A Simple Keyword Research Process for Winning SEO – Whiteboard Friday

Smart keyword research forms the basis of all successful SEO. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Cyrus Shepard shares the basics of a winning keyword research process that you can learn and master in a short amount of time. Bonus: Be sure not to miss Cyrus’s upcoming webinar, Build a Winning Keyword Strategy: Start-to-Finish on May 21, 2020 at 10am PST: Save my spot You’ll walk through his keyword research process start-to-finish with real keywords, topics, and websites to create a complete keyword research strategy. It’s a great follow-up to this Whiteboard Friday! Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Howdy, Moz fans. Welcome to a very special edition of Whiteboard Friday talking about keyword research today. Now keyword research, you know how important it is, and it forms the basis of all successful SEO. People who are good at keyword research and having a good […]

Read more

Announcing: The Keyword Research Master Guide [New for 2020]

Why a new guide? Often in SEO, we get so preoccupied with technical SEO (pagination, site speed, the latest Python course, etc.) that we forget the basis of winning SEO begins and ends with keywords. Not choosing keywords before you start with SEO means shooting in the dark — a likely losing gamble if your content will succeed or not. Choosing the wrong keywords means wasting your time and budget on content that will never gain visibility in search results. Conversely, choosing smart, targeted keywords can help carve out and dominate a traffic niche that raises you above the competition. No doubt, the difference between good SEOs and mediocre SEOs is often their keyword research strategy. Here at Moz, a question we often hear after people finish reading the famous Beginner’s Guide to SEO is: What do I read next? To give people a practical place to start, we wanted […]

Read more

Opting-Out of Google Featured Snippets Led to 12% Traffic Loss [SEO Experiment]

Note: This post was co-authored by Cyrus Shepard and Rida Abidi. Everyone wants to win Google featured snippets. Right? At least, it used to be that way. Winning the featured snippet typically meant extra traffic, in part because Google showed your URL twice: once in the featured snippet and again in regular search results. For publishers, this was known as “double-dipping.” All that changed in January when Google announced they would de-duplicate search results to show the featured snippet URL only once on the first page of results. No more double-dips. Publishers worried because older studies suggested winning featured snippets drove less actual traffic than the “natural” top ranking result. With the new change, winning the featured snippet might actually now lead to less traffic, not more. This led many SEOs to speculate: should you opt-out of featured snippets altogether? Are featured snippets causing publishers to lose more traffic than […]

Read more

Are H1 Tags Necessary for Ranking? [SEO Experiment]

In earlier days of search marketing, SEOs often heard the same two best practices repeated so many times it became implanted in our brains: Wrap the title of your page in H1 tags Use one — and only one — H1 tag per page These suggestions appeared in audits, SEO tools, and was the source of constant head shaking. Conversations would go like this: “Silly CNN. The headline on that page is an H2. That’s not right!” “Sure, but is it hurting them?” “No idea, actually.” Over time, SEOs started to abandon these ideas, and the strict concept of using a single H1 was replaced by “large text near the top of the page.” Google grew better at content analysis and understanding how the pieces of the page fit together. Given how often publishers make mistakes with HTML markup, it makes sense that they would try to figure it out for themselves. The […]

Read more

7 SEO Processes That Get Easier with Increased PageRank/DA

A rising tide lifts all ships — and it’s similar story with increased site authority. What factors are affected as you improve PageRank or Domain Authority, and how? In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Cyrus details seven SEO processes that are made easier by a strong investment in link building and growing your authority. Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Howdy, Moz fans. Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. I’m Cyrus Shepard. Quick Whiteboard this week. I want to talk about links. We know in SEO we love links. Everybody wants links. But why? What do links do for you? They do a surprising amount for you that we sometimes don’t realize. So the title of today’s Whiteboard, “7 SEO Processes That Get Easier with Increased PageRank and Domain Authority.” So why did we choose PageRank and Domain Authority? Well, […]

Read more

How to Create 10x SEO Reports – Whiteboard Friday

New year, new you — when it comes to SEO reporting, at least! We’re kicking off 2020 with a comprehensive yet gloriously simple recipe from Cyrus Shepard for creating truly effective SEO reports. From tying KPIs to business metrics to delivering bad news effectively, your reports have never looked so good. Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Okay, so we have 400 broken pages. Ah, we rank number 7 for best plumbers in Idaho. Oh, hey, Moz fans. I’m Cyrus Shepard. Today I’m talking about SEO reports, specifically how to create 10x SEO reports.  I’ve gotten hundreds of SEO reports like this in my career, and I’ve got to tell you that’s useless. No one is reading those. This is unfortunate because this is your direct way to communicate the value of what you’re doing, drive action, […]

Read more

How to Create 10x SEO Reports – Whiteboard Friday

New year, new you — when it comes to SEO reporting, at least! We’re kicking off 2020 with a comprehensive yet gloriously simple recipe from Cyrus Shepard for creating truly effective SEO reports. From tying KPIs to business metrics to delivering bad news effectively, your reports have never looked so good. Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Okay, so we have 400 broken pages. Ah, we rank number 7 for best plumbers in Idaho. Oh, hey, Moz fans. I’m Cyrus Shepard. Today I’m talking about SEO reports, specifically how to create 10x SEO reports.  I’ve gotten hundreds of SEO reports like this in my career, and I’ve got to tell you that’s useless. No one is reading those. This is unfortunate because this is your direct way to communicate the value of what you’re doing, drive action, […]

Read more

Intro to SEO Competitive Analysis 101 – Whiteboard Friday

A good, solid competitive analysis can provide you with priceless insights into what’s working for other folks in your industry, but it’s not always easy to do right. In this week’s edition of Whiteboard Friday, Cyrus walks you through how to perform a full competitive analysis, including: How to identify your true competitors Keyword gap analysis Link gap analysis Top content analysis Plus, don’t miss the handy tips on which tools can help with this process and our brand-new guide (with free template) on SEO competitive analysis. Give it a watch and let us know your own favorite tips for performing a competitive analysis in the comments! Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Howdy, Moz fans. Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. I’m Cyrus Shepard. Today we’re talking about a really cool topic — competitive analysis. This is an […]

Read more

New SEO Experiments: A/B Split Testing Google’s UGC Attribute

When Craig Bradford of Distilled reached out and asked if we’d like to run some SEO experiments on Moz using DistilledODN, our reply was an immediate “Yes please!” If you’re not familiar with DistilledODN, it’s a sophisticated platform that allows you to do a number of cool things in the SEO space: Make almost any change to your website through the ODN dashboard. Since the ODN is a cloud platform that sits in front of your website (like a CDN) it doesn’t matter how your website is built or what CMS it uses. You can change a single page — or more likely — entire sections. The ODN allows you to A/B split test these changes and both measure and predict their impact on organic traffic. They also have a feature called full-funnel testing allowing you to measure impact on both SEO and CRO at the same time. When you find something that […]

Read more

Announcing Quick, Free SEO Metrics with a New Domain Analysis Tool

If you want a quick overview of top SEO metrics for any domain, today we’re officially launching a new free tool for you: Domain Analysis. One thing Moz does extremely well is SEO data: data that consistently sets industry standards and is respected both for its size (35 trillion links, 500 million keyword corpus) and its accuracy. We’re talking things like Domain Authority, Spam Score, Keyword Difficulty, and more, which are used by tens of thousands of SEOs across the globe. With Domain Analysis, we wanted to combine this data in one place, and quickly show it to people without the need of creating a login or signing up for an account. The tool is free, and showcases a preview of many top SEO metrics in one place, including: Domain Authority Linking Root Domains # of Ranking Keywords Spam Score Top Pages Top Linking Domains Discovered and Lost Links Keywords […]

Read more

How Google’s Nofollow, Sponsored, & UGC Links Impact SEO

Google shook up the SEO world by announcing big changes to how publishers should mark nofollow links. The changes — while beneficial to help Google understand the web — nonetheless caused confusion and raised a number of questions. We’ve got the answers to many of your questions here. 14 years after its introduction, Google today announced significant changes to how they treat the “nofollow” link attribute. The big points: Nofollow can now be specified with 3 different attributes — “nofollow”, “sponsored”, and “ugc” — each signifying a different meaning. For ranking purposes, Google now treats each of the nofollow attributes as “hints” — meaning they likely won’t impact ranking, but Google may choose to ignore the directive and use nofollow links for rankings. Google continues to ignore nofollow links for crawling and indexing purposes, but this strict behavior changes March 1, 2020, at which point Google begins treating nofollow attributes as “hints”, meaning […]

Read more

10 Basic SEO Tips to Index + Rank New Content Faster – Whiteboard Friday

In SEO, speed is a competitive advantage. When you publish new content, you want users to find it ranking in search results as fast as possible. Fortunately, there are a number of tips and tricks in the SEO toolbox to help you accomplish this goal. Sit back, turn up your volume, and let Cyrus Shepard show you exactly how in this week’s Whiteboard Friday. [Note: #3 isn’t covered in the video, but we’ve included in the post below. Enjoy!] Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Howdy, Moz fans. Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. I’m Cyrus Shepard, back in front of the whiteboard. So excited to be here today. We’re talking about ten tips to index and rank new content faster. You publish some new content on your blog, on your website, and you sit around and you […]

Read more

What Links to Target with Google’s Disavow Tool – Whiteboard Friday

Do you need to disavow links in the modern age of Google? Is it safe? If so, which links should you disavow? In this Whiteboard Friday, Cyrus Shepard answers all these questions and more. While he makes it clear that the majority of sites shouldn’t have to use Google’s Disavow Tool, he provides his personal strategies for those times when using the tool makes sense. How do you decide when to disavow? We’d love to hear your process in the comments below! Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Howdy, Moz fans. Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. I’m Cyrus Shepard. Today we’re going to be talking about a big topic — Google’s Disavow Tool. We’re going to be discussing when you should use it and what links you should target. Now, this is kind of a scary topic […]

Read more

Topical SEO: 7 Advanced Concepts of Link Relevance & Google Rankings

Links matter for SEO. A lot. Most marketers understand that links to websites count as “votes” on the web. Google — and other search engines — use these votes to rank web pages in search results. The more votes a page accumulates, the better that page’s chances of ranking in search results. This is the popularity part of Google’s algorithm, described in the original PageRank patent. But Google doesn’t stop at using links for popularity. They’ve invented a number of clever ways to use links to determine relevance and authority — i.e. what is this page about and is it a trusted answer for the user’s search query? To rank in Google, it’s not simply the number of votes you receive from popular pages, but the relevance and authority of those links as well. The principals Google may use grow complex quickly, but we’ve included a number of simple ways to leverage […]

Read more

How to Use Domain Authority for SEO – Whiteboard Friday

Domain Authority is an incredibly well-known metric throughout the SEO industry, but what exactly is the right way to use it? In this week’s edition of Whiteboard Friday, we’re delighted to welcome Cyrus Shepard as he explains both what’s new with the new Domain Authority 2.0 update, and how to best harness its power for your own SEO success.  Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Howdy, SEO fans. Welcome to a very special edition of Whiteboard Friday. I’m Cyrus Shepard. I’m honored to be here today with Moz to talk about the new Domain Authority. I want to talk about how to use Domain Authority to do actual SEO. What is Domain Authority? Let’s start with a definition of what Domain Authority actually is because there’s a lot of confusion out there. A Domain Authority is a metric, from […]

Read more