Optimize Your Title Tags and Eat Your Veggies

My latest article at Practical Ecommerce, read it in full here.

Optimizing title tags is a bit like eating your vegetables. No one wants to do it, but everyone knows it’s good for you. Search engine optimization professionals universally agree that title tags are the most influential on-page element. SEOmoz recently confirmed the importance of title tags in a report that strongly correlated title tag optimization to higher rankings.

The guidelines for optimizing title tags are simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Begin the tag with the most valuable and relevant keyword phrase, use the exact keyword phrase, end with the brand, and keep the length to 70 characters or less.

Read more about the finer points of optimizing title tags »


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Originally posted on Web PieRat.

How to Benefit from Googlebot-Mobile’s New Smarts

Excerpted from my latest article at Practical Ecommerce, read it in full here.

Walmart's Mobile SiteGoogle’s mobile crawler Googlebot-Mobile has traditionally focused on content designed for feature phones and their extremely limited browsers. Google recently announced, however, a new version of Googlebot-Mobile that crawls using an iPhone user agent, enabling it to discover content designed for smartphones, which are more robust than feature phones.

As an avid searcher and a search engine optimization professional, I’ve been disappointed in Google’s treatment of smartphone search results — I addressed here a few months ago, in “Google Says Smartphone Sites Aren’t Mobile.” When a searcher takes the time to tap in a query on their smartphone’s keyboard, the search engine should reward that searcher’s effort by favoring smartphone content over desktop content. Instead, Google has left the task to each individual site to detect smartphones and serve the appropriately formatted content — with mixed results.

Read on to see how one major retailer flubs smartphone usability and potentially misses out on mobile search sales.


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Originally posted on Web PieRat.

Managing SEO and Social Media Together

My latest article at Practical Ecommerce, read it in full here.

 

How etailers manage their social media marketing channel has a growing impact on organic search results. Google and Bing have both incorporated social data into their algorithms to signal content freshness and quality. While the datasets each engine has access to differ, the fact remains that search marketing and social media cannot be managed in silos.

According to the presentation given by Andrea Fishman, vice president of global strategy at BGT Partners — a marketing and design firm — at Search Engine Strategies Chicago 2011, “57% of digital marketing impact is derived from SEO.” But search engine optimization also has a symbiotic relationship with social media, press relations, paid search, offline advertising, and other marketing channels.

Read more »


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Originally posted on Web PieRat.