Step 7: Technical SEO


Are My Relevant Web Pages Being Crawled and Indexed?

Do you want more traffic to your site?

Of course you do, and it starts with understanding two key actions taken by Google (and other search engines but we’ll focus on Google): crawling and indexing.

Your pages are being crawled, and if you want them to be, they’re also being indexed. How frequently they’re being crawled and indexed is the major question.

Let’s start by defining these two key terms.

What is crawling?

Google’s Spider crawler constantly searches for new web pages and finds them because of links to a page. Once on a particular page, Google will follow the path your page leads them down through your links to other pages on your website. When the crawl is done, they’re indexed.

It’s that simple… almost. We’ll get to what can influence the frequency of crawling.

But first,

What is indexing?

Simply put, indexing is gathering and processing the information acquired during the crawl and adding web pages into Google’s search engine.

Being indexed is not the same thing as being listed in Google’s SERPs. When a page has been indexed it has been downloaded to the server of the search engine; a site doesn’t have to be indexed to be listed.

And in some cases, you may not want your page to be indexed, such as when it has thin or no-value content, for example, thank you pages, login pages, and internal search results pages. In that case, you want to insert a no-index tag, which means that although your page is still being crawled, it’s not added to Google’s search index.

The take-away: Index only the most important parts of your website.

Note: Every WordPress post and page is indexed automatically but to improve your search results, you need Google to re-index your site frequently (use Google Search Console to find out how often your site is being crawled).

Your site is probably already being indexed but if it’s new, there’s any easy way to check:

Enter site:yourdomain.com into Google’s search bar. If you’re indexed, the SERP should look like this:

If not, it will return a message that your search did not match any documents.

If that’s the case, it doesn’t mean you have to sit back and wait for Google to notice you. It’s kind of like seeing that perfect potential mate from across the room. If you sit there and wait for him or her to approach, you may be waiting a very long time. Alternatively, if you take action and make it happen, chances are you’ll have a date. Google is a little less risky though, they won’t reject you if you follow the right steps.

But, like dating, indexing is not a one-time deal that gets you where you want to be. You need Google to keep re-indexing your site because they don’t update automatically.

How can you get your site crawled and indexed more frequently?

Google offers us the following tips to improve our page indexing:

  • Create short, meaningful page titles.
  • Use page headings that convey the subject of the page.
  • Use text rather than images to convey content. (Google can understand some image and video, but not as well as it can understand text. At minimum, annotate your video and images with alt text and other attributes as appropriate.)

(Source).

What other major factors affect indexing?

Regular new quality content that is relevant and doesn’t break any rules (see below) is one of the primary ways. Add new, relevant, and user friendly, high-quality content regularly and update existing content by creating a content marketing strategy. Have a look here at how that’s different from a simple content strategy:

Include the primary keyword in your domain name.

Use high quality backlinks that are reputable and trustworthy.

Internal links are a great practice for SEO and for keeping people engaged on your websites and answering their questions the second they come up. When linking to a section in the same page, use the same anchor text to encourage deep crawling.

An XML sitemap is a roadmap to help Google look deeply into your website because it lists every URL. A variety of plug-ins are available that you can use to generate a sitemap. For WordPress, use Yoast SEO.

WordPress Ping Services automatically notifies search engines that your site has been updated with new content, which keeps those bots crawling and (hopefully) indexing.

What prevents Google from indexing a website?

Playing by Google’s rules will keep you in their good books––their index, so avoid the following:

  • Duplicate content
  • Keyword and meta-tag stuffing

In some cases, you may want to prevent Google from indexing your site. See their support guide for some simple guidelines.

Logical Mix Chats with Nat from Whitby’s Chamber of Commerce

I recently had the pleasure of catching a ride through Brooklin with Whitby’s Chamber of Commerce CEO, Natalie Prychitkoas, a guest on her YouTube series “Chat with Nat”.

I was a bit awkward at the start. I tend to wear an expression that makes you expect to see a couple of stray feathers sticking out my mouth, a little tweet tweet echoing from inside me. That expression intensifies when I’m a bit nervous and then I stumble over my words a bit.

For example, she asks me––

“You’ve got young kids, don’t you? You know how I know? Because your front porch is full of young kid plastic stuff,”

I reply as my usual witty self with this awkward gem:

“You didn’t think that was me?” I joked, as if to suggest I spend my afternoons wearing swimmies, splashing in a kiddie pool or practicing my golf swing with a Little Tykes 3 Wood.

Because as a guy in the digital marketing biz, that’s exactly the image I wish to portray.

But permanently-etched mental images aside, Nat was correct. Our house is overflowing with every kind of plastic toy you can imagine because my wife and I have two young boys (three, if we include my afternoon antics). The point is, I know I’m awkward but that perma-grin is really because I’m just kind of a big kid inside.

She asked me about my history and why my family and I moved to Brooklin from Toronto. My wife and I grew up in Toronto and we loved living there but once we had our first son, our house became a bit too cramped for us so we entered Suburbia. We chose Brooklin because it’s a little bit like Pleasantville––everyone waves and smiles, and smiles and waves. There are paths connecting this street and to that park and to Heber Down (if you haven’t been to Heber Down, do yourself a favor and check it out), and there are some really great burgers right in town. What more do you need in a community than great neighbours, nature trails, and good grub?

And then we moved onto business. Nat asked about what I do and why I do it and what I’m anticipating for 2018.

I love this question and it’s one of the reasons I’m happy I got the chance to chat with Nat. I love having an SEO company in Whitby and I want to tell everyone who will listen.

In addition to being a dad and a husband, I’m also a digital marketing geek who started up his own biz in 2011. Before that, I worked for a company called Contractors.com, which did internet marketing for tradespeople. It was awesome and the site was receiving 200K visits per month right up until Google changed its algorithm that removed ranking authority from domain names. I sat in on one of their meetings and was fascinated by how Internet search engines could be so strategically manipulated. That was essentially how I got started in digital marketing, which led to the creation of Logical Mix.

Nat asked––“Why did you join the Commerce and what are you anticipating for 2018?”

When I moved to Whitby, it felt like a good time to immerse myself in the community so I joined the Java Jolt––a member-led group of business people who meet up to help each other out and build a supportive network. They opened my eyes to the Chamber so I checked them out and like their vibes––Bob’s your uncle.

As for my 2018 goals––well, basically, I’m a community guy. I want to help people and the way I do that is by helping local businesses grow and build their online exposure. It’s what I know and what I do. It’s why I’m so proud of the work the Whitby Chamber of Commerce does for the community. They are true ambassadors for businesses in Whitby and the Durham Region.

I’m grateful to Nat for her time and for sharing our chat on YouTube––check it out below:

 

DeltaGrowth logo

DG’s Roundup Summary: What SEO or PPC Advice Would You Give Yourself?

I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by Delta Growth (DG), a big boy in Toronto’s SEO & SEM industry, specializing in e-commerce. Eugenia, DG’s SEO/PPC Implementation Specialist reached out to some of the industry’s local brainers to ask a SEO/PPC question that few of us ever ask ourselves during our careers:

What advice would have changed your SEO or PPC career?

It’s the kind of question that encourages us to reflect on our business moves of yesteryear. But it also makes us want to nail our thumbs to the floor for the dearth of knowledge our brains now overflow with. If only a DeLorean time machine were as accessible as a Zipcar.

But alas, DG talked to leading SEOs, so we did something right even back then! As a SEO Specialist in Whitby at Logical Mix I was humbled to be regarded in this mix and appreciated the opportunity to reflect on the ghosts of SEO past.

Whether you’re a blogger, consultant, strategist, or a newbie copywriter, Delta Growth’s Round Up about SEO/SEM career advice from leading industry experts may surprise you. It seems success lies in some good old-fashioned values and technical know-how.

Make Great SEO & SEM Relationships

Relationship building is the cornerstone of success in any business. Regardless of how great we are at the technical stuff, there is a person behind every move we make and that person is either going to trust us or bounce. We don’t want bouncers. Stoney Degeyter, Founder and CEO at Pole Position Marketing urges us to always, “focus on the customer, not the algorithms”.  Make the user’s experience your priority. It’s not enough just to know SEO. A grasp of marketing fundamentals is essential to reaching your audience and garnering the staying power that will bump up your conversion rates. What is the crux of Marketing 101? Know your customer. So, know your customer.

Tor Refsland says that if he could go back in time he would have told himself “to grow some b*lls and become uncomfortable much sooner!” He would have started getting new clients right away, face-to-face. So get out there and show face.

Check in with industry peeps too. Nobody gets very far alone. The e-comm community is huge. Learn from as many people as you can. Garner good quality links by offering something of value. Bump up your social media presence.

Give TOFu and BOFu Equal Opportunity

We want to pay attention to everybody at every stage of the conversion cycle so we’ve got to know how to structure our content appropriately. The experts give a few suggestions here. Nail in on long-tail keywords to reach the BOFu kids. Stick to one topic at a time. Create pages to rank for individual head terms and focus on the low-competition keywords in your niche.

But the awareness phase is critical and you can’t gain interest unless you give people something useful. Steve Wiideman insists on links to free tools, guides, and checklists as a marketing strategy for garnering tons of TOFu interest.

Invest In Yourself

It’s easy to forget about our own brand when we’re focused on making it awesome for our clients. John Rampton and Michael Cottam urge us to take the advice we give our clients. Clients come and go with their millions. “What will stick with you is your own brand and assets. Build those and invest as much resources (sic) in those as you would your clients’ sites” (John Rampton, Founder and CEO, with over 1 million Twitter followers). Capitalize on what you practice everyday and know one or two things really well – this is your expertise. And study what you’re not practicing everyday to maintain an edge in the industry.

Craft Awesome New Content Every Week

The demand for high quality content won’t change anytime soon so unless you’re a blackhat you’ll want to maximize your content and repurpose it – a ingenious hack from Oleg Korneitchouk. Several experts commented on how they wished they’d known the value of investing in a marketing campaign, with regular, meaningful content at the top of the priority list. Josh Steimle, Founder of MW1 says it’s simple: “High quality work will attract high quality links. It’s a lot of hard work to create great content, but it’s a simple recipe.”  Good quality content helps the customer alleviate their pains and achieve their goals. This points back to relationships and making our brand trustworthy. But it has to be ongoing. Fresh content each week is essential to high organic ranking and traffic.

Get Your Hands Dirty

We’ve gotta be ballsy in this industry. If we want to know what it feels like to jump out of a plane, we’ve got to jump out of the plane. Take risks with what we know. Research. Experiment. Learn from the results. Experiential learning is the key to forming a knowledge base that will compound over time and support innovation. According to the experts, research and risk are our most profitable investments. Know how to code. Use PPC as a learning mechanism for SEO. Don’t be afraid to try and share with others – remember relationships? Eric Enge sums up SEO & PPC advice the best: “Establish yourself as knowing one aspect of it very, very well. Then, when you’re ready, work on adding a second area of expertise, and get to the point where you are recognized as an expert on that. Keep expanding on those things over time.”

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*Full article here: Round Up: What Advice Would’ve Changed Your SEO or PPC Career?

cars in dark traffic jam at night with lights on

Does My Search Engine Marketing Have Dark Traffic?

Dark Traffic Makes A SEO’s Life More Interesting.

Dark traffic is statistically usually under “Direct Traffic” in Google Analytics, and is being referred from an unknown/untraced source (and for some reason being lumped into Direct Traffic).

As a SEO, you must try to figure out where this website traffic is coming from. Get the credit you deserve.

What does this Mean for My Search Engine Marketing?

It means you have to search for stats in other places and on your own. You can also help your company by adding some tools to your arsenal. You’ll never be able to track 100% of “Dark Traffic”, but from our research, this is the best article to read regarding Dark Traffic. That article should send you on the right path.

We Hope That Helped

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Stacked Gold Bars

Why Rich Snippets Help Your Company’s Search Engine Marketing

Rich snippets are a fancy way to spruce up your Google search results within search engine listings.

They don’t necessarily enhance your search engine optimization (SEO), but they do improve your Click Through Rate (CTR). The jury is still out on the search engine ranking effects. Some have reported a SERP improvement.

The most common rich snippets we see are reviews with “Star Rating”. Rich snippets come in many forms though, such as: videos, images, event times, addresses, phone numbers, etc.

The enhancement is real, and positively reflects your search engine marketing efforts.

The end is result desired is almost always quality website clicks funnelling into leads for your business. If this statement is true for your business, continue reading more about rich snippets and how to implement them on your website.

Get A Plugin.

This is the most cost effective way to get rich snippets representing your business online. You could get a developer to code it in for you, but that is a much pricier option.

Here’s a relatively new and great article about Rich Snippet plugins: 5 Best Rich Snippet Plugins

It’s an article about different tools you can use to get rich snippets showing up for your search engine results. Worth the read. Rich Snippets will propel you above the competition.

The Easiest Explanation:

Rich Snippets help your company control what the search engine user sees on the search results page.

This helps everyone in the end. User and Business win!

 

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Birthday cake with 6 candle

6 Years In The 6

Today is the 6 year anniversary of Logical Mix.

It has been an awesome ride. Helping small to mid sized businesses grow their online presence has been one of the most rewarding things our company has offered the world. We pride ourselves on customer service and reliability, and that is what has kept us alive and well. Spending our clients money like it’s our own is our secret to success.

The online marketing world is an ever-changing one. We are constantly reading, listening, educating and going to conferences to learn about the digital world. We pass this knowledge on to our existing and new customers. We don’t focus as much as we should on our brand, because we are so focused on your brand. If your brand grows… Logical Mix grows.

SEO marketing in Toronto has been our bread and butter, but we do whatever it takes to get companies the exposure they deserve online. Whether it is web design, getting on local listings or directories, pay-per-click or social media…search engine marketing is what we do! (We stated that six years ago).

6 years in the 6 just sounded like the right title for this article.

This adventure has been incredible. We owe everyone we have had the opportunity to work with everything.

Thank you Toronto and the GTA (and Vancouver, USA, England, Thailand and China), for allowing us to work and build your economies.

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Spices with seafood

THE PERFECT SEO BLOG RECIPE

Blogging is an art, just as writing can be a form of art. For the last decade plus, blogging has slowly taken an upward transition to paving the way as a medium that is both interactive, informative and SEO friendly. However, just like writing is an acquired skill, blogging is a form of writing that targets a specific audience to engage them in an online source which is well written and insightful. There are various ways to grow a following on the internet, blogging being one of those ways; however, many may wonder in which ways one makes a blog to be as successful and well read that it can be.
1.       Content vs. Frequency
When creating a blog, especially in the initial stages, frequency is extremely vital. Not only does it show your reader that you are committed to updating your site, but it acts as a way to develop a following on the internet. It allows Google to crawl your website regularly to improve your SEO properly. Whether you are annoying your readers by posting and updating on a daily basis or whether you are updating once a month, frequency plays a crucial role in the number of readers your blog will encounter. However, this being said, rich content is of even more importance. For instance, having a friend on Facebook who updates their status multiple times a day stating exactly what they are doing such as “making a sandwich” or “doing laundry” is annoying and can even cause you to unfriend that person. However, say you like a news page on Facebook and they post the exact same number of times as your Facebook friend, but their updates are informative and interesting. The chance that you will unlike the news page because of their frequency is not as likely as the option of unfriending the annoying Facebook user who posts multiple pointless statuses. This shows the importance of content – your frequency can be often if your blog is informative and educational; this is solely because readers want to read what they find is most interesting. Content is central to having a solid base of followers who view your blog on a continuous basis. The content created on your blog will have a direct and powerful impact to your ongoing SEO efforts. Update regularly, but have quality content, content that will drive your reader to want and to need more. Content that you can link within your website will add SEO value as well.
2.       Original vs. Generic
How often do you see news channels retelling the same news stories over and over again, and then see a different channel retelling what you just heard on the previous station? To be original is to be unique and different, and as it was once stated by Coco Channel, “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” You want your blog to be irreplaceable, you want it to be so that when a reader chooses whose blog they should visit first to be most informed, it should be none other than the one you have created.  Nevertheless, to be irreplaceable is to be different, and to be different means that one must take the initiative to dig deep for things that others may not see as important. It is your job to make the interesting important, and the important interesting. Original pieces of art attract attention, just as original and unique writing attracts a reader to want to know and read more. A generic blog post about the new iPhone 7 is not as interesting as the latest malfunction that has been found within the Galaxy 7. Don’t be generic writer, but rather, be a unique writer and write to entertain, write to capture your audience.  Following headlines is boring, every other person has done that, instead, take a unique angle on an already popular story and give it a twist.
3.       Blog Struggle vs. Blog Triumph
Blogging is a form of writing, and as any writer will know, “writers block” is a troubling and sometimes stressful form of block that can detour a writer from their ultimate vision. As a blogger, you know where you want to see your blog and how you want it to develop over time, however, “bloggers block” can sometimes distract you from your goals. The easiest way to deal with this is to continuously be watchful of what around you can be used within your blog. Whether it is a quote you recently heard or even the phone conversation the man next to you is having, if it can correlate into your blog, write it down. Once something is written down, you then have the ability to expand on that and to take the small piece of information and transform it into any direction you want it to go. Use the note pad function in your phone or carry a pad and pen on you at all times, write your thoughts and your ideas when they come to you on paper.
Creating a blog takes time and diligence, but if done correctly, you will quickly reap the rewards. By targeting the needs of your specific audience, creating quality blogs, and updating them to suit your readers, you will have a blog that catches eyes and dominates the search engines.

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Toronto Blue Jays 1978 Team Photo

ALT or Ault? Alt Attributes Are As Important As Doug Ault

If you follow @logicalmix on Twitter, you already know Logical Mix is a big fan of the Toronto Blue Jays. There was no way to avoid the SEO pun that is alt…Doug Ault.

Doug Ault hit the first home run in Toronto Blue Jays history way back in 1977, but I bet you couldn’t pick him out of this grainy 1978 team photo. Frustrating right? Think of an individual with low vision on a daily basis having to deal without being able to see the image being shown. You can hit the first SEO home run for your company and be seen (unlike Blue Jays in the team photo), by providing incredible accessibility for those with visual disadvantages at the same time.

ALT image text or ALT tags or more accurately: alt attributes allow those with a visual impairment to understand an image.

Joost de Valk is the founder and CEO of Yoast and says, “the alt tag is used by screen readers, the browsers used by blind and visually impaired people, to tell them what is on the image. The title attribute is shown as a tooltip when you hover over the element…”

Always remember, screen readers will be used for your website. Build your website to accommodate the blind. This is a win-win for all parties involved.

The beauty of helping create a more accessible website for people with blindness or low vision is getting the benefits of search engine optimization as well. As time goes on, it will become more common practice to properly label images (as it should be already).

Be a responsible web developer and design your websites with proper alt attributes. All you ever have to remember to say to yourself when publishing an image, “if I was blind, how would I want that image to read?”

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water on rocks

Blog About Needed Content

When blogging, you want to be the expert in your field. Own it!

Create content people are looking for or have a need for. If you are missing quality content to write about…avoid writing altogether and repost other peoples interesting articles.

Try searching your topics before writing. If they are already saturated with blogs, maybe rethink another strategy.

People want to be entertained and/or educated. Sometimes both. Get outside of the box if you have to.

Even though we should be taking our own advice. Blog on a schedule. Once per week, bi-weekly, per month, etc.

Write about relevant content.

Blogging can be done anywhere you want. This blog was written in the woods after working remotely around Ontario.

Remember…

Be the expert in your field!

Beer popping

NEW YEAR’S EVALUATION

Another new year is upon us. It’s the perfect time of year to reevaluate your company’s goals and marketing efforts. You should be looking introspectively at your company’s results through marketing and make changes accordingly.

Questions to ask yourself:
1) Are we meeting or have we met the sales goal we set at the beginning of the year?
2) Are we on the first page on major search engines (For keywords & key phrases relevant to our business)?
3) How can we improve our overall exposure to potential clients or prospects?

The Answers:
1) If you said “yes” to meeting your goals, keep doing what you’re doing. Don’t mess up a good thing. You may want to add to your current efforts, but certainly don’t let them interfere with what is working.
If your answer was “no”, you need to ramp up your activity to drive new business for your organization. Let’s assume you’re happy with your sales staff (if not, it’s time to increase training or let them go), here are some tips to help increase sales:
Do a PPC (Pay-Per-Click) campaign: Drive traffic to your website. Create landing pages to aid in improving search optimization and watch the leads role in for your sales team.
Create a New Website or edit old Website: Make sure it looks professional and has the right “call to action”.
Search Engine Optimize: More on this in the 2) section. Create an Email Campaign or Direct Mail campaign: These are older methods to drive leads for your business, but can sometimes work wonders.

2) With regards to getting your company’s website on the first page of Google, Bing and/or Yahoo, write down a list of 10 key words or key phrases you want your company to show up for. Think like your prospects would think for this list. Write down a list of 10 (or the relevant number) geographic locations you want to be found in, if applicable. Take those lists to an internet marketing expert who can get you to the top of those pages desired (wink, wink, Logical Mix). Items to make sure are accurate on your website are: Title Tags, Alt Image Tags, Relevant Text and the Meta Description to name a few.

3) In the case of not seeming redundant, do all of the the above and you will be well on your way to improving your overall exposure to potential clients or prospects. Take it seriously, your business depends on it.

Enjoy the holiday season, recharge the batteries and always be thinking of strategies to grow your company (because, we are).

Wishing your organization a prosperous 2015!

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