15 SEO Exerts to Follow on Twitter

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an ever-changing psuedo-science based on confusing algorithms that are routinely updated by the omnipotent Google. Trying to stay on top of what’s new and how it effects our daily lives is a full-time job.

Thankfully, these 15 experts have made it their lifelong passion…and they regularly share what they’ve learned with the rest of us mere mortals.

  1. Matt Cutts – usually the first one to announce Google search engine updates, algorithm changes and things of the kind.
  2. Barry Schwartz – founder of Search Engine Roundtable, an influential SEO blog that’s frequently updated. His posts are brief and to-the-case so you won’t need too much time.
  3. Bill Slawski – one of the most influential SEOs in the industry who specializes in Google patents.
  4. Danny Sullivan – a major personality in SEO news industry, he’s been sharing his wisdom since 1995.
  5. Aleyda Solis – specializing in international SEO, she shares her experience very eagerly
  6. Dan Petrovic – writes brief but very practice-oriented posts and analyzes SERPs fluctuations with help of Algoroo, free service developed by his company Dejan SEO.
  7. Jon Cooper – extremely good at creative link-building with online courses for those who are not so confident in this sphere.
  8. Mark Traphagen – never misses an SEO conference and shares the knowledge he gets there with the world.
  9. Julie Joyce – one of the first female specialists in SEO, working in the industry since 2002, she has a solid technical background.
  10. Darren Rowse – a blogger by trade, but his SEO advice is really helpful and inspirational.
  11. Brian Clark – was the guru for content marketing, even before it got its name.
  12. Kristi Hines – freelancer for influential magazines such as Social Media Examiner, Search Engine Watch, Search Engine Journal, Unbounce and KISSmetrics.
  13. Mike Blumenthal – runs an advanced blog devoted to Google Places and Local Search, he clearly understands the minor differences.
  14. Tadeusz Szewczyk – an SEO who believes in direct traffic, traffic from Social Media and other referral traffic. He banned Google to see how well his blog could perform without the all-powerful, and he’s never regretted it.
  15. Robert Scoble – the best resource for recent news, changes, sensations, and development in tech world.

SEO For a Business Blog

One excellent way to increase both brand awareness and traffic to a site is deploying a business blog. It allows a company to demonstrate expertise in a field, engage existing and potential customers in thought provoking discussions and serves as an avenue for traffic to find your business website.

Probably the biggest challenge any company has with a blog is keeping it loaded with fresh content. I can say from experience, the only real way to succeed at that is to include blogging in employee job descriptions. Make sure they are not only responsible for producing content, but are also incentivized to produce a lot of (good) content.

Once you’ve taken that approach…BAM!…you have your content and everything should be looking up.

However, an equally challenging aspect of successful blogging is getting traffic. And that means being search engine optimized (SEO) with bait that Google should be eager to gobble up.

Here’s a couple quick tips and tricks that will help you optimize your business blog for search:

1. Don’t Forget Keywords

This is the first failure point of a business blog. Everyone is so happy to have content, they forget to include appropriate keywords, and every post is an opportunity to get noticed by Google for a new group of keywords.

Choosing the right keywords could be a whole discussion unto itself, but the easiest way to approach this is thinking long-tail. Long-tail means using keywords and keyword phrases that are less vague and more specific. For example, if I am a law office, I will get more (ready to convert) traffic if I utilize keyword phrases like “choosing a family lawyer” or “family law legal services.”   While this approach may bring in less traffic in general, the traffic I do get will be looking for a family law firm–my area of expertise.

2. Backlinks – the Seal of Approval

Google loves backlinks. It’s like people writing a letter of recommendation for your site and having a whole bunch of high quality, relevant sites linking back to your page telling Google that your blog is also high quality. The key here is, high quality. You don’t want miscellaneous and irrelevant sites linking to your blog. You want, as the saying goes, “to marry up.”

One way to easily accomplish this backlink challenge is to visit relevant blogs and websites and post something in their forum or comments section. Make sure you can include a link to your blog, and make sure to post a useful comment. If you just write any old thing or post garbage your comment will most likely never get approved or caught up in a comment filter (like the one used on this site).

3. Include the Social Buttons

Don’t forget to include the Facebook and Twitter buttons. It makes it super easy for people to share (or like) your page and those links from Facebook back to your site actually play a big role in how sites are prioritized by Google.

Make sure to read up on how to write posts that get noticed…and shared. Here are a couple resources on that topic:

The Key to Writing Blog Posts That Get Noticed

5 Tips to Write Blog Posts

4. Design with Clicks in Mind

People don’t think the design of their site will have a direct impact on SEO, but it does. Multi-layer sites with deep dig navigation are going to perform much worse than sites where content is limited to three levels or less. Always think of the 3 click rule — from the home page it should be 3 clicks or less to get to the lowest content. It is also extremely important to use a lot of internal links, that is, links to other pages within your site. This not only creates a better customer experience, as they can easily navigate to additional relevant information or similar topics, but it helps Google find pages on your site that might have been overlooked.

5. Clean House and Keep it Clean

Never post duplicate content on your blog. When your site has duplicate content there’s a giant risk that Google may not only display one page of similar content, but might even skip your content altogether. For best results, rewrite duplicate content to make pages truly different from each other. And keep it that way. Always.

6. Don’t Worry…Be Happy

If you are reading this before starting a business blog, you’re in a good position. Follow these tips and you will be on good footing for business blogging success.

If you already have a blog, and it has a ton of content, then you have some work ahead of you. Take it a day at a time as it’s just not possible to employ all of these tactics at once. Start with step #5 and work backwards. Clean up the duplicates, redesign and get those social buttons on there. Then, if it’s feasible, edit your content for proper keyword placement.

Following these tips for your business blog will take time and some concentrated effort, but if you include SEO in your overall blogging strategy it’ll become second nature after awhile. Plus, you should soon see a jump in traffic from Google (or the other search engines).

SEO Strategy Development – Determining the Target Audience

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results. In general, the higher a webpage is ranked on the search engine results page (SERP), and more frequently a site appears, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image, local, video, academic, news and industry-specific vertical search engines.

As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines, and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience. Optimizing a website will most likely entail editing content, HTML and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines. Optimizing also involves incorporating elements from the overall digital marketing strategy to take advantage of social awareness, develop inbound linking strategy, and/or to create topic relevance and authority.

In order to develop a comprehensive SEO strategy, one needs to do a lot of homework, and it isn’t all just keyword research. It’s also extremely important to take time to know and understand a site’s target audience.

TARGET AUDIENCE ANALYSIS

Many times SEO consultants or agencies will jump right into Google Analytics or Google Adwords and start throwing together list of keywords without taking the time to either reconfirm or develop a target audience profile. I personally think this is a flawed approach. Understanding a site’s audience is probably one of the most important things that can be done to develop a targeted and successful SEO strategy.

Knowing the audience means not only being able to predict their search patterns, but capitalizing on all of the ways they can be reached through digital marketing. And many of those mediums will need to be optimized for effectiveness as well (i.e., social media, affiliate marketing, online advertising).

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Google Maps Goes Indoors – Will This Impact Local SEO?

Google has announced that they have begun mapping indoor spaces, namely places like airports and malls. Starting this past Tuesday (November 29th) indoor mapping is available in the palm of your hands, helping you, as Google says, “determine where you are, what floor you’re on, and where to go indoors.”

Check out their promotional video:

To make this happen, Google has partnered with some of the largest retailers, airports and transit stations in the United States and Japan. You can see the full list of partners on their help center. At present, it includes nearly 20 airports, as well as several Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Home Depots and Ikeas around the USA. Shopping malls that are currently participating include the Mall of America in Minnesota, Vallco Shopping mall in Cupertino, CA and Eagle Rock Plaza in Los Angeles, CA.

Google is also encouraging people to upload floor plans of their buildings and locations, and that raises the question:

Will businesses that participate in the indoor mapping project get a foot up in search engine optimization (SEO), especially when it come to business listings in Google Places?

Ranking well for local queries is essential for local businesses to gain an advantage over competitors. As more and more people are turning to the web to shop locally, and using mobile devices to do so, it seems inevitable that inclusion in the indoor mapping project would contribute to an advantageous placement during local searches.

After all, it strengthens the accuracy of information about a particular business (and it’s exact location) and Google has always said that the most important thing for them is providing relevant and accurate data. That is, in theory, what the tweaking of their algorithms has always sought to do…to create the most relevant search matches.

So, while it is cool that you can find your way around an airport without having to find a directory, as a marketer and business consultant, I plan to advise clients located in malls or airports, or who have multiple floors in large buildings, to participate as soon as possible. It just might be the extra thing that puts you a notch above your competitors. And for companies, organizations or universities with sprawling campuses, I can’t imagine they wouldn’t be chomping at the bit to get involved…the advantages of participating are practically innumerable!

There’s still plenty of time though. It’s still the early stages. Indoor mapping is an exclusive service for Android operating systems.

But it’s only a matter of time before iPhone users will have access too.

And we all know…this is going to be big!

Why & How to SEO Your Resume

Did you know that in a majority of cases where you are applying for a job online that your resume is being stored into a searchable database…and it’s not being sent to a human being for perusal? That’s right. Things are different now. Instead of sifting through hundreds or thousands of resumes, recruiters search the database…for relevant keywords…and pluck out the best matches. They are keyword searching resumes.

Just the same as how you use Google to find a website, recruiters are using search tools to find the most qualified applicants in their database. What that could mean for you is lost opportunities, even if you have a great resume, excellence skills, and the exact experience they are seeking. You still run the risk of failing to float to the top of the pile.

While search engine optimizing (SEO) your resume is easy, it’s not as simple as loading it up with a whole bunch of keywords from the job description. There’s a big difference between general search engines and specialized search engines. What recruiters use on the backend of applications like Oracle’s PeopleSoft Enterprise Human Resources or SaaS solutions like Taleo is a specialized search engine, and specialized search engines look for keywords that show up in the right places…not just anywhere.

Think of it this way: If a recruiter is looking for an experienced marketing professional, she is probably going to search the pool of resumes for something like “Marketing Director.” The results will include those resumes where “marketing” and “director” appear in job titles for recently held positions. Resumes where both words appear, but are not together or in job titles, are not going to end up in top search results.

What that means is, optimizing your resume for searches is not about throwing in every keyword you can think of, but about creating relevant copy, with relevant keywords, that address relevant experience. It goes back to the golden rule of SEO, whether for a website or a resume, Relevancy Is King. If you use applicable keywords in a relevant fashion, there’s no reason why your resume shouldn’t pop to the top.

Therefore, selecting keywords is extremely important, and rewriting your resume to be more applicable to each job or job type is assuredly de rigueur.

If you are submitting your resume as a PDF there’s an additional step you can take to optimize for SEO and it’s making sure not to overlook the file’s metadata.

Metadata is just another way to say “descriptive” data that is embedded into the file that helps explain the contents further for proper classification. It’s not unlike the cataloging data used in your college library that allowed you to easily find Plato’s Republic for your poli sci term paper (is that an exaggerated example or what?!), comprised of author’s name, book title, subject matter and synopsis.

You can easily add metadata to your resume PDF.

Go to File > Properties and fill in the following fields:

  1. Title – This could be the single most important element of your PDF document properties. In almost every case, the title is used on the search engine results page. If you don’t write a title the file name is used by default, and that isn’t going to make anyone very interested in you. 
  2. Author – You can use your name here. 
  3. Subject – The subject serves as the meta description for your PDF document. This is the second most important element. Write something that is relevant and descriptive. Use your keywords, but do over do it.
  4. Keywords –  Use your relevant keywords here. Filling this space up with all sorts of trash is only going to hurt you.
There is an Additional Metadata button, but it really just allows you the opportunity to enter copyright information. That is not necessary when it comes to a resume.
I hope that helps. Don’t forget the golden rule of SEO (see above if you have already) and happy job hunting.