Google Sitemap

As a Liverpool based SEO company, sometimes you need to get a little bit of perspective in regards to tried and tested techniques.

This week I’ve been talking to my friends over at SEO Manchester about Google Sitemaps. Is there still a value in submitting a Sitemap to Google?  In our opinion, if a site has very poor navigation and on-page SEO, submitting a Sitemap might be your only alternative. But for well optimised sites, is there a benefit in submitting a Sitemap file to Google?

Here are some important points

  • The Last modification date field in the sitemap file can aid Google in quickly locating the actual change in the page. John at Google explained that Google might not have time to crawl all the pages you said changed, so if you specify the actual change in the Sitemap file, it will be easier for Google to pick up on those changes.
  • The Priority, Change frequency is a lot like the last mod date. If you give Google data that “makes sense”, i.e. don’t list 100% of your pages as the most important page on your site, then it can be useful to Google.

Googles Advice States;

   * Yes, please send us Sitemap files, preferably sitemap.org XML files!
   * Work on good URLs & use them to double-check your site's navigation
   * Optional: Date or change frequency? depends on how you work.
   * Also optional: Priority

In conclusion, if you have good solid navigation, you may not need them. But why take the risk! Webmaster tools is an incredibly valuable tool that enables you to check any issues with each indexed page.

 

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Social Media – Who’s It For?

My SEO Manchester friends and I on occasionally, get down the pub for a few pints and go over some FAQ’s, Tips and generally talk about our industry. I thought we’d go a little social today.

The use of Social Media.

  • To connect with people. Reach the people where they are in the way they are used to.
  • Keep brand positioning. Keep brand awareness to relay offline marketing campaigns.
  • Generate more traffic for website
  • Enlarge the targeted segment. Different types of people use different types of media.
  • Increase the use experience, testing and engagement
  • Plus leverage current marketing results, get better brand awareness, get better brand management, get better user stickiness, get better quality products, get more sales.

The requirements for Social Media

  • Global means local. Because we deal with communities we need to be close to them. The communities are still local, if you want to go global, you need to be where they are an in their language.
  • Resources. Community managers need to get more focus.
  • Consistency. The effort should start and last. Be sure to keep users with your community.
  • Content. The content should get more focus and be relevant.

How you can use social media to benefit you in conjunction with or independently of your search marketing campaign?

Social media is really broad – Twitter, IM, Facebook, blogs, etc. We find the most viable part of social media is to increase your visibility, ranking, links to your site, etc.

Lets be honest, as an SEO Company we know all want you guys really want is a website that gets lots of relevant traffic. If you want a Google number one listing, the important factors are: Domain Age -  On Page Factors – links.

Links are much harder to get these days, especially with problems with getting paid links. Social media can really help you here with links, traffic, visibility, and branding.

How it  do it: create content on a section on your site, find specific communities that will react well to your topic (don’t put your political content on a dog site), and engage the people in these communities.People with blogs are looking for content and look at these communities. If you get your content on these sites, you get lots of exposure. People write about you, link to you, even talk to you outside of the web (TV, newspaper). You’re getting two types of links – community links (profiles showing what individuals voted on), and industry sites plus others that write about you. The second type usually has better visitors, and you get long-term influx of links (weeks/months).

Social Media Tips

  • Have a site that is social media friendly. Don’t plug advertising and marketing stuff. A week or so after you’re successful, then you can put advertising back on.
  • Pick communities you relate to. Research these communities, see what communities are appropriate.
  • Check what worked before. Do more research, see what was successful for others in your field.
  • Create high quality content.
  • Understand how to submit and push social campaigns.
  • Understand what to do with success.
  • Be social! Treat it like a real life social event.

 

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What do we need to think about when we hire an SEO?

SEO Liverpool have initiated pub-based discussions over the Christmas period with our SEO Manchester colleagues. A couple of days ago we got into the hiring in-house or SEO outsourcing services, and the competencies you should look out for. For example, when choosing an SEO, you might want to ask some questions like these:

* Can you show me examples of your previous work and share some success stories?
* Do you follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines?
* Do you offer any web marketing services to complement your organic search business?
* What kind of results do you expect to see, and in what timeframe?
* What’s your experience in my industry?
* How long have you been in business?

If you’re thinking about hiring an SEO, the earlier the better. A great time to hire is when you’re considering a site redesign, or planning to launch a new site.

Can’t remember anything else about that night!

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SEO Basics: What Is Link Popularity?

A recent SEO Manchester discussion on what is link popularity?

Link popularity measures the quality and quantity of links pointing to a web page. All the major engines use it, it’s considered an off-page factor and is also called “link juice” (most popular), “link pop”, “link reputation” or “link love”. Link Popularity Components

There are four main components that agencies involved offering web marketing services will openly discuss:

Link quantity: The number of links pointing to a web page.

Link quality: Quality is determined by the authority of the host sites and the sites linking to them. Quality flows from one site to the next through links. The most well known quality factor is PageRank. Page Rank is a link analysis algorithm used by Google to determine the quality factor of a page based on its inbound links.

Anchor Text: Query ranking indicator, it’s an endorsement of what’s to come. Anchor text is the clickable part of the link you see; hyperlinked keyword phrases provide additional “weight” and carry semantic value.

In a rare moment of algorithm clarity, Google states: anchor text influences the queries your site ranks for in the search results. And from Bing, an equally clear comment about anchor text: …”anchor text helps define the theme of a linked page…”. Anchor text continues to be one of, if not the strongest component of link popularity.

And last but not least the most important as stated by the top seo agencies…

Relevance: This establishes your topical/geographic neighborhood within the link graph. It is commonly accepted that links to and from topically related sites convey more authority.

For maximum algorithm influence, your linking goals should be to secure large numbers of links (quantity) from quality (PageRank) pages using keyword rich anchors (anchor text) on thematically related (relevance) authority sites/pages. I know, easier said than done right?

Yes, but definitely not impossible if you focus on using tactics that hit on each component. Right now, the best linking strategy to implement revolves around the use and promotion of content because the content influences each component of link popularity.

To rank well, build brand and drive targeted traffic, it all starts with understanding how link popularity works.

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