Small business hit in the pocketbook by Google Keyword Planner changes

Google has been busy, busy, busy with its Keyword Planner tool these past few weeks. The fun began in June, when several users complained that it was suddenly mandatory to have at least one active Adwords campaign to access the Keyword Planner.

A few days of outrage later, Google clarified that this was a technical glitch and would be fixed.

Oops.  Hehe. [Read more…]

SEO and the next big optimization

What is SEO all about?  I’ll bet nine out of ten webmasters will answer, “It’s about my Google rankings.”

Well, yes, that’s the result you are shooting for.  But what is the process?  What does SEO do?

And that’s where nine out of ten webmasters will say, “Ah…um…well…I dunno.”

SEO is about optimizing. [Read more…]

How can I get my website indexed by Google?

It’s the biggest F in the FAQ of SEO.  The most frequently asked newbie question: “How can I get my website indexed by Google?” The answer is simple.  It will get indexed on its own if it’s any good and you do any promotion.

As Neil Patel puts it, “You can take the ‘tortoise’ approach – just sit back and wait for it to happen naturally.”

Like all things in life, you had best read the fine print. Those are two huge “ifs”.  Let’s take a look at each one. [Read more…]

Are we entering a new age of SEO?

Some people say that we are entering a new age of SEO, that the tricks of the past will become the stuff of legend, and that we will be blazing a new trail through unchartered waters – possibly even the end of SEO altogether.

Sound familiar? Well it’s not all that new a concept. People have been ringing the SEO-is-dead bell for years.

Long live SEO.

However two “facts” are clear. The first is that the basics of SEO have not changed much in a decade. I even wrote about this a year ago, so it must be true.

On the other hand

On the other hand, SEO has changed tremendously. A decade ago, nobody cared about mobile search, and Google was now offering a mobile option (AMP) that works off its own server, rather than off of yours.

A decade ago, people were not talking about bounce rates or time on site as a ranking factor.

A decade ago, nobody was making the connection between SEO and social media.

A decade ago, nobody was speculating how the Internet of Things would change the nature of searching.

And nobody was talking about an end to links as a ranking factor. Today, Brian McFarlane is wondering out loud whether we are already seeing the beginning of a slow decline of link building, an activity that often occupies over 90 percent of many SEO professionals’ time. [Read more…]

Your website’s need for speed

If it seems like life has been getting faster every day, that’s because it has. And if it seems like the Internet is getting faster every day, that’s because it is. We’ve moved from pedal boats to rocket ships.

As the Internet speeds up, your competitors speed up, too. And that creates expectations on the part of your two most important audiences – your customers and visitors, and the search engines on whom you probably rely to bring you customers and visitors.

Public expectations are pretty harsh these days. With life so fast-paced, is it any wonder that 47 percent of the public expects your web page to load in two seconds or less? Or that 57 percent will abandon your website if it take three seconds or more to load? Or that the reason half your customers don’t complete their purchases, but rather abandon their shopping carts, is due to impatience with load times:

“Roughly 70% of online shopping carts are abandoned before checkout, and new findings suggest that slow load times are the number-one culprit.”

As long as people can get what they want at the speed they want elsewhere, they won’t put up with a slow shopping cart. Slow pages cut conversions. They also increase bounce rates…and that can affect your search engine rankings.

Does your website have enough speed?

[Read more…]