Ethical SEO Consulting http://www.ethicalseoconsulting.com Tue, 19 Aug 2014 15:48:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Using Lastpass for Easy Citation Building: Local SEO http://www.ethicalseoconsulting.com/local-seo/using-lastpass-for-easy-citation-building-local-seo/ http://www.ethicalseoconsulting.com/local-seo/using-lastpass-for-easy-citation-building-local-seo/#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 16:35:50 +0000 http://ethicalseoconsulting.com/?p=7051 Building citations for local SEO is an important task that everyone involved in local SEO needs to be aware of. Not only do you need to build strong citations, you also need to make sure they’re 100% correct when you’re building them. Creating inconsistencies in the data by using incorrect information can create a real local […]

Using Lastpass for Easy Citation Building: Local SEO is a post from: Ethical SEO Consulting

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Building citations for local SEO is an important task that everyone involved in local SEO needs to be aware of. Not only do you need to build strong citations, you also need to make sure they’re 100% correct when you’re building them. Creating inconsistencies in the data by using incorrect information can create a real local ecosystem nightmare. The other major downside of building citations is just how tedious the work really is.

easy citation building for local seo with lastpass Using Lastpass for Easy Citation Building: Local SEO

Previously I used to use Roboform to expedite this process and wrote a guide about how to find and build citations on the Moz.com blog. However I have found that Lastpass is a bit easier to use and also not as bulky which is really nice. It has a simple browser plugin for all of the major internet browsers including Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer.

According to their website the product was made to “remember your passwords so that you can focus on the more important things in life.”. But the tool is much more powerful than just remembering passwords (which of course is also very handy). We can program Lastpass to autofill all of the fields we need to build citations easily and save a ton of time. 

In a nutshell all you’ll have to do is find the registration page of the citation you’re trying to build and click the proper button, give it a quick manual review, and then submit it.

The Benefits of using Lastpass for Citation Building

  • Manage multiple clients easily through the program. You can easily switch between clients and locations to add citations fast.
  • Ensure 100% NAP Consistency with little effort
  • Save a lot of time by auto filling the forms
  • Keep citation login username and password information the same across all websites
  • This can be used to add new citations or fix existing ones if you have the login information

I have outlined how you can use this method in an easy to use step by step guide below:

  1. First if you don’t already have it, start by Downloading Lastpass from their website here.
  2. Once you have downloaded the software go ahead and install it in the browsers you use most frequently.
  3. Create an account and remember your primary login information. If you want to keep everything under one account consider signing up for an enterprise account with multiple users or just use one central login for all citation building. Make sure to create the account through the software itself and not online.
  4. Once you have your account setup we can dive right into the meat of it. Start by clicking on the lastpass icon in the upper right corner of your browser and hover over the Form Fills Tab as shown below.lastpass how to start Using Lastpass for Easy Citation Building: Local SEO
  5. From the Form Fills menu select the option to Add a new Profile. You will create a new profile for each client location you want to manage through Lastpass.
  6. The first step once you get to the screen below is to fill out the profile name. I suggest naming this as something descriptive to you can easily refer to it in the future. I usually add a short business name and city for easy reference. For example if the client you’re working with is Balanced Professional Massage Therapy based out of Whittier, CA I might name it as Balanced Massage Whittier. If the client has multiple locations it gets easier to manage this way as well as you can easily see the location identifier in the drop down menu.  Next we have to fill out every field on this profile.first screen last pass Using Lastpass for Easy Citation Building: Local SEOFilling this out 100% will save lots of time so it’s important that you can get this information from the client in your client intake form. Each citation source requires different information and keeping it 100% consistent is key.

    The Personal Tab – What to Fill Out

    Title – Mr., Ms., etc.
    First Name - Use the business owners first name
    Middle Name - Use the business owners middle name
    Last Name  - Use the business owners last name
    Username - Pick a username you want to use for all of the logins. I suggest picking something unique that would not be taken so you don’t have to mess with existing username conflicts. One example might be; Blanced199245
    Gender - Yes some actually ask for this too
    Birthday - I suggest using the real birthday

  7. The next tab we have to fill out is the address tab shown below:address tab Using Lastpass for Easy Citation Building: Local SEOCompany – This will be your company name listed in your Google My Business Profile
    Address Line 1 – This is where your main address should go EXCLUDING your’e suite number
    Address Line 2 – This is where your suite or building number should go.
    Address Line 3 – This is typically not used
    City / Town – This is the city for your business NAP
    County – This is used in some sources so make sure to add your county here
    State – Your Google My Business State
    Zip – Your 5 digit zipcode
    Country – Your Country
  8. Next we can move onto the third tab, the contact tab. On this tab we only need to fill out three pieces of information typically. This will include the following:Phone Number – This is your LOCAL business phone number for this location. Not toll free or 800 number.
    Email Address – The email address you will use to register and create these citations. Many people choose to use a separate email address for citation emails to ensure their inbox does not get full of crap. More on this later.
    Fax Number – If you have an active fax number enter it here.The Contact Tab Using Lastpass for Easy Citation Building: Local SEO
  9. We can skip the bank account and credit card tabs as they’re rarely used. If you are going to engage in any paid citations though it may be worth it to fill these out.
  10. The next tab we are going to work on is the most important tab. The Custom tab. In the custom tab we can separate common citation site language and create custom auto fill fields. For example some citation sites ask what year your business was founded so I can create this field and have it auto fill. Below is a list of common custom fields I create that have made my life much easier when building manual citations. Remember to put each variant on a separate line in the “Text to Find” column. You will but the answer in the “Value to Fill Column on the right”. I have shown this in the graphic below.custom tab last pass Using Lastpass for Easy Citation Building: Local SEOBelow is a list of the fields I typically use. I have separated the “Text To Find” Options by comma. You will want to do this by line.Year Established, Founded – Put the year the business was founded in the value to fill box
    Categories, Category, Business Category – Put the primary and most common business category here
    Business Name – Just another variant of company name
    Password, Re-type Password – Enter your password you want to register your account with here
    Business Website, Website – Enter the URL of your website landing page here
    800 Phone Number, Toll Free Number – Enter your toll free 800 number if applicable here
    Business Overview, Description, Long Description – Enter the long description for your business here
    Short Description – Enter the short description for your business here
    Bio, Biography – Enter the founder’s biography here.
    Business Fax Number – Add your Business Fax Number here
  11. Now that we have all of our information entered for this location go ahead and save your profile by clicking the Save Form Fill Profile button. Keep in mind you can add any other fields that are important for your niche.

Now That We’re All Setup Let’s Go Over a Couple of Ground Rules

Adding citations is an important part of local SEO. Even though adding citations is important, it can also be dangerous if you’re creating duplicates. If you haven’t already read my guide on finding and fixing duplicate citations, do that before adding any new citations.

Before using this powerful tool create a list of the citation sources you want to submit your business to. If you’re a new business you don’t have as much to worry about as there shouldn’t be any duplicate citations that already exist.  Once you have your list read you can go ahead and get started.

Now Lets Walk Through a Simple Example

Using this new tool is easy once it’s all setup. To use it simply visit the registration page where you can add your business listing like Local.com.  Once you’re here you will notice the form of information you have to fill out.

If you click on the local link above it will open the window shown below. Once you have your browser window open you should see the red lastpass icon in the upper right corner of your browser. Click this, scroll down to form fills, and select the profile you want to build citations for. That’s it. Lastpass will automatically fill out all of these fields and you will just have to manually check them and press submit.

using last pass for local seo citation building Using Lastpass for Easy Citation Building: Local SEO

Some Important Things To Remember

This is a super powerful tool that can save a lot of time, especially if you’ve already curated your citation building list with the submit URL’s. As I mentioned above, please be careful and do your due diligence first. Ensure you are not creating a duplicate citation before you add a new one. Additionally please make sure to manually check that everything was filled out correctly. Sometimes things get misplaced or put in the wrong field. Check it out and be sure everything is legit before submitting it. Also I have seen some quirks where some submit forms don’t detect that the fields have been inputted. If you run into this simply start at the top field and hit the tab key to tab through the form. Once you get through it all fields should register.

I hope you found this guide useful and if you have any insights on how to improve this process please let me know. Additionally if you found it helpful please share it with your friends or those who might be interested in further automating their citation building process.

Using Lastpass for Easy Citation Building: Local SEO is a post from: Ethical SEO Consulting

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How to Make Contact Form 7 Contact Emails Awesome http://www.ethicalseoconsulting.com/technical/how-to-make-contact-form-7-contact-emails-awesome/ http://www.ethicalseoconsulting.com/technical/how-to-make-contact-form-7-contact-emails-awesome/#comments Fri, 01 Aug 2014 00:19:10 +0000 http://ethicalseoconsulting.com/?p=6988 Typically, I focus on how to make the front end of a contact form more attractive to visitors, focusing on conversion rate optimization and making sure it is an enticing call to action. But we often forget to consider formatting the contact form emails that are sent once we get conversions. Though this is not a ranking factor, the […]

How to Make Contact Form 7 Contact Emails Awesome is a post from: Ethical SEO Consulting

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Typically, I focus on how to make the front end of a contact form more attractive to visitors, focusing on conversion rate optimization and making sure it is an enticing call to action. But we often forget to consider formatting the contact form emails that are sent once we get conversions. Though this is not a ranking factor, the transfer of the right information needs to be handled just as smoothly as the function of the contact form. To make sending these contacts easier, I’m going to help you use the advanced functions of WordPress’s popular Contact Form 7 plugin to make your contact emails awesome.

Awesome Contact Email Recipe

Prerequisites:

  • Have Contact Form 7 Installed on WordPress.

Step 1: Make New or Choose Existing Form to Improve

Once you click on the form you would like to make awesome, go to the section where your contact email is formatted to be sent. For those of you that are unfamiliar this is the lower section and the field on the right labelled “Message Body”. The field should look something like this:

contact form 7 formatting How to Make Contact Form 7 Contact Emails Awesome

Step 2: Select HTML Formatting

Besides making sure your fields are working, this will be the most important step to formatting your emails. You must select to use the HTML functionality of the response email. If you are familiar with HTML, this will likely be a breeze. If not, it’s ok I will cover exactly what you need to do to make your form awesome!

contact form 7 html checkbox How to Make Contact Form 7 Contact Emails Awesome

Step 3: Identifying your Fields

Since everyone’s needs and business is a little different, you may have different fields than the default form. For this example, I will be using the default form. The example fields are as follows:

  • [your-name]
  • [your-subject]
  • [your-email]
  • [your-message]

These will be the fields we are formatting through html. These are the fields that are filled when the front end of the form is completed.

Step 4: Formatting The Response Fields

The way I have found it easiest for clients to read contact information is in a two column table. If you have many sections to your form, you may want to use multiple tables or use more columns. Below is my example table code for formatting the table. I will dissect each piece so you can build and modify your own form.

Message Body:
<table border=”1″ bordercolor=”#000000″ style=”background-color=”#ffffff” width=”100%” cellpadding=”2″ cellspacing=”2″>
<tbody>
<tr>
<td>Name:</td>
<td>[your-name]</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>Email:</td>
<td>[your-email]</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>Subject:</td>
<td>[your-subject]</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>Message:</td>
<td>[your-message]</td>
</tr>
</tbody>
</table>

Contact Email Result

Name: [your-name]
Email: [your-email]
Subject: [your-subject]
Message: [your-message]

Code Breakdown:

Colors are in hexcode use Colorpicker to choose other colors if you would like.

<tr> = New Row

<td> = New Column

Make a new field adding before the </tbody> tag.

<tr>
<td>New:</td>
<td>[your-new-field]</td>
</tr>

The code is built for the example form in Contact Form 7, but can be easily altered for any contact form. If you have fields that are named differently just replace my default definitions. Once you are finished with your formatting you should have a working contact from email that is formatted and all nice and tidy. Make sure to test the form to ensure it is working properly and it is displayed the way you would like.

Going the Extra Step

Being a marketer, I am always concerned with where the conversions are coming from and making sure they are qualified. Here are three ways to go just a little further with your(now formatted) contact form emails.

Add the Location of the Form in the Response

At the bottom of every form, I like to put which form the submission came from. This is a wonderful way to help track what forms are being effective for your website and what forms aren’t being seen as much.  Over time take this information and use it to further improve your website. You may be able to draw trends like fewer fields get more or less conversion, the location of the field is more effective, or even the terminology used for the page your form is displayed on is more effective on some pages than others.

Example: –This response was sent from the sidebar of www.ethicalseoconsulting.com or — This response was sent from the form on www.ethicalseoconsulting.com/our-seo-audit-process/

Make the Subject Consistent

Making the subject of your contact emails consistent can be highly beneficial for internal work. The two major benefits of making them consistent or at least partially consistent is being able to easily look them up and automatic filtering. Automation is becoming more and more popular for businesses as we continue to see more services that are affordable and easy to use. One of these is ifttt, you could actually have emails sent to a filter be created in Google docs. These are strictly for organizational purposes, but this can help be more efficient with business processes.

Subject Example: New Website Contact: [your-name]

Using the “New Website Contact” portion you can create your search parameters or filters for easy organization.

 Install Flamingo

I’m always promoting Flamingo hand in hand with Contact Form 7 because they really should be used together. Flamingo is a very lightweight CRM that captures contacts and interactions with any contact form used. Flamingo seamlessly integrates to Contact Form 7 as it is from the same developer. Using Flamingo is highly recommended so you will never lose a contact to your spam folder, and it collects your contacts for use in email marketing.

A minor note with Flamingo, to get the most out of the plugin you must use the default field names. If you don’t then the interactions will be tracked, but you will be losing the contact information from being saved as a contact.

Organization for the Win!

I hope this post helps create more organization in your business and website contacts. If you have any cool uses of Contact Form 7 or improvements you’ve made I would love to here them. If you have questions about the process, or it isn’t working for you, please comment and I will respond as quickly as possible.

How to Make Contact Form 7 Contact Emails Awesome is a post from: Ethical SEO Consulting

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July 2014 Pigeon Local Search Update Analysis http://www.ethicalseoconsulting.com/news/july-2014-local-search-update-preliminary-analysis/ http://www.ethicalseoconsulting.com/news/july-2014-local-search-update-preliminary-analysis/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 07:23:13 +0000 http://ethicalseoconsulting.com/?p=6996 **Updated 7/25/14 at 10:00AM Earlier yesterday I started to see results for a keyword I search regularly, “Denver SEO”. Typically this result only displays organic results and I haven’t seen a local result for this since September 2013 when Mike Blumenthal called out spammy queries after a major local update. Google was quick to tackle these spammy queries, […]

July 2014 Pigeon Local Search Update Analysis is a post from: Ethical SEO Consulting

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**Updated 7/25/14 at 10:00AM

Earlier yesterday I started to see results for a keyword I search regularly, “Denver SEO”. Typically this result only displays organic results and I haven’t seen a local result for this since September 2013 when Mike Blumenthal called out spammy queries after a major local update. Google was quick to tackle these spammy queries, and it’s almost been a year  now since we have seen bad results like these. However now it appears we may be seeing 2009 results all over again with the newest Google update to the local algorithm. Let me explain.

Last night there was a major Google change to the local algorithm. As I was browsing Search Engine Land I saw the article “Google Updates Local Search Algorithm With Stronger Ties To Web Search Signals” by Barry Schwartz and I knew I was about to see some major local changes. According to the article this update made local rankings “tied more closely to traditional web search ranking signals” (Search Engine Land). Since I’m heavily involved in search I started to take a deeper dive. Some of the major initial intel indicated that Realtors and DUI Lawyers disappeared from the local pack altogether and more listings outside of the cities were ranking. Here is a quick preliminary analysis of what I have seen since this update went live.

I had a chance to take some time to look at a large sample size and I am happy to say that a lot of players that don’t participate in spammy activity did win big. However, the same seems to be true for people who have participated in very shady tactics as well.

Since I work a lot in the Personal Injury field I commonly search Personal Injury keywords throughout the country. One that I keep close tabs on is “Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney”. After the update today I saw a lot of changes here. Below I have outlined some of the metrics and my analysis of what I have seen since this update.

URL Page Authority Domain Authority MozRank External Links
www.fararlawgroup.com 53 43.55 5.69 1,561
www.girardikeese.com 50.35 40.46 4.85 2,420
www.avvo.com 86.75 83.77 6.55 18,028
www.lawyers.com 89.13 86.48 6.47 68,803
www.greylaw.com 45 34.08 5.1 64

NAP Consitency Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney July 2014 Pigeon Local Search Update Analysis

A Position - Farar Law Group
Whitespark Detected Citations:
45
Quick Rundown: The Farar Law Group has been a strong organic player in the Southern California markets for the past six months or so. They never really had a local presence (especially in LA) until today. Their link profile historically shows a lot of manipulative link building although they appear to remove a lot of the links they have gotten (maybe for the residual organic benefit and to skate through un-noticed by Google). They don’t have a ton of detected citations, but it’s worth noting that their organic presence has been strong for many months now and still is today.

B Position – Labeled as: Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer (Actual Firm name is: Robert A Brenner or Brennerlaw.com)
Whitespark Detected Citations: 165
Quick Rundown: While doing a Google Search for their NAP, about 32 total results showed when quotes are used around the phone number
This law firm doesn’t even have their name listed although they show up in position B and E playing off of Avvo.com and Laywers.com as their website. I called there answering service and found that they are part of Brenner Law. Notice how their listings link to their Avvo and Lawyers.com pages. At first it seems like they don’t have a website but I found that they do. Then if you click on the listings you’re not even brought to their listings, but rather the landing pages for those cities on these powerhouse sites.

Is having this as their website giving them an additional organic boost? I haven’t tested it yet, but it’s interesting that two major sites would show up like this for a law firm. Also note how they are using the “service area” option and not displaying their address.

C Position: David N Bigelow
Whitespark Detected Citations: 90
Quick Rundown: This one is a bit perplexing. For years we have been talking about the importance of NAP consistency and how incorrect NAP is bad. This listing labeled as David N Bigelow (taken from the Google My Business Page) is actually part of the Giardi Keese Law Firm. In fact, if you Google their phone number the G+ page and branded pages (along with a bunch of citations) come up for Giardi | Keese. Giardi Keese is a legitimate and successful law firm that has had a lot of media mentions over the years. It’s interesting that the G+ page for one of their attorney’s is outranking their major brand. Especially considering it’s using the same phone number as their main established listing.

D Position: Grey Law
Whitespark Detected Citations: 148
Quick Rundown: Recently Grey Law is the only business showing in the local pack that has actually been around locally for some time. Although still rather new to the pack they have been competing here and fluctuating for months. I don’t have much to say about them as I haven’t had the time to look into it, but it’s interesting to me that they’re the only listing that kept in the local pack after this update for this keyword.

 

Now lets take a quick look at another example:

The Below Screenshot was Taken around 7/14/14

Below this search below is for “Personal Injury Attorney” that I did at a hotel in Anaheim just last week. Pay close attention to the results and city that all of the listings are from.

PI Attorney Anaheim OLD small July 2014 Pigeon Local Search Update Analysis

 

 

Below is a search for Personal Injury Attorney while in Anaheim on 7/24/14. 
Major Differences: Notice the cities. It’s not pulling listings from nearby cities as opposed to just listings within the cities of Anaheim. Additionally the local pack has changed from 7 results to 3 results.

7 24 pi attorney anaheim new July 2014 Pigeon Local Search Update Analysis

 Major Changes Overall

  • Realtors appear to be gone from local listings
  • DUI Lawyers appear to be gone from local listings
  • Virtual Offices like Regus and PMB are still in the local pack
  • I am seeing more service area businesses that did not previously exist
  • The geographic area for some searches has greatly expanded. (Although in one case all of the ranking results were on the same street).
  • Listings linked to powerful domains seem to be gaining a benefit
  • I am seeing more listings with the modifier in their name being successful
  • Found one instance where an Individual G+ page is outranking the brand pages in the attorney space.


Initial Conclusion and Questions:

Across the board I am seeing major shifts across many industries. This is going to require a lot more analysis and some of the results I am reporting above have already changed slightly.

Based on this quick analysis there are several questions that come to mind for me.

  1. How important are citations now? Does there consistency still matter as much?
  2. Does using a domain with more authority give you a bigger jump now?
  3. How has the algorithm changed with this new update?

It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few days. What have you seen here? Please email me or comment below so we can learn more about this important update.

 

 

July 2014 Pigeon Local Search Update Analysis is a post from: Ethical SEO Consulting

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Yext Duplicate Suppression Overview: Good or Bad? http://www.ethicalseoconsulting.com/local-seo/yext-duplicate-suppression-overview-local-seo/ http://www.ethicalseoconsulting.com/local-seo/yext-duplicate-suppression-overview-local-seo/#comments Sat, 12 Jul 2014 19:59:50 +0000 http://ethicalseoconsulting.com/?p=6981 Editor’s Note: This article has since been updated after speaking with Christian Ward at Yext and testing the duplicate suppression process. I will be publishing a follow up piece soon. Recently I published a post on Moz.com about how to clean up your citations and increase your local SEO presence. In this article I covered […]

Yext Duplicate Suppression Overview: Good or Bad? is a post from: Ethical SEO Consulting

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Editor’s Note: This article has since been updated after speaking with Christian Ward at Yext and testing the duplicate suppression process. I will be publishing a follow up piece soon.

Recently I published a post on Moz.com about how to clean up your citations and increase your local SEO presence. In this article I covered the importance that citations play in local SEO and the painstaking process of cleaning them up to ensure you have 100% NAP accuracy. If you didn’t know this one of the biggest mistakes people make in the local SEO game. They don’t clean up their citations. While it’s a difficult process I was surprised to learn that last month Yext introduced a citation suppression product geared towards fixing these duplicate citations. I am a Yext reseller so I talked to my rep about this product to see if it makes sense for small business owners to consider this. But first let me give you an overview of the product.

About Their Offering

Yext has been a player in the local field for quite some time now and offer a product that for about $400 – $500 a year you can pay them to create 45+ citations on some of the most important citation sources for local SEO. In addition to this they launched a new service at the end of June 2014 that helps fix an area where there service was lacking, which is fixing duplicates. Previously when you signed up for Yext it was easy for the system to create duplicates of your business listings which actually hurt your Local SEO rankings. They tried to fix this with their new service offering. On the Yext blog they launched a press release that covers the launch of their duplicate suppression program. Basically this new service will “Suppress” the duplicate listings of your business on the 45 sites they have partnership agreements with. The price runs about $500 a year for the reseller (me), which we would then of course have to mark up before selling it to our clients. But lets take a deeper dive and see if the value is there.

Is It Worth It?

In my opinion this product is worth it’s price when combined with a trained set of eyes working on the duplicate removal for you. The way that this product works is it scans for information and detects duplicates based on the values you entered into the search. While it does do a decent job at finding the duplicates the product itself does not cannot look for information that you  did not provide to it. Basically this means that it’s going to find duplicates based on your current business information but has the possibility of overlooking older phone numbers and other inaccurate information. This however is not really a criticism of the product. If they were to cast a wider net to try to find these other potential duplicates it would get a lot of wrong ones in there too. Basically the looser they make the filter, the more results it will snatch up that are potentially not yours. However if you were to conduct  a full citation audit and have an experienced professional use this tool, they could then suppress the additional listings they found using Yext’s URL submit tool.

Pros:

  • It’s fast – Although it requires human approval they claim some will be up within 24 hours.
  • When you delete citations they could come back. This helps mitigate that.
  • It has a submission tool to submit citations it did not detect (so if you found any it didn’t detect)
  • In many cases it 301 redirects the incorrect listings to the proper listings
  • It’s easy. If you like simplicity and don’t have time to mess around with this stuff it might make sense.
  • I like that they have human verification. Black hat SEO’s could use this to destroy local businesses otherwise.

Cons:

  • It still requires someone with knowledge to use this product. Ensure your local SEO provider is doing their due diligence when signing you up for this product.
  • Pricing – Its pretty expensive at $500+ a year depending on who is selling it to you.
  • On-Going: You will have to keep paying this yearly as long as you use the service.

Since Yext publicly publishes their network of sites you could just as easily spend 15 minutes a day using my tutorial searching for and cleaning up these citations yourself. Or you could pay someone to take care of it for you at a one time cost (although full disclosure I would charge more than $500 to do this). The problem with this solution is that if you do it manually they in all likelihood might come back. It’s best to check 3,6, and 9 months after you have removed them. Since Yext’s product is new I would do the same with it to ensure no duplicates are being created and not forgotten about.

Conclusion

I think this is a good choice for experts and is a very powerful product if it’s used to it’s full potential.  Paying to have listings removed or suppressed is still in it’s infancy. If publishers realize they can make money to update these listings instead of doing it on their own dime I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of these sources charging for removals in the future. Just like we have seen more citation sources charge just to have a listing, the future might include paid duplicate removals.

Review of Yext Duplicate Supression
Casey’s Review of Yext’s Duplicate Supression
Overall this product is a good choice if used properly. Make sure to hire a consultant and ensure the data cleanup is done correctly.
Yext Duplicate Supression
Date published: 07/13/2014
4 / 5 stars

Yext Duplicate Suppression Overview: Good or Bad? is a post from: Ethical SEO Consulting

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How to Add a New Google My Business Listing http://www.ethicalseoconsulting.com/local-seo/adding-google-my-business-listing/ http://www.ethicalseoconsulting.com/local-seo/adding-google-my-business-listing/#comments Thu, 12 Jun 2014 02:20:06 +0000 http://ethicalseoconsulting.com/?p=6729 If you have had any involvement in local search over the past few years you probably have heard a lot of different names for the local listings. Maybe you remember it as Google Places, maybe you called it Google Plus Local, or maybe you didn’t know what it was called. Today (June 11, 2014) I […]

How to Add a New Google My Business Listing is a post from: Ethical SEO Consulting

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If you have had any involvement in local search over the past few years you probably have heard a lot of different names for the local listings. Maybe you remember it as Google Places, maybe you called it Google Plus Local, or maybe you didn’t know what it was called.

google my business 300x42 How to Add a New Google My Business Listing

Today (June 11, 2014) I noticed on Linda’s forum, that Google rolled out the biggest local update in memory. Welcome to Google My Business. It’s time to forget all of the other names the local product used to go by. It’s now referred to as Google My Business. I dealt with many confused business owners over the past year or so that didn’t know if they should have created a Google Plus Page or a Google Places page or both. Although this has taken longer than expected Google has finally eliminated that confusion with the introduction of Google My Business and one dashboard to rule them all.

First Let’s Clear Some Things Up

While this is a new dashboard your old access URL’s including Google.com/places will now redirect you to http://google.com/business. This is the first step in the elimination of confusion.

When you pull up Google.com/Business it now presents you with two easy options including:

  1.  Sign In – For existing Places & G+ Local Customers
  2. Get on Google – For those who need to setup a new business

So one of the great things about this product is that it eliminates the confusion of where you should setup your listing.

How To Add a New Listing in Google My Business

Step 1:If you’re adding a new business Google went ahead and made it pretty easy. By clicking the “Get on Google” option it will take you to this page where you can search for your existing business:
find your business google my business 300x173 How to Add a New Google My Business Listing
Step 2: If your business is not listed simply click the “Add Your Business” link as shown in the example below:
add your business with arrow 261x300 How to Add a New Google My Business Listing
Step 3: The new interface is super simple which I really admire. If you’re not listed simply fill out the basic information about your company in the form that will pop up as shown below:
simple interface 581x1024 How to Add a New Google My Business Listing
Step 4: After submitting the information it will ask you if you’re authorized to make these changes. Please don’t spam the local ecosystem and make sure you have the proper permissions before adding this.
Step 5: Once this information is submitted it will work for a few seconds creating your listing.
creating listing 300x122 How to Add a New Google My Business Listing
Step 6:After this listing has been created it will ask you to do one of two things. You can either verify the listing through postcard just like you have always been able to do, or you can “skip and verify later”. Just like typical listings you will have to verify the listing before edits will show live on Google.
verify code 300x176 How to Add a New Google My Business Listing

This is what happens if your listing is not verified. You get this message at the top of your listing:

reason to verify 300x23 How to Add a New Google My Business Listing

Step 7: After you have completed these steps you can get to the fun and really start enhancing your listing.

Well that was easy… now what?

As you can see, setting up this new My Business listing is super straight forward. Assuming you have to verify your listing you will be in better shape once the postcard arrives (1-2 weeks typically). In the mean time you have a lot of work to do. So what should you be doing?

You need to make sure that your profile is 100% complete. I know it sounds simple but you would be shocked at how many non complete profiles I see on a daily basis. But don’t just fill everything out, use this time to make sure it looks good too. Don’t make the mistake of throwing up bad photos telling yourself you will replace them later. If you’re going to do this, make sure to do it right the first time. Having professional photos for your clients to see can help differentiate you from everyone else in your industry.

Don’t take the easy road, stick within Google’s guidelines and build an online impression that’s not just going to rank, but that’s going to convert your visitors into customers.

Stay tuned for a complete guide to your listings optimization from A to Z.

Questions? Leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you.

How to Add a New Google My Business Listing is a post from: Ethical SEO Consulting

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How to Setup Google Analytics Goal Tracking http://www.ethicalseoconsulting.com/analytics/setup-google-analytics-goal-tracking/ http://www.ethicalseoconsulting.com/analytics/setup-google-analytics-goal-tracking/#comments Thu, 05 Jun 2014 18:50:37 +0000 http://ethicalseoconsulting.com/?p=6706 Google Analytics goal tracking is a must(I would double underline if I could) if you rely on your website to generate leads. Goal tracking will help you understand where your conversions are coming from in terms of geography, source, what path to conversion. and so much more. I will be writing follow up posts on how […]

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Google Analytics goal tracking is a must(I would double underline if I could) if you rely on your website to generate leads. Goal tracking will help you understand where your conversions are coming from in terms of geography, source, what path to conversion. and so much more. I will be writing follow up posts on how to use the goal tracking to better target your marketing efforts, but for now, let’s tackle setting up goals in Google Analytics (GA).

Prerequisites for Setup

There are only two things you need to to set up goal tracking in GA:

  1. Google Analytics setup and tracking. Sign up here
  2. Some form of conversion(contact form, checkout etc.)

If you do not have these setup make sure to get them done before continuing.

1. Navigating to Your Website Goals

If you are unfamiliar with the Google Analytics dashboard follow the below steps to get to your goal setup screen. If you are already a Jedi with Google Analytics, just skip to step #2.

First, if you have multiple site,s click on the site you want to setup your goals on. After you get to the dashboard for that site, click Admin at the top of the dashboard (marked in red). Once you click, your screen should look some thing like this:setting up google analytics goal tracking How to Setup Google Analytics Goal Tracking

Once you are on the screen click on “Goals” marked in blue. Boom! Now you should be on your website’s goal page.

Google allows you to have up to 20 goals for each website. Most websites will not have that many, but if needed they can be edited or removed at any time. If you are like me and don’t have goals set up yet. click on the “+ New Goal” button at the top left of the dashboard (marked in green).

add new google analytic goals How to Setup Google Analytics Goal Tracking

At this point you are ready to decide what type of goal you need to set up.

2. What Goal Type Should I Use?

Deciding what goal you need in Google Analytics depends entirely on what you would like to track. The most common goal type is “Destination”. Below I’ve broken down what each goal type is commonly used for and how to use them to track conversions. I will be using the destination goal tracking to finish our set up, since it is the most common type.

To continue setting up your goals select “Destination”.

selecting a goal type for google analytics1 How to Setup Google Analytics Goal Tracking

Destination Goal Tracking

Most websites, including eCommerce sites, will use destination goal tracking in Google Analytics. If you have ever ordered something online you’ve probably seen a “thank you” or completed checkout page. This is a great example of destination goal tracking.

In order to set this up you will either need to create a page (if you don’t already have one) to be severed up after a user completes your conversion action. Again, this may vary from a complete checkout process to just a simple contact form that redirects to this page. For simplicity I’m just going to call this page my “thank you” page.

Once you have created your “thank you” page, make sure it IS NOT indexed in search engines and cannot be navigated to in any other way, including via your sitemap. This will affect the accuracy of your goal tracking data.

To finish your goal tracking put your “thank you” page URL into the destination field with the default selection of “equals to”. Make sure you put the entire URL if you are tracking a webpage, otherwise your goal tracking will not work. The example is below:
destination goal tracking setup1 How to Setup Google Analytics Goal Tracking
One you have entered this page and you are sure that your form or checkout redirects to it, you are done and can save your goal. However, you may notice two more options below setting the destination URL. These options are for setting a monetary fixed value per conversion, this might be used if you are only selling one product or a fixed price service. The other option is specifically for tracking a conversion funnel. If you are interested in tracking a specific path of conversion this is an option you will want to check.

**For any eCommerce websites make sure your “eCommerce tracking” is activated in the “Settings” section of  your Google Analytics view. This will be far more accurate to track your revenue being generated.

Goal Funnel Tracking

If you decided to check this option,  you should have a defined path visitors take to convert like an eCommerce checkout. Having a conversion funnel is becoming more and more common with user friendly websites. These sites are typically built to create these funnels and it is good to track them to identify if users are dropping off too quickly because the process is too long before conversion. This can be an invaluable metric for eCommerce websites. Follow the three steps below to create your conversion funnel tracking.

  1. Identify the pages in your funnel, preferably in sequential order, and copy their URLs. Again, make sure these pages are not navigable except through the funnel you have created otherwise it could cause data inaccuracies.
  2.  Take these URLs in the process and give each and easy to understand name like our example below.
  3. Input your information in the order of your goal funnel.

Your funnel set up should look something like this:

google analytics goal funnel setup How to Setup Google Analytics Goal Tracking

You may notice the “required” box to the right. This would require these steps to be completed in order to track the destination conversion. In most cases you can select this; however, if there is any way for your users to convert without going through the funnel, leave this unchecked to make sure you are tracking all conversions.

For this portion of the setup you may use full URLs or just the path. Since this can be a confusing item to setup, if you have any complications because of your website platform or URLs feel free to leave a comment and we will help you through this process.

Duration Goal Tracking

This is a good metric for a website looking to track time on site. A common implementation of this might be a social network or community website that is looking to track how long visitors are on their domain. These metrics are often important to track for advertisers and as a metric to be improved on. This is very seldom tracked for other websites because there is eventually an end all be all conversion for products and services.

Pages/Screen Per Session Goal Tracking

Tracking the pages per visit is a good metric if you are using advertising on your website and are looking for a specific amount of pages to be viewed. By setting this you can create impression analytics for your advertising and help your advertisers understand how engaged a user is on the website. You can see your average pages viewed by visitors in your main dashboard. This goal would only be set if you had a specific mark you are looking to reach per visit that would be a “conversion” for the site.

Event Goal Tracking

Event goal tracking has endless uses and can replace destination tracking in many cases. For most websites event tracking will require additional development to track specific events. If you are unfamiliar with event goal tracking consult and expert to help you create these goals. Practical uses of event tracking includes very specific user actions like playing a video on the website or downloading a document/application. This is very useful for websites who have free software downloads.

Congratulations, You’re Done!

Now that you have learned about goal tracking and hopefully successfully implemented it, you are a goal tracking Jedi. I recommended that you run a test with your goals to make sure the conversions are being tracked. A warning: this tracking will not be instant and will take at least a day to be tracked in the Google Analytics Dashboard.

To see your conversions go to the bottom left of your analytics reporting and click conversions>goals. Happy Tracking!google analytics goal tracking jedi How to Setup Google Analytics Goal Tracking

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WordPress Optimization: 10 Tips to Make Your WordPress Website Awesome http://www.ethicalseoconsulting.com/technical/wordpress-optimization-10-tips-make-wordpress-awesome/ http://www.ethicalseoconsulting.com/technical/wordpress-optimization-10-tips-make-wordpress-awesome/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 23:41:01 +0000 http://ethicalseoconsulting.com/?p=6525 WordPress is the content management system (CMS) of choice for 60.3% of websites that use a CMS, and 21.9% of all websites on the web, according to W3 Technology Surveys. Of all WordPress users 98.4% use version 3.0 or higher.  A few notable websites that use WordPress are Time Magazine, Sony Music and Coca-Cola France. […]

WordPress Optimization: 10 Tips to Make Your WordPress Website Awesome is a post from: Ethical SEO Consulting

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WordPress is the content management system (CMS) of choice for 60.3% of websites that use a CMS, and 21.9% of all websites on the web, according to W3 Technology Surveys. Of all WordPress users 98.4% use version 3.0 or higher.  A few notable websites that use WordPress are Time Magazine, Sony Music and Coca-Cola France.  These are all very popular websites that accommodate millions of visitors each year. WordPress is a open source CMS that meets the needs of both small, simple sites, and some of the most complex and high volume sites on the web.

Believe it or not, I’m not writing this to promote WordPress; if you use WordPress, you know that it pretty much speaks for itself. I want to discuss 10 items to make your WordPress website even better in terms of security, installation, and performance.

WordPress Installation

During installation you have a choice with most web hosting companies. You can either do the one-click installation (boooo!) or install WordPress the old fashion way (yayyy!). Often, choosing the “one click” install actually adds unneeded files and code to your WordPress installation. You will see a trend throughout this post which is “less is more”. In order to have the least imperfect website (the goal of technical SEO) it is critical that you take the time to install and configure your WordPress site properly.

If you’re reading this to learn how to install WordPress for your new website AWESOME! But read the security section below before finishing your installation.

One: Hosting & Domain

First you need to make sure you have your domain pointed at your hosting. This process tends to vary depending on your specific host and domain registry. I’m not going to go in-depth into this; if you need help feel free to email or call your hosting support; they are normally pretty good about getting these things squared away.

Two: Download WordPress & Upload Files

Now for the real work. Go to wordpress.org/download to get the latest version of WordPress.

Once you have the zip file downloaded, unzip the files and upload all of the files to the root of your FTP for the website you want WordPress to be installed on. Once you have your file uploaded, now you are read for your database. If you don’t know what FTP is or how to use it, continue with the steps in part two otherwise skip to part three.

Two and a Half: What is FTP

FTP is File Transfer Protocol. This is what is used to put files onto your hosting server. In many cases this information is emailed to you once signing up for hosting. If it isn’t then follow the steps below.

Find/create your FTP

Most WordPress hosts have a control panel where you will find your FTP information. However, you should know it will be a different process for hosts like GoDaddy or MediaTemple.

Log into your cPanel or hosting; it may be the same thing. Once logged in look for the icon below and click it, normally it’s under the tab “File Management”.

ftp accounts WordPress Optimization: 10 Tips to Make Your WordPress Website Awesome

Follow the steps to create a new FTP log in. Make sure that you have access to the root of the FTP and do not create a new folder for the user. I normally recommend copying your credentials because you will need this information shortly. Congratulations! You just created a FTP log in and now have your credentials.

Download an FTP Program

Once you have your FTP credentials, now you need a place to use them. I highly recommend FileZilla and I use this daily. Go ahead and download this for your system and open the application on your computer. Open FileZilla and do the following:

filezilla2 WordPress Optimization: 10 Tips to Make Your WordPress Website Awesome

And BOOM your into your FTP! Now, find the root and download the WordPress files into your website’s root. Normally the root is a file called “www” or is labeled for your domain. Once you have completed your file loading, continue to step three.

Three: Create a Database

Log into your cPanel or hosting and create a new database. Normally, you will see and icon like the one below.

sql icon WordPress Optimization: 10 Tips to Make Your WordPress Website Awesome

Click on this icon and create a new database and database user. I recommend that you use the password generator. This will not be a password you need to remember after you get it installed. Make sure you copy your FULL database name, FULL username and password. The full database name and user will look something like this:

  • DB name: mydatabaseprefix_the-database-name
  • DB username: mydatabaseprefix_my-username

The last step to doing this is to add your user to your new database. There is an option at the bottom of the MySQL page that will allow you to do this. Make sure to give all privileges to your user otherwise your install will not work at the completion of these steps.

Now that you have a database for your WordPress installation, continue to the next step.

Four: Complete your wp-config File

Please look at the below security tips before completing this step. It will help secure your WordPress installation further.

Almost there! To complete the WordPress installation process go to your files you just uploaded and find one labeled “wp-config-sample.php”. Open this file and fill out the fields below. Don’t forget to consult the security tips for table prefixes while doing this.

wp config fillout1 WordPress Optimization: 10 Tips to Make Your WordPress Website Awesome

Fill out the fields with the information you have from the database you just created. This is pretty self explanatory; however, in some cases you may need to change your DB_Host from “local host” to something else. In most cases the web host will tell you this while creating the database or when hosting is purchased in a log in email.

Five: Now for the Easy Part

Whew! Now navigate to your new website domain and follow the WordPress prompts. Again make sure to reference the security tips while doing this part of the installation.

Easily Increasing WordPress Security

An often over looked portion of the WordPress installation process are some easy security measures you can take. Making your website more secure from intrusion or hackers is always a good idea. Below are two smaller items that will help you make your WordPress installation more secure.

1)Change your Table Prefix

When you install WordPress, by default, it uses the table prefix in your database “wp_”. You can change this to any prefix. This can be a good way to organize multiple installations, but it will help secure your site by changing it to something other than the default.

wp prefix WordPress Optimization: 10 Tips to Make Your WordPress Website Awesome

The table prefixes can be found in the wp-config.php folder and is recommended for new installs. DO NOT just change the prefix in an existing installation because you will also need to change the existing installation’s table prefixes. WPbeginner has a good post on how to change existing prefixes, you can find that information here. I have used this before and had success on existing installations that use the default prefix.

2)Don’t use “admin” as a log in name

wordpress login WordPress Optimization: 10 Tips to Make Your WordPress Website AwesomeAnother way to easily increase your security is to not use or discontinue use of any WordPress users with the username “admin”. Too many times have I seen websites get hacked because they use “admin” and have a weak password. By using the username “admin” this gives a hacker half the information they need because they don’t need to find out the username, just the password. If you are using this as a log in I highly suggest making a more unique username.

WordPress is great at avoiding this because you can easily have multiple users and log ins for anyone working with the site and they can all be unique.

WordPress Usage Tips

3)Plugins: Less is More

This is easily one of my biggest pet peeves with most WordPress websites, and actually ties into the security of your website also: having too many plugins. Many web developers use plugins to give a site more functionality, but you need to weigh the benefits and detriments to having plugins. Here are the facts:

  • Site Performance: Having more plugins often increases the site speed because of the references and the often sloppy code of the plugins. In some cases, just having them active on the site increases page speed and causes site performance to suffer because they have their script or code on each page, even though it may not be in use.
  • Conflicting Code: If you have a bunch of plugins on your site that are needed, be careful. When plugins update there is a chance that they will conflict with one another. Depending on the plugin and the conflict of code this can actually break a website front end. It is best to try and minimize these conflicts for a site’s longevity.
  • Site Security: Security issues can arise from plugins, especially if you have many that are inactive on your site. There are two things to know: The first is that every plugin has access to your website or at least a portion of it, so make sure to pick trusted plugins. Second any plugins you are not actively using, get rid of. This is another potential point of intrusion if the plugin for any reason gets hacked or is used to gain access to your site. When removing plugins be very careful with any caching plugins; this point is elaborated in #4.

The bottom line of all of this is less is more. Make sure to manage your plugins carefully. I too use plugins but a good general rule is that most websites don’t need more than 10 plugins. If you have a personal blog, you should be in the single digits. I have a few of my own recommendations for plugins in the below points.

4) Caching Configure or Die

Something that is encouraged with a website is to use “caching”. Many great websites use this very effectively to decrease the site load time for a user.  Site performance is paramount for us at Ethical SEO Consulting. We like to make sure that our client’s websites aren’t just getting found but can be used as well. What many don’t understand is that you cannot simply load a caching plugin and expect a better site performance. The plugin needs to be configured for the site and the hosting.

Also, don’t just read this post and go add a caching plugin to try and configure it. Since a caching plugin is used to deliver website information faster to a browser it is normally very involved in the database. If you remove the plugin the conventional way it may cause some errors on your website. This often this depends on the host you have. Just be aware that most caching plugins have code written in your database and it is hard to just delete. Make an educated choice about adding this to your website.

5) WordPress SEO. PERIOD.

WordPress is a very SEO friendly CMS and the perfect complement is Yoast’s WordPress SEO Plugin. This is probably the “heaviest” plugin I use on websites but it is worth it. They have done an amazing job of giving WordPress websites a search engine optimization dashboard. You can easily change and preview you page titles and meta descriptions for the search engines, configure your sitemap (oh yea it generates those too) and so much more. If you fully configure this plugin your website will be extremely optimized. Obviously this can be a good amount of work because you need to configure each page. Additional features include being able to write canonical tags, redirects, access to robots.txt and .htaccess(if applicable), permalink settings, social markup and most recently, bulk changes of title and meta description via WordPress SEO. The abilities it gives you are really too much to ignore. If you aren’t using it with your WordPress, get it downloaded.

6) Contact Form Catch All

This is something that is often overlooked and I myself have made the mistake to not have a catch all to contact forms. Missing any contact because of it being caught in your SPAM folder or just not being sent to the right place is unacceptable. Your customers need to be able to communicate with your business or blog. Make sure to check your contact forms and have a catch all for your messages in the worst case.

There are a lot of addons to contact form plugins, but by far one of the best comes straight from one of the better contact form generators out there and integrates seamlessly. Flamingo is a barebones CRM and provides a catch all for any message sent through contact form 7 . Also, I know that Gravity forms uses their own database; great plugin to use as well. These are a few examples but there are many that can do the trick and make sure you are getting every message sent.

7) Comments & Spam Prevention

If you have a WordPress you can understand how unbelievable the spam can sometimes be through your comments. Personally I get tired of getting them on my own blog and I decided to change my comments out from the default WordPress comments. Below I’m going to give you the two options that you can use for WordPress comments which will reduce the amount of comment spam you recieve.

Reducing & Managing Comment Spam

The easiest way to reduce and manage your comment spam is to use Akismet. This is downloaded by default on a WordPress installation and for good reason. It helps to manage your spam. All you need to do is go and sign up(for free) with Akismet and get an API for your website. Take that API and put it into your plugin on your website you will be almost annoyingly prompted to sign up. This will delete spam comment after 30 days and allow you to quickly filter out spam comments. It isn’t perfect for catching all spam but it is a helpful tool for managing your comments.

Change out your Comments

Changing out your comment platform will reduce your spam comments to zero. I know I’m about to suggest yet another plugin for your WordPress website but there are two I have taken quite a shine to over the years. I recommend using either Diqus comments or Google + comments. These aren’t the only good plugins out there; for replacing WordPress comments you can use Facebook as well. The reason your spam goes away is because they must have an account or login to post a comment. Disqus is very easy to use and Social comment replacements are great for having users not only active on the site but on your social channels as well.

9) Internal Search

If there is one thing that isn’t great with WordPress it is the internal search. Users normally use this to help find exactly what the need from a website. For a blog the search works fine; for a business it is a good idea to upgrade to something a little more robust and effective.

To solve this problem Google’s custom search engine is probably the best solution. There are two versions of Google’s CSE; free(with ads) and paid($100/year). Who better to get search results from for a website than the company that does it best. I will probably do a follow on how to best implement this recommendation for changing your internal search, but if you follow Google’s Directions it isn’t terribly difficult.

10) Using Tag & Categories

Probably one of the most helpful portions for SEO is how to handle your tags and categories. The reason I am such an advocate for WordPress SEO as a plugin is it solved a problem we had years ago when we first started using WordPress; tags and category creating duplicate content.

WordPress Tags

If if used incorrectly tags can create crazy amounts of duplicate content and and destroy a website’s crawl budget. Having a clean and concise website to crawl is important to Google and this affects the crawl budget allocated for your website. To use tags correctly you must have structure to what you are posting. Too often are there unique tags for every post, and this leads to the post being duplicated across every unique tag with little to no unique value. For bloggers these aren’t a bad user experience in a tag cloud, but to Google’s crawl bots this can be very confusing and dilute the pages you do want ranking.

Tags on most websites should not be indexed by Google or other search engine. Make sure this is reflected in your configuration if you do not have the structure to support the tags properly for the search engine.

WordPress Categories

This is a great and wonderful way to organize your posts, however for businesses it can affect your inbound leads more than you might think. Most personal blogs will never have any issues of having categories crawled.  Reason being, they are likely not cannibalizing any terms that they may be wanting to rank for in the search engines. Check your categories and see if they are cannibalizing at all, if they are, it might be best to not index your categories via WordPress SEO.

For both the tag and category configuration this DOES NOT affect the posts being indexed, it is only the tag and category pages that are affected.

WordPress Wrap up

Whew, that was a lot of WordPress, these are tips that can help you for any WordPress website. As one of the most robust and used content management systems to use, you might as well get the most out of the platform. If you have any questions feel free to send and email over or comment on the post, I am pretty good at getting a quick response.

WordPress Optimization: 10 Tips to Make Your WordPress Website Awesome is a post from: Ethical SEO Consulting

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How to Make Removing Crappy Links Less Crappy with Buzzstream http://www.ethicalseoconsulting.com/penalties/make-removing-crappy-links-less-crappy-buzzstream/ http://www.ethicalseoconsulting.com/penalties/make-removing-crappy-links-less-crappy-buzzstream/#comments Tue, 08 Apr 2014 10:45:25 +0000 http://ethicalseoconsulting.com/?p=6457 I hate penalty recovery work. There is just something terrible about idea of spending hours in the deepest, spam riddled, corners of the web, writing emails to the poor unsuspecting people who operate these sites, and still having little confidence that any of it will make anything better for the client. It makes me angry…and […]

How to Make Removing Crappy Links Less Crappy with Buzzstream is a post from: Ethical SEO Consulting

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I hate penalty recovery work. There is just something terrible about idea of spending hours in the deepest, spam riddled, corners of the web, writing emails to the poor unsuspecting people who operate these sites, and still having little confidence that any of it will make anything better for the client. It makes me angry…and you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry:

Angry Matt1 How to Make Removing Crappy Links Less Crappy with Buzzstream

In fact, I recently went on a twitter rant about how much I hate it:

Despite my whining, it turns out that not all clients are up for creating a completely new website with entirely new content, (since just changing domains and starting with zero link authority is apparently not good enough) so, link removal I shall do!

Here’s how I recently used BuzzStream (along with some other tools) to make this task less crappy (still crappy, but less)

1. Get To Know Your Crappy Links

The first step is to identify the links that you need to remove. If you’re new to SEO this is not necessarily an easy task because many links require some link-intuition in order to properly classify. However, there are tools out there that make this task doable, even if you’re not a seasoned SEO. I endorse Link Research Tool’s Link Detox tool for the task. Also, here are some general things to look for when trying to determine whether a link needs to be removed (or, nofollowed):

  • Is it in the footer or sidebar of the site? If so, get rid of it or at least nofollow it.
  • Is it anchored in commercial anchor text? If so, get rid of it or, if it’s on a legit site, try to get the text changed to something more natural.
  • Does the linking site have any relevance to the topic of your site? If not, get rid of it.
  • Is the linking site a porn site? If so, get rid of it (and be mindful of your surroundings when researching it…)

IMPORTANT: If a lot of your bad links appear on many pages of a given site, take the time to clean up your link data so that you are only visiting each website once. In your email outreach to these sites, you can simply ask that the webmaster remove all links that point to your site from theirs. If they ask you to specify all of the pages that your link appears on, you can give them the information at that time.

So now you have a list of the URL’s that you want your link removed from. Step 2…go ID the bodies.

2. Gathering Contact Information

Using URLOpener.com, paste in your crappy links, and open those suckers up in your favorite web browser. I would recommend sticking to 50 URL’s at a time.

Now, take things one at a time. Go to the first site, and use BuzzStream’s Link Buzzmarker to add the site to your Buzzstream dashboard. There are 2 important things you’ll want to do here:

1. Get email contact information for the site:

Email Info How to Make Removing Crappy Links Less Crappy with Buzzstream

2. Tag the site with a unique ID specifically for this project (for example, “Client Name + link removal”)

Unique Tag How to Make Removing Crappy Links Less Crappy with Buzzstream

Go through all of the sites, collecting this information with the BuzzMarker. This is the most manual part of the process and will take a little time. But, sadly, it’s what Google wants; for you to spend time paying for your linky sins.

3. Create an Outreach Template

Now that you have contact information for all of the naughty sites, it’s time to craft an outreach template for removal. Here is my template:

Email Template 1024x562 How to Make Removing Crappy Links Less Crappy with Buzzstream

Some people seem to believe that it’s best to include a lot of detail in your email as to why you are requesting removal. My 2 cents…keep it short and sweet. By now, most of the webmasters are probably familiar with what you’re doing and why.

4. Email those mofos!

Almost done. Now, simply filter (in the Buzzstream dashboard) by your unique tag, select the sites, and click “Start Outreach”.

Filter and Outreach 1024x722 How to Make Removing Crappy Links Less Crappy with Buzzstream

Badabing! You have now thoroughly annoyed dozens of webmasters, and have showed Google that you are truly sorry for ever having done something so evil as scaling linkbuilding, much like what Google does with Authorship. But, you are on your way to a clean link profile and the opportunity to once again be able to compete in Google for your target keywords.

How to Make Removing Crappy Links Less Crappy with Buzzstream is a post from: Ethical SEO Consulting

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Be Great. Be Found. Giveaway http://www.ethicalseoconsulting.com/news/be-great-be-found-giveaway/ http://www.ethicalseoconsulting.com/news/be-great-be-found-giveaway/#comments Mon, 07 Apr 2014 18:33:28 +0000 http://ethicalseoconsulting.com/?p=6265 We’re Giving away a FREE SEO Website Audit + Consult! We are very excited to announce our first FREE SEO Website Audit + Consult Giveaway. We are going to give one organization or business’s website a completely free comprehensive audit and strategy to help them grow. We understand that it can be hard for some businesses […]

Be Great. Be Found. Giveaway is a post from: Ethical SEO Consulting

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We’re Giving away a FREE SEO Website Audit + Consult!

We are very excited to announce our first FREE SEO Website Audit + Consult Giveaway. We are going to give one organization or business’s website a completely free comprehensive audit and strategy to help them grow. We understand that it can be hard for some businesses to completely grasp their internet marketing. So, we decided to help one website by giving away one of our SEO audits.


What’s in the SEO Audit?

Our SEO website audit is composed of two parts: the deep technical analysis of both your onsite and offsite ranking factors, and an ongoing strategy. The audit portion is an analysis of your website, assets, link profile and overall web presence online. The strategy portion of the audit is created specifically for the unique business and industry considering your online assets. For more information on what exactly is included in the audit, follow this link for our SEO audit breakdown.

What Include the Strategy Section?

The website strategy is included to not only identify the problems or point of improvement, but also to give an actionable road map of how to fix any issues and to keep improving your website’s online presence. After all, there is no real point to having a website if no one can find it! Our strategies break the actionable items into a three month schedule so that you can better visualize and implement the suggested tactics to help meet your specific business goals.

Who can apply?

Any business, NPO, or individual with a website that they would like to make more effective! We are very pumped to have this contest open to any business or organization that has an online presence. We encourage non profit organizations, business owners and  marketing directors to apply. But we will be auditing only one website. So, if you have multiple websites, we will help you pick the site that will benefit most from our audit.

When is the Deadline?

All applications for this opportunity must be submitted by May 15th. At that time, we will be randomly picking a site. On May 16th, we will be announcing the winner.

  • All entries must apply by May 15th to be eligible to win.
  • All applicants must currently have a website.

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Be Great. Be Found. Giveaway is a post from: Ethical SEO Consulting

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Do I need an SEO? Why? http://www.ethicalseoconsulting.com/local-seo/do-i-need-an-seo-and-why/ http://www.ethicalseoconsulting.com/local-seo/do-i-need-an-seo-and-why/#comments Thu, 03 Apr 2014 10:16:57 +0000 http://ethicalseoconsulting.com/?p=6163 There is a long list of articles questioning the use of the term SEO, and more agencies dropping the letters from their own brand. So much so that you may be thinking, do I even need SEO? As part of the marketing landscape, I understand the shaky legs that one may get while taking a […]

Do I need an SEO? Why? is a post from: Ethical SEO Consulting

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There is a long list of articles questioning the use of the term SEO, and more agencies dropping the letters from their own brand. So much so that you may be thinking, do I even need SEO? As part of the marketing landscape, I understand the shaky legs that one may get while taking a look at the historic tendencies of the SEO industry as a whole, but a few facts remain that need to be considered before your throw the baby out with the bath water.

5435779605 126768dae5 m Do I need an SEO? Why?

All Signals Matter

Search engines consider a culmination of signals from across the interwebs. To neglect any of those signals is to fail at optimizing. A good SEO will understand this, and be able to harmonize the strategies needed for success in each of those unique arenas (data congruency, social media, legitimate review acquisition, and data analysis that leads to productive on-site action).

Each Aspect of Your Marketing Needs to Play Nice Together

SEOs (I really should specify by saying SEOs who are worth it) are the people in the digital marketing landscape who understand the technical complexities of each facet of a successful digital marketing campaign. And they understand this thoroughly enough to be able to strategize in a manner that allows those facets to work together. More fairly stated, they have been pushing against the guidelines long enough to actually understand them icon wink Do I need an SEO? Why?

Search Engines (Google) Drive Massive Amounts Business

Search engines are still the place that people are seeking information exactly when they want it which heightens the chance for a purchasing decision to be made if they find what they are seeking. Compare this to the intent that people are harboring when they find your brand on social media channels. In social, they are mainly looking for enriching information or entertainment, not products or services.*

*Please note that being found on social medial platforms (maybe not active on every channel, but found there) is still a trust signal and important for almost every business.

Technical Aspects Matter. Words Matter.

No matter what content you are putting out, there is a need to strategically display it. Site-structure, page attributes, and how well the words are put together still play a huge role in how clearly the material presented on your site is seen by people and SE Algorithms.

I Leave You With a Story

I had friends throughout my school years that would spend hours finding a way to cheat on a test. They would write all the needed notes in a structured format in size 4 font on a small piece of paper, wrap it around a pen, or tape it to the inside hem of their t-shirt.

I always laughed at them because by the time they had devised this plan, and printed the material, they could have just studied and actually learned the material. I remember one specific occasion when a friend was caught cheating because he blatantly forgot he was cheating. He had learned the material while building his cheat, just by typing his outline, and didn’t need to use it during the actual test. When he was walking out of the room, having completely forgotten about the sheet, it dropped to the floor and he was busted.

If you are looking for a cheat, or a quick win through SEO, please stop. Spend the time to do it right. Get all of the different aspects of your marketing efforts working together, onsite and online at large, and you will begin to realize the SEO benefits, and the brand equity, that these efforts effectively build.

Photo credit “Let Me Think About This” by Flickr User Chris Gilmore

Do I need an SEO? Why? is a post from: Ethical SEO Consulting

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