SEO Philippines| SEO Hacker Blog https://seo-hacker.com SEO Hacker is an SEO Services Company and SEO Blog in the Philippines Tue, 24 Feb 2015 04:03:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 How To Write A Roundup Post That Gets Over 400 Shares https://seo-hacker.com/write-roundup-post-400-shares/ https://seo-hacker.com/write-roundup-post-400-shares/#respond Tue, 24 Feb 2015 03:47:03 +0000 https://seo-hacker.com/?p=9486

Social Shares

Last year was an epic year for round up posts.

As a blogger of quasi-importance myself, I often receive a few invites every month. And honestly, I enjoy being a part of them.

Here are some awesome ones I remember:

Do you know why so many people have been doing these?

Because they work.

For example, in just four days, my post received over 250 social shares and 560 unique visits.

250 shares and 560 unique visits

And since then it sent me even more traffic and up to 400 shares.

400 shares

Making it my 4th most visited page of all time.

And I didn’t even write the content!

However, just because I didn’t write the post, does not mean that it’s easy.

If you don’t have a solid approach to organization and outreach, a round of post can easily be a nightmare.

Luckily, based on my experience, I have condensed it into 6 simple steps. Let’s go through the process together.

1. Come Up With The Idea

There is a bit of an art coming up with an excellent roundup question.

For one thing, you don’t want a question that is too easily answered. Then, no matter how many people you ask, you won’t have much variability in the answers.

For example, when I did my roundup post about your first sale, I knew that the answer to every single one would be unique, because I was asking for a personal story. This mini case study technique is one way to ensure that your roundup post will be interesting.

However, another approach is to ask for a list, such as three tools that you used to build your email list, and then tally the results as a way of ranking the different answers. This is exceptionally useful if you can combine it with some affiliate offers.

Above all, however, you want to consider the long-term benefit of having the go-to source for a question. The bulk of the traffic from my roundup post is from organic. This is because you can find my article on the first page of popular search terms such as:

  • Successful entrepreneur stories
  • First sale stories

Ranking for Keywords

And many more.

I always recommend making a list of burning questions in your niche, and then seeing if some variation of those would make for an interesting roundup post. In the business niche, entrepreneurs are always wondering how to make their first sale, so I turned that into a post.

And even if you are in the business needs, for example you run an e-commerce site or a small business, you can still ask people about their favorite products and services that they use.

2. Find The Contacts

Having a great question is just the start. You need people who can actually answer that question in a meaningful way.

The ideal person is:

  • An authority on the question you are asking
  • Has a large following
  • Open to appearing on blogs and being featured

And of course, you’re going to need to find at least 20 willing people to make it interesting.

Your first approach should be to tap into your network, but outside of that you are going to need to get creative.

Every niche is different, and you’re going to have to find the places where people in your niche congregate.

Forums are a natural thought, but they can be a bit messy and it is difficult to validate the authority of each member.

Another option I quite like is Triberr. In Triberr, blogs get together and form groups around their niche. It is easy to see their website and their Twitter following so you can get a quick snapshot view of their authority.

Twitter

Lastly, consider relevant podcast and interview sites in your niche that may be featuring experts. For example, in the entrepreneurship community, I might have looked at these:

3. Warm Them Up And Contact Them

Our intuition is to start sending out emails left and right.

But we know better than that, don’t we?

Let’s warm them up with some creative ways to attract influencers to improve our response rate. Here are some ideas:

  • Follow them on social media
  • Share their blog posts
  • Comment on their posts
  • Subscribe to their newsletter
  • Leave their podcast a review on iTunes
  • Leave their book a review on Amazon

Of course, you will probably never hit 100%, but if you make an effort at the above everyone will appreciate it.

So now you need a template to start with, but remember it’s always best to personalize emails when you can.

Here is an example template that I used:

Example Template

Let’s break this down.

  1. Personalize the subject to increase the open rates
  2. Lead with who you are and follow that by how you “know” them
  3. Hit them with the request, and tell them why it is worth their time
  4. Tell them that you appreciate your time
  5. Set a deadline (several days before you actually need it)

4. Create A Spreadsheet

Perhaps the organization phase is the most difficult. It’s easy to confuse the fact that because we are not writing the entire post ourselves, that this is not a lot of work.

But keeping track of dozens of people, their answers, their contact information can be a headache if you have a poor process.

This is compounded by the fact that many people are not going to send everything that you need or ask for, such as their image or author bio.

Personally, I like to use Google Docs, and I generally create the following columns.

  • Name
  • Website
  • Contact Info
  • Image Link
  • Twitter Handle
  • Header
  • Response
  • Author Bio

This covers everything from the person, their response, and formatting details, and it will allow you to scale the post quite quickly when you have it all in one place.

Lastly, it is also great to have this information handy if you ever feature them again.

5. Post Features

In order to make the post stand out a bit more we should add some custom features. This is especially useful because round up posts are often thousands of words long. Mine was over 10,000. Therefore you want abridged versions that people can read more quickly.

Here are a few features to consider:

Cliff Notes: I like to take some of the best advice of each of the people and combine it into a sort of cliff notes version that I can put at the very top. This allows you to get the gist right away.

Tweetables: It’s nice to organize some snippets into tweetable phrases that mention you, the post URL, and the author’s Twitter handle. That way when people share the article they are also letting the author know.

Custom Image: One common approach to a featured image for around opposed is to take a profile picture of everyone who is involved in and create a collage. This makes it stands out and people can visually see all the people involved.

6. Publishing And Make It Easy To Share

Because you featured 30 in your niche, it’s going to go viral – right?

Wrong.

Without a proper follow-up, it will just fall flat on its face.

What I like to do is reengage with all the people who participated in the post, again by warming them up using the above methods.

And then I let them know that the post is live.

Here is the template:

Template for updating that the post is live

Key Features

  • Remind them about the article and how awesome it turned out.
  • Make it easy to share with a click to tweet (at a minimum if the person is busy, they can do that).
  • Send them links to other networks you’ve submitted the post so they can upvote it.
  • Thank them and offer to help them out.

People will love you for making it so simple to share.

Share

Conclusion

Whether you’re a business owner who does content marketing or a full-time blogger, a round of post can be a great way to get some attraction in your niche. They work especially well with new blogs.

In addition to the traffic, link building, and social shares I’ve received from the post I organized, I’ve also gotten a podcast invite, a guest post on my blog, and networked with a bunch of important people in my niche.

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Content Marketing for Start-ups According to Experts [Part Two] https://seo-hacker.com/content-marketing-startups-experts-part/ https://seo-hacker.com/content-marketing-startups-experts-part/#comments Wed, 18 Feb 2015 02:34:08 +0000 https://seo-hacker.com/?p=9464

Content Marketing for Startups

Last week we shared to you some of content marketing ideas from experts. Today we will continue with the second and last part of our two-part  post about Content Marketing for start-ups according to experts.

Note: If you haven’t read yet the first part, I suggest you read it first. To give you a short recap, the following are the questions answered by industry experts:

Now, let’s continue with the rest of the questions…

Question #6: Who are the people in your team who are responsible for the company’s content marketing efforts? (Not the names, rather the job types)

Who are responsible for content marketing efforts

Rand Fishkin: We have a marketing team of 16 folks today, and of those, 3 are exclusively dedicated to content (they’re called the “content team”). Cyrus Shepard leads that group, which includes two content strategists who help design, manage, edit, and curate all the stuff we publish. We also have a team of 4 on social, led by Jen Lopez, and they handle a lot of the promotion and interaction of that content through Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, etc. But these aren’t the only folks who are content creators or social interactors at Moz!

We have another dozen or so folks from around the company (myself included) who contribute heavily, and another 50-60+ who’ve occasionally written a blog post, published a visual, given a presentation and put it on Slideshare, or interacted with our customers on social networks. It’s a big, broad, cross-team effort.

But, beyond Moz, we actually have a huge team of contributors from around the web marketing world. Almost half our content isn’t created by Mozzers – it’s created by professionals who read Moz and want to give back (and leverage our platform to boost their own visibility). We love this symbiotic relationship and we do a lot of hard work to make sure that our guest contributors look good when they publish on Moz.

Neil Patel: We have one person per company. Their title is director of content marketing. They focus on creating content, recruiting writers, editing, posting, and promoting. They also measure the blogs traffic and figure out the types of content that drive more visitors and cause conversions.

Michele Linn: If you look at the composition of the CMI team, the editorial team is the largest team in the organization. I lead our efforts, but we have people who focus on various aspects of or content efforts. For instance, we have a managing editor for our print magazine, a director who focuses on original research, a director who leads our podcast efforts and managing editors or leads who manage our blogs (one for CMI and one for a new property, Intelligent Content Conference). We also have a person who curates or repackages all of our internal content and another person who is dedicated to “hardcore” editing our blog posts. We also employ a copy editor as well as some freelance writers.


Question #7: Is there any other marketing method you are using to supplement your content marketing efforts?

Other Marketing Efforts to Supplement

Rand: Sure, I’ll list a few we lean on heavily:

  • SEO is a huge traffic driver for our content, and helps us get very targeted audiences (more so than most other channels).
  • Social media is often the catalyst for how content reaches our audience and new audiences, and it’s a powerful initial driver of traffic, attention, and links/referrals from other sites (which then help our SEO, too).
  • Referrals make up 15-20% of our traffic, and come from all over the web – blogs and news sites, forums, online magazines, and many more.
  • Email – specifically, our Moz Top 10 newsletter (sent out biweekly) – is a terrific source of traffic for our content, and for others. We usually include 2-3 links to Moz’s own works, and another 7-8 links to pieces published by others in our field. We want to showcase the best from around the web in our newsletter, not just the best from Moz.
  • Paid traffic is something we’ve invested in very little when it comes to content promotion, but we have been dipping our toe in that water and may do more in the future if the ROI proves valuable.

Neil: No, content marketing is our main form by far. If we do have time we release webinars, but we first focus on content marketing.

Michele: We have a marketing team who focuses on email, social and other more traditional marketing.

Jerod Morris: Everyone in our company is responsible for content marketing. That is one of the byproducts of being a company built around content marketing concepts from the beginning. And nothing…NOTHING would work without the amazing efforts of our support staff. But in terms of day-to-day content creation and management, our CEO, VPs of Marketing, blog Editor-in-Chief, Chief Copywriter, Chief Marketing Officer, and Director of Special Projects have the most prominent roles in our content creation and promotion.

Nicole Kohler: Outreach! When we put a substantial amount of time into the production of a piece of content, we also try to put at least that same amount of time into telling people about it. Outreach can amplify your content immensely and earn you incredibly valuable pageviews, social shares, and links.


Question #8: How much of your marketing efforts does content marketing consume?

Content Marketing Consume

Rand: I’d estimate content marketing in all its forms, including promotion and interaction/engagement, started as 100% of our marketing efforts and is now, after more hires, more investments in other channels like paid, business development, and product marketing, down to 65% of all the marketing we do.

Neil: It consumes 80%.


Question #9: If there is one thing you are going to tell a start-up company regarding content marketing, what would it be?

Content Marketing Advice to Share

Rand: Don’t expect success in your first year. It takes a long time to discover the content that truly resonates with your audience, and a long time to get the flywheel going on promotion and traffic-driving from sources like search, social, and referrals. If you anticipate a short-term return, you’re going to be disappointed. By the way – this is what makes content such a great investment; most of your competitors will give up long before it pays off.

Neil: If you are going to leverage this tactic, don’t expect results in the first 6 months. This is a long term approach.

Nicole: Content marketing isn’t about you. It’s about the people who are searching online to learn about a topic, to get answers to their questions, and to solve their problems. The last thing someone is thinking about when they search for “how do I solve this issue I’m having?” is “gee, I should buy something.”

The best way to start a relationship with a customer through content marketing is to thoroughly and completely answer their question or solve their problem. If you give them a tip or two, they’ll forget you as soon as their issue is resolved. If you go out of your way to help them, or deliver information that can’t be found anywhere else, you’ll have a better chance at shifting the focus from “I have an issue” to “wow, this was really helpful, I wonder what else this website has?”

Conclusion

Like what we usually say, content marketing is a tedious task, as you won’t see results in a blink of an eye. But the best thing about this is that it works for many marketers, and their success is not limited to ranking to search engines, but to growing visits, customers and referrals.

You’re also an expert!

I hope you learn something from our content marketing experts, and that you’ll be able to apply the strategies they shared, or perhaps develop it in a way that you can really call it yours.

Maybe you want to share insights to these questions. Feel free to share it with us by commenting below!

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Content Marketing for Start-ups According to Experts https://seo-hacker.com/content-marketing-startups-experts/ https://seo-hacker.com/content-marketing-startups-experts/#comments Wed, 11 Feb 2015 03:08:23 +0000 https://seo-hacker.com/?p=9440

Content Marketing for Startups

Have you ever asked yourself whether you really need to write blogs or not? How about growing your content in order to rank for search engines? Is it a requirement that you should meet?

Truth is, you can never tell unless you try. I’ve seen companies try to grow their business’ website without too much content. Others take a big step on content marketing, and eventually find their way on top of Google.

While many find content marketing as an alternative, others view it as “the only way.”

Now, I don’t know about you, but I believe that the future of world wide web will be filled with relevant content – even better than what we have right now. Bloggers will write for people instead of search engines, and people will value the most relevant, helpful, and truthful content.

Maybe we’re on the same page on this, or you simply want to try this strategy but you feel like you need to understand it better first. Either that or maybe you just want to be certain that there are people like you, who run businesses and have found content marketing as a big help to their success – whatever it may be, I hope you find this post helpful to your career.

In this third part of our mini series, “Key Elements Your Website Needs to Improve Conversion Rate,” we asked some of the best content marketers in the industry today – questions as simple as, “what is content marketing,” to complex “how to’s” on the strategies they prefer and apply.

Note: This is the first half of our two-part post about Content Marketing for start-ups according to experts.

Question #1: What is Content Marketing and how do you use it in your start-up?

What is Content Marketing

Rand Fishkin: Content marketing is the practice of creating and promoting content (blog posts, guides, visuals, videos, free tools, quizzes, email newsletters, and almost anything that can be consumed) to earn traffic, brand awareness, trust, and hopefully, eventually, conversions from your audience.

At Moz, we produce literally all of those things I just named and do a lot of promotion and optimization of them, too. We believe part of our mission is to help marketers understand how search engines, social platforms, and web users work and content is a huge part of that education process. Serendipitously, it also means that we have a terrific way to attract SEO professionals (our primary customers) to our site, which then often leads to a free trial or purchase of our software.

Neil Patel: Content marketing is the creation of information that benefits your current and potential customers. If you can educate them, you’ll gain a larger audience and it will cause your company or startup to generate more customers. A startup can use this by blogging. With a simple WordPress blog you can educate people.

Michele Linn: At Content Marketing Institute, we define content marketing as a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action. More here.

If you are a startup, content marketing can be the way you differentiate your business and engender trust with your customers and prospects. It’s something you can use to generate awareness in your brand all the way to helping customers evangelize your business.

Venchito Tampon: Content is any useful brand elements that provides information and details on what the brand is all about (it could be the images in the office, teaser video and blog posts written on other relevant blogs).

It is commonly used in promoting a certain idea or message that is tied up to what the brand wants to share to its target audience.


Question #2: What are your objectives and key results in using content marketing?

Objectives

Rand: The objectives are threefold:

  1. Help people do better marketing through education, sharing, and discussion.
  2. Build and grow the brand of Moz to web marketers worldwide.
  3. Acquire targeted traffic that converts into subscribers of our software

We measure our key results through a lot of numbers at three levels – leading indicators, marketing KPIs, and business metrics that I’ve illustrated below:

Rand Threefold Objectives

Neil: The main objective is to educate and help potential customers. Not just with issues related to your business, but just help them with any problems they may be facing. This will cause them to indirectly sign up to your product or service.

Michele: Of course, your objectives for content marketing, and the subsequent results you are looking for, are dependent upon your business goals and objectives.

That said, if you are a startup, I would highly recommend using content marketing as the way to build your “owned” audience. An owned audience is one that has provided you with permission (i.e. opted in) to receive your emails. While Twitter followers or Facebook fans are useful, there is no substitute for having information about – and permission to contact – your audience.

Bonus Tip: Think beyond collecting an email address and strive to build our details of your list so you can better segment your audience and send them more relevant info as your business grows.

Jerod Morris: Our primary objectives with our content marketing is to produce useful content that helps our audience achieve their goals and leads to us achieving our goals, which means selling the Rainmaker Platform as well as StudioPress, Synthesis, and Authority.

Venchito: There are two things you can measure in content marketing. One is ROI (return of investment) which is equivalent to the conversions generated from content assets less content production costs. The other is the viral potential of the content, which is now measured through the number of shares and quantity of backlinks pointing to the page or content.


Question #3: In light of those objectives and key results, how do you measure your content marketing efforts?

How to Measure Efforts

Rand: We have several tools that collect this data including Moz’s own Moz Analytics, Followerwonk, and Fresh Web Explorer. We also use True Social Metrics to keep track of our promotional and engagement on social networks. And, of course, we have our analytics tools like Google Analytics, which we’ve now bolstered with Omniture and Mixpanel.

The tools spit out lots of data, and our marketing team actually builds their own dashboard through Google Spreadsheets that anyone in the company can see. Thus, we can track over time the growth in Twitter followers, or the quantity of visits to our guides section of the site, or the average engagement of subscribers who signed up for a Moz account after visiting our site 8+ times vs. those who visited less than 4 times.

Finding signal amongst that noise, and patterns or trends to pay attention to – now that’s the hard bit.

Neil: I measure the results by traffic and conversions. The more visitors I see, the more people are seeing what I have to offer. And a portion of those visitors should convert into customers.

Michele: If your goal is building an audience, I would look at email subscribers plus percentage of profiles that are completed (i.e. which contacts do you have key info for?).

Jerod: We measure revenue, first and foremost. And we measure key engagement metrics like subscribers and open/click rates for our email lists. We also dive into Analytics data to know which posts and pages are performing well, and how important each channel is to conversions.

Venchito: For ROI-driven content marketing, you can measure your key results using Google Analytics (remember to set up conversion goals first before tracking results). For viral content marketing campaigns, you can use Ahrefs to identify the total number of domains linking to your content and Topsy and social sharing buttons installed in WordPress to see the number of social shares.


Question #4: How has your content marketing efforts impacted your company so far? (Traffic, shares, searchability, email leads, etc.)

Impact

Rand: We’ve seen incredible results. Moz today has nearly 2.5M visits a month (which is pretty huge for a niche, B2B software company), thousands of social interactions and shares each week, about 1M monthly visits from search alone, 250K+ subscribers to our email newsletter, and approximately 150 people taking a free trial of our software every day.

Neil: It’s the main way we drive sales for any of my businesses. Blogging is our number 1 channel by far.

Michele: This perhaps comes as no surprise considering the name of our organization, but content marketing has been instrumental in building our business. Traffic, shares, subscribers and event attendees (a key goal for us is Content Marketing World attendees) can be directly attributed to our content marketing efforts.


Question #5: Is there a special training you provide your writers in order for them to support your content marketing efforts? After all, content marketing starts with content, right?

Is there a special training for writers

Rand: We don’t just think of content as written content – we do videos, interactive pieces, free tools, etc. But yes, we do have a Moz “voice” that we seek out and help train for in our work, and I think that’s helped keep the brand’s voice consistent over time and with our values.

Neil: Yes, we have all writers read this guide: The Advanced Guide to Content Marketing.

Nicole Kohler: We work with a lot of writers who are highly knowledgeable and skilled at their craft. However, just because someone is a good writer doesn’t mean they’re a good content marketer. If I’m working with someone on a content project, I try to do two things right away:

  1. Talk to them about their content’s role or position in the sales funnel (ex. “This will be someone’s first exposure to the brand…”).
  2. Show them very specific examples of similar content that has worked well that they can use as a reference.

It’s not uncommon to run into situations where the writing delivered is world-class, but there are strong calls to action or self-promotional bits littered throughout the content. That’s why taking those first two steps is so important, to me, because a large majority of the content I oversee would fail if it started with a hard sell. So in that sense, content marketing doesn’t necessarily start with content – it starts with education.

Conclusion

Content marketing is a very tedious task. It will definitely take your time – from planning, down to its execution. But, if your goal is to bring value to people, just like what these folks are doing, then this is definitely for you.

So, stay tuned for the second half of this post as we will be sharing with you more strategies that support content marketing efforts, from the best experts around, as well as competent advice for startups.

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5 Digital Marketing Myths You Probably Believe https://seo-hacker.com/5-social-myths/ https://seo-hacker.com/5-social-myths/#comments Tue, 03 Feb 2015 02:39:43 +0000 https://seo-hacker.com/?p=9421

Social Myths

Remember growing up being told that cracking your knuckles caused arthritis? We believed it because we didn’t have the resources to check; and we’ve heard it so many times that we thought it must’ve been true.

Believe it or not, a multitude of online marketing myths exist and you may have just believed them. Stick around and read some of the most common digital myths debunked!

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Meghan Greene of The Marketing Zen Group.

1. With SEO quantity is king

Many people believe that with search engine optimization, sheer quantity of referral links is the key. But the algorithm Google uses to rank websites analyzes the quality of the website you are receiving a referral link from. Earning high quality links is important in a successful SEO campaign, because in some cases poor quality links can significantly hurt your website’s search engine ranking.

Examples of Bad Links:

  • Broken links
  • Purchased, solicited, or unnatural links
  • Links from completely irrelevant sites
  • Links from link directories or link farms

Examples of Quality Links:

  • Links from websites with high page ranks
  • Links from sites relevant to your industry
  • Anchor text links to your website that uses your keywords as the link text
  • Non-spam-y links

2. A blog a day keeps the failure away

The most common myth about blogging is that you have to generate and post new content every single day. Sure, this style of blogging can be maintained for a week or two however, after this period of high output writers often feel exhausted and uninspired, and the blog posts would clearly reflect the tired attitude.

Typing

To keep material fresh and readers interested, develop a consistent schedule where new material is published two-three times a week.

Once you establish your consistent posting schedule, avoid unexpectedly missing a publishing day. Missing, or skipping, could lead your blog followers to believe that you are no longer producing content, causing them to stop checking in on your blog.

Note: Because blogging can be such a tricky task, many myths exist. So, check out other common blog myths debunked to learn even more.

3. Advertising on social media is just like traditional marketing

To be a smart marketer you need to evolve with the time. Unlike traditional marketing, social media is not advertising. It is an arena where consumers crave conversation and connection. So using social media as a tool to talk to your consumers and not with them is a crucial error.

Followers react well when they know their voice is being heard and that your company is willing to socially interact with them. When you are generating content, think of what will get your followers buzzing, and create that topic; try posting something controversial, humorous, thought provoking, or conversational.

This article specifically analyzes how to increase engagement with followers on Twitter by implementing small changes into your social media strategic plan.

4. Social media can replace your website

Some companies have frantically started updating their social media sites so much that they forget about their website. I commend you for making the transition into the world of social media, but you absolutely cannot replace your website with a solid social media campaign.

Sure social media is an awesome tool, which aids in displaying the utterly unique qualities of your brand, but you need a quality website.

Your website is where people go to purchase your product. If your website runs slow, has broken links, and looks sketchy in general, people are going to become extremely wary of your brand and company.

In addition to that, poorly designed and maintained websites rank poorly in terms of search engine optimization. To best succeed in today’s competitive market, a well-designed, SEO friendly website and exciting social media strategy is a must.

5. Only the younger generations are online

It is common to walk down the street and see teenagers fiddling away on their phones; don’t be fooled though, digital media is used by almost every generation today, and if you tailor your content towards the younger generations alone you will be missing out.

Teens on Facebook

Recent reports show that young people are leaving Facebook, leaving it to be dominated by 25-55+ year olds. As of January 2014, 71.1% of Facebook users fell in the 25-55+ age range, which clearly indicates that adults are the new market there. Teens are now flocking towards websites such as Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.

Know your audience on each of the social sites and cater your content accordingly.

Conclusion

Don’t let these myths hold you back, be diligent in your research and stay up to date on emerging digital trends. For many, hearing the digital marketing myths and accepting them as common practice is easy because they honestly don’t know any better. To combat the constant stream of myths, dedicate time to research common online marketing practices and to help your company emerge as a dominating force in the digital era.

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How to Conduct a Site Audit for Quality User-Experience https://seo-hacker.com/conduct-site-audit-quality-userexperience/ https://seo-hacker.com/conduct-site-audit-quality-userexperience/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 03:33:48 +0000 https://seo-hacker.com/?p=9403

Conducting a Site Audit for Quality User-Experience

Two weeks ago, we highlighted the importance of having a good website design in converting leads to sales. This week, we’ll touch base another important element in a website that raises conversions through the roof – SEO.

We often think that SEO is for search engines alone, but as it grows and as algorithms constantly change, we learned that it actually is a big factor in improving user-experience as well.

There are tons of SEO tutorials out there. They are so easily accessible that to see digital marketers without a clue on website optimization for search engines is quite rare. But what concerns me the most is when those who do try it out fail to maintain and put their SEO plans and strategies on halt. They get stuck without even reviewing the effectivity of their efforts. They stop. They give up.

So today, I’m going to discuss a vital part in any foolproof SEO campaign – something you should never do away with or even miss – a Site Audit.

Why do you need to do this?

A Site Audit is done to determine if your website is in good shape, whether your content is relevant or not; shareable and well-optimized; you have a good number of backlinks and traffic; your site is loading fast; as well as to whether you have a good hosting provider or not.

This will help you identify pages, links and media that needs a fixing – old or new. The main reason given is that an updated website keeps readers up to date, thus keeping your goals and objectives on point.

SEO work is a continuous effort. Just last year, after doing a manual review of our link building and on-site optimization tutorials, we found out that some written strategies are no longer applicable, forcing us to immediately edit posts and direct readers to the updated ones.

How to conduct a site audit?

Conducting a site audit is a lot of work, especially if your website has already been up and has created quite a load of content for many years. The good news is that there are tools that can help you with this.

One tool I’ve been using for almost a month now is Contentlook. Although this tool is still in beta, I’m impressed with how it evaluates and gives recommendations for a better quality user-experience. If you want a user-friendly interface to come with easy-to-understand suggestions, then this tool is the right one for you.

Another tool is A1 Website Analyzer. Although a download and installation is required, details like website links structure, HTML errors, page size, download and response time, would surely be to your advantage.

Guidelines for Auditing

With the tools to help you out, the question left no longer lies with ‘how’. It’s more on what aspect of your website is in need of any evaluation.

1. Blogs

Below are just some of the things you need to check to ensure you’re not just writing compelling articles but are also optimizing it for search engines and users.

  • Posting Frequency – it shows you how frequent you’re blogging. If you’re blogging once a month, then you’re more likely to get a low score from this category.
  • Sitemap – having a sitemap or feed helps search engines stay up to date with your posts, thus improving your site’s crawlability.
  • Article optimization based on keywords – over stuffing of keywords might penalize your site, but having no keywords at all to support your article and help your readers understand what it is about is also unhealthy.
  • DcPublisher Meta – Dublin Core is a metadata element describing what your content is all about.
  • Copyright Meta – this element is used to check if your photos and texts are protected.

A1 - Sitemap

Sitemap

While you can evaluate your blogging efforts using any of the mentioned tools, I suggest that you use both to ensure that you’re not just looking at the general analyses, but that you also actually understand what aspects should you need to fix, why they need to be fixed, and how to fix them.

2. Traffic

This is not just the traffic in general, but relevant website traffic. Contentlook has the capability to determine whether your traffic is coming from general visits or coming from the right visitors.

Traffic

This is essential especially in CRO. You don’t just want traffic, you want traffic that converts.

3. SEO

SEO is a vital part of any online strategy. The way you give relevance to audience should be the same way you give relevance to search engines – it’s possible by reassuring that you’re following these guidelines:

  • Your site should be visible to search engines
  • Has Title Tag
  • Has Meta Description
  • All pages and articles have descriptions
  • All pages and articles have titles
  • Have enough target keywords
  • No duplicate titles
  • No duplicate descriptions
  • No duplicate Meta Tags
  • Has canonical link
  • Your site is optimized for speed
  • Your site is secured from any malwares
  • Has robots.txt file
  • Has a clear site language
  • Has Meta Viewport or properly optimized for mobile

SEO Title Tag

Title Tag

Good thing these tools enable you to check your website with just one click, ensuring whether or not you passed all these guidelines.

4. Social

Social shares are becoming the new SEO. Having your articles and your site’s other content shared on different social media platforms is another way to improve your SEO and social presence.

But it’s more than just being shared that makes your whole social strategy good; you also have to evaluate your social impact, open graph protocols, social sharing buttons, as well as your follow buttons – are they properly encoded?

Social

While crafting good content plays a crucial role in branding and audience engagement, whether it’s a blog or a landing page, making it shareable is also a critical aspect you shouldn’t miss.

5. Links

More than just counting your backlinks, a few things to ensure is that they are still existing, unbroken, and of quality. Remember that “not all backlinks are equal though. Some backlinks won’t improve your rankings at all, and some might even have a negative effect. Therefore, your focus should be on acquiring high quality backlinks.” -Mark Walters

The following are factors of getting a good link profile, thus having a better chance of ranking for search engines:

  • Enough quality backlinks per post
  • Enough nofollow links
  • Enough outgoing links

A1 - Links

You can also check our complete guide on conducting a link audit.

6. Authority

Authority is not just about popularity, but being valuable and relevant enough that audience and readers are directly looking for you.

You can gauge your authority by reviewing some of these ranking factors:

  • Domain Age
  • Moz Rank
  • Google PageRank
  • Alexa Rank
  • Moz Page Authority
  • Site Icon

Domain Age

Now that you know the guidelines for doing a Site Audit and the reasons why you should actually do it, you can start running a quick website scan using Contentlook and A1 Website Analyzer. You can also do a manual check, if you prefer that. Using Excel or Google Spreadsheet should help you keep everything organized!

Conclusion

Having your website audited should always be a part of your online marketing campaigns, but do not overdo it – it will not only take too much of your time. Over optimizing your website can also lose your focus, when you can create compelling content instead.

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