A question I get asked time and again is “What’s the best rank checking software?” or “What’s the best backlink checker?” and time and again I explain that personally I find SEO Powersuite’s set of SEO tools does everything I need it to (and they have an excellent free version!). To help me answer these questions in future I’ve decided to put together a comprehensive review that I can just point at instead of trying to explain the pros and cons over and over (and I’ll hopefully get a few links ;-)!!)
So here goes…….
SEO Powersuite consists of four separate pieces of software or “modules” called Link Assistant, Rank Tracker, SEO SpyGlass & Website Auditor.
This is simply a matter of firing it up, entering the url of the site you want audited and hit enter. Website Auditor then crawls the … Read More »
I’ve decided to put together a list of some of the best FREE tools that are available to help webmasters, bloggers, amateur SEOs and basically any website owner improve their SEO. Before anyone starts berating me on the fact that there are much better tools out there than this bunch of kid’s toys, this list is compiled to help anyone trying to learn SEO do so without having to spend a fortune on expensive software.
So, here goes, in no particular order:
This is probably pretty obvious to most but it still amazes me how many websites I come across that aren’t verified with Webmaster Tools or have Analytics installed. Some of the privacy conscious prefer to steer clear of Google Analytics because it gives Google access to loads of valuable user behaviour data on site and if this data … Read More »
The world of local search has been buzzing the last few days with the arrival of Google+ Local on Thursday morning. It has been long anticipated that Google+ would at some stage at least amalgamate with it’s big brother Google Places. This latest development however, shows that Google+ Local is to be an entity in it’s own right and moreover, intends to lock horns with Facebook fan pages in the battle for social supremacy.
Business owners all over the country are sighing in disbelief at the thought of having to get to grips with yet another “must have” social platform. It’s only understandable that busy local business owners are at least a little frustrated at trying to keep up to date with everything that’s happening online these days. They’re getting it from all angles about local search marketing, google places, … Read More »
The SERPs are constantly changing and evolving. It is no longer enough to rank at the top of the listings to guarantee the best click through rate for your listing. The new universal search results and the widespread adoption of Rich Snippets or Microformats have opened up a whole range of opportunities for business owners to make their listings more visually attractive which in many cases can draw the user in and thus increase CTRs.
We’ve all seen rich snippets in one form or another in recent months but what exactly are they and how can you utilise them for your own website? I came across this excellent infographic on seoMoz’s blog which explains a few of the basics very well. Other excellent resources once you have the basics covered are schema.org and microformats.org.
Visual Guide to Rich Snippets on SEOmoz … Read More »
Are you still sitting on the fence waiting on someone to drag you into the world of online marketing? Have you dipped your toes in? Maybe you have a half-ass website which no-one can find, a Facebook fan page that is still wishing everyone Happy New Year or a Google Places page which hasn’t been claimed? Apologies for all the wild generalisations but these are cases that we come across all too often, especially here in rural Ireland (generalisation no.4!). I believe it is actually counter-productive to start trying to market your business online unless you have a clear understanding of what is involved and are at least someway committed to persevering with it to achieve an end goal or target.
As my dear mother often reminds us “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right” (I think the more common … Read More »
Google today announced that they have rolled out their very successful “Step Inside” business photo program for local business owners here in Ireland. This is excellent news for many business owners and is perfect for anyone who would like to showcase their business premises online. Take a look at this short video of how a toy store in America has capitalised on this excellent opportunity.
(Video Courtesy of Google)
How does it work?
Google has a list of “Trusted Photographers” who have completed a specific training course provided by Google. The business owner finds the nearest trusted photographer from this list and contacts them to arrange a photo-shoot. The photographer then takes snaps of your business … Read More »
While many webmasters are still either licking their wounds or celebrating their rankings boost following Google’s latest Panda update (3.5) which rolled out on 19th April, Big G dropped another bombshell in the form of another new algo which they have affectionately labelled “Penguin”. The Penguin update (aka the Webspam update) is specifically targeted at sites that aren’t adhering to Google’s quality guidelines or are “over-optimised”. With the update, they have quoted these 8 guidelines in particular as the ones they are policing most rigorously:
Avoid hidden text or hidden links.
Don’t use cloaking or sneaky redirects.
Don’t send automated queries to Google.
Don’t load pages with irrelevant keywords.
Don’t create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content.
Don’t create pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or … Read More »
9 Important On site SEO tips
Are you in the process of building a new website? Have you already got a website but are wondering why it isn’t ranking for even low competition keyword phrases? Here are nine very important on site SEO factors that every website owner should be aware of.
1. Canonicalisation / Well-structured Urls / .htaccess
Try to structure your site in a way that is easy to follow and create subfolders for large category items. Also make sure your urls are easily read and have a set structure, preferably one without ampersands and using full hyphenated words as the url e.g http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/seo-advice-url-canonicalization/ , (Good post by the way!). This not only helps the spiders to know what the page is about but it also helps the user and is a lot easier to remember.
It’s very important that your site redirects … Read More »
It has been an eventful week in the land of SEO with the latest Panda update shaking up a few SERPS and another couple of blog networks getting shot down. With these headlines dominating the SEO news sites there have been a few other interesting developments that have slipped under the radar. Here’s a few of the stand-out sites/blog posts/resources which I’ve stumbled on this week.
First up, Mike Blumenthal wrote an excellent post on the latest Venice Update on local search over at http://blumenthals.com/blog/2012/04/11/the-venice-shift-from-local-pack-to-blended-results/ , drop back for my own take on how it has affected local Irish search results in the next few days.
Next up, Nicaragua blames an error on Google Maps for their military crossing the border into Costa Rica! http://searchengineland.com/nicaragua-raids-costa-rica-blames-google-maps-54885?fb_ref=sel-story-stbox
Another interesting post by SearchEngineLand explains how Google intends to improve it’s algorithm to the extent that it understands the actual meaning … Read More »
Today I’ve decided to answer a question which I regularly get asked by business owners when discussing possible internet marketing strategies….
What are backlinks?
Backlinks, backlinks, backlinks…where to start? First, I suppose, I should define the word according to the gospel that is Wikipedia….”a backlink is any link received by a web node (web page, directory, website, or top level domain) from another web node”.
In other words, a backlink is any reference or link to your site that is found anywhere else on the internet.
Ok, you get it, but what does that have to do with how your site ranks in the search engine?
Well, the best way to explain it is to think of the internet like a load of different groups or categories, and within each group is a big popularity contest. So, for example, the main group/category that I … Read More »