to use their ccTDL domains as subdomains. Essentially, someone from Germany could type in Rorymartin.ge and show up at Rorymartin.com. This has no real SEO benefit, but is beneficial for anyone who wants to advertise with a local domain.

Language Sub-Folders

Anyone using gTLDs rather than ccTLDs should take the time to create language subfolders. This can be done in a variety of ways including creating an individual folder for each language or creating a folder for each country. It is recommended to utilize the ISO language and country codes in the URL for the source files. For example:

Rorymartin.com/en

Others choose to include a country code, which can be represented in either a single file for country and language, or a dual file:
RoryMartin.com/ca-fr
RoryMartin.com/ca/fr

In this case, it is almost always best to create a single folder for country and language, rather than for both. In this case, the ‘correct’ subdomain would be ‘RoryMartin.com/ca-fr’ rather than dividing information between multiple folders. However, countries where you want to optimize for two languages would still require two folders.
/ca-fr
/ca-en

For the most part, it is better to choose one main language for the country and rank for that.

Focus on the Right Markets

Digital marketers know that choosing a market can be the most important part of any strategy, and that rule holds true with international SEO. While you could invest in creating an international campaign for every potential market, chances are that this sort of campaign is going to be far too expensive and difficult to upkeep. Instead, focus on creating a smaller campaign that you can easily manage and invest in. Quality is one of the more important ranking factors of SEO, and focusing on one or two prime markets allows you to focus on quality translation, markups, and URLs, rather than using a lower budget for more content. Lower budget marketers with global goals can consider creating international campaigns for specific high-potential markets first, and then moving on to new markets one the first sites are set up. For example, if you want to expand to Toronto, Berlin, and Paris from Seattle, then you would want to do so one city at a time, rather than all at once.

URLS

As with any other form of SEO, international SEO requires optimized URLS. In this case there are a number of different strategies you can utilize for language, localized, and internal SEO. As a rule, you should include the following considerations in any URL.
• URL should be in the same language as the page.
• Use hreflangs
• Avoid redirects, as they confuse the reader and Google

Hreflangs

Hreflangs are a confusing point to anyone not quite familiar with HTML or the more technical aspects of SEO, but they are an extremely important factor in international SEO. The HREF markup, as you may know, stands for ‘hypertext reference’ while the ‘lang’ stands for language. So a Hreflang is quite simply a hypertext markup that tells Google you are using another language and would like to rank this page for that language. Hreflangs are also useful for telling search bots that while the content is duplicated somewhere else, it’s because it is now in another language and intended to rank in another country.
<rel=”alternate” hreflang =”Fr” >
You should include a specific hreflang in the URL header for each alternate language page that you have. You do not have to use canonicals with hreflangs, and the hreflang already tells Google that the page is duplicate but in another language. Hreflangs are also important for pages with dialect changes, such as US to UK word changes.

Translation

Translation is an often-overlooked factor of international SEO but most search engines rank quality content over keyword optimization. For this reason, it is important to invest in quality translations no matter what the language. If you’re simply translating to other forms of English, such as British and Australian English, you can use a simple program like Microsoft Word to help. Otherwise, you most likely need a professional translator. Any translating software will have grammar or other errors that will affect search and reader satisfaction. For the most part, it is a mistake to use any sort of auto-translate or flash program on the page. You want an individual URL and individual pre-translated page for each country.

Keyword Research

Very few countries have the same keywords for the same topics, so it is important to research keywords for the country in question. Google’s Keyword Planner is an excellent free tool for anyone who wants to do keyword research by country. However, any keyword research software or tools that you currently use may also be appropriate. In most cases, international SEO requires the use of both language appropriate and English keywords. For example, someone in Germany may search using both English and German.

Linking

International SEO, like other forms of SEO, also requires a link building campaign. In this case it is important to create links from domains and websites that reflect the language and country location of the new domain. For example, anyone setting up a British version of their site would want inbound links from sites using British English, and hopefully with a .UK instead of a com.

How are you implementing your international SEO strategy?

Quick Tips for Improving Your Seattle Social Media Campaigns for 2014

With an estimated 90% of small businesses on social media, it is becoming more important than ever to get yours going. Unfortunately, while more than three quarters of businesses do have social accounts, most have no idea how to utilize them to make sales and create customers. In fact, some 58% of social users claim to have difficulty driving engagement, let alone sales. So what are you doing wrong?

Improve your Seattle social media

Localized Targeting

If you live and work in Seattle, then you would want to find local businesses that can offer local services. For example, there is probably a coffee shop near you. Chances are that if you go to their Facebook, they aren’t doing anything to target their specific audience, and if they are, they’re probably targeting Seattle, rather than their neighborhood. For example, a bakery located on Pike Place might advertise themselves as a ‘Seattle Bakery’ on their website. Unfortunately, this isn’t going to drive too much traffic because while ‘local’, Seattle is really big. Instead, that same bakery should focus on ‘Pike Place’ as their local domain, and use targeted keywords, hashtags, and interact with neighborhood pages and groups.

Don’t Over Promote

Promoting on any social is a fine balance of offering value alongside company promotions because no one wants to see post after post of “You’ll love our stuff – go buy it!”. Most Facebook and Twitter managers already have a pretty good handle on this sort of management, but most of the non-pros still have to catch on. Try interspersing your coupons and sales, and direct links with useful information like customer reviews, questions and answers, funny photos, and even contests. You’ll get a lot more interaction, and as a result, more business.

Demographics

Another increasingly common problem is that many businesses just want fans and don’t care where or how they get them. Unfortunately, if your likes and +1s aren’t in your demographic, you won’t be making any sales. Why not? Because if you’re primarily selling ballet shoes for toddlers then you won’t be making very many sales to single men aged 18-25. The point is that almost every type of business has a demographic, and that demographic is what you should focus on for your social. Finding and targeting your demographic is a huge part of a professional social media campaign because it increases sales, interaction, and ROI.

Non-Goal Oriented Posts

One of the biggest mistakes that you see in any social media campaign is that the majority aren’t goal oriented. While most of us realize that being on social is a good thing, and that it can make sales, we don’t understand the process quite enough. That’s where an established Seattle social media company like Rory Martin can help you, we can create and realize goals based on the capabilities of your business. Goal oriented posts are those that strive to get to a certain amount of sales, likes, or shares, so that you get a certain amount of ROI in return.

Do you want to know more about starting a localized Seattle social media campaign? Contact the experts at Rory Martin today to find out more, or to talk to one of our professional social media managers.

Setting a Marketing Budget – How Much is Your Seattle SEO Campaign Worth?

If you’re planning on starting an SEO or marketing campaign for 2014 then you have a lot of decisions to make. First, you have to set a budget. Unfortunately, setting a budget on any sort of marketing campaign isn’t as easy as quoting a number and going with that. You have to decide a budget based on your spending goals, the company you’re hiring, and your potential for return on investment. Finally, all of this has to be tempered by your market and your demographic. For example, a localized Seattle SEO campaign is much smaller than an international one. Ready, let’s get started.

SEattle SEO Budget

Demographic

Your demographic should be a huge part of setting your budget. How many customers do you have the potential of reaching with a good SEO campaign? On top of that, how many of them are you capable of serving? If your target demographic is only very local, for example, Greenwood, then you’re not going to get much out of a thousands of dollar campaign. You need something small, and targeted locally, which typically means smaller budget. On the other hand, if you operate a web shop selling women’s clothing that delivers worldwide, then your demographic is as wide as you can get it. In this case, a huge marketing campaign would be in your best interest.

SEO Budget SEattle

What Affects Pricing

There are a number of factors that affect SEO pricing; especially in the Seattle area. Some companies charge more for SEO simply because they are more in demand. For example, an SEO professional with experience managing campaigns for big companies. On the other hand, some companies charge more just because they want to. On average, the following considerations affect pricing the most.
• Industry Competitiveness
• Current Ranking (Yours and Competitors)
• Size
• Resources Required to Achieve Results
• Geo-Location
• Current Risk
For example, if you are in a highly competitive industry such as finance, your ranking is quite low, and you have no real quality website or social built up, then your SEO company will have to invest a great deal just to get your SEO going. For that reason, your campaign would be more expensive. On the other hand, your website might already be in good shape, and all you might need are a few strategic links, better keyword optimization, and backend tweaking to improve website performance.

Defining Your ROI

Seattle SEO Budget

ROI is an acronym that stands for Return on Investment, while often nothing more than a bit of overused jargon by anyone who wants to sell you something, it is the single most important thing about your marketing campaign. Whether you’re investing in social media, in SEO, targeting the world, or targeting a small, local Seattle marketing campaign, you need ROI. Your return on investment is the money that you make from your marketing investment, and like any other type of investment, if it’s not there, then you need a new strategy. There are two types of basic ROI including ‘anticipated ROI’ and ‘actual ROI’. Deciding on your anticipated ROI is how you determine how much you can afford to spend on your initial SEO campaign, while your actual ROI is how you decide on what to continue spending.

What is your marketing campaign worth to you? To us, any SEO campaign is only worth as much as much as it can make you in actual returns. Want to know more? Contact us today to talk to one of our local Seattle SEO professionals.

Seattle SEO & The Long-Tail Keyword

If you do anything with SEO or marketing, then you are sure to hear about the long-tail keyword. With new Google search algorithms, new search results, and more people using longer searches, it is now becoming increasingly important for Seattle businesses to utilize longer keywords in order to keep up.

What is the Long-Tail?

The long-tail keyword is essentially a short phrase or specific search term that someone would use to look for something specific. While many people do use short-tail keywords to look for items, the results are much more vague, and usually used by someone first looking into an industry. So, for example, someone who is just starting to look into SEO might search for ‘SEO’ which wold bring up the Wikipedia page.

Seattle SEO

On the other hand, once that person has looked at the Wikipedia page, they are going to move on, and probably start looking for SEO companies to hire. A long-tail search for ‘Seattle SEO Company” is much more specific and as a result typically offers slightly more specific results.
Seattle SEO

About the Search Process

Right now, Google’s Hummingbird algorithm offers priority to websites that have the same long-tail keywords as the consumers search. So, if someone looks for ‘Marketing company SEO and Social” then they are going to get results that have all of those words. However, most people don’t start out looking for a long-tail keyword.

For example, if you’re considering hiring a Seattle SEO company but don’t know anything about SEO, your first search is going to be for ‘SEO’ or a similar ‘beginners guide to SEO’ where you would then read the Wikipedia Page, or browse around on sites like SEOMoz or SearchEngineLand in an effort to understand the process. For most people, the first searches are ‘what is it’, ‘how does it work’, and ‘do I need it’. While these searches can generate a lot of traffic, very few of them generate any sales.

Next comes the decision making process. The searcher knows what they want and they know what it does, so they start looking for something to buy. This is where the long-tail keyword comes in. The search for ‘SEO’ turns into “SEO company’s in Seattle’ or ‘Seattle Marketing’, which turns into a sale for one of the results.

Applying Long-Tail Keywords to Your Marketing Campaign

Unfortunately you have to know what your long-tails are before you can use them. If you only service a small area, then your long-tail keywords are obviously your location, but you also have to consider other specifics such as your exact products. A local bakery could utilize area and food specific long-tail keywords like, “Kirkland Wedding Catering” or “Where to Get Chocolate Cupcakes on 12th Street.”

Any long-tail keyword runs the risk of being too specific, but this is where keyword research comes in. A keyword with an average of 30 searches per month offers less traffic, but also the potential for 30 sales each month, as those 30 people find exactly what they are looking for. Broader searches offer more competition, and less chance of a sale, but can still be useful as well.

Why Content Marketing is Set to Dominate Your Seattle SEO

SEO has grown a lot in the pat few years, with most notable changes including that ‘search’ marketing is now more ‘integrated’ marketing than simple ‘SEO’. Anyone who does their own optimization can easily see that tactics, techniques, and algorithms are quickly changing and in big ways. But while content is no longer the only star of your search optimization, new data shows that content marketing should be. If you want to keep your localized Seattle SEO campaign up to date with Google, then content marketing is definitely for you.

content-marketing-wheel

Image-Centric Content is On the Rise

Do you like pictures? Studies show that your fan-base most likely loves pictures. Image-centric content is on the rise and popular across every form of advertising including your localized SEO. The most successful blog posts and websites now all have the same thing in common, which is that they use beautiful imagery throughout the post. You want to make sure your photos look professional, that they are shareable, and relevant to your topic. For restaurants and anyone selling a product, this means you can showcase your business for nothing more than the cost of a photographer and then use sites like your blog, Pinterest, Instagram, and even Facebook to share with the world. Because images, and content with more shares and links both come up in search, you can’t loose.

Off-Site Content is On the Rise Again

Off-Sit content marketing has had it’s ups and downs for the past few years but right now it’s back on the rise, providing you follow a few specific rules. Every post that you put out must be high quality, and every blog or site that you post on must be highly relevant to your site. Just a link doesn’t benefit your pages very much, but a targeted link, especially one that appeals to readers without directly ‘selling’ your content, will do a lot for you. Plus, new research shows that Google’s Hummingbird is actually picking the first four posts by the number of inbound links, so off-site content marketing is definitely something to keep in mind.

One Ring to Rule Them All

While content marketing has nothing to do with Lord of the Rings (unless you happen to be in the movie business) it does offer a one size fits all way to dominate your integrated marketing. Content is popular in SEO, SMM, and PPC (Search, Social, & Advertisement), essentially giving you a catch-all form of marketing that you can invest in to turn out really great results. Of course, you might be able to just throw up a random image or boring article and hope it succeeds, but ‘real content marketing’ involves creating a strategy that targets your Seattle audience, and then hitting them with planned, imagery and writing.
Content marketing is hugely important no matter where you happen to be marketing. With Google’s new Hummingbird algorithm, it is becoming more important than ever for a number of different reasons. If you haven’t integrated content marketing into your Seattle SEO campaign, consider starting right away.

Five New Seattle Social Media Marketing Trends to Watch Out For

The world of marketing is always changing and unless you stay on top of the trends, you’re going to see a quick drop in your campaign success. No matter what it is you happen to be marketing, trends can make or break your campaign so you have to watch out for them. The following include a few local, and international, marketing trends that could affect your Seattle social media marketing campaign.

social platforms

Twitter is Back

That’s right! Twitter is back and bigger than ever, especially if you’re in the right sectors. New data shows that Twitter is now doing just as well or better than Facebook for active users, and more importantly, it’s becoming harder to promote yourself on Facebook. While it’s important not to ignore either channel, Twitter gives you an opportunity to directly connect with your fans by answering questions, recommending your software, and creating an online buzz about your products, all without the huge amount of thought that goes into every Facebook post. While less people will click through on your links via Twitter, you do have the opportunity to get more exposure for your brand.

You Can No Longer Ignore Google +

If you don’t have a Google + then you need to run not walk to the computer and set up a page for your business. As we discussed in one of our previous posts, Google + is hugely influential across most fields of organic marketing including social and SEO. Google may be playing favorites, but with Google + offering all the benefits of Twitter and Facebook, and 540 million active users, you really can’t afford to ignore it any longer. Plus (pun intended) you can use Google’s Hangout function to directly engage with your fan base, answer questions, and earn loyal customers. Google’s ‘local’ functions are also invaluable to your marketing efforts so make sure you check them out.

Cross Marketing

Cross marketing, or working together with your competitors and other related businesses is quickly becoming the next big thing. By collaborating and offers cross marketing deals (such as a hotel stay and restaurant meal in one package) you gain more exposure to a wider fan-base. While not every business can benefit from this sort of cross marketing, most can. You can benefit by offering online coupons, giveaways or deals that encourage you to like/share your cross marketing companions, or even bundles and deals that benefit everyone involved.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is going, well, viral. It’s expected to be the biggest form of marketing in 2014, and is already making a huge splash in 2013. So what’s the big deal? Videos, pictures, blogs, and even infographics have all been going viral all year and when done right, will gain a massive amount of exposure and interest in your business.

Image Centric Social

One trend that has probably the largest impact is that image centric social sites like Snapchat, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr are now more important than ever. These sites allow businesses to connect directly with customers via hashtags, image shares, and direct mentions, building brand image, product awareness, and interest. While a services site most likely cannot use these types of media marketing most types of businesses can.

Seattle’s social media marketing trends are rapidly changing and if you need help, there’s plenty of professional marketing managers out there to help. Want to know more? Contact our social media marketing team today to find out what we can do for you.

How to Get Started with Google Plus for Local Seattle Businesses

If you pay any attention at all to the ‘hot topics’ in the world of search marketing and integration then you know that Google + is quickly becoming one of the most important things you can do for your online marketing efforts. With Google’s favoritism in full swing, Google + is more valuable to your search than Facebook and Twitter combined, and their +1 button has been proven by Search Engine Land and SEOMoz to affect search almost as much as your websites PR. With that in mind, any marketer who ignores their Google + is definitely missing out on a lot of social and search opportunities. While many businesses take this to mean international marketing, Google + can also be used for localized Seattle social media marketing and optimization. How? Keep reading to find out.

Set up a Page

While you can work with a Google + profile, you should really have a page for any sort of business. To do this, simply go to Google.com/+/business, sign in, and then click ‘Create a Google + Page’. From there you can easily add your business data, location, opening hours, and branding to Google Plus. Because Google + has gained more than 100 million users in the last year alone, exposure to this audience is definitely in your favor.

Google Places

Google Places listings show businesses on the map in response to keyword lookups for localized business and if you are in the top three, you’re highly likely to get a great deal of traffic from it. To do this, just add your local Seattle address into Google Places, and go from there. You can choose to use free features, or pay for options like Adwords integration and Google Offers to hand out free deals and coupons to people who find you in search.

Google Local

Google Local is very similar to Google Places but make sure that you have all of your information handy before you sign up. The process involves verifying that you own your business, verifying the location, and creating a page for your business. This allows you to show up in Google’s search results as a local business, which can do wonders for your search results. Because your reviews and recommendations also show up in these search results, quality business practices can turn into a lot of extra clicks and views.

Getting Reviews and Recommendation

Studies have proven that Google + Reviews and Recommendations can increase traffic and clicks by as much as 23%, and a high number of quality reviews can also increase your ranking on Google Local, meaning that you show up higher on the list. While this only works if you have Google Local, it is a great way to increase your ranking for search and help new customers with making a decision. Your ‘review this page’ box is located just under the page as well as next to the cover photo. Users have to be signed in with a confirmed Google + account in order to leave reviews, and any review they post will have their name on it. For the most part, you can gain reviews by simply asking your customers to leave a review on your page. Because the majority of them might not already have a Google +, it may also be beneficial to offer an incentive, as well as instructions on how to set up a Google + page, when you ask. Incentives, should of course, not be for offering a ‘good review’ but rather for an honest opinion.
A Google + Page can do wonders for your Seattle search engine optimization but it can take a while to get everything set up.

Remember that in addition to creating your page, you also have to keep it active with quality content and interaction. Otherwise, it’s just one more useless page that does nothing for your site.

What Google’s Hummingbird Algorithm Means for Your Seattle SEO

Google’s latest update, Hummingbird, was announced on the 26th of September after already running for a few months. Hummingbird is a new search algorithm and is expected to affect some 90% of search, much of which has already happened. Unlike previous search algorithms Panda and Penguin which were updates to Google’s algorithm, Hummingbird is actually a completely new algorithm, making it Google’s biggest change in 3 years.

Google HummingBird and Seattle SEO

What is Hummingbird?

Hummingbird is quite simply the newest search algorithm from Google and is quite similar to the previous algorithm but with a few major changes. The biggest change is that most keywords are now geared towards semantic long tail search, meaning that questions and phrases now matter more than single word keywords. Google will also be paying attention to other statics like traffic, bounce rate, and time spent on the page rather than just your keywords. Essentially, Google is getting smarter, and Hummingbird is their smartest algorithm yet. Hummingbird is mobile optimized and designed to turn up the highest quality results as quickly as possible.

• Uses semantic or ‘speaking’ keywords
• Uses PR (Page Rank)
• Less Emphasis on Individual Keywords
• More Emphasis on Social Signals and Activity
• More Emphasis on Quality
• All Search is Now Secure

Earlier this month we talked about Google’s vanishing keyword data, which was actually the first sign of Hummingbird. Secure search means no more keyword data in Google Analytics, which also means changes.

Because most users are looking for answers to questions, Hummingbird is also moving towards an ‘answers’ rather than ‘results’ type search. As a result, titles with “How, why, and whom’ could be slightly more prioritized for future search. Website owners can also expect to see niche sites rising in the SERPS as they tend to have more specialized content on specific topics.

How it Affects your Seattle SEO

The Hummingbird algorithm affects your site in two different ways depending on whether or not you already had good SEO policies. If your SEO is good and you’re still ranking well then you can most likely just keep up what you’re doing, make sure all of your keywords are semantic, and if necessary update any articles or pages that aren’t semantic. Most of the SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages) have already changed so you can already see where you are. If you’re losing traffic, your domain authority dropped, or your ranking pages are showing up lower then you can blame Hummingbird.

If you have lost traffic because of Hummingbird, your best bet is to rework your content with quality and work on making your keywords more semantic. This means natural, flowing keywords that make sense when spoken aloud. Typically if your content is mostly aimed towards quality rather than SEO, then you don’t’ really have to worry about it too much.

Essentially Hummingbird integrates natural spoken search to make room for new search methods such as mobile and voice command search. If you want to learn more about it, consider contacting your local Seattle SEO expert to talk about your specific site or problem.

What Google’s Vanishing Keyword Data Means for Seattle SEO

Many business owners and SEOs have begun to notice a shift in Google’s analytics keyword reporting, but unfortunately, it’s only just beginning. Many keywords are beginning to show as ‘not available’ due to Google’s secure search blocking the bots that collect the data. Keyword data, or the exact keyword that shows how a visitor found your site, is used by many people for optimizing and finding keywords that work, and even for turning the best keywords into PPC campaigns. Unfortunately for marketers and business owners everywhere, that is about to change, because Google isn’t planning on integrating any other options. How does Google’s vanishing keyword data affect your Seattle SEO? Keep reading to find out.

Vanishing Data

Over the past year, most people who use Google Analytics have noticed that more and more keywords were vanishing. These keywords typically show up as ‘not available’ rather than listing the searched keyword, meaning that users cannot turn the data into campaigns or optimized pages. While Matt Cutts claimed that the new secure search would not affect more than ‘single digits’ of search results in 2011,studies now show that some niches are affected a great deal more. In fact, BrightEdge recently released a study on Search Engine Watch detailing that the highest affected industry (Technology) was affected 56%. Essentially, more than half of the keywords in that sector show up as not available.

One website we used to test this theory received 3,125 search hits during the test period. Of those hits, 1,900 of them were ‘keyword not provided’. Another website, in the SEO sector, literally did not have any keyword data, with every hit showing up as ‘not provided’. The last website tested received a modest 500, with 62% via search, but 199 of those keywords are ‘unavailable’ meaning that some 60% of searched keywords aren’t showing up.

What it Means for Seattle SEO

While not seeing your keyword data is going to have some impact on your campaigns, you can minimize the effect by paying attention to your URL hits and what keywords you utilized for those URL’s. The biggest impact that the vanishing keyword data has on small businesses is that Google is no longer a reliable tool for finding your star keywords. While there are ways around anonymous search data, you should probably start thinking around your keywords, not trying to dig them back up. SEO experts around the globe agree that keywords are becoming less and less important for most SEO, although it still holds a big placeholder in PPC and other marketing campaigns.

Adjusting your campaigns to focus on business impact including revenue, conversion, and traffic, is more likely to hold as a stable long term marketing campaign for Google’s future policies. While keywords aren’t dead, they are playing a much smaller part in future SEO.

While secure search is reducing the amount of keyword data available, it is also forcing more business owners to think in terms of long term results, rather than the short term of optimizing a page for keywords. All in all, it’s a big change, but it could be a good one for the future of Seattle SEO.

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