social media optimization

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!

Google Moves Against Guest Blogging – March 2014 Summary of Search

Google made two more moves against guest blogging in the last month:

1. Google penalizes a site connecting content marketers and webmasters

Content marketing is all about getting your information out to interested webmasters. Google recently penalized a site that simply connects those with content to those with websites. The content varied in form: guest posts, infographics, eBooks, etc. What was the issue exactly?! Having a meeting place to connect great content with great websites SHOULD be win-win. It’s a much better option than spam email hawking content or seeking links from any webmaster that will listen. So, is it wrong to try to connect authors and publishers? Is the editorial value of a link lessened where it was easier to connect to the webmaster?

2. Google penalizes an entire website based upon one guest post it considered off-topic

Doc Sheldon, a longtime SEO copywriter, was penalized based on a single guest post he hosted. The posting was about social media to Hispanic audiences, but aroused the interest of Google. And not in a good way. Social media marketing is closely aligned with SEO, and the penalty feels arbitrary – if not confusing. Is Google spreading Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt? Only one thing is clear: Webmasters and business owners are being held accountable 100% for the content on their own website.

So what to do?Hyper Dog Media Denver SEO

Create a content generating, curating, sharing machine. Sharing content can be a minefield these days, but a safe way forward is:

1. Post full versions of your content to your site, but also Google+, LinkedIn, and promote your content at other relevant places around the web.

2. Tag your content with rich snippets, Facebook open graph, and Twitter cards to increase it’s “sharability” and categorization.

Get a free link for your business: Would you like our monthly take on the changing world of SEO delivered to your inbox? Subscribe to the Hyper Dog Media SEO Newsletter HERE! When you subscribe, each newsletter will contain a link idea for your business!

Spam-Fighting Always Continues – December 2013 Summary of Search

Spam-Fighting Always Continues

Google’s Matt Cutts promised a month free of major updates, but added that “spam-fighting always continues.” Indeed, there were some complaints from webmasters around the 17th and 19th that could have been Google taking out another link network.

This month, Google made an example out of Rap Genius. The site was offering traffic for blog links. To participate, you had to link to their Justin Bieber page. And somehow feel good about yourself. Oh, and send them the link. Rap Genius would then tweet your link to their followers, sending traffic to your blog. Google caught wind of the link scheme, and severely punished Rap Genius in the rankings. The moral is that Google will always, usually, catch you!

So how do you invest in search engine traffic for the long term?

1. Create Content

Google wants compelling content: images, blog posts, videos, podcasts, surveys and more. Good content is long (1000 words plus for articles) and holds your visitor’s attention. Google does not want visitors leaving the site quickly (but will probably forgive if it’s an ad click!).

2. Tag Your Content

Search engines are getting better at understanding what we humans create on the internet. But communication directly with “search engine bots” has never been easier. These technologies could be better implemented on almost every website:

– Internal linking structures
– Sitemap.xml
– Title tags
– Meta descriptions
– Rich snippets

SEO Summary of Search December 2013

– Authorship

3. Get the Word Out

Content outreach and marketing has never been more important. Content today is where websites were in 1998: Many build, and then are disappointed at the results. Good content competes against a dizzying array of distractions in an always-connected world, and must be actively marketed – even AGGRESSIVELY marketed – to make an impression. Content must be spread via social media (especially Google+), and marketed specifically for links. These are “earned links” and outreach for the purpose of links wonderful way to promote your content. As a bonus, this promotion of content will also promote rankings!

Get a free link for your business: Would you like our monthly take on the changing world of SEO delivered to your inbox? Subscribe to the Hyper Dog Media SEO Newsletter HERE! When you subscribe, each newsletter will contain a link idea for your business!