I say be “Trumped” because for all that he did wrong in tarditional campaigning, he did Political SEO better than anyone had before.
I’ve always been a political guy. I love using technology to those political ends. Earlier this year I was able to leverage my experience in SEO, Adwords, cloud computing, data analysis and web design for a political candidate. It’s why these unique products are bundled into what I offer through Upwork. Today there is no excuse for a candidate to neglect digital media needs. Local candidates can easily benefit from a solid online presence for much less than they might think. The past experience with Brent Ackerson’s campaign was very encouraging.
I’ve started to reposition satellite sites made in March for a new project I’ll mention below. VoteLouisville.com for instance is intended to be a voter education site for anyone who wants to post I just so happen to post all of the stuff there. I have some further plans for louisvilleelection.com but those are all in my head.
All of these sites are hosted by my Google and Amazon cloud accounts, so that stuff has come in handy. I hope to attract additional campaign work if not in 2018 by 2020. I figured this new niche deserved a site so I’m working on candidateseo.com with a handful of .net names also headed there just for ease of use.
I said at the a campaign meeting that I felt radio and TV ads were as effective as yelling out a window. I still feel that way, even more so each day. In these meetings people point out I’m tech savy but others still watch TV … then I think of my 88 and 92 yr old grandparents who recently decided Netflix, Amazon and Hulu were all they needed.
My Grandmother is the idea focus for a campaign, everyone knows older people vote much more regularly and reliably than younger people. She has 29 children, grand children and great grand children. Living in half a dozen states I think now. Guess what that means…she’s on Digital mediums 29 times the amount you’d probably expect.
I’ve also explained to candidates that it is a growing trend for a voter to arrive on election day with one or two races already decided. This voter is now faced with several other races on the same ballot and will likely reach for their phone and decide who to vote for with only minutes of searching for the office or candidates. The results of these searches will ultimately decide these votes. Interestingly the money needed for Political SEO and Campaign Site Digital Marketing, creating content with the candidate amounts to a fraction of what campaigns will spend on radio.
I’ve added Candidate SEO to my domain family because I figured I needed a site as unique as this niche.
Real estate brokers say location, location, location. Did you know that first position in Google search results gets about 35% of users focus but 3rd gets some where around 7%? If one candidate SEOs their site and a negative site against the other unprepared candidate that could be the election.
I’ll be focused these next months on politics and SEO again. I’m excited that Judge Sean Delahanty has signed on board with me to help him get out his digital message. I’ve only had a couple weeks to put into this but check out his new campaign site. There is method to the madness, Ive also create a sister site that serves as a funnel or over flow thats officially the campaign committee‘s site.
Social Media – Candidate SEO – “You’re going to be popularrr”
Most of you will look at this wall of profiles and think to yourself who is ever going to go to these? If you did and you’re running for office send me an email…you need me. These sites aren’t REALLY there to be read by people. All of these sites are visited by search engines and these sites frame an image of a candidate to Google. All of these social media accounts ultimately end up at the campaign site, there is value in reaching voters … but you’ll reach voters if you are at the top of their searches.
I’ll post shortly about the positioning the sites are reaching. If you are running for office in Louisville Kentucky and looking for what you dont know you need reach out to me. Not convinced you need me? What would you say is the least important phrase for me to ranking these pages for on Google? If you aren’t thinking the candidates name you should email me. I’ll explain after the election or ya best ask in person.
Future post I’ll explain why IP based Digital Marketing is so 2001! Don’t do it…its technically and human behaviorally flawed.
Just in case anyone was worried I have not disclosed anything that someone can learn within a little bit of research concerning my candidate’s sites. All the secret sauce is still in the bottle.
Today, most people are searching on Google using a mobile device. However, our ranking systems still typically look at the desktop version of a page’s content to evaluate its relevance to the user. This can cause issues when the mobile page has less content than the desktop page because our algorithms are not evaluating the actual page that is seen by a mobile searcher.
Let me summarize this for you in plain English:
Most people are using Google on a mobile device.
Conducting mobile searches is more common than ever. Yet Google was still ranking search results by desktop page content and experience.
The disconnect here is that most are on mobile yet website owners are designing for an audience viewing desktop.
This results in bad experiences for users on unoptimized mobile pages.
And Google is all about providing the best search engine to its user base. Which is the majority of the world:
If Google didn’t make the change to rank mobile pages, there would likely be a drop in mobile users not searching with Google due to slow sites and unoptimized mobile pages.
So, they started testing the mobile-first index in 2016, where Google planned to shift its indexing to mobile pages before desktop, providing better browsing for the majority of users.
As you can imagine, this was a pretty significant shift. And, it left the industry with a lot of unanswered questions.
If your website is not optimized for mobile, you could see a drop in traffic and rankings.
Over a few days that the update was pushed live, Glenn Gabe from GSQIS started to notice fluctuations in rankings, rich snippets, and more:
This prompted tweets from Google’s Search Liaison account, confirming the updates:
So, what exactly happened here?
Websites with little content relevance were primarily affected, sending rankings for companies to either jump high or fall heavily.
Many SEO marketers suspected this update was targeted at low-quality websites.
As Glenn speculates on the “brackets” update:
“This was one of the biggest updates I’ve seen in a while. It seems Google once again improved how it assesses quality, and with Google always looking to surface the highest quality content for users, that’s a really big deal.”
However, John Mueller cleared things up during a Google Webmaster Hangout on April 6th.
He went on to explain that if your site was affected by the March 7 update, it is not an indication of a low-quality site, but more about content relevance.
Meaning your website is attempting to rank for specific queries that might not be relevant to the user clicking through to read them.
Your content has to connect the dots to search queries. Bounce rates must be reduced. Anything and everything you write and publish should be relevant to the reader.
Keyword Ranking is ultimately the goal of every SEO and Adword campaign. I was invited to an Upwork project this past week, I always like being invited and generally I try to make the project work. Someone out there noticed my efforts and wants to hear from me. It is unfortunate though when I feel I have no other choice but to decline the invite and not submit a winning contract.
A new site was seeking proposals for ranking at the top of search results using only organic search. I love a challenge but this search term was epic … Big Data. Initially I thought sure you can do it with six months to a years worth of work, a dedicated staff and a budget to grease the wheels of backlinking.
Maybe a personal interest story that resonated with the public at large concerning your keyword and how you would change society would muster up some viral shares that network news might pick up. The budget allocated was one hundred dollars.
Take a few moments before determining a keyword and check out Google Trends. You’ll gain insight into the keywords popularity. In these Google Trends graphs keep in mind 100 does not mean it was searched a hundred times, but on a scale of 0 to 100 how many people are searching for that keyword.
I realized at that moment this client hadn’t taken the time to research the current state of that keyword. Big Data is a buzz today and everyone wants to claim authority of that phrase. Even though we’re looking at Organic Search it can be useful to turn to Adwords and see what people are paying for regarding your keyword. Knowing what others are already doing is essential to understanding keyword ranking.
While Google Adwords Keyword Plan suggests the keyword has “low” competition a simple search of the keyword shows seven companies advertising under that keyword. SAS, Oracle, and Amazon are just a few actively paying for that keyword. Organic search results show IBM and Forbes ranking on the first page. These would be our competitors, I hadn’t even looked on page two. In my previous time with HP I knew they sought that keyword ranking as well…any computing company would.
Its competitive…consider the “low range” cost of that search term is $7 a click with up too a million searches a month in the United States alone. Now at $7 a click the earnings are likely much greater but how many clicks will turn into sales, and for a generic brand? Keyword Plan forecasts about 190 clicks for $110 dollars.
The client wasn’t ranking at all for this keyword, a lot of effort would be required to attain top keyword ranking. I knew that the likelihood of failure was high, the reward was low and so I declined to submit a proposal for that project. I want to maintain a high feedback score and I could see the client likely needing more resources to achieve their goal than they were willing to invest. I was surprised when I saw the project already had 15 proposals from other freelancers.
Advice I’d offer Upwork clients…It’s important to set attainable SMART goals and the best way to determine if a goal is attainable is to research it for a few minutes. There are free tools out there that can help draw the geography ahead.
Advice I’d offer to freelancers…pass on the deals that are unlikely to satisfy the client. If you do submit a proposal to a deal like the one I noted, be frank and honest about the prospect of attaining the goal. Possibly suggest an alternative keyword with similar relevance.
I’ll be watching “Big Data” and I wish the project luck.
On going collection of SEO Links including Free Tools and strategy guides. They come from a varied amount of external sources but together create an essential full picture of a site’s presence. Duplicate content, missing title tags and 404 errors beware.
If you are not already using this tool you’ve missed the first step to understanding your sites SEO status. Its essential to have this product setup. You will see what Google is pulling from your site and you can interact with the search environment by adding sitemaps as well as diagnose search issues.
Frank Abagnale depicted by Leonardo deCaprio in Catch Me If You Can speaks at Google about his life and cyber crime.
We’ve all seen the movie or at least we all should have the teen who runs away and becomes everything from an airline pilot to an ER doctor to an Asst. District Attorney all before he turns 21. He’s a cyber crime expert these days and his experience in forgery and documents is fascinatingly from the other side of most experts.
Anyone who knows me knows I love visualizations. I’ve been working on SEO strategies for a site and the beginning of any good strategy is understand the site and quality of its content. Some studies suggest 60% of people think in pictures…that is to say if I said the word “cat” some people will see a cat and some will see the letters cat. Its hard for visual people to grasp complex concepts such as “millions” its harder to produce that word in a visual way in your mind. Similarly when we think about a web site its often hard to grasp the links and relationship between a sites pages. Sure we can create a boring flow chart but it often has to be over simplified and lacks a good representation of the sites content.
Recently while working for https://pearlharbor.org I found a tool that created some really useful visualizations of the site and the sites pages with linkage between them. I believe the software limits its linkage to 10,000 which is astounding. The site offers information and Pearl Harbor tours while serving as a memorial that includes a page for all the survivors. My focus with this site is to make SEO recommendations and ensure the effective utilization of social media in improving site ranking.
The free plug for this software is Website Auditor you can use the free evaluation version for as long as you’d like, you just cant save or print anything. Its still something extraordinary for understanding a sites layout. In addition this software includes additional tools for site link building and so on.
I’m excited about my newly discovered free SEO tools. I’m going to make these images for any site I work on. While I want to improve SEO through increased authoritative external links its essential that these links land on a site that utilizes intelligent internal linkage.
There are a ton of SEO sites free tool and even more that aren’t free. Usually the free ones are just teasers for the paid tools. I’ve collected links to free tools that I have found relevance by using them. Beyond the tools to optimize a sites SEO its important to have at least a foundational understanding of what is SEO. It isn’t what it used to be, sites would simply pick the keywords they wanted to rank for and then repeat that keyword over and over sometimes at the bottom of a page or behind an image where online a search engine would find them. Keywords allowed gamification of rankings and Google stepped away from keywords focusing more on backlinks, links that pointed back to your site.
Before you jump onto these resources do spend sometime reviewing the links below. There are common mistakes and sites can be penalized for appearing to game the system. The first step to proper SEO is quality content. Fix errors and give them something of value too link too.
In order to do SEO here are some backlinks to a few sites that I’ve found useful.
I have a solid record of identifying a problem and making a solution that yields measurable results. I was recently the technology manager for a political campaign where I built a WHM/cPanel server on CentOS using Amazon Web Services to host about 14 WordPress websites. The server also provides mailing lists, a team management site, RSS feeds augmentation and its own name servers. I was able to get the server and sites built in a couple months.
I’ve managed the SEO and Adwords for these sites and have data that helps demonstrate the value I added to the organization.
I currently host all of these sites on an Amazon Web Services (AWS) EC2 server running CentOS and WHM. I also built an SQL server with large tables of voter records, city crimes, city financial payments, jail population censuses, web traffic data. This web server is integrated with Google Data Studio providing easily understood graphics. I used Google Cloud Platform for the SQL database solution.
Driving Traffic With SEO
Brentackerson.com channel results were organic and social media driven
Ackerson2018.com channel results were Adwords and paid searches
Each of these sites is intended to attract different target crowds and through SEO optimization, these sites were indexed with the keywords we needed. I’m able to see the effect of this through Google Search Console and Google Analytics.
Search Console lets us see what Google indexed
It’s important that sites remain fresh and update often. Several RSS feeds are collected into one site that then publishes posts through feeds that meet the target audience of different sites. The sites also have keyword auto linking. In the political campaign we built links for the office our candidate was seeking and links for the other candidate to a negative news site. I also posted custom content further building the content quality.
All of these sites had updated sitemaps and robots.txt files. With content that offers linked keywords tailored to the site’s audiences I were able to build on our page traffic and relevancy. Within Weeks we were a top result between the 3rd and 6th position for our competitor’s name.
I have built a network of these sites, with keywords in the domain name. This can be helpful in SEO ranking but also has been proven to increase user click rates with users in unpaid searches. Some sites have a more newspaper feel, some a magazine, others may focus on videos but all of them are meant to capture users and ultimately direct them to a site targeted to them.
Google Analytics Site Statistics Using Google Data Studio and Adwords
I’ve integrated Youtube and Facebook accounts as well as created Tumblr, Pinterest and other social media accounts that can be auto updated from the sites posts. These are intended to continue to spread the word about our site and activities. The social media links improve our ranking. These feeder sites funnel users into the campaign’s primary site.
The SEO of https://www.brentackerson.com was something I was asked to improve and through these sites and social media posts I improved its position from 63rd to 3.6 when searching the candidates name on Google in under two months. Several other keywords are now are well associated with the site. The additional targeted sites and social media accounts were essential to improving the main site’s ranking by giving me plenty of opportunity to back link to the original site.
Performance using Google Adwords. We have a highly targeted audience (one county’s primary voters) On a weekend day before 5pm 14,000 times the candidates name was displayed, 3.4% clicked the search Ads which is actually pretty good. Our Videos are viewed at 28% meaning 1,210 videos were watched. Our target was 2% CTR and 15% View Rate.
The numbers above compare the current 3 day period with the previous 3 day period.
MORE ABOUT ME:
EXPERIENCE: Prior to my current position I worked at Accenture for two years as an Instructional Designer and as a Big Data Technical Trainer for HP for two years. While I was a Help Desk Lead I was able to create a technical training program at Enova Financial.
MBA in Technology Management
MEd Instructional Design
BS Information Technology
The way your page is optimized can have a huge impact on its ability to rank.
What are On-Page Ranking Factors?
On-page ranking factors can have a big impact on your page’s ability to rank if optimized properly. The biggest on-page factors that affect search engine rankings are:
Content of Page
The content of a page is what makes it worthy of a search result position. It is what the user came to see and is thus extremely important to the search engines. As such, it is important to create good content. So what is good content? From an SEO perspective, all good content has two attributes. Good content must supply a demand and must be linkable.
Good content supplies a demand:
Just like the world’s markets, information is affected by supply and demand. The best content is that which does the best job of supplying the largest demand. It might take the form of an XKCD comic that is supplying nerd jokes to a large group of technologists or it might be a Wikipedia article that explains to the world the definition of Web 2.0. It can be a video, an image, a sound, or text, but it must supply a demand in order to be considered good content.
Good content is linkable:
From an SEO perspective, there is no difference between the best and worst content on the Internet if it is not linkable. If people can’t link to it, search engines will be very unlikely to rank it, and as a result the content won’t drive traffic to the given website. Unfortunately, this happens a lot more often than one might think. A few examples of this include: AJAX-powered image slide shows, content only accessible after logging in, and content that can’t be reproduced or shared. Content that doesn’t supply a demand or is not linkable is bad in the eyes of the search engines—and most likely some people, too.
Title tags are the second most important on-page factor for SEO, after content. You can read more information about title tags here.
Along with smart internal linking, SEOs should make sure that the category hierarchy of the given website is reflected in URLs.
The following is a good example of URL structure:
This URL clearly shows the hierarchy of the information on the page (history as it pertains to video games in the context of games in general). This information is used to determine the relevancy of a given web page by the search engines. Due to the hierarchy, the engines can deduce that the page likely doesn’t pertain to history in general but rather to that of the history of video games. This makes it an ideal candidate for search results related to video game history. All of this information can be speculated on without even needing to process the content on the page.
The following is a bad example of URL structure:
Unlike the first example, this URL does not reflect the information hierarchy of the website. Search engines can see that the given page relates to titles (/title/) and is on the IMDB domain but cannot determine what the page is about. The reference to “tt0468569” does not directly infer anything that a web surfer is likely to search for. This means that the information provided by the URL is of very little value to search engines.
URL structure is important because it helps the search engines to understand relative importance and adds a helpful relevancy metric to the given page. It is also helpful from an anchor text perspective because people are more likely to link with the relevant word or phrase if the keywords are included in the URL.
SEO Best Practice
Content pages are the meat of websites and are almost always the reason visitors come to a site. Ideal content pages should be very specific to a given topic—usually a product or an object—and be hyper-relevant.
The purpose of the given web page should be directly stated in all of the following areas:
Content of page
Image alt text
Here is an example of a well-laid-out and search engine–friendly web page. All of its on-page factors are optimized.
The content page in this figure is considered good for several reasons. First, the content itself is unique on the Internet (which makes it worthwhile for search engines to rank well) and covers a specific bit of information in a lot of depth. If a searcher had question about Super Mario World, there is a good chance, that this page would answer their query.
Aside from content, this page is laid out well. The topic of the page is stated in the title tag (Super Mario World – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia), URL (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Mario_World), the page’s content (the page heading, “Super Mario World”), and within the alt text of every image on the page.
The following example is of a poorly optimized web page. Notice how it differs from the first example.
This figure shows a less search engine–friendly example of a content page targeting the term “Super Mario World.” While the subject of the page is present in some of the important elements of the web page (title tag and images), the content is less robust than the Wikipedia example, and the relevant copy on the page is less helpful to a reader.
Notice that the description of the game is suspiciously similar to copy written by a marketing department. “Mario’s off on his biggest adventure ever, and this time he has brought a friend.” That is not the language that searchers write queries in, and it is not the type of message that is likely to answer a searcher’s query. Compare this to the first sentence of the Wikipedia example: “Super Mario World is a platform game developed and published by Nintendo as a pack–in launch title for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.”. In the poorly optimized example, all that is established by the first sentence is that someone or something called Mario is on an adventure that is bigger than his or her previous adventure (how do you quantify that?) and he or she is accompanied by an unnamed friend.
The Wikipedia example tells the reader that Super Mario World is a game developed and published by Nintendo for the gaming system Super Nintendo Entertainment System–the other example does not. Search results in both Bing and Google show the better optimized page ranking higher.
An Ideally Optimized Web Page
An ideal web page should do all of the following:
Be hyper-relevant to a specific topic (usually a product or single object)
Include subject in title tag
Include subject in URL
Include subject in image alt text
Specify subject several times throughout text content