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News Sites Benefitting From June's Google Quality Update [STUDY] by @SouthernSEJ

A study published this week by Roy Hinkis at SimilarWeb digs deep into the data surrounding June's Google update to determine which type of sites saw the greatest rankings boost.

The post News Sites Benefitting From June's Google Quality Update [STUDY] by @SouthernSEJ appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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How to Choose a Domain Name - Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

One decision that you'll have to live with for quite a long time is the domain name you choose for your site. You may have a list of options that you know are available, but what should you keep in mind when you sit down to make the decision? In today's Whiteboard Friday, Rand covers eight criteria for picking a winner.

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab!

Welcome to Rand's rules (for choosing an effective domain name)

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we are going to chat about choosing domain names, and, in fact, I've got eight rules for you that will help guide your domain name choices.

Now, it could be you're starting a new brand. It could be that you have an existing brand and you're trying to take it online. It might be that you're working with clients who are taking their brand online. It could be that you're starting a new company entirely. I love entrepreneurship, congratulations. Any of these ways, you're going to need a website.

Before you do that, you should really think long and hard about the domain name that you choose and, in fact, the brand name that you choose and how that's represented through your domain name online. Domain names have a massive impact all over the web in terms of click-through rate, from search to social media results, to referring links, to type-in traffic, brandability, offline advertising. There's a huge wealth of places that your domain name impacts your brand and your online marketing, and we can't ignore this.

So first rule that Rand has for how to choose a domain name.

1) Make it brandable.

Brandable, meaning when you hear the domain name, when you hear yourself or someone else say it, does it sound like a brand, or does it sound like a generic? So that means that hyphens and numbers are a real problem because they don't make something sound like a brand. They make it sound generic, or they make it sound strange.

For example, if I try and say to you, "Look, let's imagine that our new company that we're starting together, you and I, is a website that has pasta recipes and potentially sells some pasta related e-commerce products on it." If I tell you that I have pasta-shop.com, well, that's hard to brand. It's hard to say. It's hard to remember.

Speaking of, is this brand memorable? So generic keyword strings are a big no-no. Generic keyword strings really tough to remember, really tough to stand out in the brain. You want something unique, which means try and avoid those exact and partial keyword match domain names. They tend not to do so well, in fact. If you look at the numbers that we see in MozCast, for example, or in correlation studies, you can see that, over the past 10 years, they have done nothing but trend down over time in terms of their correlation with rankings and their ability to show in the search results. Dangerous there.

I would probably stay away from something like a PastaRecipesOnline.com. I think BestPasta.com, maybe that's getting a little bit better. PastaAficionado, well, it sounds brandable. For sure, it's a little bit challenging to say. But it's definitely unique.

I really like PastaLabs.com. Very brandable, unique, memorable, stands out. I'm going to remember it. It has kind of a scientific connotation to it. Fascinating. I might think about the domain name space that way.

2) Make it pronounceable.

You might say to yourself, "Rand, why is it so important that it's pronounceable? Most people are going to be typing this in or they're going to be clicking on a link, so why does it matter?"

In fact, it matters because of a concept called "processing fluency." It's a cognitive bias that human beings have where, essentially, we remember and have more positive associations with things that we can easily say and easily think about, and that includes pronounceability in our own minds. This is going to be different depending on the language that you're targeting and which countries you're targeting. But certainly, if you can't easily say the name and others are not easily able to guess how to say that name, you're going to lose that processing fluency, you're going to lose that memorability and all the benefits of the brandability that you've created.

So I might stay away from things like FlourEggsH20.com. It's clever. Don't get me wrong. It's unique. It's clever. It might even be brandable, but it's very difficult to pronounce and to recall. When you see it, you don't know if that zero is an O. There are questions about like what does it necessarily mean or not.

Raviolibertine.com. Even I'm having trouble saying it. Raviolibertine? I would stay away from a little bit of the getting too clever for yourself, and many, many domain names do try to do that.

I might say, "You know what? Something like LandOfNoodles.com, while it doesn't fulfill every requirement that we've got here, it is eminently pronounceable, easy to remember." These are easy words that many people are very familiar with, at least in English. LandOfNoodles, whoops, I like LandOfNoodles. I'm giving it a check mark. Well, now I've messed up the Whiteboard. Hopefully, Elijah took a picture before I did that. Oh, he's giving me the thumbs up. Good.

3) Make it as short as you possibly can, but no shorter.

This means obey these other rules before you just go for raw length. But length matters. Length matters because of the processing fluency stuff we talked about before. But the fewer characters a domain name has, the easier it is to type, the easier it is to say, to share, the less it gets shortened on social media sharing platforms and in search results. So when you've seen those long domain names, they get compressed, or they might not show fully, or the URL might get cut off, or you might see just the t.co, all those kinds of things.

Therefore, short as possible. Shorter is definitely better. I might go for something short like MyPasta.com, but I'd be careful about going too short. For example, PastaScience.com is a pretty good domain name. PastaSci, I've lost that pronounceability and a little bit of that memorability. It's a little bit tougher. It's clearly a brand, but it's a little awkward. I would probably stay away from that one and I'd stick with PastaScience.

4) Bias to .com.

I know, it's 2016. Why are we still talking about .com? The internet's been around 20-plus years. Why does .com matter so much when there are so many TLD extension options? The answer is, again, this is the most recognized, most easily accessible brand outside of the tech world.

If you're talking about, "Look, all I'm doing is addressing developers and my pasta website only wants to talk to very, very tech savvy individuals, people who already work in the web world," well okay, maybe it's all right to go with a .pasta domain name. Perhaps you can actually buy that TLD extension now that ICANN has approved all these new domain names.

But cognitive fluency, processing fluency says, dictates that we should go with something that's easy, that people have an association with already, and .com is still the primary thing that non-tech savvy folks have an association with. If you want to build up a very brandable domain that can do well, you want that .com. Probably, eventually, if you are very successful, you're going to have to try and go capture it anyway, and so I would bias you to get it if you can.

If it's unavailable, my suggestion would be to go with the .net, .co, or a known ccTLD. Those are your best bets. A known ccTLD might be something like .ca in Canada or .it in Italy, those kinds of things. That's your next best bet. I'd still bias you to .com. But the PenneIsMightier.com, I'm particularly proud of this one. I think it's a terrible pun, but a man's got to do.

MacaroniMan.net, would I potentially think about that if I couldn't get the .com? Yeah, possibly if I thought I was targeting a little bit more of a savvy audience and if I was pretty sure that MacaroniMan.com was owned by a squatter who just wouldn't give it up, or it was owned by a small restaurant somewhere that I never had to really worry about competition with and they wouldn't sell to me, yeah, okay, I might do it.

What about Impastable.co? Avoiding the fact that this is another terrible pun of mine, I might consider that if I absolutely couldn't get Impastable.com and that was already my domain name and I felt like I had the branding ability to make the .co something people would associate with. I could consider that too.

5) Avoid names that infringe on another company or another organization's existing trademark or could be confused with that trademark.

You have to be very careful here because it's not whether you think it could be confused. It's whether you think any judge in the jurisdiction in which they might take legal action against you would consider those two things to be potentially misrepresented or potentially confusable. So it's not your judgment. It's not even your audience's judgment. It's what you think a judge in the jurisdiction might have the judgment about.

So this is dangerous waters. I would urge you to talk to your attorney or a legal professional about this if you have real concerns. But there is the danger and this does happen regularly throughout the web's history where a trademark owner will come and sue a domain owner, someone who's owning the domain legitimately and using it for business purposes or just someone who's purchased it and is sitting on it, and that sucks.

This can also create brand confusion, which is hard for your brandability. So you might be familiar with some pasta brands that have done particularly well here in the U.S., like Barilla and Ronzoni and Rustichella d'Abruzzo. Well, I probably would not go get Barzilla.com even if you have a hilarious, Godzilla themed pun that you want to make about the pasta. Just because your name might be Ron and you are covering pasta, I still would not go with RonsZoni. Oops, I'm going to X those both out. Likewise, Rustichella -- apologies for my poor Italian pronunciation -- but Rustichella owns Rustichella.it. They don't seem to own Rustichella.com. I think that's owned by a domain name owner. But I would not go start up a website there. Rustichella certainly could, with their U.S. presence, go and claim trademark ownership of that domain and potentially get it from you. I would think that was risky.

6) Make the domain name instantly intuitive.

If you believe that a member of your target audience, the audience that you're trying to reach now and in the future, could immediately associate the domain name with a good guess of what they think you do, that is a big positive. Being able to look at that domain name and say, "Oh, I'm guessing they probably do this. This is probably what that company is up to."

So something clever and subtle, like SavoryThreads.com, okay, yeah, once I get to your site, I might realize, "Oh, I see it's sort of a playful word game there and 'savory,' I get that it's about food." But it's too clever, in my opinion, and it doesn't instantly suggest to a majority of your audience what it is that you do.

Likewise, AnnelloniToZiti.com, well, yeah, maybe I could guess that these are probably pasta names and it probably means that the website has something to do with that. But they're not traditionally very well-known pastas. At least here in the United States, those shapes are not particularly well-known, and so I might cross that one out too, versus something where it is clearly, clearly about recipes for and potentially sales of goods, PastaPerfected.com. That's obviously, intuitively about what it is going to be, and anyone from your audience could figure that out.

7) Use broad keywords when sensible, but don't stress keyword inclusion.

Keyword use in domain names, you might think, is an important thing and that would be something that I would mention here from an SEO perspective. It can help. Don't get me wrong, it can help. It can help mostly for this instant intuition portion and the cognitive fluency and processing fluency biases that we've talked about, but also a little bit from an SEO perspective because of the anchor text that you generally will accrue when people link over to your domain. But what we've been seeing, as I mentioned earlier, is that Google's been biasing away from these exact match and partial match keywords.

I would say that if you can get a keyword mention in your domain name that helps make it obvious what you're about, go for it. But if you're trying to target what would be called keyword rich or keyword targeted domains, I would generally stay away from those actually in 2016. They just don't carry the weight that they used to, and there are a lot of associations, negative associations that users and search engines have about them that would make me stay away.

So I would not do something like a RecipesForPasta.com. I wouldn't do something like BuyPastaOnline.com. I would be tempted to, in fact, go for something very, very broad like Gusto.com. Think about a brand like an Amazon.com, which clearly has no association with what it is, or Google itself, Google.com, or a domain here in Seattle area that serves lawyers that's called Avvo.com. These are very, very well-branded and associated with their niches, but they don't necessarily need to have a keyword richness to them.

Another great example, the find a dog sitter or find pet care website, Rover.com. Well, "rover" has an association with dogs, but it's not really keyword rich. It's more of a creative association just like "gusto" means "taste" in Italian. So I might be tempted to go in that direction instead. Same thing with something like Handcut.com. People have that, especially foodies are going to have that association between handcut and pasta.

8) If your name isn't available, it's okay to append or modify it.

If your domain name is not available, last one, it is okay to go out there and add a suffix or a prefix. It is okay to use an alternate TLD extension, like we talked about previously, and it's okay to be a little bit creative with your online brand.

For example, let's say my brand name is Pastaterra. Maybe I've already got a shop somewhere maybe in the Seattle area and I have been selling pasta at my shop and now I'm going online with it. Well, it is okay for me to do something like ThePastaterra.com, or PastaterraShop.com, or even Pastaterra.net. If I wanted to be very targeting a much more tech savvy set and was aware of the branding difficulties, I could conceivably go with something like Terra.pasta, because that pasta TLD extension is now available. But I could get a little bit broader. In fact, I might prefer this and go with something like RandOfTheTerra or RandsTerra.com or EatAtTerra. If I were a restaurant, I might do something like EatAtTerra.com.

So with these rules in mind, I would love to hear from all of you about your domain choices and your domain name biases and what you think is working in 2016 and potentially not working, and hopefully we'll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com;;


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10 Smart Reasons Why You Should Update Older Content by @DannyNMIGoodwin

Your content has an expiration date. In general, 95 percent of the content you create will get most of its traffic within the first two to three days of publishing. Content can become “old” within just a few weeks in some industries, while some types of content may continue to drive solid traffic for anywhere from 3-5 years before, inevitably, you'll see diminishing returns. With old content, you'll eventually have a choice: you can either remove or update it. Here are 10 smart reasons why you should update that older content. 1. Your CTR Is Terrible Head into the Google […]

The post 10 Smart Reasons Why You Should Update Older Content by @DannyNMIGoodwin appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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SearchCap: Google search spend report, organic traffic & more

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. The post SearchCap: Google search spend report, organic traffic & more appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
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SearchCap: Google local ad inventory, PPC profits & rankings drop

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. The post SearchCap: Google local ad inventory, PPC profits & rankings drop appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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On the Road Again: 5 Tactics for a Leader to Take a Real Vacation by @mdav1979

The idea that business leaders can't truly unplug during vacation is false. Here are five steps to help you enjoy real vacation without breaking your business.

The post On the Road Again: 5 Tactics for a Leader to Take a Real Vacation by @mdav1979 appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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SearchCap: Google PLA changes, hotel search & more

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. The post SearchCap: Google PLA changes, hotel search & more appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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The Search Marketer's Guide to ItemRef & ItemID

Posted by Mike_Arnesen

Structured data has never been more important than it is today. We'll talk about why briefly below, but that's not what this post is about. This post is about giving you a new tool to add to your semantic SEO tool belt. My goal is to empower you implement semantic markup and structured data with greater ease and enable you to architect a more robust and complete web of linked data on your website (and beyond).

Structured data is more important than ever

I don't think that's an exaggeration. When Schema.org launched in June of 2011, search marketers gained access to an incredibly powerful tool: an extensive vocabulary, agreed upon by the world's leading search engines, with which we could give our data meaningful structure.

However, there were two things holding us back from realizing the dream of a truly semantic web.

The difficulty of actually implementing said markup on our sites. The markup's limited utility in actually achieving some kind of tangible SEO return on our investment.

I believe JSON-LD's big day at Google was a watershed moment in making implementation less daunting and, hopefully in the coming years, ubiquitous across the web (well, at least more so). Now that we have rapidly growing JSON-LD support from Google and powerful semantic attributes like Itemref and Itemid, the ability to give structure to the unstructured is within everyone's reach.

The tangible SEO return has also never been greater! Beyond tried and true rich snippets for star ratings, pricing, availability, and breadcrumbs in search, we're seeing richer and richer results, previews, and cards show up in Google. These are powered by, you guessed it, structured data and, more often than not, the recommended format is in JSON-LD. In light of Google's recent launch of Rich Cards (starting with Recipes and Movies, but sure to be expanding to other Schema types soon), Top Stories with AMP, and Knowledge Panel Critic Reviews (which is currently by request and with Google approval only), we need flexible models for structuring bigger and bigger data sets.

Through using itemref and itemid, you'll be able to mark up your data that much easier to keep up with the rapid evolution of semantic SEO. You'll also be positioned to fully capitalize on new search features, regardless of whether or not they require JSON-LD or in-line microdata (remember that while Google is now all about JSON-LD, they're not the only game in town).

That's enough of an intro; let's talk itemref and itemid.

What are itemref & itemid?

At their core, itemref and itemid are just HTML attributes. They're actually very similar to other attributes that you're already familiar with if you've worked with semantic markup before.

The 3 most common attributes in semantic SEO

Let's quickly recap what itemscope, itemtype, and itemprop do. Feel free to skip to the next section, though it never hurts to brush up.

Itemscope: an attribute without a value that defines the scope of an semantic entity within your data. Everything within that itemscope is considered a part of that entity and everything outside of it is separate.

Itemtype: an attribute that goes hand-in-hand with itemscope and that does have a value. The value of the itemtype attribute is going to specify the type of entity you're marking up and is most commonly a link to a URL on schema.org.

Itemprop: an attribute used to declare specific attributes of your entity (e.g. itemprop= "name", itemprop="description", etc.)

Mike Arnesen
The 2 hidden attributes in semantic SEO

It's fairly easy to guess what itemref and itemid are just by looking at their names, but it's a little harder to figure out how to use them (don't worry, we'll get to that part later).

Itemref: an attribute that allows you to reference other data points outside of the itemscope.

Itemid: an attribute that allows you to give an entity a unique identifier. This entity can then be used to flesh out another entity as an embedded entity.

But why do we even need these?

The challenge with inline markup

The challenge we face with inline microdata is that it's brittle and breaks easily. It's also very rigid in terms of implementation. Itemref and itemid help us overcome that!

Consider the page below:

The primary entity that you want to mark up on this page is a Product, but you'll likely want to mark up the BreadcrumbList as well. Assuming that each highlighted area lives in its own

tag, you have some potential issues.

If you declare your itemtype="product" on the overarching
that contains all three areas, you forfeit the opportunity to mark up breadcrumbs. Why? Because a BreadcrumbList isn't a valid a property of a Product.
If you declare your itemtype="product" on the blue
, you can still mark up the breadcrumbs on the red
, but you won't be able connect the data in the green
to your main Product and your structured data won't validate since offers (AKA, the price) is required.

Traditionally, you'd have a make a non-ideal compromise or have a developer change how the whole page was structured. There's no way around it; that sucks!

How itemref and itemid empower you

With itemid and itemref, you can write semantic markup that reaches across disparate

tags and pulls in the data points you need without requiring any restructuring.

So what's the difference between these two tags and when do you use one over the other?

Use itemref when you need to populate itemprops in your primary entity. For example, if the commentCount of a blog post was written in a
outside of the main post's body.
Use itemid when you need to populate itemprops where the expected type (more on expected types from Schema.org) is another entity (not just a simple data point). For example, if you wanted to declare the publisher of a blog post, you'd want to point to a complete Organization entity (complete with a name, logo, URL, and perhaps even founder, address, contact points, etc.) How to use itemref

An easy way to conceptualize the use of itemref is to imagine connecting a data blob to the semantic entity you're working on. I first heard the term “data blob” from Jarno van Driel, someone who I'd consider my Itemref and Itemid Sensei, and I think it's a fitting description.

Data blob

noun | \ˈdā-tə- bläb\

a blob of data that just hangs around doing nothing special, until it's called into service by another entity. More formally, a discoverable resource within a document.

To keep this brief, let's assume you've already marked up your Primary Entity to the best of your ability and, for the purposes of demonstration, let's say we're marking up a blog post (AKA, BlogPosting). Furthermore, let's say that the one itemprop data point we can't get at using traditional means is the commentCount for the blog post; it's in a

that's completely outside the scope of the blog post's body.

In order to solve this, we'll want to mark up the commentCount as a data blob that contains an unlinked and unused commentCount property. There are three main steps:

Step 1: In the

, , or other HTML element that contains the commentCount, add an itemscope attribute. That's it. In a deviation from the norm, you don't want to follow that by specifying an itemtype. That's why it's called a data blob; it's independent data without a type. In fact, when you eventually test this in Google's Structured Data Testing Tool, you'll see it pick up on an “Unspecified Type.” That's fine; just ignore it.

The finished tag should look like this:

...

Step 2: Wrap a new tag around the comment count itself and specify what itemprop this is going to be. At this point, it's a property of nothing and that's okay.

Now the finished tag should look like this:

108

Step 3: Lastly, you'll want to create a unique identifier for this data blob (so you can reference it later). To do that, just add a basic id to the tag.

The updated tag will look like this:

108

Sidenote: Can Itemref Be Used with Meta Tags? Yes! Just go through Step 2 and Step 3 on meta tags in your and you can reference them from an entity in your tag using itemref! However, with meta tags there's no need to add an itemscope; skip Step 1.

Now we come to my favorite part: hooking the data blob into the main entity. It's incredibly simple.

Step 4: Find and edit the itemscope/itemtype declaration for your Primary Entity. In this case, it'll look like this:

Step 5: Within that tag, add the itemref attribute and reference the unique id that you created in Step 3 above.

The finished tag will look like this:

Bonus: You can reference more than one data blob in the same itemref attribute! Just add them one after the other, separated by spaces.

E.g., itemref="comments wordcount citation alternativeHeadline"

Boom! Now you're cooking with itemref! Where before you had a pantry full of data that didn't really go together, now you have an entity that is completely baked and you're ready to roll.

How to use itemid

Using itemid is actually very similar and may even involve less new code than itemref. Since you use itemid when you want to reference another complete entity, this might be an entity that's already on the page. If that's the case, you just add a quick bit of markup and you're good to go.

In the visual below, what we want to do is use the Secondary Entity to populate an itemprop of the Primary Entity.

Using our blog post example, let's say we want to reference an Organization entity to populate the publisher itemprop of the BlogPosting entity.

Here's how we do that:

Step 1: Mark up the Secondary Entity just as you normally would. If you already have that entity on your page and it's fully marked up, that's less work for you!

Step 2: In the opening itemscope/itemtype declaration of that entity, add an itemid attribute and give this secondary entity a unique fragment identifier.

It should look like this:

...

And now we make the magic happen!

Step 3: Within your Primary Entity, add a tag wherever you want to call in the Secondary Entity and specify the itemprop you want your Secondary Entity to populate. Use a simple href attribute to point to the fragment identifier from Step 2.

It should look like this:

Bonus: You can reference this secondary entity from multiple other entities and populate multiple itemprops, too! If this post were a company announcement on moz.com and Moz were both the publisher and the author, both of those properties could reference #mozOrg.

That's it! Now, regardless of where these two entities live in the DOM (i.e., in your page's source code), they'll be linked together and can create something awesome.

“By your powers combined, I am a great blog post!”

Extending the power of itemid to JSON-LD

I can hear some readers asking, “The days of microdata are over! Now that Google's going to support JSON-LD for everything, who cares?”

First, Google isn't the only game in town and they don't yet support JSON-LD for all Schema.org types (but, honestly, I think they will soon). That said, I still think it's good practice to continue implementing structured data that less evolved crawlers can use.

Second, even though itemref can't be used within the JSON-LD data model, itemid most definitely can, although in JSON-LD the property is called @id! And boy, does it come in handy.

Let's talk about why you would use this and then we'll get into how.

Why @id is great with JSON-LD

The why is pretty straightforward - just like when you're using microdata, you are likely to have multiple JSON-LD entities on your site and, quite frequently, these will be housed in different scripts in the source code (or in different tags delivered via a tag management tool). Using @id, you can maintain your JSON-LD for each semantic entity separately and just make references between each entity as needed.

For example, consider the blog post you're currently reading which has structured data for a BlogPosting delivered in JSON-LD. You could avoid having to include all the data for your publisher (the Organization known as Moz) in your JSON-LD script and instead reference a dedicated JSON-LD script for it.

You could host two independent JSON-LD scripts in your page and link them using @id.

In this example, using @id is more cool than useful; it doesn't save that much time or effort. In fact, it'll add a bit more code to the page if you're including two separate JSON-LD scripts (for a BlogPost and an Organization) on every page rather than doing it all in one tag.

Dealing with repetition

But what about when a single entity can be used to populate multiple properties in your JSON-LD? That's where @id could save you a ton of time and hassle.

Imagine you have an Article page where you want to include structured data about the article's publisher (#publisher), a video pertaining to the article (published by #publisher), and the article's author (who worksFor #publisher). Suddenly, having the ability to leverage a single definition of the Publisher entity is very valuable!

Going deeper

If you're not already sold on @id yet, here's where it gets crazy. When you use @id with JSON-LD, you can extend its utility massively.


You can use @id in a JSON-LD script to reference
entities on other pages and even other websites!


Let that sink in.

What this means is that you can deliver JSON-LD on every blog post that references an Organization JSON-LD tag on the homepage. You don't need to repeat that data on each page or update every instance if a datapoint ever changes.

Here are just a few use cases in which you'd want to host JSON-LD for specific entities in centralized locations and reference them throughout your whole site.

Hosting your Organization JSON-LD on your company homepage and then using it as: The publisher property on BlogPostings The worksFor property on Person (on your team profiles) Hosting Person JSON-LD for key personnel on your About page and then using those entities as: The author properties on BlogPostings The performer properties on Events (If you're a local business) Hosting Place JSON-LD about your city on a dedicated landing page and using it as: The areaServed property on LocalBusiness The eligibleRegion property on Offer The foundingLocation property on Organization The jobLocation on property JobPosting

With all of these scenarios, you can use @id to reference entities on other pages to create a literal web of linked data on your website!

How to use @id in JSON-LD

Here's how to use @id in your JSON-LD.

Step 1: Edit your JSON-LD and give the entity a fragment identifier (e.g., #eru). This uses essentially the same format as the @type property, so you pretty much just copy that. Repeat this process for every JSON-LD script that defines an entity that you want to be able to reference.

The modification to your JSON-LD should look something like this.

Step 2: In order to reference one of those entities from JSON-LD on another page, provide an @id in the place of a value for the property in question. For example, instead of just providing a text string of “Moz” for the “publisher” on this BlogPosting, we'd refer to the uniquely identified entity by using its @id.

The modification to your JSON-LD would look a bit like this:

Now, if the entity you're pointing to lives on a different page, just use the absolute path rather than the relative one. “#mozOrg” becomes “https://moz.com/#mozOrg”

But wait. There's more!

This is the part that really blew my mind. Remember that you can reference entities not just on your own website, but on OTHER websites as well. Doing so is really simple, though you do need to have the ability to slightly modify the JSON-LD on both sites.

The possibilities here are insane! Just picture the semantic associations we're forming on this post alone!

The good news

The process is exactly the same as what's described above (using @id on your own website), but you definitely need to use the absolute path.

The bad news

This is super hard to validate without building your own web crawler. By their nature, the structured data validation tools that are available to us (like Google's Structured Data Testing Tool, the Structured Data Linter, or Yandex's Structured Data Validator) only fetch the one URL that they're fed. They're not going to go out and crawl the URLs where the other linked data lives and show you the full picture that their crawlers may be able to get.

In the future, I'm hoping to share concrete proof that Google recognizes linked structured data across domains. Until then, the more cross-site structured data we create, the better our chances are of showing that this works!

Itemref & itemid in action

This wouldn't be a very good tutorial if it didn't leave you with something to fiddle with. The code example below will show you how to use itemref in microdata, itemid in microdata, @id to reference entities on the same page, @id to reference entities on other pages (hint: there may be a really cool entity over at https://moz.com/rand/about/#rand if you want to check it out), and @id to reference entities on other websites.

See the Pen The Search Marketer's Guide to Itemref & Itemid by UpBuild (@upbuild) on CodePen.

You can even run this example's URL through the Structured Data Testing Tool to see how Google interprets all the associations. Click here to see!

Until we meet again

I hope that this post has either given you some new tools that will help solve your structured data problems or has stoked your curiosity to see what's possible with advanced JSON-LD. Good luck out there and happy optimizing!




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Google Cuts Back on Incentives for Local Guides by @SouthernSEJ

Local Guides are being alerted that Google is now cutting back on one of its most generous offers.

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7 Businesses That Prove 2016 is the Year of Social Entrepreneurship

The non-profit model, relying on grants and charity, is shifting to a business model driven by social entrepreneurship. These seven businesses show how.

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The Beacons Are Coming: How They Fit Into Your SEO Strategy by @highervis

Pretty soon a new technically known as beacons will be bringing advertising to a whole new level. So what does this mean for SEO? Learn more here.

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New Snapchat Memories Feature Lets Users Save Their Snaps by @DannyNMIGoodwin

Snapchat has introduced a new feature called Memories, which lets users save, search for, and reuse their Snaps and Stories.

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A 9-Part Client Management Manifesto Your Agency Should Steal

Posted by brianspatterson

This post was originally in YouMoz, and was promoted to the main blog because it provides great value and interest to our community. The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of Moz, Inc.

It was my first day at my new gig as a federal government IT consultant in Washington, D.C. I was slogging through the typical onboarding paperwork when a senior partner dropped by, introduced himself, and handed me a paperback book.

“Read and implement this,” he said. The cover read The Trusted Advisor by David H. Maister, a book with a sole focus on “the ability to earn the trust and confidence of clients.”

“Client management must be important,” I thought.

This encounter occurred more than 10 years ago, in my previous profession. Before doing search marketing or SEO, I was a government IT consultant. I navigated bloated systems and untangled red tape. In the time I spent consulting at the FBI, ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement), and the CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection), I learned quite a few lessons that apply directly to the SEO industry.

The most important lessons I learned, perhaps, were about the art and science of effective client management. Many of those lessons learned have become standard operating procedure at Go Fish Digital. What follows is the codification of our client management approach. It isn't a sexy new link building strategy or a mind-blowing algorithm update, but it's just as critical to the success of a project.

Overarching client management principles

To start, the following overarching principles help set team expectations. The three core areas that guide our client engagements are:

Transparency: The majority of our tasks and communication take place in a project management tool (Basecamp) that the client has access to. We want them to see and participate in our discussions, questions, and decisions. By not having this process behind closed doors, we can always go back to when and why a decision was made within Basecamp. Continuous communication: We communicate at the pace the client prefers, but we err toward over-communicating. To a client, radio silence means no work is being done, even if that isn't truly the case. Alignment: What are your client's key performance indicators (KPIs)? What problems keep them up at night? We make sure to align our work and reporting with what is important to the client, rather than only pushing what we think is most important.

The following nine principles are built out of these three core areas, highlighting how you put these principles to work in day-to-day interactions with clients.

It should be noted that these aren't hard and fast rules, but rather a philosophy to guide our team (and hopefully other agencies) on how to become trusted partners with your clients. It is hard to be perfect all the time (I sure as hell am not), but the more often these nine items are standard operating procedure, the better. So let's dive in, Star Wars-style.

1. Take the time to learn the industry

I got the call from a team member to let me know a new referral had come our way. He was excited because it was a strong referral and very likely to become a client soon. I asked him about the project and what industry they were in. “Plastics machine manufacturing” was his response. Interesting... I knew next to nothing about that industry. Yet, we were very likely to have them as a client to help them market their products online. The first thing we needed to do was understand the industry, and we did this by diving in head first to learn everything we could about the plastics manufacturing lifecycle.

To make sure we have a solid foundation for a client's niche, the team conducts a lot of discovery in the first month, such as:

Reviewing the client's website Identifying industry publications and blogs and reading them consistently Scheduling an in-person visit (if possible) to see how they work and meet the team Requesting any documentation they have about their products or services Watching online videos highlighting the industry, their products, and their team Building a lexicon document that includes jargon and definitions of words commonly used in their industry Purchasing and using the product or service ourselves (if reasonable and feasible)

As an SEO and marketing consultant, you will not be an expert in every client's industry. But, it is important that you learn their space. This builds their confidence in you, helps you learn their language, and establishes trust.

2. Crush it on the kickoff call

We were kicking off an online reputation management (ORM) project with a celebrity's publicist and assistant. Prior to the call, we gathered everyone in the company that was a fan of this celeb and did a quick research session so we were all up to speed with his movies, causes, friends, and issues. For the kick-off call, we built a detailed agenda which contained specific topics and questions. The call left the client team feeling at ease that we understood the issue and how to fix it. As a team, we were pleased that all of our early legwork (and TMZ watching) paid off.

After the sales process, the project gets handed over to a client manager like myself. The first thing I do is get a kick-off call scheduled quickly with the client and anyone from their side who will be on the project. Since this is one of your earliest communications with the client, it sets the tone for the entire engagement, so you want to be organized and responsive in getting this meeting set up.

We include on the call anyone from our team who might touch the project. This way, they hear everything from the client at the start, and the client feels good because so many people are working hard on their project.

We always build an agenda for the kick-off call, and I make sure that there is at least one item that each person on our team can speak to. This allows each employee to demonstrate their expertise in the beginning and build a relationship with the client. If it's a phone call, the client may forget just how many people we have working on the account if only one or two people speak during the meeting.

3. Have open, visible tasks and team discussions

We've been working with Amy for several years now, and she continually expresses her gratefulness for our transparency. Amy is a senior employee at a data security firm and is often traveling and working on other projects. By keeping track of every task on Basecamp and looping her into our work, she is able to quickly skim through completed tasks and see exactly where we stand on every project. She sees not only what we've accomplished in her absence, but also what's on the horizon. Additionally, she can be directly emailed with any pertinent messages and chime in with a response to keep everything moving forward.

The goal here is to show everything except how the sausage is made. Why would you want to hide all of the time-consuming, difficult, and sometimes menial tasks you're doing? Showing the client everything we are doing for them helps drive home the value of our service and keeps them from getting antsy about the occasional slow result.

The only place where we hold back a little is on drafts of deliverable reports. We keep those in our team Dropbox and simply reference the folder path when discussing them on Basecamp. We've found it keeps clients from getting hung up on things that we haven't quite finished.

4. Respond within 24 hours

I was just breaking into online marketing when I heard something on the radio that caught my attention. My favorite show, The Sports Junkies in Washington, D.C., were looking to build a website for a new venture. They talked about how annoying it was to work with web designers because things always get difficult. In a moment of inspiration, I sent them a short pitch email that ended with, “Messages don't sit around in my inbox. I respond immediately.” The next morning, someone from the show emailed me back, saying “I'm not sure why exactly, but I think I can work with you." I've worked closely with them ever since, and that relationship has helped springboard the Go Fish Digital brand in D.C.

From that original encounter on, I've always placed a high value on responsiveness. You know that person in your life who feels like you're late if you're on time? That's how we are with this 24-hour response time rule. If you truly take 24 hours to acknowledge a client's request, it may be within the time frame, but it isn't honoring the spirit of the rule itself (37 pieces of flair, anyone?). It doesn't take much to send a note saying, “We are on it”.

This is another area in which we err on the side of overdoing things. Even if the client sends an email that might not normally warrant a response, we still ping them back to let them know it was received.

One of the chief complaints about service-based companies is a lack of responsiveness. Counteract that by being committed to quick responses.

5. Be organized

The director of marketing at a large financial organization likes to meet with our team weekly. We review the previous week's progress and talk through our tasks for the next few days. This client is especially chatty, so without a formal agenda in place, there was the potential for the calls to devolve into a free-for-all, which would be inefficient for everyone. Because of situations like this, we always send a formal agenda ahead of time, which keeps us all on track and demonstrates to the client that we understand their goals and respect their time. Of course, we always allow our clients to ask questions or bring new things up. For the most part, though, we try to stick to the agenda.

Disorganization is frustrating. Sometimes you just have to deal with it. A spouse or child who misplaces everything, a friend who can't remember an appointment, or a co-worker that never replies to important emails. While in these instances there is nothing you can do, a client who's fed up with her vendor's disorganization can simply get a new vendor. So we stress the importance of being ultra-organized on the project.

Have well thought-out agendas. Follow those up with meeting notes and action items if appropriate. Keep Basecamp organized with to-dos and messages. Communicate clearly. Always use calendar appointments. It's the little things that show you are professional.

6. Be flexible and adaptable

We work with a large car sales website that aggregates all car listings from across the web. When you're dealing with a site that has over 3 million pages, it's important to focus on optimization opportunities that scale. We identified site speed as one of these optimization opportunities. The site had been particularly laggy, and I was doing my best to get to the bottom of the issues with their CDN. Alas, I was stuck.

Fortunately, one of our other team members is Akamai certified and has configured CDNs for multiple large government websites. I looped him in; he started throwing around big words like “nodes” and “end points.” Some magic happened, I assume, and everything was fixed. The site was now blazing-fast and the client happy that his SEO team resolved an issue he didn't even know they could help with.

No project is ever the same, which is great. How boring would it be if you applied the exact same strategy and principles to different projects, over and over?

We're always looking for ways to show additional value to the client. Whether it's by helping them with something out-of-scope or helping with deliverables that they have to pass on to senior management, there are always ways for us to contribute value. Although there's nothing wrong with up-selling, we don't often like to say “that is out of scope” for a task that wouldn't take us too long or be too difficult.

Additionally, we're very flexible in terms of how we work with a client. Is the client a phone person or email person? Are they hands-off, or intimately involved in the details? We try to get a good feel for this, and then adjust how we work with them based on their preferences.

7. Be in front of the technological curve, not behind it

Our new yacht charter client had just finished their first month with us and we were reviewing everything that had been done thus far. It was all very positive, and during the call, the CEO casually said, “I love the internal communication tool (Slack) so much that I've started using it at my other company.” Clients want to feel like you are doing things efficiently, effectively, and with the latest technology.

In our field, change is the norm. Every time Google launches an algorithm update, it can mean that a tactic that's worked for us for months or even years is suddenly obsolete. We've found that one of the best ways to avoid any surprises here is to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to strategies and tools.

I've mentioned our project management tool, Basecamp, a few times now. It may not have all the bells and whistles of others, but it's dead simple to learn and our clients pick it up without any help from us.

We also use Slack both internally and with clients for brainstorming sessions. Slack provides quick access to the entire team, which is helpful for most of our day-to-day communication.

In addition to tools, we've found that everyone on the team needs to be comfortable with a core set of tech-savvy tasks:

Reviewing and editing HTML and CSS Testing, installing, and configuring WordPress plugins Editing a WordPress theme Running ScreamingFrog against a site and reviewing the results Performing more advanced Excel functions like vLookups and pivot tables Examining a website's DNS and understanding each element

Being tech-savvy in all areas of our business reinforces their trust that they are with the best team. Clients expect us to be tech-savvy, so we don't want to let them down by looking like noobs.

8. Have an escalation path to turn to

While project work was underway for one of our financial sector clients, a reputation crisis popped up that went beyond our defined scope of work. We had worked with Google in the past to get certain defamatory web pages removed, but this particular case required some legal expertise. Luckily, we had a highly specialized ORM attorney in our network who was equipped to handle situations exactly like this. The client was grateful that we had a trusted expert on call and felt like their issue was being handled by an elite team that could deftly handle any issue that arose.

If things aren't working, clients like when you have options to turn to. Bring in an expert from your team or even an outside consultant, but be sure to sell it as a unique offering or connection that you have. Being able to escalate situations to special people and processes when the initial solution doesn't work keeps the project moving forward and prevents clients from seeking solutions from other agencies.

9. Show you care on a personal level

Our client was having his first child, a baby girl. That is certainly a time to celebrate, so we made a nice card and sent it to his family along with an edible arrangement when his bundle of joy arrived. It went over great, both with the client and his wife.

I hesitate to call this a tactic, since caring should never be manipulative. Let's just call this a reminder to care. Small talk at the top of calls, for example, can go a long way in establishing a more personal connection than the robotic client/agency relationship. It's hard for introverts like me, but I force myself to do it because it gives the relationship more depth and meaning. At the end of the day, your reputation as a person is more important than building brands or making money.

Final thoughts

We do our best to instill these values in our organization and make it clear up front what our expectations are of every employee. Over time, these nine principles have evolved and will continue to do so as we work to continue building a good agency with a strong reputation.

Maintaining a positive relationship with the client is everything. Delivering on the results you sell and adhering to these nine principles will help both you and your client achieve success.

Do you disagree with any of these principles? Or are there others that are important to you, either as a provider or as a client? Let us know in the comments!


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How to Boost E-Commerce Conversions (Without Spending a Year Studying Optimization)

When it comes e-commerce, the most important goal is to drive sales. Read on to learn how you can start boosting your e-commerce conversions today.

The post How to Boost E-Commerce Conversions (Without Spending a Year Studying Optimization) appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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SearchCap: Google voters, CPC prices & sitelinks test

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. The post SearchCap: Google voters, CPC prices & sitelinks test appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
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Why I'd Recommend Local SEO as a Promising Career for Millennials

Posted by MiriamEllis

The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. Image courtesy of Mike Behnken on Flickr.

The civics of local: Caring about your community

From Golden Gate Park in San Francisco to Central Park in New York City, with all of the town greens, plazas, fountains, schools, and libraries in between, America's lasting community resources stand as a testament to our civic-minded past. Town fathers, city boards, and citizens of former times dedicated themselves to enriching local life by creating public access to features that fostered identity, civic pride, and a higher standard of living.

Modern cynics might look at today's cityscapes and conclude that city planners have forgotten the need for accessible human resources. Sprawling housing developments without parks, whole districts without adequate shopping, good schools, libraries, or community centers would be evidence of this. And yet, 2016 points at a better future because, if nothing else, the ongoing election cycle has proven that the rising workforce - the millennial generation - cares tremendously about civics.

In the phenomenal youth movement currently sweeping the nation, I see an inspiring, fresh commitment to improving life for all people and all communities. If you're one of those citizens rallying for a living wage, greater educational opportunities, and the revitalization of both inner city and rural life, then this article will explain why a career in local search marketing could spell out satisfying work that directly impacts life quality in communities across the country. In other words, your best ideals will go hand-in-hand with what you do for a living. Sound good? Let's take a look!

What is local search marketing, in a nutshell?

Anything you do to promote the online visibility of local businesses, organizations, and resources = local search marketing. Local search engine optimization (SEO) basically seeks to create a mirror image of real-world communities on the web, making it easy for anyone to find the best available resources for everything nearest them. You can promote the visibility of local businesses, schools, parks, organizations, churches, or anything else that exists for the use of people in any given city or town.

Local SEO seeks to reflect real-world communities. Image courtesy of DonaldMcTim on Flickr.

The basic components of local

Right now, the basic components of local search marketing include:

Designing locally optimized websitesDeveloping locall -relevant text, image, and video contentBuilding local business listings on a variety of search engines and directoriesHelping clients earn and manage online reviewsHelping clients engage with their neighbors via social mediaEnsuring that all client holdings are mobile-friendlySeeking local publicity opportunities, whether via news, advertising, sponsorships, or other vehiclesDiscovering innovative methods of helping your clients stand out from the competition

Here's a broad overview of local SEO to jump-start your education. Ready for a deep dive? You can get a detailed picture of the major components of local search marketing from this Local SEO Checklist, and can take a gander at what industry experts cite as the most influential Local Search Ranking Factors you'll be implementing for clients.

Manual + automated solutions

Local search marketing has been a viable career option for a little over a decade - ever since search engines like Google set out to replace the print Yellow Pages as the way people access local resources. In the early days, a majority of the work we did in local was manual - manual website development, manual local business listing creation, etc. Now, many tasks have been made easier via tools.

Google: Making print phone books obsolete for over a decade. Image courtesy of Mike Goehler on Flickr.

For example, you don't have to build a website from scratch. You can learn to develop excellent Wordpress-based websites, choosing from mobile-friendly/responsive themes and using plugins that make it easy to incorporate basic local optimization components.

You don't have to build local business listings (a.k.a. "citations") one at a time anymore, either. You can use automated tools or sign up for manual submission services, freeing you up for more creative work.

Intelligent tools now make it possible to analyze your social media opportunities and manage your review strategy.

You'll be entering the field at a time when tools have taken quite a bit of the grunt work out of this area of marketing, meaning your best asset may be your creativity, rather than your capacity to grind through things.

Go solo or work for an agency

Before you take a job or start serving clients, you'll want to educate yourself as much as possible about this form of marketing. Your education will prevent you from going to work for an agency that doesn't adhere to above-board practices, and it will also lessen your chances of making a costly mistake for your clients.

Working from home can be quite cozy. Image courtesy of Tina Lawson on Flickr.

You can set up your local SEO business in your living room, if need be, with nothing more than a laptop and a good Internet connection. Some people have no problem flying solo, beginning the work of making a name for themselves by their contributions to their own community and the local search marketing industry. The main benefit of this is autonomy; the main drawbacks are money worries until you get established.

Others may prefer to seek employment at an agency with an existing local SEO department. Some companies will only hire you if you've got proven experience, but if an agency is open to interns, this can provide a great opportunity to learn on the job and understand what it means to be part of a team. The main benefits of this are experience and a regular paycheck; the main drawback is less direct control over the work you'd like to explore.

Emotional requirements of the job

Here's a simple checklist that should help you determine whether you've got the right temperament for the job. You'll need to:

Be a self-disciplined worker (especially if you're going solo) but also be open to the benefits of a more flexible schedule. Some of the best Internet marketing agencies aren't rigid about 9–5 work days and allow for some work being done outside the office. Some modern businesses are experimenting with concepts like the 6-hour work day and other new ideas. On your own, you may find yourself working 5 hours a day - or 15! Flexibility is an asset in this field.Have good communication skills. You'll be strategizing with team members and distilling complex topics down into easily understood terms for clients. You'll be well-served by the ability to speak well and clearly with anyone you meet in a day's work.Feel empathy. Local SEOs should be able to identify with their clients' struggles, whether they are mom-and-pop shops in neglected communities or large brands floundering over their identity. You become a part of every business you serve and will have a share in both failures and triumphs.Practice awareness of your own experience with commerce. Approach every one of your own transactions from the viewpoint of both merchant and consumer and analyze faults and successes. No part of commerce is too small to be analyzed, and your findings will give you something to think about, write about, and put into practice for clients.Love a mystery. When a business is failing to rank, when an incoming client might be spamming search engines, when Google tweaks its algorithm, or outreach is falling on deaf ears, you will be the detective who gets to the root of the problems and defines the solutions.Like to travel + network. While it's not necessary for local SEOs to serve clients in person, chances are good that you'll want to travel to industry events, and hopefully one day contribute to them for the educational advancement and prestige of your business or agency. Word-of-mouth is regularly cited as one of the most effective vehicles for client acquisition, so the more people with whom you network in local, the better the health of your company.Be honest when it counts most. You can't fear civil confrontation in this field. It's pretty much guaranteed that you're going to have to deliver bad news to confused clients and lay down the law to spammy ones. You'll be required to be totally honest when what a client has been doing is harming their own business. That's your job, and it's only when you've called out and halted bad practices that you can begin to implement better ones. You'll also need to honest with agency team members about your work, progress, and concerns.Commit to continuing education. There may be no other form of Internet marketing that has experienced more changes in the past decade than local. Guidelines and tactics change on a continual basis and, as a local SEO, it will be your job to keep up with all such developments. Your education must be viewed as ongoing as long as you're in business.What does a job in local SEO pay?

No promises on the emeralds and pearls! Image courtesy of Leigh49137 on Flickr.

According to the 2015 BrightLocal industry survey, the average annual income for SEOs (pre-taxes) was $70,000 and the median income was between $50,000–$60,000. How these figures strike you will largely depend on the cost of living in your geography. These earnings may not be adequate if you live in San Francisco or NYC, but may be just fine if you make your home in Albuquerque or Atlanta.

Note, too, that these are averages, and that there's room in this industry for innovators to work their way towards greater earnings. Remember, it was your generation that produced Mark Zuckerberg who founded Facebook when he was 20.

In the local SEO industry, there have been success stories like David Mihm's $3 million sale of his local business listing product, GetListed, which became the foundation of Moz Local. While not every worker in this discipline will "make it big," no limit can be placed on your potential to succeed if you have the ability to discern opportunities that haven't yet been explored to their limits. If you've been gifted with a great brain, it could be your company that invents the next app, software, or platform that lights up the local landscape.

Recommended skill acquisitions

Even as I'm writing this, local is out there changing and developing, so the best I can provide newcomers is a snapshot in time of the skills I'd recommend they acquire right now to be current + competitive:

Master the guidelines for representing your business on Google

As a local SEO, these are your rules for survival and contain the essential mindset you'll bring to almost every interaction you'll ever have with any client or team member. The guidelines are regularly revised, so check back periodically for edits that may totally change the game.

Learn PPC

Google, the biggest force in local, is steadily but surely moving towards more highly-monetized local search engine results. The local SEO of today and tomorrow will need to be able to advise clients about pay-per-click and other forms of advertising. Here's a beginner's guide to Google Adwords. We have a Pay-Per-Click category here on the Moz blog and you'll enjoy this Phil Rozek article written about his 8 years of doing PPC for local businesses.

Engineering/dev skills could set you apart

You can stick to being a consultant if you prefer, but it can be a major asset if you know how to get in amongst the nuts and bolts of websites, applications, and widgets. In fact, your abilities as a developer could be a key to you moving from basic income to lucrative innovation.

Learn offline local marketing

Local SEO doesn't exist in an online vacuum. It represent the real commercial and civic landscape we all inhabit. Understanding traditional forms of offline marketing (think print marketing, newspapers, billboards, radio, TV, etc.) will make you a much stronger force in the field. Most businesses will need to employ a combination of both on- and offline publicity, and you'll need to be in-the-know about all of it.

Learn a second language

Having trouble breaking into the industry? Being bilingual could help. In the U.S., learning Spanish will help you serve the skyrocketing Hispanic business community. In Canada, learning French could be a real help to your agency. In Europe, pick the language of any neighboring country that has the infrastructure to benefit from local SEO and double your client base. In Australia, you might tackle Mandarin to serve business owners both at home and abroad. Despite working in something called "local," ours is a global economy!

Follow the leaders

Finally, I'd recommend that you make a commitment to follow industry leaders' blogs and social profiles, as an essential part of your education and daily work. Local is an exceptionally generous area of marketing, with experts willingly sharing tons of useful information on a daily basis. We strive to offer some of the most comprehensive coverage and tutorials in the local SEO column here on the Moz Blog, and I would further recommend these high-quality resources:

http://streetfightmag.com/http://blumenthals.com/blog/http://www.localvisibilitysystem.com/blog/http://www.localsearchforum.com/http://localu.org/blog/https://www.getfivestars.com/blog/http://screenwerk.com/http://www.thelsa.org/lsa/news-room.aspxhttp://imprezziomarketing.com/blog/https://whitespark.ca/blog/

That's a short list, and you'll likely find many more smart people to learn from and network with. The main thing is to set yourself a regular schedule of checking resources like these for the latest local developments.

What a meaningful worklife feels like

The average American works 1,700 hours a year. If you start working when you're 16 and retire when you're 75, you'll be spending over 100,000 hours of your life on the job. 100,000 hours.

If you had a choice, chances are, you wouldn't sign up to spend that much time doing anything that felt meaningless to you. If you had a choice, chances are you'd much rather get to put some of your personal hopes, ethics, and best self into those future hours ahead of you.

In your spare time, you'll be socializing with friends, maybe caring for a spouse and raising a family, maybe volunteering on the local school board, or in community projects, social, environmental, or political causes. What if time away from the things you love best could actually go towards improving the usefulness and accessibility of the cities you and others live in?

Image courtesy of Tobias Berchtold on Flickr.

And that's why I'd recommend local SEO as a work option for young people. It truly can be meaningful when you help a senior center get found by your friend's grandmother who never knew before that she could take a free class in sociology. Or when you help a family-owned restaurant make the front page of the local newspaper with their blue-ribbon organic tacos. Or when you help main street compete against the big-box stores, keeping your community unique.

That's what local search marketing can be, and it can make the difference between a job you couldn't care less about, and one that is integrated with the interesting, meaningful life you want to build for yourself. When you're equipped with the skills to get businesses, organizations, and local stories heard, when you have the necessary education and have a say in picking the voices you want to amplify, you will never lack for opportunity to lend a powerful helping hand to the civic improvements you feel matter most.


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European Union Files Third Anti-Trust Charge Against Google by @SouthernSEJ

The European Union (EU) has thrown yet another antitrust charge at Google, which marks the third charge in less than two years.

The post European Union Files Third Anti-Trust Charge Against Google by @SouthernSEJ appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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Storytelling 301: Site Content as Story

Posted by Isla_McKetta

Feel like you're already over the term "storytelling" without ever really having understood how you can successfully apply it to your writing? You aren't alone. Like so much jargon, this amazingly powerful and useful word is in serious danger of being consigned to LinkedIn profiles and marketing parody.

Even storytelling guru Annette Simmons is over the way we're teaching storytelling as a content cure-all.

"We need to stop 'telling stories' that oxytocin or the magic of a 'narrative arc' explain storytelling. It's much bigger than science can explain. Storytelling is an art – subjective, emotional, and as variable as humanity is diverse." - Annette Simmons

We can do better. Instead of yet another "stories=good" post, today we're going to apply the logic of storytelling to site content. After you've read the last word, you should have the tools you need to draw a concrete map of how to tell your brand "story" with site content.

Note: I'm not knocking storytelling here. I'm a novelist. That's illegal. I am knocking throwing the latest buzzword at our marketing and pretending like using the word makes us better at our jobs.

Why storytelling

I promised not to flog you with the "stories are engaging so be engaging by telling stories" line, but if we dig just a little deeper we can understand one of the concrete arguments for storytelling: persuasion.

In her compelling book, The Story Factor, Annette Simmons reminds us that we can throw facts and figures at people all day long, but stories hold the real power to change someone's mind.

"Your story needs to take [potential customers] on a tour of the aspects that step by step convinced you to believe so they can step by step come to believe the same things" - Annette Simmons

Take a moment to check this against your own experience. When was the last time someone truly shifted your perspective? If they did so using anything other than a story, it's okay to stop reading here and find a tactic that you think will work better. But my guess is that some sort of story was involved.

The six types of story

Simmons outlines six types of stories we can use as humans and marketers to overcome objections:

"Who I am" stories and "why I am here" stories establish the groundwork you need to build trust with your audience. They naturally assume you're in it for yourself and these stories allow you to share your motivations. If you get human enough, your audience might find common ground on which to connect with you.

Vision stories tell how things could be. This type of story shows your audience what's in it for them. If you're holding an all-hands meeting, your vision story might include a tale about how the company has triumphed over obstacles in the past. If you're marketing a product, your vision story might speak to a future state where a problem (that your product solves) no longer has to exist.

Teaching stories give your audience an opportunity to learn from a mistake without ever having to make it. They also help you shape that audience's understanding of the potential solutions available to them. For example, if I were to tell you that a site audit can help you understand all the content resources you have available to you and use Moz Content as my auditing tool, I'd be pointing you in the direction of a solution for you and also making it easy for you to choose our solution.

Values-in-action stories are similar to vision stories and teaching stories, but they focus on the core values you want to reinforce and provide examples. Simmons suggests focusing on positive value stories rather than "war stories." One way to do this would be if a wedding dress company that prided itself on proper etiquette wrote a blog post about a bridal consultant who hand-wrote a thank-you card to every bride who purchased a dress from her.

The final type of story, the "I know what you are thinking" story, allows you to neutralize concern without that concern ever being raised. It's relatively easy to anticipate an objection from your audience and to use this kind of story to get ahead of it.

Applying storytelling to site content

This is where I wish I had a gorgeous illustration of the marketing funnel and that I could neatly fit these six story types in and presto change-o, poof! Your site content is perfectly optimized for storytelling and conversion.

Alas, life is a little harder than that. But we can get a good sense of which types of content are best for telling which types of stories. I'll use Moz as an example because that's close to my heart.

Who we are and why we're here

Moz is about three things: helping people be better marketers, building a strong community, and being TAGFEE. Free educational content has been a huge part of who we are since the very beginning when Rand was blogging about everything from the Google Link Command to Sandbox. That strong community is here because all of you make it happen, and because we work to make TAGFEE happen every day.

You can see our desire to help people be better marketers and to connect with the community right up at the top of our site. Click on "Learn & Connect" to bring down a bucket of resources like our beginner's guides to SEO, Content Marketing, and Social Media, as well as our webinars, blog, and Q&A.

We also share who we are on our about, TAGFEE, and team pages.

You'll note that all of this content is front and center because it helps our audience get to know us. Our audience becomes acquainted with our slightly quirky personality through our voice and the style of our imagery. We put our values out in the open for all to see so we can hold ourselves accountable and so our audience can know what to expect. And you can tell a lot about Moz by the fact that everyone who wants to be is listed on our team page (not just a selection of the top execs) and that each individual Mozzer's page has their own voice.

Help your potential customers get to know you by sharing "who you are" and "why you're here" stories in the content and form of your home, about, and team pages.

Our vision

The homepage is a perfect place to introduce an audience to your vision story:

But to really shape their expectations about what life could be like if only they'd use your products, you'll want to flesh out that vision story in content such as product descriptions and white papers.

Notice that all the vision stories, no matter where they are on the site, elaborate on and reinforce the same vision. Some pieces will speak to a greater ecosystem and others will pinpoint how your products bring that vision to life. Which role they play depends largely on where that piece of content sits in your funnel.

Teaching

You're reading teaching story content right now. I'm not trying to sell you anything at all, but I am trying to give you a new way of thinking about the work you do - to help you make better marketing. I'm also, on a meta level, teaching you about how Moz thinks about marketing, including how we see value in going beyond superficial monikers like "storytelling" and "keywords" to provide actual applied insight.

Although I mentioned our beginner's guides as "who we are"-type stories, they are also teaching stories. You may have noticed that we don't have a beginner's guide to pay-per-click advertising. That's not because PPC isn't important, but it is because our story is about the difference you can make with SEO, content marketing, and influencer marketing.

Big content can also be part of your teaching story. We use our Search Ranking Factors and Local Search Ranking Factors surveys to explore and share the changing nature of search, which helps focus our potential customers on asking the right questions about ranking better (instead of "where can I buy links?").

Mozcast plays a similar role by pointing people's attention to potential signs of shifts in Google's search algorithm. It is a useful tool, yes, for monitoring and predicting the search climate. It's also a story that teaches how much the algorithm changes and that SEO is not a one-and-done project.

Depending on who you are, your teaching stories might help your audience see fashion from the lens of accessories, understand that the value of your products is in sending matching items to the developing world, or see how essential connection speed is to saving money. Shape that conversation on your blog and in your big content.

Values in action

Our blog also tells values in action stories. We do this both through the teaching that is so core to who we are but also through the tone of content on the blog. This goes back to TAGFEE. Rarely (if ever) will you see a brand or competitor called to the carpet on our site. And our product and company updates are just as likely to tell you the ugly side of why we made the improvement as they are to celebrate the update, like this announcement of Keyword Explorer:

You'll also find values in action stories in our help documentation as we try to provide straightforward but fun information to help you be the best marketer you can be.

Demonstrate your values in action by telling the story of efficient project management with a datasheet that doubles as a purchasing checklist to help your buyer overcome internal objections. Or teach your customers how to use the spices you sell by turning help documentation into recipes.

We know what you are thinking

Wow, that's a lot of talk about us. Most of our audience would be wondering right now if we can really live up to that hype. That makes this the perfect moment to share a "we know what you are thinking" story. Some of the best site content forms for putting the proof in your pudding are social proof (in the form of testimonials) and case studies.

Your turn

Ready to put storytelling into your site content? The framework is universal, but the application of it will be very individual to your experience. I'd love to hear how you've incorporated these six types of stories into your site, along with what's working for you and what isn't.


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Twitter Opens Audience API To Brands by @DannyNMIGoodwin

Twitter has opened Gnip's Audience API to provide more audience data to brands about users who see and engage with their tweets and visit their website.

The post Twitter Opens Audience API To Brands by @DannyNMIGoodwin appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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UPDATE: 'Pokemon Go' Addresses Concerns With Google Account Access by @SouthernSEJ

An update to Pokemon Go, available now in the App Store, downgrades the app from having full access to your Google account to having just the bare minimum access.

The post UPDATE: 'Pokemon Go' Addresses Concerns With Google Account Access by @SouthernSEJ appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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One Formula to Rule Them All: SEO Data Analysis Made Easy in Excel

Posted by Jeremy_Gottlieb

Working in SEO, I always find myself poring over data and looking for ways to expedite the analysis process. Analyzing data can often be tedious, mind-numbing, and boring work, so anything that can be done to speed up finding that needle in the haystack is almost always a good idea. A few months ago, I began using a formula in Excel to categorize data and I'm constantly finding new ways to use it.

It took a little bit of time and practice to remember the formula, to understand how it works and how to troubleshoot it if it breaks, but the time and energy put into learning it have been dwarfed by the rewards I've seen from employing it successfully. If you take the time to learn this formula, I promise that it will be worth it - you'll easily be able to cut down thousands (or more) of rows in Excel into bite-sized chunks for easy insight-pulling and data presentation.

Without further ado, I present to you:

=if(isnumber(search(“string 1”, [beginning cell])),”Category 1”, if(isnumber(search(“string 2”, [beginning cell])),”Category 2”, “Other”)

I apologize if I've confused you already. I'll dive into the formula deeper, explaining its meaning and providing 3 different use cases for how it can help you speed up your work.

Use Case #1: Keyword research

When I'm doing keyword research for a client and I'm staring down a list (likely thousands of rows long) of potential keywords to analyze and their search volumes, I try to lump similar ones together to see patterns of similarity. At Distilled (we're hiring, btw!), I might use a tool like Brightedge or SEMrush to see the queries a website has visibility for. Additionally, I could just put a topic into Google Keyword Planner and receive an output of similar terms per Google. Export your results in a CSV file and you'll have your starting point for data analysis. You might even wonder how the formula I mentioned before could even be useful because Google Keyword Planner provides an “Ad Group” column, so one should easily be able to know how to divide up the provided keywords.

Problem is, the output is often divided up between “Seed Keywords” and “Keyword Ideas”, neither of which is helpful for segmenting keyword cohorts. The screenshot above captures the queries and search volumes around related terms for “workout supplements” (note the “Seed Keyword” in cell A2 compared to all others.)

But what if I want to break down this entire list (681 queries, obviously all not shown in the screenshot) to find out how many queries include the word "supplement?" Or perhaps I want to know how many contain "muscle"; I can do that too.

The first thing I'm going to do is remove column A (Ad group) because it's completely useless. I'm then going to add a column to the right of our search volume column and label it "Category." At this point we'll come up with our initial ideas for categorization, so let's go with "supplement" and "muscle." In cell C2 we'll type the formula:

=if(isnumber(search(“supplement”,A2)),”Supplement”, if(isnumber(search(“muscle”,A2)),”Muscle”,”Other”))

Translated, this formula says: Search cell A2 and if “supplement” is found, return the category "Supplement." If "supplement" is not found, look for "muscle," and if that is found, return "Muscle" as the category. If neither "supplement" nor "muscle" are found, return "Other" as the category.

I can continue to add specifications to the formula as I see fit; "other" would just keep getting pushed back as other strings get searched for. The screenshot below shows this formula in action:

The real power of this formula is that it can be used across the entire dataset, removing the need for someone to manually go through and categorize each keyword. Double-clicking on the bottom-right corner of cell C2 (where our sheet now says Supplement) will apply the formula to all cells in column C, as long as there's a value next to it in column B (this is a rule of Excel, not the formula). The screenshot below shows the effects of applying the formula to all of the data. Notice how the formula has changed from analyzing cell A2 to cell A19 within cell C19, where the formula is being applied.

"Muscle" isn't listed as a category in the screenshot, but it is listed as a category later in the dataset. I also need to point out a deficiency in the formula at this point. Where a particular query includes more than one of the strings we're trying to categorize for, it will return a category for the first positive string match it finds. Row 29 is a good example of this. In this particular scenario, the query is "muscle supplements," but because the formula looks for "supplement" before it looks for "muscle," and it found a positive match in "supplement," it categorizes the cell as "Supplement."

In the cells where neither "supplement" nor "muscle" were found, it returns "other." At this point, we add a filter to the data set and can filter out all "muscle" and "supplement" queries to reveal exactly what makes up "other."

Looking at this list, queries containing "protein" seem to be a sizable percentage of the list, so we can add that as a category as well. From here we can add in a pivot table and sort by search volume and count of keywords. Click here to learn more about pivot tables.

From here we can gain a perspective of where we should be targeting our efforts and where we need to focus more. "Other," at this point, is still too large a category, so I'd go in and refine it further to create more categories to find out how we can make this even more actionable.

Use Case #2: Disavow work

Google claims that a new Penguin update is "getting closer and closer," but the actual release date is still unknown. What is known is that monitoring your backlink profile for spammy and manipulative links is a pretty smart idea. I recommend being proactive and analyzing opportunities to disavow certain links if you think they could be a potential liability. My colleague Sergey Stefoglo recently wrote a piece on how to do a backlink audit in 30 minutes, but if you plan on manually inspecting your referring domains (and you should), this categorization formula can help.

Depending on the size of your site, you could potentially be dealing with thousands or millions of linking root domains, so you'd need to start somewhere and cut your list down. One way is to sort the domains by some sort of metric (I often use trust flow from Majestic). I use the formula to look for common words that are associated with spammy domains like "submit," "seo," "directory," "free," "drugs," and "articles," though there are certainly many more (".xyz" is another I've seen frequently). The formula finds any of the specified queries within your list of linking root domains, allowing you to quickly identify those as spam and add them to your disavow list. The screenshot below shows a sample site's link profile sorted by "Spam," using the filters above as criteria and then by ascending order of trust flow. The formula used in this case is slightly longer than our previous example, but follows the same pattern.

=IF(ISNUMBER(SEARCH("submit",A2)),"Spam",IF(ISNUMBER(SEARCH("seo",A2)),"Spam",
IF(ISNUMBER(SEARCH("directory",A2)),"Spam",IF(ISNUMBER(SEARCH("free",A2)),"Spam",
IF(ISNUMBER(SEARCH("drugs",A2)),"Spam",IF(ISNUMBER(SEARCH("articles",A2)),"Spam",
IF(ISNUMBER(SEARCH(".xyz",A2)),"Spam","Other")))))))

In many cases, your link profile will have spammy links that come from legitimate-sounding domains. This formula won't be able to filter out all of the spam, but it often helps remove at least some of the domains from your list. Also, it's possible that some of the domains now flagged as spam by the formula may actually be legitimate websites. You should always analyze the output of this formula just to make sure it's worked properly. Again, it serves as a starting point for your disavow work and can hopefully cut down on some of the domains, but it is by no means the only thing you should be looking at.

Use Case #3: Parsing Analytics

Another really cool use case for this categorization formula is data analysis from Google Analytics. For my clients, I'm often analyzing information about traffic to a client's site from organic channels. I'll change the displayed number of results from 10 to 2,500 and export the data. Once exported, I may want to know which types of pages tend to get the most traffic, convert at the highest rate, bring in the most money, or the opposite of all of these.

As each client's site is different, you'd be looking for different things on each site. Ideally, the site will have an established subfolder structure like example.com/blog/article-1, example.com/supplements/product-1, or example.com/toys/gadget-1. With these common features in the URLs, you'd be able to label them whatever you'd like, perhaps "blog" or "supplements" or "toys," and use this categorization to break down what types of pages work best and where can improvement be made.

For one client, I exported their data from Google Search Console and broke out their pages by "comparison," "reviews," "alternatives," and "other." From this, I was able to identify where we could possibly improve, establish what was working, and have more concrete data to show the client.

Conclusion

Categorization will not solve any SEO or digital marketing problems for you, but it can make data analysis much faster and visually compelling. The faster you can identify opportunities, the more time you'll actually have for making recommendations and an impact for your business or client.

This formula is so versatile that it can be used for nearly anything. I hope that you find clever ways for it to make your data analysis easier and less tedious. As each site is different, it's impossible to say exactly which strings you should be looking for in any given scenario, but if you can take away from this post an understanding of the power of this formula and how to re-create it, you'll find quite quickly it can be used for more tasks than you can dream up. Please comment or share your ideas for how to use this formula in the comments section below or at my Twitter handle, @mr_jeremyg.


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The Complete Guide to Mastering PDF Optimization and Compression by @stoneyd

Use this step-by-step guide to optimize any pdfs on your website that aren't behind a subscription wall so they can be found by search engines and visitors.

The post The Complete Guide to Mastering PDF Optimization and Compression by @stoneyd appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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SearchCap: Google Search Console emails, EU antitrust expanded & more

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. The post SearchCap: Google Search Console emails, EU antitrust expanded & more appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
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Managing the Tensions & Tradeoffs Between UX & SEO - Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

We don't live in a world where we have the luxury of thinking about just user experience or just SEO. The two share many of the same spaces online, working in tandem and sometimes even clashing. In today's Whiteboard Friday, Rand details the considerations and compromises that must be made for UX & SEO to coexist in harmony.

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we're chatting about managing tension between user experience and SEO. This is a topic we've touched on a little bit in the past, but we've seen it come up quite a bit as many more folks are thinking about user experience and working with user experience designers and product and project managers and SEO. They're trying to reconcile some of these differences.

So it is the case that a lot of the things that positively impact user experience also positively impact SEO. In fact, we have a whole Whiteboard Friday about those kinds of things. But UX touches on lots of things that impact rankings in the search engines.

Affecting SEO with UX changes

Certainly spam, to a certain indirect degree, Google can be looking at pages and sites and may say, "This fits in our template of what spam looks like."

It affects links, especially because user experience helps to predict whether someone might link to you. If you have 1,000 people coming to your site, by improving the user experience you may go from 1 link per 1,000 people coming to your site to 2 or 3, which could dramatically increase the links that come to you, affecting your search engine rankings.

Obviously, content is being impacted here. User experience affects how search engines judge content just as it affects how users judge that same content.

User and usage data. Naturally, of course, technical issues certainly in some respects, especially with things like page load speed, mobile friendliness, these are big UX elements that impact.

Probably less so with things like query interpretation and user context. Those are generally less impacted signals that search engines might use.

But regardless of this, nearly everything you do that's on a site or a page that's going to positively impact user experience or negatively impact user experience will have a corresponding impact on SEO, with a small handful of exceptions. The small handful of exceptions is where we see a lot of these tensions and challenges coming into play, and that's what we're going to discuss today, specifically four kinds of tension that can exist.

So what I'm going to do is ask you to imagine two worlds, one world in which there is no SEO. It's before search engines. We're just worried about the user experience. People only come to your site through the site itself, and they only navigate through the website. They don't navigate from engines directly to your pages. They're not performing searches. We're UX-only world.

1. In UX-only world, one of the big exceptions here is page consolidation versus segmentation.

So page consolidation would be, I'm going to put a bunch of different user intents all together on a single page because we can serve users best from that single page, single experience. That is true in UX-only world.

But what has happened is that you've forgotten about UX+SEO world. I'll give you an example here. Let's say I'm trying to make a website all about transportation in the Seattle area. I want to provide people with how to get to and from places, and the best times to go, and are you thinking about traffic, and are you thinking about comparing public versus private transport options, and driving versus Lyft versus Uber versus renting a car, all these different kinds of things. I'm covering the whole world of Seattle transit.

So I have in my UX-only world a single experience that describes getting to and from any neighborhood or any particular location to any other one. That page is sort of a singular experience. It provides everything all those users might need.

But in UX+SEO world, we have to remember that somewhere between a third and half, sometimes even more of our traffic is actually going to be searching on Google for what we provide. They're not going to be going directly to our website and then experiencing the site only through that. They're also going to be searching on Google, and that means they're going to be searching with all different kinds of queries.

Those different kinds of queries have different intents behind them, and we need to serve those with separate pages, which is why page segmentation is so important. So I might have a general landing page in UX+SEO world. I might have an individual neighborhood landing page. I might have a location to location landing page.

If I'm only thinking about UX and not SEO, I am not serving these folks well. In fact, I'm hurting the user experience of anyone who searches for me or who might come to me through a search engine. Because landing on this page, if I've already expressed to Google that I'm looking to go from Ballard to the Space Needle and I want my options, that's a lousy experience. I have to go enter that information again. I already told Google what I wanted. Your website should be delivering that.

So this is one of those areas where we have to make the sacrifice and live in UX+SEO world, recognize this exists, create landing pages that specifically serve the needs of searchers and provide that great experience for them. Those pages have to be linked to. They have to be indexable. They have to be keyword-targeted. They need the right kinds of content on them. It's different than pure UX world.

2. Exception number two, this also happens in internal linking and site navigation.

So in UX-only world, I can have a much more limited set of onsite navigation because I don't have to point to nearly as many pages and because, in general, I can rely on the intuition of my users to be able to figure out that oh, this particular page probably lives in this particular section. If I want to go from neighborhood to neighborhood, I can look at the neighborhoods landing area. Or if I'm particularly interested in comparing costs of different kinds of vehicle rentals versus getting around the city with Lyft and Uber versus that kind of thing, I can go to the transportation options section.

But in UX+SEO world, again because we have different types of landing pages, we generally speaking have to link to much more, and so that might mean instead of a single section we actually need drop-downs. We need to have more navigation. Maybe we need to even put in a footer or have some more sidebar navigation. We may need to make a little bit of a sacrifice for the purity of user experience for someone who's not coming from search in order to link to more things and in order to provide better internal anchor text. These links are going to need good internal, descriptive anchor text.

That is not actually just helpful for search engines. This is actually quite helpful for folks who may not have the same intuition that you're assuming many of your visitors might have and for folks who are looking to quickly navigate directly, potentially on a mobile device or on a screen reader for those folks who have more trouble with accessibility issues. This is positive from all those perspectives. That internal anchor text, as we've discussed previously on Whiteboard Friday, can have quite a positive impact on your search rankings.

3. Exception number three, keyword use on pages in titles and in anchor text

So in UX-only world, I might have a page that's "Ballard to Space Needle." Great, that's all I need to say. But in UX+SEO world, I need to show the search engines and, indeed, the searchers themselves that I'm very relevant to their query, that I'm answering exactly what they are looking for before they get to this page, because, remember, all they're going to see in the search results is just the title and the description maybe, whatever is in that little snippet. They're not going to know, "Oh you know what, they probably provide a great experience, but it's very visual and interactive and so I just can't see it. I'll click them anyway." That is not how people search. They look at that snippet. They decide whether they're going to click and engage.

So we need to present a better, more optimized version of the page for search engines specifically. In this case, what is also true is that there's probably a bunch of words and phrases - what we've called here at Moz related topics - related keywords, related topics that I should have on this page.

If I'm talking about going from Ballard to the Space Needle, I probably want to include words like bus, streetcar, farmers market, the farmers market in Ballard, or Seattle Center (which is at the base of the Space Needle surrounding it), monorail, which there is a monorail. It won't get you from Ballard, but it will get you from downtown to the Space Needle. Uber and Lyft. These are all words and phrases that Google would expect someone who's interested in transportation between these neighborhoods to want to find on this page. Therefore, we need to do a good job of serving those searcher intents and those related topics that Google cares about.

4. Fourth and finally, we need crawler-readable text content on pages.

In UX-only world, that's not always the case. In fact, if you think about UX-only world, an app might be the very best type of experience. That could be a web app, or it could be a mobile app, or interchangeably both. It could provide a great experience by letting me just click around the city and know where I'm going and select things from inside the app. The URL would actually never change.

But you know what? This sort of visual interactive experience is not going to work in UX+SEO world.

We need descriptive content. We need to be able to navigate between pages. We need separate URLs for each of these. Those URLs need to have good anchor text that's pointing between them back and forth. We need to have keyword targeting in all of the facets of that navigation. We need to figure out what all those keyword targets are, which requires keyword research. So there are just a lot of different changes that need to happen.

My advice is this. If you're an SEO and you're working with user experience folks, please remind them that the user experience doesn't just apply to the people who are already on the site or navigating internally in the site. Search engines send a huge amount of traffic, and we need to think about the user experience of coming from a search engine to the website. It's not just about rankings and traffic. It's about the user experience that those people have as well.

If you're a user experience professional and you're working with SEOs, with the exception of these few things, generally speaking everything that you do to improve user experience - the UI itself and the visuals, the design, the branding, the load speed, the efficiency that people get between pages on a site - all of those experiential elements also improve SEO. So as a user experience professional, your pitch to SEOs should be, generally speaking, very easy because you can help them rank better so long as you keep these things in mind.

All right, everyone, look forward to your comments, and we'll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com


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Attending MozCon 2016? Pitch for MozCon Ignite.

Posted by EricaMcGillivray

Last year, we hosted the first MozCon Ignite, and it was a blast. We had so much fun listening to 5-minute stories on everything, from how to cook a hot dog to running a coffee charity from your kitchen, that we're bringing the event back for a second year. We can't wait to hear your story. MozCon Ignite takes place Tuesday, September 13, during MozCon as one of our evening networking events. In order to attend, you gotta:

Buy your MozCon 2016 ticket!

Wait, what is an Ignite-style talk?

Ignite-style talks are five minutes in length, with auto-advancing slides. They tell short stories to spark ideas and conversations. If you're still scratching your head, check out Ignite Seattle's Scott Berkun giving an Ignite-style talk explaining Ignite talks:

How does Ignite work at MozCon?

Each evening at MozCon, we provide fun, networking, and relaxing after a day of learning. MozCon Ignite specifically focuses on networking and kicking back to be entertained with stories from your fellow attendees.

We want you to share your stories, passions, and experiences. There are 16 - yes, 16 - speaking slots.

Our one topic rule: these stories cannot be about online marketing or career advice. We've heard all about that during the day. To get your ideas flowing, these were the topics from last year:

Regales of an Accidental Nightcrawler Stunt Double with Jay Neill Sled Dogs, Northern Lights, and Mushing Tails! with Anna Anderson Performing a Canine C-Section with Marie Haynes Bulltown Strutters: The Band That Married Its City with Mark Traphagen Okay, I Have a Confession: I Was Homeschooled with Garrett Mehrguth Conquering the 100 Best Books of All Time with Kristen Craft Tales of Coffee from a Kitchen Window with Scott Callender Go Frost Yourself: 7 Basic Frostings & Their Uses with Annette Promes A Creative Endeavor Inspires & Lengthens a Life with Ralph Legnini Finding and Embracing Healthy Eating Habits with Carrie Hill I Was Told There Would Be Hoverboards. with Dan Petrovic The Day I Disremembered with Chris Hanson What Did You Expect in an Opera, a Happy Ending? with Chrissi Reimer The Best Practices in Cooking Hot Dogs with Josh Couper Raising My Parents with Jen Lopez Stoned Nerd versus the Four-Legged Home Invaders with Ian Lurie

The ever-fabulous Geraldine DeRuiter, aka the Everywhereist, will be back as emcee.

Annette talks about yummy ganaches at MozCon Ignite 2015.

The basic details to pitch To submit, just fill out the form below. Please only submit one talk! We want the one you're most excited about. Talks cannot be about online marketing or career-focused. They are only 5 minutes in length, so plan accordingly. If you are already speaking on the MozCon stage, you cannot pitch for this event. You also cannot pitch if you spoke at MozCon Ignite previously. Submissions close on Thursday, July 21 at 5pm PDT. Selection decisions are final and will be made in late July/early August. All presentations must adhere to the MozCon Code of Conduct. You must attend MozCon, September 12–14, and the Tuesday night event in person, in Seattle. If selected, you will get the following: 5 minutes on the Tuesday night stage to share with our audience. The event lasts from 7–10pm and will be at McCaw Hall (where the Seattle Opera is). $300 off a regular priced ticket to MozCon. (If you already purchased yours, we'll issue a $300 refund for a regular-priced ticket or $100 for an early-bird ticket. Discount not available for super early-bird special.) We will work with you to hone your talk! Stage tour of event space between 5–7pm Tuesday night so you can get familiar with the venue and being on stage before the crowd shows up.

Unfortunately, we cannot provide travel coverage for MozCon Ignite speaking slots.

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What makes a great pitch? Focus on the five minute length. Be passionate about what you're speaking about. Tell us what's great about it. For extra credit, include links to videos of you doing public speaking. Follow the guidelines. Yes, the word counts are limited on purpose. Do not submit links to Google Docs, etc. for more information. Tricky and multiple submissions will be disqualified.

We cannot wait to see what you want to share with us! Like other MozCon speaker selections, we'll have a small committee of Mozzers reviewing your pitches. If you're interested to see more Ignite talks and get inspired, check out the videos from Ignite Seattle 30 - you may see yours truly in one of them. ;-)

As always, best of luck pitching! And we'll let you know either way with regards to our decision. May the odds ever be in your favor.

Buy your MozCon 2016 ticket and don't miss MozCon Ignite!


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