Four New Year’s Resolutions for SEO in 2013

Excerpts from my latest article at Practical eCommerce: “SEO New Year’s Resolutions for 2013.”

2013With a new year ahead, it’s time to think about New Year’s resolutions. What do you want search engine optimization to do for your site in 2013? The most likely goals for any ecommerce site revolve around driving more traffic and converting more visitors. Let’s look at some steps for analyzing, planning and implementing stronger SEO programs in 2013.

  • Drive More SEO Traffic
  • Convert More SEO Visitors
  • Implement More SEO Actions
  • Build Better Relationships

Each resolution includes details and links to articles for more practical SEO tips. Enjoy!

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SEO and Microsites: A Hard Row to Hoe

Excerpts from my latest article at NBC 5 Chicago’s Inc. Well blog: “Why Microsites Make SEO Harder.”

butting headsMarketers love to spin off microsites for campaigns, e-commerce capabilities, mobile sites and more. It can be easier to create a microsite from scratch than just integrate a new feature or campaign into your existing website. But unless you’re working on a project that you don’t want associated with your brand, reconsider hosting it as a microsite on a new domain.

For SEO, it all boils down to authority. A new microsite on a new domain will have zero domain authority when it launches. It has no links, no shares, no domain history, nothing to tell search engines that it’s the new hotness. And while you’re certain that the content on this sparkling new microsite is amazing, the search engines will turn a blind eye until other sites link to it to confirm its worth and relevance to the wider world.

In addition, the new microsite essentially competes for the same organic search rankings and traffic that your primary site needs to win in order to drive leads or sales. In the beginning at least, the microsite will be very weak in terms of the domain and link authority required to win those organic search rankings. It will require a large amount of content marketing and link building work to strengthen the microsite’s authority to the point where it can rank. And those resources will have been used to essentially build a competing site that, if successful, will cannibalize traffic and conversions from your primary site.

Instead, the same content and resources spent on the microsite can be used instead to strengthen the SEO performance of your primary site rather than competing with it….

Read the article in full at Inc. Well »


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Get More Links Doing What You Already Do

Excerpts from my latest article at Practical eCommerce: “SEO: 3 Ways to Grow Links to Your Ecommerce Site.”

Search engine optimization relies in large part on relevant content and authoritative links from other sites. As the search engines develop ever-more stringent algorithms around relevance and authority, it becomes harder to acquire links that will actually matter to your site’s SEO efforts. Fortunately, your business is likely already doing some things that can be tweaked to encourage sites to link to your site for SEO benefit.

These days, links need to be earned organically from relevant and authoritative sites rather than built or submitted as they could be even five years ago. The best links will come from sites that manufacture, write about, or sell the same types of products that your ecommerce site sells. In addition….

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Deploying Your Keyword Army to Win Searches

Excerpts from my latest article at Practical eCommerce: “SEO: Marshaling Your Keyword Army.”

Content optimization for search engines seems straightforward. You research the keywords that your customers use most frequently and you use them on your site in the places that matter most to search engine algorithms. But deciding which keywords to apply to individual pages when you’re ready to optimize is a much greater challenge.

When faced with a set of pages, it’s tempting to optimize for the same keyword on multiple pages. After all, the more pages optimized for a keyword phrase the better chance of ranking well, right? The reality can be just the opposite.

If five pages on your site are optimized for a juicy keyword phrase, each page is competing with the others for dominance for that phrase. In a well-designed site each page has a unique purpose. That’s why it’s a separate page and not part of another page. And because each page has a unique purpose it will also have a unique ability to rank for specific keyword phrases.

Think of each page on your site as a soldier in your army. Each battle to win individual search results contributes to the greater glory of the army and organic search victory for your site against competitors. Each soldier has a specific task to do to help win the war….

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The Overlap between SEO & Accessibility

Excerpts from my latest article at Resource Interactive’s weThink blog: “Better Accessibility, Better SEO.”

Mention web accessibility and digital marketers tend to sigh, flash back to alt attributes on images and envision a small handful of vision-impaired people using screen readers. In reality, accessibility standards benefit nearly 12% of the U.S. population, from people with hearing and vision impairment to people with repetitive motion disorder, developmental disabilities or ADHD. And the growing population of senior citizens online represents another important reason for brands to embrace accessibility standards, with 53% of American adults age 65 and older using the Internet.

As an added benefit, what’s good for accessibility is also typically good for search engine optimization. The accessibility standards that focus on providing textual alternatives and navigational guidelines have the most overlap with SEO because the search engine crawlers that index the Internet for ranking are traditionally bound by similar restrictions as screen readers.

The most obvious example of overlap between accessibility and SEO is the need to provide textual alternatives for non-textual content such as images, audio and video. On the SEO front, alt attributes are not a very powerful keyword relevance signal, but they do have a small benefit. When combined with other SEO best practices, using relevant alt attributes that agree with the keyword signal on the page when it’s possible will give the page an extra boost. Following the following guidelines will enhance both web accessibility and the keyword signals that feed SEO….

Read the article in full at Resource Interactive’s weThink blog »


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Originally posted on Web PieRat.