SEO Conferences

Speed is Everything [Summary of Search]

Page loading speed has great importance with Google these days. From mobile visitors to Googlebots, every visitor will appreciate a speedy experience. Here are some ideas to keep in mind:

1. Rise of mobile

The importance of mobile can be seen in Google’s announcements the last few years. Mobile users are more impatient than ever, and Google provided stats last week regarding just how impatient mobile users are:

– The average mobile page takes 22 seconds to load, but 53% of users leave after 3 seconds!

– Even mobile landing pages in AdWords were found to take 10 seconds loading time.

There are many easy changes available for sites to make, as the answer isn’t always in purchasing a faster web server. Google’s own analysis found that simply compressing images and text can be a “game changer”—30% of pages could save more than 250KB that way.

2. Ranking factor

A few years back, Google made page speed a small ranking factor – or at least they were finally explicit about it being a ranking factor. Since page speed issues aren’t given the exposure of crawl errors and other items in Google Search Console, it can be easy to put them on the “long list” of items to fix. Its addition as a ranking factor is a great signal that this needs to be prioritized.

3. Bounce rate

Nice try, loading up your site with images that take forever to load. Unfortunately, that doesn’t increase the duration of site visits. It just makes people angry. According to Google’s analysis, every second of loading time, from 1 to 7 seconds, increases the chance of a bounce by 113%! Many SEOs believe that “engagement metrics” such as bounce rate could also be a ranking factor. And it makes sense: When Google sees a rise in organic bounce rate, they know human visitors are judging the content. How could Google not take this data into account?

4. Crawl rate

In one recent test, increasing page speed across a site dramatically increased the site’s crawl budget. Slower sites can be overwhelmed by crawl activity. But if you ever feel the need to put a crawl delay in your robots.txt, take that as a warning sign. After all, even reasonably fast sites can often need more crawl budget.

Tools and Fixes

Luckily there are remedies. Some can be quite easy, such as adding compression to your web server. Others might require a trip to Photoshop for your site’s images. However, some items will not be worth fixing. Try to concentrate on the easiest tasks first. Run an analysis of your site through these two tools and see what you need to fix:

Google’s newest tool:

Test how mobile-friendly your site is.

GTmetrix.com features include a “waterfall” showing which page items load at which stage, history, monitoring, and more.

Good luck and enjoy optimizing the speed of your site!

Summary of Search, October 2013

(Not provided)
Google recently started encrypting all searches, and is now showing “(Not provided)” in Google Analytics for most organic traffic. Some referral traffic will show up from Google.com, and is also organic traffic (But analytics cannot tell if the browser is being ultra-secure). There is no easy solution, but at the next Boulder SEO MeetUp we will be leading a presentation and discussion of alternatives.

 

Penguin Update
Around October 4th, there was an update to Google’s search algorithms. It’s being called Penguin 2.1 (or sometimes Penguin 5) and is a major update. The Penguin updates penalize “over-optimization” and “web spam”, both on websites and looking at website links.

 

What is “over-optimization?”
  • Using keywords too much in title tags and content
  • Links with anchor-text (the blue underline) focused around too few phrases
  • Anything with your site’s link profile that does not show a narural amount of diversity (duplicate pages titles, inbound links only from press release sites, etc).

 

What is “Web Spam”?
  • Link networks / schemes
  • Links from de-indexed and banned websites, including old directories, blogs & article sites.

 

While the impact is supposed to be 1% of English queries, the effect is very large considering the number of Google keyword searches!

 

The approach we recommend is:
1. Protect
Authority link building is the only protection against both negative SEO and Penguin penalties in general. Authority links are gained primarily from great content, promotion and involvement. One authority link can beat hundreds of spammy links in the algorithm of “the new Google”.

 

2. Defend
Find and remove as many unnatural links as you can manually before disavowing the rest. Watch for “Negative SEO” campaigns where an unscrupulous competitor might be creating links to your site just to penalize you!

 

3. Build
Over the long term, these strategies will also help protect from Google penalties, and are, of course, great marketing initiatives:
  • Great content: Copy writing has gone through an evolution and cheap content is not going to cut it. Could it ever though?
  • Promotion & Outreach for Social Media Marketing & Inbound Links: Since the web’s inception, much content has been posted with little regard to promotion. Social, link building, and other outreach initiatives are vital to maximize dollars spent on premium content.
  • Brand Name Searches: Google knows big brands are searched. Their “buzz” is a signal of authority, although not yet on par with link building.
  • User Engagement: Once a visitor is onsite, engage them. Keep their interest and involvement. Good design and excellent content have never been so important. Google has been watching this for some time.
  • Multi-tiered approaches: Spread marketing dollars broadly across many initiatives. It creates a variety of signals to Google that you are legit.

 

Bing
While Google+ is trying to understand social connections & influence from it’s own network, Bing is leveraging Klout. Bing has announced deeper integration with Klout and more control regarding how profiles show up.

 

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Denver SEO / Colorado SEMPO communities flourishing

Denver SEO Meetup and the Colorado working group of SEMPO have seen tremendous growth in the last year. In the ever developing world of search marketing, the meetups have become excellent resources for search marketing professionals looking to network – as well as the professional development opportunities provided by SEMPO’s excellent speakers.

Last week, our president Jim Kreinbrink spoke about “Driving traffic to your blog with SEO techniques”. It was a technical presentation that gave away many great tidbits. The audience was full of experienced search marketers, and we hoped to show the value of collaboration and community.

The previous month, two excellent PPC case studies were presented by Alex Porter from Location 3 Media. Seeing the approaches Location 3 took for two PPC campaigns, and the results attained, were very exciting.

Search marketing is growing in a recession, so expect a packed house. The focus on measurable, trackable results makes it particularly appealing to agencies and advertisers alike. All this means that the Denver search marketing coomunity will continue to grow and flourish.