Archiv für den Autor: Andreas

14 ranking signals you need to optimize for in 2019

SEO spy glass tool

It’s a well-known fact that there are over 200 ranking signals used by Google. And every year it keeps on tweaking and refining its algorithm introducing new ranking signals and changing priorities.

I know that the idea of having to optimize for all of them will probably make you shiver with horror. The good news is there are not so many ranking signals optimizing for which is simply a must.

Please note: in the light of mobile-first indexing, according to which mobile websites are being indexed in the first place, it’s most important that mobile sites are optimized for the below listed ranking signals.

So, without further ado, here is the list of the most important ranking factors for you to dominate search in 2019.

Relevance

I guess it’s more than obvious for any SEOs out there that Google is going nuts about getting into people’s heads and providing them with the most relevant search results. Now that we live in the age of semantic search, Google aims to figure out the meaning behind a certain search query to provide the most precise search results. Besides, Google also considers such factors as users‘ search patterns, search history, location, and time.

  1. Accordance to search intent

Of course, when searching for something, users have certain intents in mind. And Google’s ultimate task is trying to figure them out in order to supply users with the most relevant search results on the top positions. Ranking-wise, the more relevant your page is to a certain query, the higher position it gets in the SERPs. What’s more, satisfying search intent almost always results in high CTR.

If you want to understand what search intents hide behind your keywords, consider experimenting with various queries. After typing them in the search box, have a look at the first result pages and try to figure out their search intent. If you see that some of your pages don’t really match the designed search intent, it may signify that these are not the right pages to be optimized for such keywords. So, if that’s the case, consider finding corresponding pages and adding more relevant content to them or creating some new ones that would be relevant to the implied search intent.

  1. CTR

CTR is one of the strongest relevance signals for Google. And there’s no doubt CTR has high correlation with rankings as an increase in CTR almost every time entails a significant ranking boost.

If you want to get an idea of what people tend to click on the SERPs to reach your site, you can use Google Search Console’s Search Analytics report. Pay your special attention to pages that rank high but have low CTR. It may be a flagger that your title tags or meta descriptions are not relevant enough and need to be worked on. To understand where you stand with your CTR, have a look at this summary of CTR data sorted by position in Google search.

Content

If there’s anything I know for sure, rankings and content have always belonged together. Basically, your content is the very reason for people visiting your site. What’s more, Google has rolled out Panda and Fred updates aiming to make the web more helpful and beneficial content-wise. However, even well-written content pages are not always enough. With Google constantly raising its standards, your piece of content should also satisfy the below listed ranking factors.

  1. Keywords on your page

In 2019 keywords in the title tag still remain a powerful ranking signal as this is one of the ways Google decides whether your page is relevant to a given query or not. What’s more, the closer your keywords are to the beginning of the title, the better. And of course, your most important keywords should be present in the page’s body, alt texts, and H1 tag. But please make sure that you’re not overusing them because you don’t want to be penalized for keyword stuffing, do you?

Of course, except from your main keywords, you need to be optimized for some related terms that would accompany them. Just in case you still haven’t collected such keywords, here are some advice on how to nail keyword research these days.

  1. Comprehensiveness

As I’ve mentioned before, Google is going nuts about improving the quality of search. With Hummingbird, Google now prioritizes pages that match the meaning of the query rather than separate keywords. That is why you need to aim not for just filling your piece of content with keywords but for making it as comprehensive as you can.

In order to optimize your content for comprehensiveness, consider using TF-IDF analysis, which can help to calculate how frequent certain keywords are used on your competitors‘ pages. By doing this, you can get lots of relevant terms and concepts used by your top-ranking competitors. Luckily, there are now plenty of tools that have TF-IDF analysis in them. By the way, here is a nice guide for you on how to improve your content’s comprehensiveness with the help of TF-IDF.

  1. Grammar

Publishing mistake-free content is yet another signal to Google that content is of good quality. There’s not much to say there. Just make sure you proofread your piece of content before publishing it or use online grammar checkers like Grammarly.

  1. Well-structured HTML

By organizing your HTML markup in a clear way, you make it much easier for the search engines to understand what your content is actually about. Yes, search engines still rely on HTML structure and its semantic markup. So, no matter how cool your content is, if your page has messy HTML, peaky search engine spiders may think it’s of bad quality and down-rank it. Luckily, there is now a whole variety of plugins (including WordPress‘ ones) that can help with cleaning and optimizing your HTML.

To make your HTML even more structured, consider implementing schema markup. Structured Data Markup Helper can offer you a helping hand with that. Doing this will help search engines to understand your content better, identify the most important information on your site, as well as make your snippets look more attractive. You can also preview your snippets with the help of Google’s Testing Tool to make sure everything is displayed correctly.

  1. Content uniqueness

Just as much as Google appreciates uniqueness it also penalizes sites with duplicate content. So, in order to improve your rankings and get Panda off your site, make sure it has no duplication issues. By the way, here’s a nice guide on how to spot and deal with various types of duplicate content. What’s more, you should also watch out for external duplication. So, if you suspect some pages on your site may have it, go ahead and check them with Copyscape.

If you work for one of those industries that simply cannot publish unique content every time (like online stores with many product pages), try to make your product descriptions as diverse as you can. Another good way to solve the problem is by utilizing user-generated content.

Backlinks

I guess it’s of no surprise to you that backlinks have been ruling ranking for ages. The reality is they still remain the strongest indication of authority to Google. And it’s safe to say that it’s hardly going to change in 2019. That is why quality link building should be your primary concern if you want to make it to the top. By the way, here are some powerful link building strategies for you to get some inspiration from.

Of course, one of the coolest tactics is to spy on your competitors‘ linking profiles. One of my favorite tools for this kind of activity is SEO SpyGlass. With its help you can compare your linking profile with the ones of your competitors as well as see where your links intersect. By doing so, you will get priceless insights of new link building strategies that you can arm yourself with.

  1. Number of backlinks and linking domains

Although Google definitely appreciates quality more than quantity, the total number of backlinks still remains a powerful ranking signal. Please note that links coming from a single domain carry much less weight comparing to those that come from various domains. So, just have a look at the total number of backlinks and total linking domains parameters in whatever SEO tool you are using and see if your linking profile is in need of some improvement quantity-wise.

  1. Link authority

No matter how many links you have, they need to be of good quality. Otherwise, they’ll most probably get you in trouble (Penguin is watching you) rather than bring you good rankings. That is why in order to maintain quality of your links, you need to carry out regular backlink audits. Fortunately, there is a huge number of tools that help with identifying links‘ harmfulness. So, if you’ve spotted some spammy links, make sure to contact the website owners who linked to you asking politely for removing them. If it didn’t work out, just disavow these reputation damagers and forget about it. What is more, if you spot some sudden spikes of links, make sure to check them as there is always a chance that your competitors could be pointing spammy links to you.

  1. Link anchor text

Although nowadays link anchor text is a bit less important than the two above mentioned link parameters, keyword-rich anchor text still firmly stays an important relevance signal for Google.

To be on the safe side, your links‘ anchor texts need to be semantically relevant to the topic of your content and also maintain diversity. On top of that, don’t over-optimize your anchor texts with keywords, especially with the ones that are somehow connected with monetization, as this will definitely get you under Google’s Penguin penalty.

User experience

With Google now being obsessed with user experience more than ever, the pressure on website owners and SEOs is really high. You are supposed to have super fast and uber convenient website to make your visitors stay and compete for high positions in the SERPs. So, here are three major user experience ranking signals for Google that I want to drive your attention to specifically.

  1. Page speed

Of course, the very first thing that comes to your mind when you think of user experience is page speed. And I’m sure you’re aware of Google’s Speed Update that has officially made page speed a ranking factor for mobile.

Another speed related change that took place recently has to do with the PageSpeed Insights tool which now evaluates websites according to two criteria: Speed and Optimization. The Speed parameter is now calculated based on real-user measurements: FCP (First Contentful Paint) and DCL (DOM Content Loaded) which are extracted from CrUX database. And Optimization score has to do with technical parameters like redirects, compression, minification, etc.

In the light of all these recent changes, our team has conducted a research aiming to figure out the correlation page speed has with rankings. Surprisingly enough, it turned out that Optimization score has huge influence on rankings these days.

So, in order to get yourself an idea of how your websites is performing speed-wise, go ahead and test it with PageSpeed Insights. Pay your special attention to the Optimization parameter and fix technical issues (if you have any). If you’re not sure how to do it, please consult this guide on Optimization score improvement.

In case your Optimization score is perfectly fine but the Speed parameter leaves much to be desired, the only thing you can do is to make it less “heavy” and sophisticated by minimizing the amount of images and scripts. You can also consider implementing AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) for your mobile pages as it will make them load almost instantly.

  1. Dwell time and bounce rate

Another two ranking signals that are closely connected with user experience are dwell time and bounce rate. To be completely honest with you, both of these metrics depend massively on the type of query. When it comes to bounce rate, for instance, a user may receive an immediate answer by visiting only one page of your site. This will still be considered a bounce, although it doesn’t mean that your page is not good enough. But as a rule, researching something takes a user more than just one page to open.

Speaking of dwell time, the longer a certain user stays on your page, the more relevant it seems for Google. Just like with bounce rate, a user can spend only 5 seconds on your site and be fully satisfied with the answer at the same time.

So, although both of these parameters depend on what exactly users type in the search box, the combination of these two parameters allows Google to evaluate pages‘ relevance pretty accurately.

So, to make your visitors stay for longer, try to engage them as much as you can. Think of providing your users with some additional content links so that they are sent to some related posts on your site, for instance. Another good idea is to implement so-called “breadcrumbs”. These are small text paths at the top of the page that improve website navigation and help users to understand where they are on you site. What’s more, you can add comment sections under your posts, that may win you another couple of minutes.

  1. Page authority within your website

I guess it goes without saying that PageRank is one of the strongest authority signals for Google. The thing is, except for external PageRank, your page is also influenced by the internal one. So, if you want to improve rankings of some pages that are performing not so well, it’s better not to hide them deep in your site structure. The best practice is for every single page of your website to be not more than 3 clicks away from your homepage.

However, if you need to boost rankings of a page that is buried in your site structure, the best thing you can do is to point some internal links to it. But just before doing that, look at your site structure with the help of WebSite Auditor’s Visualization feature to see how internal link juice is distributed within your site and what pages need to be worked on in the first place.

tool to see page authority within your website

  1. HTTPS sites

Caring about user’s safety is yet another Google’s concern these days. Back in 2014, Google has made HTTPS a ranking signal. Since that having an HTTPS site is not a recommendation but a must as Chrome browser now marks sites as “not secure” in case they are not HTTPS. For you to be safe and provide your users with safe experience, learn how to migrate your site from HTTP to HTTPS.

Conclusion

As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, there is an enormous amount of ranking factors that directly or indirectly influence your position on SERPs. But in 2019 I would definitely suggest setting a course for creating great content, quality link building, and improving user experience. Besides this, it’s always nice to carry out competition research to see how your top competitors optimize for the following ranking signals to borrow their tactics and reinforce your weak spots (if there are any).

The post 14 ranking signals you need to optimize for in 2019 appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Source:: searchenginewatch.com

5 Common Digital Marketing Data & Analytics Challenges and How to Start Solving Them

The volume and velocity of the data at our fingertips today has the power to transform the way we do marketing. Armed with the right data about our target audience, we can reach them at the right time, in the right place, with the best tailored messages. Given the deluge of marketing messages inundating consumers and B2B buyers at every moment, it’s critical that your marketing messages be the most relevant in order to break through the clutter.

However, many of us still aren’t using data to its full potential. Only 30% of B2B marketers use data to inform decision-making. That’s because harnessing data is hard. Over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated every day, across so many different people, channels, devices, and technologies. And nearly 50% of marketers say they don’t have the the right people, processes, and technologies in place to make use all of that data to make an impact.

To continue to thrive in a crowded market place, and to truly show the impact of marketing as a revenue generator, it will be critical to get the people, process, and technology in place to make your data work for you. Of course, it won’t happen overnight. But regardless of where you are in your journey to data sophistication, you can start solving your challenges now.

Below, we dive into five frequent data challenges and how you can put yourself on a path to overcome them.

Challenge #1 – The data you need doesn’t exist.

Despite all of that data being generated and captured, you could still be experiencing gaps in your data reporting. Typical data holes, include:

  • Lack of attribution
  • Incomplete contact records
  • Not all marketing and buying activities are being tracked

These data holes are usually caused by a lack (or non-adherence) of process by both sales and marketing teams. The result is an incomplete picture, which can lead to inaccurate data analysis.

Unsurprisingly, if your marketing activities aren’t properly tracked, you’re not able to truly measure the result of one marketing activity over another. But the good news is that this is one of the easiest challenges to overcome.

Start Solving The Data Gap Challenge

First, examine the process and governance around your tracking and database. If you don’t have one, create a policy around data governance focusing on getting top-down buy-in on the importance of collecting and maintaining accurate data.

For your database:

  • Ensure new records are complete by reviewing data input requirements with the sales team, ensuring all know how and why complete data records are critical. And ensure your CRM and website forms are set up properly to ensure mandatory data is collected and entered.
  • Consider a major scrub if you have a lot of bad data. There are a variety of CRM services or add-on tools to help clean up inaccurate or duplicate records. Manually fixing thousands of records will be nearly impossible in most cases, so consider bringing in outside help.

For marketing activities:

  • Create and enforce a process within your marketing team so tracking is in place on every activity possible.
  • If you you’re already using Google Analytics, make the most out of it by:
    • Ensuring goals and events are setup to track major conversions (like a contact form completion) and micro-conversions (like a video play).
    • Use Google URL builder for improved campaign tracking. Unique URLs can help you pinpoint which marketing activities are driving the most activity.
  • Identify other key data points that you’re not currently able to track with your existing set of tools. From there, research free tools to help you fill in gaps or set aside budget to make an investment in new technology.

Challenge #2 – You have data silos.

Many of you are dealing with multiple legacy systems, perhaps put in place by different teams, that don’t necessarily work together. Between your CRM, analytics platform, marketing automation, and social listening tools, data and platform integration may not be happening—and it’s holding you back.

Finding a solution to this challenge will enable your data to become incredibly powerful. Integrating data across systems gives you the opportunity to create a more complete view of a customer or prospect, connecting activity throughout the buying journey and enabling you to reach them with the most relevant messages.

Start Solving the Data Silo Challenge

Start breaking down data silos by creating a list of data collection processes and tools across departments. Once you have the list, you can start to identify if any systems can be merged together.

Many stand alone CRM, marketing automation, and analytics tools offer integration capabilities with other common platforms. Or you may already have a tool in place you are using for one function, that can be used for other jobs. If merging isn’t possible, then consider an alternative tool that can integrate with your other systems or do multiple things.

This is also a good time to evaluate communication and processes across departments. Opening up silos between teams will help minimize new silos from forming and open up communication and access to data, which can improve the effectiveness of marketing activities.

Read: How to Become a Better Data-Informed Content Marketer

Challenge #3 – The data is tough to analyze.

Anyone who has ever attempted to analyze thousands of rows of marketing data within an Excel spreadsheet can attest that it can be cumbersome and time consuming. For many of us, data volumes have accelerated much more quickly than our tools and abilities to analyze that data.

Even if you have the most accurate, complete data, if you don’t have the right skills and strategies in place to analyze it, you can’t make an impact.

Start Solving the Data Analyzation Challenge

First, ask yourself if you have the right people in place to solve this problem. Data and technology has likely opened up the need for new positions within your team. An experienced analyst (or team of analysts) can manipulate large volumes of data and serve up insights to help your content marketing, social, advertising, and other teams make more informed decisions and show the impact of your work.

Data scientist is another in demand title within marketing. The right person in this role can help you evaluate tools, manage data sources, and create process and strategies to turn formless data into a powerhouse of insight to change how your team uses data.

From there, assess your technology stack to determine if you have the right tools in place to enable your current or future analysts understand and visualize the data.

Challenge #4 – You don’t trust your data.

It’s safe to say that you and your organization believe data and analytics are critical. In fact, a survey of some of the world’s leading businesses showed that 97% were making big investments in data and analytics this year.

However, despite the need and the investment, the degree of confidence in data could be low. According to a recent survey by KPMG and Forrester Consulting, just 38% of respondents said they have a high level of confidence in their customer insights. Furthermore, only a third seem to trust the analytics they generate from their business operations.

This gap in trust can be a result of lack of transparency or governance around data sourcing and analysis. And present a significant opportunity for organizations to create, refine and circulate policies for data and analytics management.

Start Solving the Data Trust Challenge

If you’ve already head nodded to one of the first three challenges presented, you likely need to start there. A legacy of incomplete and inaccurate data and analytics has driven the current lack of trust. KPMG recommends taking a systematic approach to building trust within data and analytics, by examining trust in data across four pillars:

  1. Quality (Are your tools and data quality?)
  2. Effectiveness (Is the data analysis useful and accurate?)
  3. Integrity (Are data and analytics being used in an acceptable and ethical way?)
  4. Resilience (Are long-term operations optimized?)

Challenge #5 – You can’t make the predictive leap.

If you have the right people, processes, and tools in place to effectively report on and analyze data across channels, that’s fantastic. You’re likely leveraging your historical data along with human insight to create more effective messaging and showcase the ROI of your marketing activities.

But the question is: Are you in a position to get ahead of your audience’s needs?

More than likely, you’re “guessing” at what your audience needs and wants based on what’s already happened, and you haven’t made the predictive leap to uncover deeper trends that will require changes in your mix.

Start Solving the Guessing Game Challenge

Start thinking about how machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) can be implemented to help you predict future outcomes. ML and AI technologies not only have the ability to automate data crunching, but they can also create models using your multi-channel data to determine what is likely to happen if you stop or start using a tactic.

For many marketers, AI and ML are daunting solutions to implement, as they are new and can require a significant investment. But the good news is that you can dip your toe in the waters by outsourcing to an established vendor.

If you want to get something going in-house, Microsoft, IBM, and Amazon all have machine learning solutions you can research, consider, and test.

Read: This Changes Everything: How AI Is Transforming Digital Marketing

Overcome Your Data & Analytics Challenges in 2019

Without a doubt, the importance of data and analytics will continue to increase as we go forward. Start now to identify what challenges are holding your marketing team back from making the most out of your data.

With the right people, process, and tools and technologies in place, you can solve current challenges and evolve a powerful data and analytics operation—ultimately setting you up for more success now and into the future.

What are some of the specific strategies and tactics for optimizing performance with data? Our CEO Lee Odden dives into three ways content marketers can leverage data right now.

The post 5 Common Digital Marketing Data & Analytics Challenges and How to Start Solving Them appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Source:: toprankblog.com

Hellogerowsky – Linguistischer Schabernack

Mehr Bilder…

Man nehme den Namen eines Tiers, schreibe ihn falsch und male ein Bild dazu. Fertig ist das Geheimrezept für eine Menge lustiger Illustrationen.

Seit 2015 ist Hellogerowsky unser aus dem Ruder gelaufenes Feierabendprojekt, das bislang 13 Motive umfasst. Diese werden nicht nur akribisch geplant und sorgfältig radiert, sondern auch aufwändig im Siebdruck als wunderschöne Kunstdrucke reproduziert.

Designer
Victoria Morigerowsky
Robert Hellmundt

Source:: designmadeingermany.de

How to increase page speed to improve SEO results

Page speed has been a part of Google’s search ranking algorithms for quite some time, but it’s been entirely focused on desktop searches until recently when Google began using page speed as a ranking factor for mobile searches as well.

Have you checked your page speed scores lately?

How do your speeds match up against your competition?

If your pages are loading slower than competitors, there’s a chance you’re taking a hit in the SERPs. While relevance of a page carries much more weight than page speed, it’s still important to ensure your pages are loading fast for users and search engines.

Here are 5 ways to increase page speed and improve SEO results.

Compress images

Large image files can have a significant negative impact on page speed performance. Images often represent the largest portion of bytes when downloading a page. This is why optimizing images generally returns the biggest improvement in speed performance. Compressing your images using an image compression tool will reduce their file size leading to faster loading pages for both users and search engines, which in turn will have a positive impact on your organic search rankings.

Leverage browser caching

Web browsers cache quite a bit of information, including images, JavaScript files and stylesheets. The benefit is that when visitors revisit your site, the browser doesn’t have to reload the whole page. If your server does not include caching headers or if resources are only cached for a short period of time, then pages on your site will load slower because browsers must reload all of this information.

Google recommends setting a minimum cache time of one week (and preferably up to one year) for static assets, or assets that change infrequently. So, make sure you work with your web developer to ensure caching is setup for optimal page speed performance.

Decrease server response time

There are numerous potential factors that may slow down the response of your server: slow database queries, slow routing, frameworks, libraries, slow application logic, or insufficient memory. All these factors should be taken into consideration when trying to improve your server’s response time.

The most favorable server response time is under 200ms. SEO marketers should work with their website hosting provider to reduce server response time and increase page speed performance.

Enable Gzip compression

Your pages will load slower if your site has compressible resources that are served without Gzip compression. Gzip, a software application for file compression, should be utilized to reduce the size of files on your site such as CSS, HTML, and JavaScript (but not images).

You will need to determine which type of server your site runs on before enabling Gzip compression as each server requires a unique configuration, for example:

Again, your hosting provider can help you enable Gzip compression accordingly. You’d be surprised how much faster your pages load by having Gzip implemented.

Avoid multiple landing page redirects

Having more than one redirect from a given URL to the final landing page can slow page load time. Redirects prompt an additional HTTP request-response which can delay page rendering. SEO Marketers should minimize the number of redirects to improve page speed. Check your redirects and make sure you don’t have redundant redirects that could be slowing load time.

Conclusion

SEO marketers must be analyzing and improving page speed. A great place to start is compressing images, utilizing caching, reducing server response time, enabling file compression, and removing multiple/redundant redirects.

I urge marketers to periodically use Google’s Page Speed Insights Tool to check your load time and compare your website to competitors‘ sites. The tool also provides specific, recommended optimizations to increase your site’s page speed performance.

As Google continues to favor fast-loading websites it’s crucial that SEO Experts take necessary steps to ensure your site’s pages are meeting (and beating) Google’s expectations. Today, improving page speed is an essential aspect of any successful SEO Program.

The post How to increase page speed to improve SEO results appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Source:: searchenginewatch.com