Saturday, November 18, 2017

Understanding Log Analysis for Technical SEO

Logfile analysis is fast becoming the new standard in solving technical SEO challenges. While this is not new, developers and marketers have been diving into server network device and system logs to see how search engines like Google are crawling their websites. However, most people without a development background find log analysis for technical SEO complicated.
If your on-page and technical SEO is poor, options to improve your SEO efforts are pretty limited. Technical SEO is crucial in helping you crawl, index and parse websites, thus ranking them appropriately even before any SEO marketing efforts come into play. Your log files hold the data that is 100% accurate in understanding how search engines are crawling your website.
Here’s what you should know about log analysis as a facet of technical SEO:

What are Log Files?

Network devices, computer servers, computer applications and operating systems automatically generate a log entry each time they perform any action. In an SEO concept, such actions could include whenever a page is visited by a human or bot. Log entries are programmed to be output, recorded and stored by the device, server, application or system in use.
Server logs are particularly important when it comes to technical SEO. An administrator can check server log files and identify the number of visitors, the number of requests on each page and usage patterns. Log files are usually generated automatically and can range from several to thousands of entries.  

How to Access Your Log Files

Different types of servers, systems, and applications store and manage their logs differently. To find, access and manage log entries or files, you have to follow the provided general guidelines for the specific type of device, application, system or server. Log data often provides detailed documentation of any activities that have taken place on a system at any given time.

What is Log Analysis?

Log analysis is simply the process of checking through your log files to understand something about the data. There are different reasons why you may want to do a log analysis. These include:
  • Network troubleshooting
  • Investigating server or system security issues
  • Gathering information for compliance matters
  • Checking for problematic bugs for development and quality assurance
  • Technical SEO - This is our main focus
It’s important to understand that log analysis is not performed regularly. It’s mainly done in response to something like a bug, an error, a malfunction or a hack that affects the normal functionality of a system, server or application.

How a Log Analysis is Done

According to a Syslog Tutorial by Stackify, log analysis is a critical part of monitoring network devices, servers, applications and computer systems. There are several ways that developers and marketers can conduct log analysis much easier when dealing with technical SEO or other context. The most common include using excel or proprietary tools such as application management tools, log management tools, message logging tools and application metrics.

Technical SEO Insights in Your Log Data

Whichever way you decide to use to understand your log data, there are various technical SEO issues that need to be addressed. For instance, a close look at your website’s log data will give you clear information about important technical SEO aspects like:
  • Bot crawl volume over a given period
  • Response code errors in your system
  • Temporary redirects
  • Crawl budget wastes on advertising landing pages
  • Duplicate URL crawling
  • Last crawl date for monitoring purposes
  • Real-time crawl budget monitoring

Conclusion


As you can see, log analysis is critically important in solving technical SEO issues. Log file analysis is the most powerful tool in your SEO toolkit. While you can achieve effective technical SEO without logs, with some sites, it’s necessary to look at log data to find a way around issues.
Also See:

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Using Effective Calls to Action to Improve Social Conversions

Are you looking to generate sales, improve your online visibility, increase attendance at an event or capture leads through social media?


It’s a known fact that generating conversions from social media can be difficult.  People are generally not un Facebook for transactional purposes.  They go to Facebook and Twitter to connect with others, read news, to be entertained.  Yet smart marketers can learn to use strong calls to action to incite their audience into action.  In this article, we’ll discuss strategy to use effective calls to action to improve conversions from social media.

Create a Sense of Urgency


The effectiveness of a call to action on social media is partly determined by the word choice. To grab readers’ attention and persuade them to follow through, use action words such as “download” “click” and “contact” to make your intentions clear to followers. Calls to action should never leave followers guessing about what you’re asking them to do, so be straightforward.


It’s also important to use word choice to create a sense of urgency with your call to action. Emphasize limited time offers or the fact that time is running out to take advantage of an advertised discount. Don’t rely on just the text either! Use accompanying images to repeat your call to action and bold choice words that create urgency or use a different font to make these phrases stand out from the rest.
Focus on a Single Offer


Many calls to action are unsuccessful because the reader is not sure where to begin. For example, let’s say you have an upcoming event you would like your followers to attend. When you create the post, you give followers the option of calling a telephone number or visiting a website to register. Although this seems like it may be more effective because you’re giving options, it’s actually not.


Limit each promotion to one call to action. If you’d like, consider doing testing with two different promotions, one featuring the phone number and one featuring the website. See which one has a higher conversion rate and focus solely on that one with future posts.


Customize Calls to Action For Each Platform


Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all social media platforms, but that’s where the similarities end. It’s important to customize your calls to action for each platform that you are using so you can maximize conversions. For instance, Instagram is an image-based social media platform, so the call to action should be primarily in your photo. Placing “FREE” or “REGISTER TO WIN” in an image will certainly grab your followers’ attention as they scroll through their feeds.


On Facebook, brands should be taking advantage of the call to action buttons. Business pages can customize the call to action button that appears in their header photo so anyone who visits the page will see it. The call to action button on certain types of Facebook ads can also be customized, so don’t stick with the default option.


Twitter recently conducted a study to determine which calls to action were the most effective on their platform. The researchers found that asking for a retweet, follow, or reply were the most effective calls to action. Keep this in mind when planning how you will convert customers that find you on Twitter.


Lead Into It

A call to action should always come after copy that leads into the need to take action. For example, say you are trying to encourage followers to sign up for an upcoming event. Simply posting “Sign up today” alongside a photo of empty chairs will not be effective because there is no copy leading into the call to action. To make this post more effective, write a few sentences of copy that describe the event. Include the date and location of the event, along with a very brief description of what attendees should expect. Then, follow this copy with the call to action. Now that your followers know more about the event, their interest is piqued and the call to action will become more effective.


Make it Personal

A branded post or ad on social media can often feel impersonal, which is why it’s important to use words such as “you” or “your” when writing your call to action. For example, it’s better to use “Reserve your seat today” as a call to action instead of “Reserve a seat today.” Social media users are more likely to respond when they feel as if a brand is communicating with them one-on-one. Adding these words is a simple way to make it seem as if you are interacting directly with each person who sees your post, instead of communicating to the masses.
Determine your Buying Funnel


Brands should create a simple path from call to action to conversion to ensure a higher success rate. If followers must click through to fill out a form that ends up being excessively long, you’ll lose many potential customers that don’t have the time or patience for it.


Instead, use a lead generation form that can only takes a few minutes to complete, and allows you to capture customers’ information before they lose interest and leave the page. Be sure that the call to action is easy for people to complete, otherwise they simply won’t convert.
What’s in it for me?


People always want to know how a product or service being advertised will benefit them. Make it clear in your call to action by explicitly mentioning the benefits. Use phrases such as “Double your followers with this e-book” or “Get access to exclusive deals” to convey to people not just what you want them to do, but why they should do it, too.
The most important part of any marketing strategy is to test and analyze. Using these tips, write multiple social media posts with different calls to action and test how each one performs. Measure these tests using tools like Google Analytics and Truesocialmetrics.com  These tests will give you insight into how your specific audience responds to each, and will help you develop your strategy moving forward.

(This post is contributed by Nick Rojas

Also See:

3 Golden Rules of SEO
Segmented Digital Marketing 
App Store Optimization Guide
How to Identify Top Converting Channels Using GA

Friday, October 20, 2017

Don't Make These 5 Landing Page Mistakes and Ruin Your SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) grabs the eyeballs of passive online visitors and glues their attention to your web page. Proper optimization on your landing page continues to draw audiences long after you stop marketing the page. Search engines will not display your website and will rank it poorly if you make the following mistakes.
1- Having very short content
Search engines are business entities. Just like any other outfit, they always want to provide great service so that customers return. According to Sachs Marketing Group, Google will not be interested in serving your website to searchers if the content is too short, irrelevant and does not provide real value. Give straightforward, actionable and practical service.
  • Longer landing pages answer people’s quests more conclusively than shorter ones.
  • Let you landing page be 1,000-3,000 words.
  • Do not just focus on the word count; deliver accurate, relevant and riveting information.
  • When audiences spend more time on your site, you increase chances of higher ranking.
What keyword phrase are you targeting your audience with? Search it online and look at the first three results. Find out how long these landing pages from your competitors are and design content that is longer than theirs. Word count comes second after user intent.
2- Failure to include visual elements
If you have chunks of plain text in your landing page, readers will find it difficult to focus. Today, the reading culture is effectively eroded as concentration spans decrease. Nobody will read your 3000-word web page from beginning to end without twitching an eye. Failure to include visual elements will cause passive visitors to hit the ‘Return’ button.
  • Images should be placed within every 80-100 words.
  • The color, graphics and visual appeal of infographics deliver your message properly.
  • Short videos of ‘how to’ say more than words can ever achieve.
  • For increased usability use the ALT text attributes on images. When they show up on user’s search engine result pages, it will lead searchers to your landing page.

3- Slow loading speed
Word Stream states that speed creates the largest impact on the performance of a landing page. You may have strong CTA messages, effective key phrases and killer headlines. These great SEO elements will not convert if your landing page takes ages to load. According to the same authority, 75% of people will turn away if it loads in more than 5 seconds.
  • Get rid of codes that establish superfluous junk on your landing page.
  • Excessive redirects bog down your server leading to slow load times.
  • Upgrade or overhaul your web hosting plans.
  • Compress and resize images for faster loading speeds especially on mobile.
Note that mobile load rates are far much slower than computers, yet mobile users have outpaced their desktop counterparts. You could eliminate this problem by testing the page’s speed using one of the leading insights tools. PageSpeed Insights from Google is one such recommendable tool.
4- Cluttered and confusing design
Half of all landing pages across the internet today contain multiple offers. Yours could as well fall under this category. If the page is poorly organized and has multiple recurring clutters, it will not appeal the eyes of readers. Below is a visually flattering design of a landing page belonging to Moz.
What aspects make this landing page superior?
  • There is a strong value proposition on the headline.
  • The image highlights what prospective customers stand to benefit from this business.
  • The copy comes in small chunks, making readability great.
  • The CTA buttons are in striking color; people searching for this service are obliged to click.
A great rule of the thumb for proper landing page design is to get rid of all navigation bars. These cause visitors to click away and get distracted from the very page that you want them to read. When your landing page has riveting substance delivered around impressive design, visitors will avoid hunting around other pages belonging to your competitors.
5- Disregarding page data
Do you know the people who come to your website via your landing page? What are their demographics and needs? There is only one way to find out-tracking web page data. Keeping track of the activities of the traffic on your page arms you with unrivalled user intelligence. Unamo suggests regular analytics for the following reasons.
  • You will know the number of unique visitors in a typical day, week or month.
  • Find out how many past visitors have returned.
  • Discover your landing page’s conversion rate.
  • Know the bounce rate and crack solutions to decrease a high bounce rate.
Google Analytics for example is an excellent basic tool for spotting page mistakes and identifying conversion opportunities. However, it is limited to a certain event. Session Recordings not only highlights the event, but goes further to describe where and how the event occurred.

Also See:


3 Seo Fundamentals Every Webmaster Should Follow
Seo Copywriting
Benefits of Seo
Types of Graphs Google Uses to Rank Webpages
Universal Analytics
How to Rank in Google
How to make your website more user friendly
How to design Seo friendly web page
Following the Kiss approach in Seo

Friday, September 8, 2017

How to Combine PPC and SEO for Maximum Impact

There are infinite approaches to successful digital marketing. Sometimes, digital marketing experts themselves don’t even understand why one strategy is more effective than another. The online world is fickle, and it evolves every single day.


The internet’s refusal to sit still for even a short amount of time can be frustrating to digital marketers, especially those trying to boost their smaller companies or startups. You want to appeal to your customer base, but you also want to play by the rules that will land you on the front page of Google. Is there a simple way to do both?
As an established digital marketing assistant, we want to help new marketers understand how to combine strategies for maximum conversions, sales, and ultimately, profit.
But, where do we start?
As we’ve hinted, the benefits to combining digital strategies can be monumental. You don’t have to focus on one strategy, rather allow complementing tactics to develop alongside one another.
The coupling of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC) is a perfect example of how combining strategies can launch your digital presence to new heights.
Let’s first define our key players, for those that are new to the digital arena:
SEOSearch Engine Optimization is making sure your site ranks highly in search engine results for queries used by your target audience. This is done through lots of planning based on keywords. SEO focuses on the production of varying forms of content.
Search marketing involves:
  • On-Page Optimization Making changes to your website metadata and keywords (and your keyword consistency) ensures that it is easily understood and ranked by search engines.
  • Link Building Linking back to your website through various online platforms and other websites build relevance and trust in search engines’ eyes.
  • PPC When businesses pay for advertising only when online users click through to their landing pages, that is called Pay-Per-Click Advertising. Irrelevant or accidental traffic that does not convert poses far more of an issue than with organic marketing strategies.

Both SEO and PPC strategies have the same end goal - exposure to potential customers.

How This Works for Small Businesses

As a new business, you probably are still tackling the issues of standing out against your competitors while gaining a larger audience. Those two matters can make it difficult for you to secure authority in your niche.
PPC and SEO strategies, when used together, can help you attain attention that can accelerate your promotion in a way other strategies can’t.
Most people who use Google as their preferred search engine don’t usually go to the second page of results for a query. That’s why it is so important to rank on the first page of results.
Essentially, by providing a well-executed PPC ad and pairing it with high rankings for the same relevant keywords, you are giving potential clients two ways to access your website. There is an added benefit of perceived brand authority by the user when your services are shown in a search as both an ad and an organic search result.

The Quest for Conversion Rate Optimization

Once you have your potential customers on your page, you need to follow through with your promise of quality, relevant content that brought them there in the first place. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is the process of designing your website so that it leads potential customers toward a purchase, app download, email signup or any other desired action.

The first step to make sure your site is well optimized is to tap into your analytics and check out the bounce rate of your landing pages. This should tell you if your efforts have been successful. The bounce rate of a website is defined as the number of visitors that leave a site without clicking through to a second page.
A number of factors can contribute to high bounce rates, including slow load times, ugly or unappealing design, or irrelevant content. If you have a high bounce rate, your conversions are probably tanking.

How To Lure In Your Customers

Even if your product or service is unmatched, a poor quality website can kill your business before you can even get your foot off the ground.
On that note, your site should meet your target audience’s expectation and should give visitors a path toward conversion that’s as easy as possible.
You can do this through:
  • Checking that all your content is both informative and captivating, which will allow users to interact with your site in an easy way.
  • Ensuring that the links on your page are visible and functioning.
  • Making sure your website is attractive, in terms of design. It should also reflect the tone of your content. A circus-like colorful theme would not play well for a cancer research hospital, and a somber theme would be off the mark for a children’s toy store.
  • Check all of your pages are functional. A customer will leave your page immediately if they run into dead or broken links.

Going Forward...


As I mentioned at the start of this article, digital marketing strategy can often come down to luck. However, if you have a solid plan to combine a strong PPC campaign, and you’ve done an SEO audit with the help of tools like WooRank to give yourself the best chance at ranking organically, you are sure to see your conversion rate increase.
Also See: