Campaign, Candidate And Political SEO: Optimize Or Be Trumped

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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.

Candidate SEO

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.

Position, Position, Position Its Up To Campaign SEO

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.

Sean Delahanty

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.

I dont want to give away much during a race, but when we search Sean’s name its already number one on Bing and Yahoo.  Google of course is the goal, and we are climbing … as an army of pages are indexing daily.  Last search I found 73 pages indexed for the site each with their own distinct keywords all climbing in ranking.   UPDATE:  Its 146 pages now … on one domain mind you, that started less than a month ago.  The social media presence is expansive, Ive left off some sites from this social media collage.

Social Media – Candidate SEO – “You’re going to be popularrr”

 Sean Delahanty Social Media

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.

Campaign, Candidate And Political SEO: Optimize Or Be Trumped

The post Campaign, Candidate And Political SEO: Optimize Or Be Trumped appeared first on Cloud502.
Cloud502 – Cloud502 Cloud based Data, Analytics, SEO and Hosting Solutions. Cloud502 offers data insights in Louisville, KY.

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SEO Backlinks: Guest Blogging Sites

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state-of-seo

state-of-seo

Search engine optimization is a competitive, ever-changing landscape that requires marketers to adapt fast.

Google changes its own algorithm up to 600 times every single year.

And according to Google itself, it has confirmed this in tweets, “each day, Google usually releases one or more changes…”

Keeping up with changes is extremely hard. But it’s also necessary if you want your organic traffic to be consistent and continue to improve.

You can’t be doing what worked five years ago today and expect the results to last forever.

With changes coming daily and significant updates in the works, SEO is, has and will keep changing as consumer behavior changes.

Google’s search engine is designed for the people, not for the marketers.

We can’t keyword stuff anymore and expect to rank number one.

Now meaningful experiences for users play a key role in success. Creating content that solves user problems faster and more efficiently.

As of late, Google has pumped out a few major changes to the way we conduct SEO practices in 2018 and beyond.

1. The mobile and page speed era is here

Just five years ago, mobile optimization was an afterthought.

You’d optimize your website with keyword-rich content, schema markup, and metadata.

Then, you’d dynamically update your mobile site to capture that bit of mobile traffic that needed it.

You know, the mobile-friendly crowd.

And, you’d simply repeat the process and watch the traffic flood in, mainly focusing analysis on desktop reports and rarely reviewing your mobile reports.

But times have changed.

In 2016, mobile traffic started to become a more substantial portion of the overall internet usage worldwide in comparison to desktop.

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With mobile traffic continuing to rise, it’s time to shift our perspectives from desktop first to mobile first.

And that’s exactly what Google is doing with the mobile-first index.

Zenith Media predicts that mobile traffic will account for 79% of all Internet traffic by the end of 2018.

Initially announcing the mobile-first index in November 2016, Google made it clear that mobile was dominating the search engine.

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:

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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.

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Screen Shot 2018 05 24 at 4.31.01 PM

If your website is not optimized for mobile, you could see a drop in traffic and rankings.

Just recently in March 2018, Google announced that it was “rolling out mobile-first indexing,” giving users messages in their search console to inform them:

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So, what implications does this have for you?

It means that you need to have a functioning mobile site with content that matches your desktop site.

This can be achieved with a responsive mobile site that dynamically updates content from desktop to mobile.

Or, if you’re using an m-dot site, you need to update content from your desktop to mobile manually.

If you’re using WordPress, I recommend using a plugin like WPtouch to move your site to responsive.

WPtouch allows you to transform your site into a responsive, mobile-friendly site with the click of a button:

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You can instantly edit your mobile site themes, and content will transfer dynamically as you make edits on the desktop version.

You can even create landing pages specifically for mobile within the plugin, making it great to prepare for mobile-first indexing.

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After you’ve got a responsive site setup, turn your focus to improving page speed and designing a better user experience for mobile users.

If people are bouncing from your site within seconds, Google knows that.

And trust me, it isn’t going to keep your page ranking first if the average time on site is five seconds.

That’s a clear signal that user’s problems aren’t being solved with your content or UX, making it irrelevant.

On top of that, 85% of online users won’t return to your site if they have a bad experience on mobile.

Poorly designed UX isn’t the only cause of that bad experience.

Mobile data collections show that mobile landing pages are dreadfully slow:

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In fact, they take on average 3x the best practice to load.

And these slow load times lead to hugely inflated bounce rates:

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You can’t risk a slow mobile site. Not when page speed is a mobile ranking factor now.

To keep up, eliminate heavy page elements and keep a simple design. I’ve been testing this on my mobile site with great success so far:

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I have removed big elements and compressed images to create a simple, sleek design that is easy to read and use.

Try using plain white backgrounds with black text that is big enough for mobile.

Simplicity is key. Don’t use heavy CTAs and big images that slow your site down.

Simply put:

Mobile UX and speed are crucial to success in SEO right now.

Since that was a ton of information, let’s recap:

  • Mobile-first indexing is rolling out
  • Your content on desktop should match mobile
  • Focus on improving your site speed
  • Make sure that mobile pages are fast and simple in design

Follow these steps, and you will be prepared to take on the new mobile-first index. The state of SEO is changing, and mobile is becoming king.

2. Zero-result SERPs: SERPs are changing fast

With changes to Google’s algorithm, we’ve seen massive changes to the search results page over the last decade.

Back in 2010, our search results looked like this:

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These simple results are vastly different than a given search engine results page in 2018.

Even in 2013, SERPs underwent massive changes, including different snippets, demographic categories, and social mentions:

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But now, our SERPs contain tons of new elements, like answer boxes and frequently asked questions regarding the topic you search for:

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Or detailed knowledge graphs for specific companies, displaying very complex and detailed information directly on the SERP.

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For example, with the Evernote image above, you can find its social media profile, iTunes app, and Google Play link without ever clicking on its website.

You can even find a detailed product description, screenshots, and software compatibility data directly on the graph.

There is almost no need to click on actual search results anymore.

And, we see this because of the rise in voice search and artificial intelligence (AI).

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Screen Shot 2018 05 24 at 5.01.20 PM

With voice search and AI, searchers can order goods, make suggestions, and talk about current events. Searchers are now presented with one answer.

This shift has been dramatic and often worries SEOs: will people even click on our links now?

More recently, in March 2018, Google tested zero-result SERPs, where only a single piece of information was displayed in the form of definitive answers or knowledge cards:

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To see any link-based results, you’d have to click “Show all results.”

If not, the entire Google SERP is taken up by this simple answer.

Meaning all of those standard results you’d expect when searching for the time…

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…don’t show up without the extra effort of clicking the results button.

While only limited to a select grouping of searches, it’s a telling sign that Google is consistently refining the search engine results to be less link-based and more results based.

It allows users to get answers faster than ever before without the need to read a 5,000-word article.

Instead, the most important bits of information are fetched from top content sites and utilized in the results:

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Data shows that while this test was being conducted, and many experienced the effects for a few days, most current results pages still display with the traditional ten links:

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The fact of the matter is:

SERPs are changing. Fast.

And we can’t sit back and watch our rankings dwindle down.

Instead, SEOs have to get ready for the future SERPs and how different they will likely be.

We need to start focusing on generating better content, even if it means answering the questions before users click.

Right now, try targeting keywords that don’t have rich results or knowledge cards/graphs.

Conduct simple searches on Google to see what the search results look like:

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If you notice standard results, this is a good sign that you can expect a ton of organic click traffic and these terms are likely great to target while you can.

SERPs will change over the next few years. Prepare for it while you can.

3. PageRank patent is a game changer for link building

Last month, Bill Slawski of SEO by the Sea, published an article announcing that Google had made an update to its PageRank patent.

This update to its patent describes how Google’s algorithm will affect the way websites are ranked.

The patent goes on to explain how Google will calculate link distances between authoritative websites and spam sites using a web-link graph.

Essentially, Google is creating a map of your links. Something like this.

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And, within that map, Google is looking for the shortest path to seed spam-free websites.

So, you want your link map to consist of the most authoritative, trusted domains with the shortest way to get back to your website.

Nothing new, right?

Guess again.

This update gives smaller niche websites a chance to outrank more prominent websites.

Why?

Just because you have more links, doesn’t mean you have the high-quality links.

For example, if you’re a small website competing against a Buzzfeed or Amazon for a search query, you may outrank them if your link map consists of more niche, trusted sites.

The goal is to have a reduced link graph with niche, spam-free websites linking to one another.

This is only the starting point for ranking. Google uses over 200 different factors to rank your website.

The key to ranking with Google’s PageRank is to provide relevance in links and content.

4. March 7 algorithm update: “Brackets.”

On March 7th, 2018, rankings were shifting for tons of people in the SEO community.

Just a few days later, Google confirmed the updates as a “core update” to the algorithm.

Due to the update being live in March, G-Squared Interactive coined the core update as “brackets” to reflect March Madness:

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Over a few days that the update was pushed live, Glenn Gabe from GSQIS started to notice fluctuations in rankings, rich snippets, and more:

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This prompted tweets from Google’s Search Liaison account, confirming the updates:

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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.

This update comes out just two months before Google Research’s release of  Ask The Right Questions: Active Question Reformulation with Reinforcement Learning (PDF).

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Screen Shot 2018 05 24 at 6.11.10 PM

This paper explores the machine learning algorithm that uses the Reinforcement Learning approach.

Essentially, this algorithm decides what to display in the SERPs using machine learning structured around user intent.

And, we might see Google create its own content in the SERPs soon.

Content is still king. But content for the sake of creating more isn’t.

Improving content relevance bridges the gap to user intent.

With this new update, it’s time to focus on creating more content that is useful to your readers and improving your design.

Run a basic audit of your existing content to see where you can improve it.

For example, comb through your latest blog posts and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does this provide value to the query?
  • Can I include more information that others are probably also searching for?
  • Does my content solve the problem with actionable, detailed steps and examples, or does it merely point out the problem and tell (instead of show) the fix?

If you are struggling with content ideas or ways to improve existing posts, use Google to your advantage.

Remember those question boxes I showed you earlier? These ones:

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Turn those questions into a long-form post about PPC. Take each question and use them as your H2 headers to structure an outline.

These topics are all interrelated. People want to find resources online, not a simple post that tells them how great SEO is without teaching them how to do it.

And, don’t be afraid to ask for input from your visitors. Get feedback from your visitors to gauge how they feel about your website and content.

Then, expand and improve your current content.

As for website design, you should always be assessing your landing page metrics in Google Analytics:

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Work to improve your time on site and reduce bounce rates by creating engaging content pieces.

Simplify your blog structure and website design to focus on content and usability.

And, conduct a quick SEO audit to make sure Google can crawl your content and that your content is being indexed correctly.

With this latest update, one thing is guaranteed:

Quality is more important than quantity.

5. HTTPS

The speed update isn’t the only update coming in July this year. Google announced that also in July all sites still using HTTP would be marked non-secure like this.

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And, now Google issues its final warning stating that by October 2018, all sites using HTTP will be marked with a strong red warning.

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It’s important to note that this will affect all websites that are opened using Chrome.

While this does not affect your rankings, this will eventually affect your bounce rate and the user experience.

Which, in turn, affects your rankings.

Adrienne Porter Felt, software engineer and manager on the Google Chrome Security Team, took to Twitter to share the importance of HTTPS.

She stated, “HTTPS is a foundational part of web security. It’s a grassroots effort that worked hard to get leadership support.”

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Screen Shot 2018 05 24 at 7.35.46 PM

It’s important to note that it’s not just Google pushing for the move to HTTPS.

Mozilla, inventors of Firefox, are pushing for secure Internet.

However, Bing is not on board with this…yet.

But, it’s clear, that HTTPS does affect ranking.

SEMrush proves that in recent research. They discovered that the higher position in the SERPs, the more HTTPS sites existed.

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And, Searchmetrics discovered Google is already placing higher value on HTTPS sites for specific industries.

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Luckily, there’s still time for you to migrate from HTTP to HTTPS before the launch in July.

However, before migrating, you’ll want to make sure to take the right steps. Otherwise, your organic traffic could end up like this.

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Screen Shot 2018 05 24 at 7.48.17 PM

To prevent a drop in traffic when switching from HTTP to HTTPS, review the following:

  • Make sure that all versions of your site redirect to the correct HTTPS version, including canonical tags.
  • Update all internal links pointing from HTTP to HTTPS.
  • Submit a new sitemap with the correct HTTPS link.

I’d recommend running a full SEO audit of your website before going live with HTTPS to ensure you’ve covered all your basics.

And, before you get started, get all hands on deck for any potential issues that may arise when you’re ready to go live.

Conclusion

SEO is a rewarding and frustrating marketing tactic.

When your efforts pay off, they can result in big wins for your traffic, sales and ultimately, your bottom line.

I’ve grown multiple businesses off SEO alone. But SEO is also frustrating.

With 600 algorithm changes every year, staying on top of the best practices is brutal.

What worked last year might be out of style the next.

And those tactics you just spent money investing in could be outdated by next quarter.

It’s a constant uphill battle, but staying on top of changes can produce a significant profit.

The latest updates and reports point toward a mobile shift:

The mobile-first index is rolling out, and while Google says it doesn’t directly impact rankings, we can assume that it’s highly likely to in the near future.

With zero result SERPs and voice search, we can gather that SERPs are changing fast and moving toward instant answers.

Social media is still a big player in SEO, but it’s becoming harder than ever before to stand out.

Lastly, with the latest core update, content relevance is becoming harder to make. Seek to improve your content every single day to benefit from better rankings and avoid potential drops.

SEO is changing. Keep up to date with these latest algorithm updates and reports and you will be on the right track for continued success.

What are some SEO predictions you have for the coming year?

The post The State of SEO: What the Latest Algorithm Updates and Reports Are Telling Us appeared first on Cloud502.
Cloud502 – Cloud502 Cloud based Data, Analytics, SEO and Hosting Solutions. Cloud502 offers data insights in Louisville, KY.

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When Keyword Ranking Requires A Pass

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big data

big data

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.keyword plan

keyword plan

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.

https://www.matthewleffler.com/when-you-should-find-a-new-keyword/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=when-you-should-find-a-new-keyword

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SEO Tools and Guides

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Free SEO Tools

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.

Essential SEO Tools 

Google Search Console:

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.

Google Analytics: 

Isnt Search Console enough? Absolutely not…Google Analytics provides the other half of the picture. This is an after the fact SEO tool that should be used in addition to GSC.

Additional Tools



Free SEO Tools And Guides




https://www.matthewleffler.com/seotools/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=seotools

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Fascinating Frank Abagnale: Catch Me If You Can | Talks At Google

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Cloud502

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.

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SEO Tools: Visualize Pages And Their Interrelational Linkage

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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.

internal site links visualization

internal site links visualization

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.

A website visualization for SEO purposes

A website visualization for SEO purposes

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.

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I Have To Share The SEO Love In Oahu

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How Do You SEO? A Resource For Friends

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seo guide

seo guide

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.

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Cloud502 – Cloud502 Cloud based Data, Analytics, SEO and Hosting Solutions. Cloud502 offers data insights in Louisville, KY.

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A WordPress Design, SEO and Adwords Project Completed

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WordPress, Bootstrap, CSS, HTML, AWS, Google Cloud Platform, SEO, SQL, Adwords

by Matthew Leffler

Technology

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.

 

Some of these sites include

(all WordPress):

https://www.ackerson2018.com

https://www.votelouisville.com

https://www.jeffersoncountyattorney.net

https://www.countyattorney.info

https://www.forbrent.com

https://www.brentackerson.info

https://mikeoconnell.info

https://women.forbrent.com

https://labor.forbrent.com

https://40216.forbrent.com

https://lgbtq.forbrent.com

I created the following sites for myself:

http://www.mattleffler.me (Bootstrap)

https://www.matthewleffler.com

https://www.data502.com (HTML/CSS)

https://www.cloud502.com

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.

Reporting

Google Analytics Site Statistics Using Google Data Studio and Adwords

Social Media

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.

Results

 

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.

 

EDUCATION:

 

MBA in Technology Management

MEd Instructional Design

BS Information Technology

 

I have many certifications including Security+, Project+, Network+, Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW) Professional, CIW Database, CIW JavaScript and more

 

The post A WordPress Design, SEO and Adwords Project Completed appeared first on Cloud502.
Cloud502 – Cloud502 Cloud based Data, Analytics, SEO and Hosting Solutions. Cloud502 offers data insights in Louisville, KY.

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ON-PAGE RANKING FACTORS

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source: moz.com

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.

From: A Visual Guide to Keyword Targeting & On-Page SEO

Title Tag

Title tags are the second most important on-page factor for SEO, after content. You can read more information about title tags here.

URL

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:

  • http://www.example.org/games/video-game-history

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:

  • http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0468569

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:

  • Title tag
  • URL
  • 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.

on-page-factors-good.png?mtime=20170104131419#asset:2275:url

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.

on-page-factors-poor.png?mtime=20170104131430#asset:2279:url

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
  • Provide unique content about a given subject
  • Link back to its category page
  • Link back to its subcategory page (If applicable)
  • Link back to its homepage (normally accomplished with an image link showing the website logo on the top left of a page)

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