SEO Strategies
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SEO Strategies
Everything you need to know about SEO and more!
Curated by ThomasDiSanto
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SEO Audits: Strategic Vs. Tactical – The Right Solution for Clients

SEO Audits: Strategic Vs. Tactical – The Right Solution for Clients | SEO Strategies |

Something that comes up often in my discussion with others in our industry regarding audit work is how many people who do SEO audits spend dozens, possibly even hundreds, of hours on an audit, and then deliver an 80-page or 100-page (or more) document to their clients.In these discussions (and in an occasional Twitter rant), I’ll mention that the typical audit I produce is between 15 and 20 pages with extreme situations resulting in, at most, 30 pages. Some people have said that’s about where they’re at, so I know I’m not alone in how much I put into an audit from a written perspective. Yet what exactly is it that goes into those couple dozen pages?

Note: I wrote a somewhat similar article more than a year ago. This time, however, I want to build on those concepts covered and go even further in explaining the key differences between strategic and tactical audits and discuss more of why this is important.


Strategic Vs. Tactical

Something I emphasize when I’m training others in SEO implementation or the audit process is the importance and value of grasping the concept of and differences between strategic audits and tactical audits.

Taking the time as you’re performing an audit and then as you’re doing the write-up of your findings and recommendations to see where something might be strategic and something else might be tactical offers many benefits. It really is well worth the effort to learn this process and make use of it. Everybody wins when you do.

Not Everyone’s Audit Cup of Tea

Before I go into sharing with you why I believe there is value in splitting out strategic and tactical into two separate audit processes, I do need to say that there may be reasons why you wouldn’t want to do that. Perhaps you enjoy doing it all in one audit. Maybe that’s the business model that you find works best for you. Maybe you believe it’s not right to do it the way I’m going to discuss here.

Whatever the reason, if you do feel that way, especially after at least reading through my reasoning, then by all means, continue to do so. You do what works for you, I’ll do what works for me, and we’ll all be happy. :-)


Sound Business Benefits

When you separate out strategic vs. tactical concepts during an audit process, it allows you to achieve a number of valuable objectives. These include (but may not be limited to):

Reduction in the Review ProcessReduction in Shiny Object SyndromeReduction in Rabbit Hole EconomicsIncrease in Focus QualityIncrease in Clarity of PrioritiesImprovement in Client AdaptionImprovement in Client UnderstandingImprovement in Client AppreciationIncreased Upsell Opportunity

As you can see, that’s a lot of benefits I’m claiming can come from this one realization about the work we do. Well, let me see if I can help validate why each of those is a true benefit and on enough of a scale that you’ll at least take a serious look at how you go about the audit process yourselves.

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Free SEO Tools - A Curated List - Triple SEO

Free SEO Tools - A Curated List - Triple SEO | SEO Strategies |

Tools, Tools, Glorious Tools!


SEO’s simply love to get their hands on the latest bit of kit to help speed up processes, scale time consuming tasks or simply to unlock additional data. I have to admit I am a bit of a productivity tool junkie and have been known to build my own tools using Google Docs, macros or bookmarklets. So a few weeks ago I engaged with a group of my fellow online marketers at with the premise to build a curated list of


Free SEO tools. A lot of my fellow industry colleagues contributed with their personal favourites to the discussion so here are the results.


This is a curated list of Free SEO tools so if there is something you use regularly or if a tool is no longer available please drop me a comment below or send me a message and I’ll update this page.

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The 200 Google Ranking Factors - SEO Checklist

The 200 Google Ranking Factors - SEO Checklist | SEO Strategies |
Achieve Google search engine optimization, using a Google search engine ranking factors SEO checklist.


There are "over 200 SEO factors" that Google uses to rank pages in the Google search results (SERPs). What are the search engine optimization rules?
Here is the speculation - educated guesses by SEO webmasters on top webmaster forums. Should you wish to achieve a high ranking, the various confirmed and suspected Google Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Rules are listed below.


The SEO Rules listed below are NOT listed by weight, and not by any presumed relevance - THAT exercise is left up to the reader!


Click Here:

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Getting Started with

Getting Started with | SEO Strategies |

Most webmasters are familiar with HTML tags on their pages. Usually, HTML tags tell the browser how to display the information included in the tag. For example, <h1>Avatar</h1> tells the browser to display the text string "Avatar" in a heading 1 format. However, the HTML tag doesn't give any information about what that text string means—"Avatar" could refer to the hugely successful 3D movie, or it could refer to a type of profile picture—and this can make it more difficult for search engines to intelligently display relevant content to a user. provides a collection of shared vocabularies webmasters can use to mark up their pages in ways that can be understood by the major search engines: Google, Microsoft, Yandex and Yahoo!


You use the vocabulary, along with the microdata format, to add information to your HTML content. While the long term goal is to support a wider range of formats, the initial focus is on Microdata. This guide will help get you up to speed with microdata and, so that you can start adding markup to your web pages.

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Home - is a set of extensible schemas that enables webmasters to embed
structured data on their web pages for use by search engines and other applications.


Many sites are generated from structured data, which is often stored in databases. When this data is formatted into HTML, it becomes very difficult to recover the original structured data. Many applications, especially search engines, can benefit greatly from direct access to this structured data. On-page markup enables search engines to understand the information on web pages and provide richer search results in order to make it easier for users to find relevant information on the web. Markup can also enable new tools and applications that make use of the structure.


A shared markup vocabulary makes easier for webmasters to decide on a markup schema and get the maximum benefit for their efforts. So, in the spirit of, search engines have come together to provide a shared collection of schemas that webmasters can use.


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The Noob Guide to Link Building

The Noob Guide to Link Building | SEO Strategies |

While savvy content marketers realize that many of Oli’s tactics will naturally attract links, fledgling link builders got to the 63rd page and were still wondering what to do...


The Noob Guide to Online Marketing is arguably the greatest single post of all time. If you don’t agree, well, it’s at least my favorite. Oli Gardner (of Unbounce) displayed a playful writing style mixed with pixel perfect graphic design, and a GPS of a roadmap to take your site from mile marker zero to one hundred in six months. It’s nothing short of amazing.


While savvy content marketers realize that many of Oli’s tactics will naturally attract links, fledgling link builders got to the 63rd page and were still wondering what to do. With this companion piece, it is my goal to grab the baton from Oli and outline a six-month link building action plan for your brand or client’s new web property. Even if the website isn’t brand spanking new, that’s fine, what I really mean is that this is the link building plan for the less savvy looking to do dive into off page optimization. Marketers with long existing sites and more link building experience will be better served downloading the Complete Six-month Off Page SEO Gameplan from iAcquire.


Following this guide in concert with Oli’s you will identify your audience, build a list of prospects, plan and execute four successful pieces of content and convince influencers to create content for your site.

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30 SEO Bookmarklets to Save You Time

30 SEO Bookmarklets to Save You Time | SEO Strategies |

AMAZING collection of time saving bookmarlets!


We all work hard at the SEO process - analyzing sites, gathering data, researching potential problems and identifying the solutions. Today's post is on how to work smarter and faster using bookmarklets for SEO.


How to Construct Your Own Bookmarklets


Here's a sample code snippet for the bookmarklet above that shows links from




To reproduce the effect with a bookmarklet that calls data from any site, you'll need to


1. Find a web-based tool that stores the webpage it's calling data for in the URL. For example, Google Trends for Websites uses a format like ""


2. Include the initial piece - javascript:location.href=' at the start of the bookmarklet link


3. Follow that code snippet with the desired webpage that contains data. For example, if I wanted to get Google Trends for Websites, I'd use - note that for special characters in the URL like the colon : you'll need to use the hex character codes (a good list is here)


4. Next you'll need to call the current URL. The most common way to do this is with window.location.href or which pulls the URL string from the address bar.


5. You may need to strip out portions of the URL to get just the sub or root domain. In my example with Google Trends, I'd use document.domain.replace('www.','') rather than the full URL string from #4 above. This removes the www from a domain name if it exists and extracts only the domain portion instead of the complete URL.


6. To combine the javascript code snippet, you'll need to use proper syntax - following phrases with +, wrapping in single quotes and ending with a semicolon ;


7. The finished code snippet looks like this - javascript:location.href=''+document.domain.replace('www.','');


8. You can use a wide variety of Javascript commands to build all sorts of bookmarklets, not just those that call URLs or append data. However, you'll need a more advanced tutorial to show you that process - sorry!

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SEO Link Building Tools, Strategies & Services: Ontolo | Ontolo

SEO Link Building Tools, Strategies & Services: Ontolo | Ontolo | SEO Strategies |

7 Ways Ontolo Helps You
Find More Valuable Links, Faster


1. Spend Less Time on Prospecting, More Time on Outreach. Ontolo finds new link opportunities for you every single night. Each day, wake up to new, targeted link prospects.


2. Define Key Metrics to Discover Valuable Link Prospects. Whether you're looking for link prospects with high PageRank, mozRank, SEOmoz Authority, or sites with strong Alexa rankings, Ontolo makes it easy to define your specific requirements, and quickly discover only your most valuable opportunities.


3. Customized Link Prospecting, By You.
Ontolo lets you decide where we find link prospects. By defining your Prospecting Phrases and targeted Link Types, invest your link building time into researching only the most relevant link opportunities.


4. Quickly Discover New, Valuable Relationships.
Ontolo provides you with email addresses, Twitter and Facebook accounts, contact URLs, advertising URLs and more to make sure you can quickly reach out to a new, valuable prospect.


5. Easily Organize and Manage Multiple, Customized Campaigns. If you're an in-house SEO, separate out your blogger relationship prospecting from your guest post prospecting. For agencies, create individual campaigns for each client.


6. Efficiently Manage Your Workflow.
Once you've reviewed a site, set its Qualification or Acquisition statuses to more easily perform batch processing. Once a status is set, you won't see that prospect in your campaign's search results anymore.


7. *Relevant* Competitor Backlinks.
Competitor backlinks can be useful, but not without relevance. Ontolo lets you find prospects that link to your competitors *and* let's you make sure that they're relevant to your search query or link type. Want to find a guest post about your top keyword that a competitor has a link from? No problem.

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Internet Marketing Tools for SEO and Social Media | Raven

Internet Marketing Tools for SEO and Social Media | Raven | SEO Strategies |
Build and Manage Online Marketing with Raven's SEO Tools and Social Media Tools. Perform Keyword Research for SEO and Report on Social Media Growth all within one interface.
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Google Farmer Update: Quest for Quality

Google Farmer Update: Quest for Quality | SEO Strategies |

During this week, Google announced a significant algorithm-update which aims to increase quality in Google’s search results. Domains containing low-quality content are supposed to be found less often, high-quality pages are to achieve better rankings. At the moment this update is active in the US-Index, more countries are about to follow.


Quickly named an “Anti-Demand-Media”-Update, I couldn’t find any real data proving this claim. I’d like to change this with this posting: Based on a dataset of one million keywords, which were checked before the update and yesterday I can determine the biggest loser of this algorithm-change. The SISTRIX VisibilityIndex is an index value calculated from traffic on keywords, ranking and click-through rate on specific positions. Let’s start with a list of the 25 biggest losers:


The table shows the domain, percentage loss, SISTRIX before and after the update as well as the number of keywords found from the one million dataset for this domain before and after the algorithm-change. It is sorted by the biggest absolut loss in SISTRIX VisibilityIndex. Comparing these results with the announcement from Google, they seem to have reached their goal: a whole lot of low-quality domains lost significant visibility in the US Google-SERPs.



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Latent Semantic Indexing

Latent Semantic Indexing | SEO Strategies |

Search engines use a large database to store web pages. It applies a number of techniques for retrieving the stored data. One such data retrieval technique is Latent Semantic Indexing, popularly known as “LSI”. This technique is based upon a mathematical technique known as Singular value decomposition. This technique is mainly used to find out words that are used in the same context. This helps to extract the conceptual content of a body of text by noticing connections between words. For example - Synonyms.


Example of Latent Semantic Indexing


An easier way to understand this concept is given below:-


Suppose we have 2 different web pages containing information related to dog food. The main content (use of semantic words) of the 2 pages is given as follows:-


Page A- Used words – (Dogs, dog food, meat, diet, pedigree, foods, breed, breeding, canine, meds, and cat)


Page B- Used words- (Dogs, dog meal, pets, dog food information, pet food, nutrition, dog health, breeders, Great Dane, German shepherd, Pug, Cocker Spaniel, grains, meats, quacker oats, bone ,meal, raw food, samples, biscuits , wheat gluten, meat inspection act etc)


These 2 pages when retrieved from the database would clearly indicate that Page B is more relevant to the user query “Dog food” as it contains more similar words gathered with the help of the process of LSI.


Please note: - LSI often returns relevant documents that don't contain the keyword at all.

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Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool & Crawler Software | Screaming Frog

The Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a small desktop program you can install on your PC or Mac which spiders websites’ links, images, CSS, script and apps from an SEO perspective. It fetches key onsite page elements for SEO, presents them in tabs by type and allows you to filter for common SEO issues, or slice and dice the data how you see fit by exporting into Excel. You can view, analyse and filter the crawl data as it’s gathered and updated continuously in the program’s user interface.


The Screaming Frog SEO Spider allows you to quickly analyse, audit and review a site from an onsite SEO perspective. It’s particulary good for analysing medium to large sites where manually checking every page would be extremely labour intensive (or impossible!) and where you can easily miss a redirect, meta refresh or duplicate page issue.


The spider allows you to export key onsite SEO elements (url, page title, meta description, headings etc) to Excel so it can easily be used as a base to make SEO recommendations from. Our video below provides a demonstration of what the tool can do -

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The ImportXML Guide for Google Docs

The ImportXML Guide for Google Docs | SEO Strategies |

The Importxml guide for Google Docs has been written to primarily empower SEOs, SEMs and digital professionals across the world to create their own tools. Inspiration, innovation and all around ingenuity can be attributed to the talented engineers at Google for bringing us this invaluable service. Next time you speak to a Googler, show them some love.


This guide is suitable for absolute beginners to the most diabolically clever coders that will no doubt expand on what they learn here. If you’re looking for advanced level Google docs, Tom Critchlow created a full video guide on Appsumo. Enough talk, let’s get it on…

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Content Strategy Generator Tool – V2 Update

Content Strategy Generator Tool – V2 Update | SEO Strategies |

Get the tool:


Way back in September we released the first version of our content strategy tool, and due to popular demand and awesome feedback I’m excited to be releasing an even hotter version of the tool! This blog post takes a quick look at some of the cool new features in this latest update.


Since the launch of the first version of the tool, there have been numerous updates across a number of websites forcing the xpath to return a null value, or to change the value returned. The first part of this update restores values for any empty fields, and reformats a number of elements of the tool for a cleaner, more digestible appearance.

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‘Relevancy is King’ Says Google VP at SMX London | Search Engine Journal

‘Relevancy is King’ Says Google VP at SMX London | Search Engine Journal | SEO Strategies |

1. Author Rank

Singhal mentioned that the author of a page influencing rankings. This may seem common knowledge, but it’s not something I had heard confirmed.

But keep in mind, Google looks at all signals in combination, not just one signal by itself.


2. Aberrations in Ranking Signals

The algorithm looks closely at aberrations in all signals. So buying that 1000 tweet package for $10 probably isn’t the best bet.


3. Search Plus Your World Redesign Holding Up International Releases

Singhal disclosed that Search Plus Your World was getting a bit of an overhaul in design and that until that was complete it would not be rolling out internationally.


4. Google uses human quality raters extensively in testing algorithm changes

Singhal discussed how Google tests new algorithm improvements, and one part I thought was interesting is that once an engineer writes an improvement, it first goes out for A/B testing to Google human quality raters before coming back to Google to potentially run live, real Google search traffic tests of the change.


5. Google’s new direct answers results in more searches

A webmaster in the audience asked a question “why even give Google our content if you’re just going to provide answers to users without sending them to our websites?” Amit replied that they found an increase in searches by users that get served a Google answer set (ie, what is the capital of Oregon?) and thus actually send out more traffic to websites because users have more time to dig deeper with more advanced queries once their initial basic query answer is found. (ie, why isn’t Portland the capital of Oregon?)

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SEO: The Free Beginner’s Guide From SEOmoz

SEO: The Free Beginner’s Guide From SEOmoz | SEO Strategies |
New to SEO? The Free Beginner's Guide to SEO has been read over 1 million times and provides the information you need to rank better.
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Link Building Tools We Use at Distilled

Link Building Tools We Use at Distilled | SEO Strategies |
We recently gathered up a list of all the link building tools and resources we turn to daily across the company at Distilled.


Link building is on our minds a lot of the time anyway, but even more so at this time of year in the run up to our Linklove link building conferences in London and Boston (it's in less than a month and yes, there's a discount for SEOmoz PRO members in the discount store, see below for more details or check out the trailer and a testimonial).


We have a variety of people helping our clients get more links in different ways and in different roles at Distilled. We have:


SEO consulting focussed on strategic changes

SEO execution and creative focussed on content creation and relationship building

Digital PR



We also just have an ever-increasing number of people spread across three offices and eight timezones!


It's therefore inevitable that people will do things differently and use different resources. Over the years we've talked about a wide range of tools and resources in blog posts, at conferences and in client work - but the ones below are the ones that seem to have stuck around (or that we're trialling at the moment) and that came out in the canvassing of the team. In that spirit, I hope you'll find something of use here.


When we recently got our whole company together in London for the first time since Rob moved to Seattle to open our first US office in early 2010, part of the objective was to improve our processes and share knowledge across the company about how different consultants work. On one of the days we ran a (cheesily-named) ship-a-thon where we each aimed to "ship" things in a single day to improve Distilled. To give credit where it's due, Hannah decided to collate this list - I've just added some of the commentary and formatting. Thanks Hannah!


So, without further ado, here is the list of link building tools people in Distilled are using right now:

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Microsoft Excel for SEOs | distilled

Microsoft Excel for SEOs | distilled | SEO Strategies |

Excel for SEO is a guide we wrote up to help SEO professionals get meaningful information from mountains of data.


This guide was originally written to be read from start to finish, as some examples are worked on through different lessons. That said, you should be able to jump ahead if you feel like you’ve got the basics down.


Please report any errors or confusing stuff to one of the Twitter accounts on the right and we’ll be sure to fix it right up.


Feel free to download the XLS with the data from the examples.


SEOs have been getting into our industry from all sorts of past careers — web designers, developers, marketers, business people and those that “just fell into SEO”. Some of these past positions may have required data analysis with Microsoft Excel, but a good many of them did not. Excel was not a big part of my past jobs, and I would guess that many SEOs’ past careers did not require anything more than adequacy in the program.


Over the last few years our field has become even more data-driven than in the past thanks to tools like Open Site Explorer, improved Google Webmaster Tools and Analytics, Majestic SEO, Raven, and many others. Additionally, our clients have become wiser and more SEO capable, having been burned in the past by snake oil SEOs. They want reliable SEO advice with a strong verifiable foundation, and who could blame them?



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Link Building Strategies - The Complete List

Link Building Strategies - The Complete List | SEO Strategies |
Brace yourself. This is the most comprehensive list of link building strategies ever created. Think I'm lying?


Yes, the rumors are true. I’ve put together the most comprehensive list of link building strategies on the Web. If there’s any post on my blog you should bookmark for future reference, this is the one.


Why I created it: The best link building strategies are never found in one place, and the best lists of strategies are completely outdated.


If you can think of 3 link building strategies not listed, email me with them (and a few short descriptions), and if I agree they should be on the list, I’ll add them & send you a free Point Blank SEO t-shirt.

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How to Increase the Odds of Your Content Going Viral - Whiteboard Friday

How to Increase the Odds of Your Content Going Viral - Whiteboard Friday | SEO Strategies |

Having content that goes viral can seem like the luck of the draw, but there are a number of steps you can take to improve your odds.

Number one, the right format or the right UI or UX, user experience. What I'm talking about here is a lot of people think that they can take the same way that they produce content normally, keep on doing that, and sometimes that works, especially if you have a very, very clean site, maybe it's in a blog format and it's got nice width. It's not too hampered by advertising and surrounded by that kind of stuff. But oftentimes you will see that content can perform better when it's in a separate type of format. So let's say you've got a traditional page layout that has content section here but a big header up here and a top ad and a bottom ad and a bunch of sidebar stuff. And maybe you think, "You know what? I'm actually going to clean that up to something that has branding but minimal branding, got a great headline, got the content right in there, and that's the focus of the page." So the users who come to it can easily, above the fold, find the content that they're looking for, that there's compelling visuals.


These visuals are particularly important because both Google+ and Facebook, if you do any sharing on either of those platforms, remember that they'll automatically insert an image from the post, and oftentimes the user can select which image. If you've got a couple compelling images that look great when scaled down, that look great when you're going to share them on Facebook or on Google+ or that somebody else who is going to copy those images and put them on their site, oh man, much, much more successful.


Even if you have literally just a piece of writing, if you can have some sort of a visual element that is compelling, that's interesting, that draws in the reader, that's relevant, you're going to do much, much better. Flickr Creative Commons is great for this. Drawing your own stuff is great for this. Charts and graphs are great for this. Even licensing out someone to do a tiny amount of work for a few hundred dollars around building a visual for you, taking some of the data or some of the insight that you've learned that you're putting into that content can be really helpful to help it go more viral.


Then doing things like, you know, you've got to have the design look and feel professional. It has to be modern and updated. Clean is very, very good for getting that sharing principle. You can see this happen all the time with content that's shared on major media websites, where it's the print friendly version that gets emailed around, that makes its way around Twitter and around Google+ and Facebook and goes on LinkedIn. It's almost always the one that people will link to in a Reddit or a Hacker News or on Stumble Upon. Print friendly versions, just make that the default for content that you want to have virality.

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