Keep your tags tidy and your content fresh
And not to put too fine a point on it, but it was awesome.
DFWSEM sponsor Advice Interactive Group was on hand to hand out 10 free admissions to Rocks Digital. Beth Kahlich shouted out new and renewing members. Scott Vann announced ticket sales were taking off for State of Search. Then Arnie came on and blew everyone away.
@ScottVann said "Did y'all learn something tonight?"
The whole room shouted a hearty, "YEAH!"
— DFWSEM (@dfwsem) June 11, 2015
This was one knowledge-intensive presentation. Using research from Vertical Measure and his extensive career, Arnie broke down the 10 most common content optimization problems, how to optimize video and images, and took a sneak peak at how optimization will work in the future. He also shared a great resource for persuading recalcitrant c-suite types of the value of content marketing, HowToConvinceYourBoss.com, that Vertical Measure has put together. He even gave away a book to everyone in attendance.
Getting down to optimization business
But the real gift was the data. Starting with the top 10 don’ts to end all don’ts.
Unintentional duplicate content can happen as a site spreads and grows. Not the small snippets of information that are the same at the bottom of each page, containing addresses and social media buttons, but big swathes of text. Google will crawl them all, and that way lies penalties. Similarly, get rid of or disavow anchor tag links that aren’t legitimate. And please, it’s 2015, so no more over-optimized or cannibalized target keywords in big hunks of content. Like the joke goes, how many SEO pros does it take to change a light bulb, incandescent light bulbs, inexpensive light bulbs, florescent light bulbs, what size light bulbs, full spectrum light bulbs…
Tag, you’re it
It is also crucial to keep your tags in order. No more than one H1 tag per page. Make sure images and are tagged something useful, not a code of letters and numbers that means nothing to anyone outside of your graphics department. Don’t neglect those meta descriptions. Basically, keep your garden tidy. That includes making sure your pages don’t take a century to load, making sure your content isn’t thin (which Google defines as techniques that “don’t provide users with substantially unique or valuable content”), and that you are using the right keywords for the job.
Blocked pages and sites can also be an optimization killer. As things grow and change, and as sites get revamped, it can be tempting to keep the old stuff out of view but still on deck. Don’t. Again, Google’s spiders will crawl it all, and then you’ve confused them.
But how do we position ourselves for the future? The answer is simple and complex: create great content. 93% of consumers do an online search before making a purchase. 86% of those consumers conduct a non-branded query. And a full 90% click on organic results rather than sponsored links and ads. That means people are looking for content to help them make an informed decision. So help them out!
- Mention price in your content: people want to know costs
- Do keyword searches in Google and let autocomplete suggest questions to answer
- People search longer phrases, so results of more than three words succeed
Take the concrete steps now, before your competition, and you will be well positioned no matter where search goes in the future.
Arnie wasn’t the only one who got a big reception to big news. DFWSEM President Scott Vann had a drop-the-mic moment when he announced yet another killer keynote speaker for State of Search: Google webmaster trends analyst Gary Illyes!
See? I told you it was awesome.
Brace yourselves for next month, too. DFWSEM and Social Media Dallas will be having a joint meeting featuring Scott Monty discussing digital crisis communications. With room for only 300 folks, don’t wait too long to register for this must-see event or you’ll be left out in the cold.