- SEO Checklist that’ll help you answer the question…”Why is my site not showing up in Google? “
With Google (and Bing) develping ever more sophisticated search algorithms, the practices that got you ranked yesterday, could get you demoted (or even blacklisted) today.
To helpout we have provided a quick checklist which describes 40 of the most common reasons that your site may not be appearing where you had hoped in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS).
- No Index
This one is more common than you might think. Often when your developer is building your new site they will tag it as “no index” which effectively tells the search engines “nothing to see here move along”. Check the code for your site using the View Source option in your browser to make sure there is no metatage saying “no index”
- rel=canonical != URL When your using canonical meta tag to tell the search engines your your website address is different than you tell the search engine you’ll probably be headed for issues. Double check these are correct and if your not ceratin ask an expert.
- Blocked by robots.txt
Most modern websites have a file called robots.txt which will provide certain instructions to Search Engines about such things as where to find a sitemap, which pages to index (or not) and which robots they want to crawl the site with. If you happen to have a disallow rule for Googlebot or Bingbot then this is the nuclear equivelant of a No Index rule. It will tell the web-crawlers from these important browsers to effectively go away, which of course they will.
- 4) Duplicate content Unique content is a must! You reuse product descriptions? You copy articles from the web? It won’t work!
- 5) Cloaking Trying to hide content? Showing different information for Google and users? You will vanish from the SERPs soon!6) Overoptimization (keyword stuffing) Stuffing keywords? Google understands your content well – you don’t need to write your keywords multiple times. 7) Spun content Do you think you will pass under Google’s radar with a couple of synonims? It’s not a good strategy in 2013! 8) Hacked You’ve been hacked? Get ready for a traffic loss from Google. 9) Advertorials In case you haven’t heard, buying advertorials is against Google rules. 10) Wrong redirections 301 redirect is the only way to do it right. Using meta refresh and other methods isn’t a good idea! y u no rank 11) Error codes Your website should have 200 code in the header. If it’s 403, 404 or other error, you won’t reach top positions! 12) Bad domain history Bought a domain? Perfect. But have you checked its backlink history? Maybe there are thousands of spammy links? 13) No Text Google likes text. It relies on text. You should have some text on all of your pages. Have we already told you about the uniqueness of the text? Get more quality content now! 14) Spammy server Bought a cheap hosting? Maybe you use free hosting? Don’t be surprised if you are in a neighbourhood of 100 websites with girls, 200 casino websites and even more prescription drugs websites. You won’t rank! 15) Slow speed Is your website sloooow? You will lose your clients AND positions! 16) Bounce rate Poor user experience? People run away from your site? Be sure the search engines will do the same. 17) No social signals No FB likes? You don’t know what Google+ is? You think only birds can tweet? Your competition will be so much better than you. 18) No images Enrich your content with images. Describe them in alt tags and your positions will get better. 19) Your content is worse than competitors You’re not alone. I bet L100 that you have tens or even hundreds of competitors. Take care of your content and make it better than others’. 20)Title The is the most important part of your website. Put your keywords in there. 21) Flash Wow! Flash sites are so cool but you block your mobile traffic and Google. Can you afford decreasing your traffic by tens of percent points? 22) MicroData Help search engines understand your content. Microdata is one way of doing it. 23) Many URLs to the same content Many URLs showing the same content? Try to fix it. If you can’t – make use of rel=canonical 24) Many domains to the same website Many domains showing the same content? Redirect them to the one you want to rank. 25) 404s You have blank pages indexed? Tell others they’re empty and show them 404 error. 26) No Links No links? Links are search engines’ fuel. Get some links now! 27) Buying Links Buying links was always a big “no-no” in Google terms. 28) Footer links You have active links in the footer? Make sure they don’t look like paid links. 29) Blog Comments You think that blog commenting is a good link-building idea? Unless you live in 2008, it’s not. It’s a good way to contact bloggers but don’t put keywords where you 30) Suspicious links Do you link to suspicious websites? It’s a bad idea. 31) Selling Links One of the basic rules – you don’t sell links at all! 32) Building links too fast OK. You’ve started your link building campaign. Make sure you delay the growth and make it look natural. 33) Overusing guest posting Guest posts are a good idea. Overusing them is not. If you plan link building, get them from various types of websites. 34) Blog networks You buy links in blog networks? Do you really think that 10 blogs on tumblr, wordpress, blogger and others is a good strategy? It won’t work! 35) Link networks Oh, Matt Cutts will shortly get to you. Have you heard about AngloRank, Ghost Rank 2.0 and other link networks? Their clients have already been punished. 5 steps left 36) Sitewide links A few sitewides will not harm you. Unfortunately, they look like bought links. If it is your main link building strategy, you are probably out of Google now. 37) Unrelated websites Google is good at categorizing websites. If they are unrelated, then your links pass little value. 38) Low quality sites Forum links, footer links, wiki links (doesn’t matter if it’s .edu or .gov.) or guest books? Google is ruthless against these tactics. 39) Internal nofollows You lose your link juice. Block the unwanted pages using noindex or robots.txt 40) Anchor rich links Most of your links have keyword-rich anchors? Have you heard about the Penguin algorithm change? If not, you will soon get into filters and lose your positions. As you can see above, Google is quite good in terms of spam recognition. Instead of looking for shortcuts, write great content and play by the Big G’s rules. Going black hat can rank you quickly but you will fall down even quicker.
- No Index
- Email Marketing 101
- Building a higher converting add to cart button
Of all the visual elements on your website, your “add-to-cart” button is one of the most important to your success. Far too often, however, it’s treated as an afterthought or something to trust your developer, which can lead to missed sales opportunities.
When you’re considering ways to improve the effectiveness of your product pages in converting browsers into buyers, then the add to cart button is one of the most fruitful places to get started. To help you draw inspiration we have provided you with an infographic from one of our preferred partners, Volusion. In this diagram they chart the findings of a survey of the top 50 ecommerce sites from around the world.Courtesy of: Volusion
- We’re growing….and need some exceptional people
We’ve got an exciting opportunity exists for a talented Freelance Web Developer to join our boutique digital agency based at the Bunbury. We are looking for a web developer to work across a variety of client projects mostly built from scratch including websites, mobile sites, apps and more.
A bit about us…
Rethink Marketing is a young, independent digitally oriented agency with a laser beam focus on delivering real outcomes to small and medium sized businesses operating in the South West. We don’t build websites, we build great online businesses with our clients.
We are highly driven, and love to work with people who are passionate about what they do.
To us it’s about doing what you do and doing it well. If you think that this is the kind of place that you could grow then keep reading.
What we are looking for is…
a wizard in HTML / CSS / JS / PHP / J query
– you demonstrate HTML5 and CSS3, responsive design skills
– you are experienced in working with WordPress and can make it dance
– you have min 1 – 2 years commercial development experience
– it would be nice if you had some exposure to developing apps for iOS and/or Android but this isn’t essential
– you utilise the latest and greatest web technologies and techniques
– you have an uncompromised attention to detail / pixel perfection
– you are able to work inhouse at agency
– you are passionate about web development
– you have great communication and team work skills
What you’ll be doing for us…
– working with our designers on assessing the development, coding, testing, implementation, deployment right through to ongoing maintenance and support of all projects from email marketing to major web projects
– keeping (both yourself, us and our customers) on top of web trends such as mobile and responsive design
– maintaining, populating and working with existing pre-developed websites and applications
What we expect from you…
– ability to manage your own time effectively and productively
– ability to work under pressure in a fast pace environment
– able to handle projects from start to finish
– produce work which is worthy of you and us
– suggest improvement and solutions for existing and new projects
– coding and deployment of all projects from email marketing to major web projects
- Adwords v. SEOGoogle have always stated that they want to give their users the best possible experience in search with the most relevant and engaging content showing up at the top of the results. What has changed recently though is the fact that much of the “relevant and engaging” content is paying to get there. Have a look at the following infographic that I recently received from Wordstream, which lays it all out …
- 10 Reasons why you need a mobile site
- The Power of the 5th “P” – People
We often hear about the Four Ps of marketing – namely Product, Price, Place (also known as Distribution) and Promotion, but its People, that can make all the difference between a good marketing strategy executed brilliantly, and a great marketing strategy which flops.
A recent article by Zeynep Ton of the Harvard Business Review, titled Retailers Should Invest More in Employees, explores the connection between customer service and low cost retailers. To summarise his findings, Zeynep found that contrary to popular thinking, low cost retailers who invested in their staff (through better conditions, better pay and very importantly better training) tended to be more profitable. That’s, right, when you spend more you can make more!
But How could that work I hear you think?
Lets start with the logitics side of things. It is your employee, not the inventory management systems that can identify and fix a messy shelf. Its the employee not the Point of Sale system that can tell when the price on something doesn’t scan up correctly and fix it. Its the employees not the rostering systems that can see there are too many customers in the cashier queue and pen an additional checkout. when you fail to invest in your human resources, you fail as a business to make the transaction as efficent for your customer and your conversion rate and profitability suffers.
The other really important area that your employees affect the success of your business is in their enteractions with customers. Happy, engaged staff are much more likley to give customers a sincere smile, answer their questions in a helpful way, or go the extra mile in helping a customer who has had a bad day, or bad experience with your business. These experiences form the foundations of real customer loyalty, brand equity and most importantly the profitability of your business.
So how can you achieve a more engaged workforce?
Put simply you need to start looking at your human capital as you would any other capital investment. Considering the return you can make on even small investments in this resource, it is often the most effective place to start investing.
- The tragedy of the abandoned shopping trolley…
Many online retailers do almost everything right but still fail to win big in world of ecommerce. To illustrate how difficult it can be I’d like to share with you the story of an online retailer who did almost everything right.
Bob, has spent many years (and many thousands of dollars) building up a solid eCommerce site, which is well designed, competitively priced, and ranked well in the search engines for his chosen keywords. He is receiving a large number of visitors, they come, they see and they put his products in their shopping cart. But sadly that is where it ends for most of them. For one reason or another 65.23% of them abandoned their shopping carts and left his store to buy elsewhere. The tradgedy through is not that they where doing this, but that he didn’t know that it was happening, or how to fix it.
In our experience, we have found several reasons why customers abandon shopping carts and the effectiveness of an ecommerce store in converting visitors to buyers (known as the conversion rate) suffers. The mind map below lays out our top 10 reasons why visitors abandon their carts, along with some important considerations when looking at improving your conversion rate.
The first step we recommend to all of our clients is to get their web analytics audited to ensure we can track ecommerce transactions, with a tool such as Google Analytics. This will help us to answer many of the what questions.
From there we need to start considering some of the “Why” questions, and qualitative tools such as 4Q survey can assist in getting feedback from the customer as to why they are visiting your store, and what their experience has been.
Have you ever left a shopping cart at the checkout? I’d be keen to know what caused you to do so, especially if I haven’t included it in the mind map below
- The $4 Million Complaint Call
At one time or another everyone of us has asked the question as to what the costs and benefits of outstanding customer service are. In other words…is it really worth it?
The following article I came across at Inc. may act as a handy reminder of the power of over servicing your customer…
In business, we’re often all about the numbers–occasionally to a fault. I’m not saying statistics and metrics aren’t useful tools. Sometimes, however, the success or failure of an enterprise comes down to individual interaction–say, a handshake or a phone call.
Let me give you a good example.
In 1995, I bootstrapped a tech company, Broadcast Software. We created digital audio and automation software for broadcast radio stations. After four years, we had 16 employees and customers in 40 countries.
But we were at a transition point. If companies need to grow or die, we were in need of a transfusion. We had grown beyond my ability to fund future growth out of my back pocket, and it was time to get outside capital. It also turned out to be time for the tech bubble to burst. Our potential funding sources instantly disappeared.
I was a hands-on CEO. I had written the original code and knew many of our customers personally. I had told my employees that the buck stopped with me, that I’d be willing to speak with any customer they couldn’t help or satisfy. If need be, they should even give out my personal number.
So when my cell phone vibrated at 2 a.m. on a Sunday morning, I recognized the 618 area as Southern Illinois. That meant the caller was Bob, a crusty old-time radio engineer and owner of a very small rural radio station near Mt. Vernon. He’d purchased one of our systems several months before and had been struggling to get it up and running.
Bob’s biggest problem was that he’d never even used a computer before. My support manager more than once had recommended that we just refund Bob’s money. But we’d marketed our products as easy to use, so we couldn’t abandon someone because they’d found otherwise.
I climbed out of bed, closed the door behind me, and spent the next two hours coaching Bob on how to configure the start-up options for Microsoft Windows. It wasn’t an issue with our software, but it was a problem for our customer, Bob–which made it our problem. At the end of the conversation, I thought we’d made a lot of progress. Bob was enthusiastic. I was hopeful.
That was the last anyone heard from Bob. He didn’t call tech support. He didn’t call me. As time passed, I wondered whether we’d actually fixed the problem or whether he’d just given up. I made a mental note to check in on him as soon as I’d figured out the bigger financial issues.
One situation was about to solve the other. Almost six months to the day after I’d hung up the phone with Bob, I received another call. The chief of engineering of a major media company informed me the company had decided to standardize on our software across its entire chain of more than 300 radio stations. It would be the biggest order in our history–more than $4 million–and would easily provide the capital we’d been needing.
The call was a complete surprise. We’d not pursued their business. In fact, it had been public knowledge that they were selecting one of our competitors. As it turned out, the reason for their mid-course change was … Bob.
That phone call with Bob saved our company. He hadn’t given up on us; he loved us. Shortly after my call with him, the same media giant made an offer he couldn’t refuse to purchase his radio station, and Bob had stayed on as a consulting engineer.
An Internal Champion
Not long after, a company meeting centered on their intentions to purchase our competitors’ products. Bob had raised his hand at the back of the room: “Have you ever heard of Broadcast Software?” he asked. He told his new colleagues the story of our phone call, and how we’d stuck with him for months even when the problems weren’t really ours. Over lunch, and then dinner, Bob sang our praises. At the end of the evening, he scribbled our website and contact info on cocktail napkin and handed it to the chief of engineering. “Check these guys out,” he said. “They’re great.”
They did, and the rest was history. Our history.
There’s a moral to the story: Every customer needs to be treated with respect, and no customer should be left dissatisfied. I’m not saying that every customer call is crucially important. But some of them certainly are–and you never know which one might be your “Bob.”
- The Chemistry of Search Engine Optimisation
I recently came across the following Periodic Table Of SEO Ranking Factors on Seach Engine Land and it appealed to the inner scientist in me. For any one else out there who enjoyed (or at least remembered) high school chemistry, take a look and let me know what you think…
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