Thursday, April 24, 2014

Matt Cutts Answers... How can small sites become popular?

Matt Cutts answers a question which bothers all the SMEs and Ecommerce website owners who start small and have to first establish a brand before they can actually do flourishing business on the web.

He gives the examples of Facebook, Instagram and MySpace which all started small but because of their agility and new ideas made it big. Any site though small initially has a potential of making it big online if you focus on user experience, if the site offers something that returns more value and the content offers quality, in-depth and insightful information.

He mentions that whatever area you are in if you are doing it better that the others then over a period of time you can expect your site to do better and better.

However if you are a 'one person' website versus a 200 person website then of course it will make a difference but again if you focus on quality content and user experience by narrowing down to your niche area first then gradually you can earn a good search presence by building it over a period of time which may help you compete with the so called bigger sites.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

How To Check If Your SEO Is Establishing Your Brand Online Correctly

In 2014 anyone serious about search and online presence needs to create an online persona and establish a brand online.

Since many years companies have been investing in SEO but how can you be sure that your SEO has helped you establish your brand online ?

 The way your brand presence is established is an offshoot of the SEO efforts put in by your SEO company.

We keep on analyzing the analytic reports and regularly focus on visits (Now Sessions) , unique visitors (Now called Users) , rankings, bounce rate, landing pages, search queries, etc to judge the SEO performance but SEO has another very important deliverable i.e ‘To Establish Your Brand Online’ with every footprint they help you create on the web.

The task of establishing the brand presence is not an independent task but is woven into the on-page, off-page and technical factors of the SEO deliverables.

Every little task performed by the SEO to make the SEO campaign successful helps to promote your brand or harms the brand presence.

10 Things To Check If Your SEO Is Establishing Your Brand Online

 1. Google your brand name and check the results on the web, images and video search options.

Do a brand name search and see the results. If the SEO campaign is in the right direction the search listings on the first page should be about the pages where your brand name is mentioned or is majorly correlated to. Many times it will show the social media pages of the company and of course the website/blog will be listed in SERPs

2. Use Google Alerts to monitor your brand.

Apply for Google Alerts for the brand name search and be notified whenever people mention the brand name on the web.

  3. Check the analytics trend for branded search queries and keywords

Use the filter option in Google Analytics to find out the search queries and keywords which have the brand name included in.

 4. Check Sitelinks In SERPs

Do a search for your brand name or your brand name + Your Country

If Google has allocated site links then the search results may be as above. The site links can be more in no. as seen below:

 5. Schema For Logo And Address

Check if the logo schema has been added to the page . This helps in correlating the logo image of the company to the brand.

The code for logo should be as follows:

<div itemscope itemtype=""> <a itemprop="url" href="">Home</a> <img itemprop="logo" src="" /> </div>

The code for Address is as follows:

<div itemscope itemtype="">

<span itemprop="name">Google Inc.</span>

P.O. Box<span itemprop="postOfficeBoxNumber">1234</span>

<span itemprop="addressLocality">Mountain View</span>,

<span itemprop="addressRegion">CA</span>

<span itemprop="postalCode">94043</span>

<span itemprop="addressCountry">United States</span>


6. Knowledge Graph

With the Knowledge Graph, Google is trying to make search more intelligent. The results are more relevant because the search engine understands these entities, and the nuances in their meaning, in the same way the user does. This makes the search engine "think" more like the user.
Knowledge Graph Example:

7. Local Search

Check if you have a presence on local search and for queries having a local intent. Search for your brand name or any targeted search query and your local area name and see if you have a presence on local search results.



8. Google Suggest Auto Complete

Check and see what the Google Auto Complete suggests for queries related to your brand. This reflects the reputation the brand is gathering and getting correlated to over a period of time on the web.

9. Publisher Markup

Publisher Markup should ideally be added to the home page of the blog and the Authorship Markup to the blog post pages. This gives due credit to the company and the authors of the blog.
This correlates the company logo and gets displayed in the SERPs when the home page URL of the blog is listed and the blog post pages when listed show the author image.

Check this using the Rich Snippets Tool:

10. Social Media Account Page Designs

Check if the Social Media Account pages convey the brand message and display the logo clearly.

Any genuine SEO will give priority to these aspects when working on the On-Page, Off-Page and Technical factors of SEO during an SEO Campaign and as a website owner your priority should be to check how your brand evolves on the web first and then check for other metrics.

Related Blog Posts :


Friday, April 18, 2014

Some SEO Myths Debunked By Matt Cutts (Head Of The Search Spam Team at Google)

In a recent video  Matt Cutts (Google Head Of The Search Spam Team)  spoke about a SEO myth which seems to be prevalent today.

He clarified : Just because you have an active Google Adwords account your organic search presence is not going to be positively or negatively affected. As, paid search and organic search are completely two different scenarios.

This is a very common question asked by many of our clients because they think that if you advertise with Google then Google  will promote their search presence on organic search too. Many times they even have gone to the extent to tell us that if they have an Adwords account then Google will penalize their search presence as Google would want them to continue with the Adwords.

Thanks to Matt Cutts for clarifying this because now we can just play this video and clear their doubts.

He also speaks about the group thinking that people resort to after reading blogs and forum posts. People just many times blindly follow certain statements mentioned by online marketers or business owners and consider it to be the gospel truth. Matt Cutts mentions that people should stay away from such herd mentality and believe that Google just has one goal in mind and that is to give better quality search results to the users.

I hope he clarifies other myths related to SEO in future and makes life easy for us SEOs.