Do You Need Local Pages? – Whiteboard Friday

Does it make sense for you to create local-specific pages on your website? Regardless of whether you own or market a local business, it may make sense to compete for space in the organic SERPs using local pages. Please give a warm welcome to our friend Tom Capper as he shares a 4-point process for determining whether local pages are something you should explore in this week’s Whiteboard Friday! Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Hello, Moz fans. Welcome to another Whiteboard Friday. I’m Tom Capper. I’m a consultant at Distilled, and today I’m going to be talking to you about whether you need local pages. Just to be clear right off the bat what I’m talking about, I’m not talking about local rankings as we normally think of them, the local map pack results that you see […]

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Ranking the 6 Most Accurate Keyword Difficulty Tools

In January of 2018 Brafton began a massive organic keyword targeting campaign, amounting to over 90,000 words of blog content being published. Did it work? Well, yeah. We doubled the number of total keywords we rank for in less than six months. By using our advanced keyword research and topic writing process published earlier this year we also increased our organic traffic by 45% and the number of keywords ranking in the top ten results by 130%. But we got a whole lot more than just traffic. From planning to execution and performance tracking, we meticulously logged every aspect of the project. I’m talking blog word count, MarketMuse performance scores, on-page SEO scores, days indexed on Google. You name it, we recorded it. As a byproduct of this nerdery, we were able to draw juicy correlations between our target keyword rankings and variables that can affect and predict those rankings. […]

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How to Win Some Local Customers Back from Amazon this Holiday Season

Your local business may not be able to beat Amazon at the volume of their own game of convenient shipping this holiday season, but don’t assume it’s a game you can’t at least get into! This small revelation took me by surprise last month while I was shopping for a birthday gift for my brother. Like many Americans, I’m feeling growing qualms about the economic and societal impacts of putting my own perceived convenience at the top of a list of larger concerns like ensuring fair business practices, humane working conditions, and sustainable communities. So, when I found myself on the periphery of an author talk at the local independent bookstore and the book happened to be one I thought my brother would enjoy, I asked myself a new question: “I wonder if this shop would ship?” There was no signage indicating such a service, but I asked anyway, and […]

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What Do Dolphins Eat? Lessons from How Kids Search

Kids may search differently than adults, but there are some interesting insights from how they use Google that can help deepen our understanding of searchers in general. Comfort levels with particular search strategies, reading only the bold words, taking search suggestions and related searches as answers — there’s a lot to dig into. In this week’s slightly different-from-the-norm Whiteboard Friday, we welcome the fantastic Will Critchlow to share lessons from how kids search. Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Hi, everyone. I’m Will Critchlow, founder and CEO of Distilled, and this week’s Whiteboard Friday is a little bit different. I want to talk about some surprising and interesting and a few funny facts that I learnt when I was reading some research that Google did about how kids search for information. So this isn’t super […]

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Google’s August 1st Core Update: Week 1

On August 1, Google (via Danny Sullivan’s @searchliaison account) announced that they released a “broad core algorithm update.” Algorithm trackers and webmaster chatter confirmed multiple days of heavy ranking flux, including our own MozCast system: Temperatures peaked on August 1-2 (both around 114°F), with a 4-day period of sustained rankings flux (purple bars are all over 100°F). While this has settled somewhat, yesterday’s data suggests that we may not be done. August 2nd set a 2018 record for MozCast at 114.4°F. Keep in mind that, while MozCast was originally tuned to an average temperature of 70°F, 2017-2018 average temperatures have been much higher (closer to 90° in 2018). Temperatures by Vertical There’s been speculation that this algo update targeted so called YMYL queries (Your Money or Your Life) and disproportionately impacted health and wellness sites. MozCast is broken up into 20 keyword categories (roughly corresponding to Google Ads categories). Here […]

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Rewriting the Beginner’s Guide to SEO, Chapter 4: On-Page Optimization

Chapter Four of the Beginner’s Guide to SEO rewrite is chock full of on-page SEO learnings. After all the great feedback you’ve provided thus far on our outline, Chapter One, Chapter Two, and Chapter Three, we’re eager to hear how you feel about Chapter Four. What really works for you? What do you think is missing? Read on, and let us know your thoughts in the comments! Chapter 4: On-Page Optimization Use your research to craft your message. Now that you know how your target market is searching, it’s time to dive into on-page optimization, the practice of crafting web pages that answer searcher’s questions. On-page SEO is multifaceted, and extends beyond content into other things like schema and meta tags, which we’ll discuss more at length in the next chapter on technical optimization. For now, put on your wordsmithing hats — it’s time to create your content! Creating […]

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Take the 2018 Moz Local Search Marketing Industry Survey

Local search marketing is a dynamic and exciting discipline, but like many digital professions, it can be a bit isolating. You may find yourself running into questions that don’t have a ready answer, things like… What sort of benchmarks should I be measuring my daily work by? Do my clients’ needs align with what my colleagues are seeing? Am I over/undervaluing the role of Google in my future work? Here’s a chance to find out what your peers are observing and doing on a day-to-day basis. The Moz Local Search Marketing Industry Survey will dive into job descriptions, industries served, most effective tactics, tool usage, and the non-stop growth of Google’s local features. We’ll even touch on how folks may have been impacted by the recent August 1 algorithm update, if at all. In-house local SEOs, agency local SEOs, and other digital marketers are all welcome! […]

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Calculated Fields in Google Data Studio – Whiteboard Friday

Google Data Studio is a powerful tool to have in your SEO kit. Knowing how to get the most out of its power begins with understanding how to use calculated fields to apply good old-fashioned math to your data. In this week’s Whiteboard Friday, we’re delighted to welcome guest host Dana DiTomaso as she takes us through how to use calculated fields in Google Data Studio to uncover more value in your data and improve your reports. Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Hi, Moz fans. I’m Dana DiTomaso, President and partner at Kick Point, and we love Google Data Studio at Kick Point. You may not love Google Data Studio yet, but after you watch this I think you probably will. One of the first things that you think about Google Data Studio is: […]

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Rewriting the Beginner’s Guide to SEO, Chapter 3: Keyword Research

Welcome to the draft of Chapter Three of the new and improved Beginner’s Guide to SEO! So far you’ve been generous and energizing with your feedback for our outline, Chapter One, and Chapter Two. We’re asking for a little more of your time as we debut the our third chapter on keyword research. Please let us know what you think in the comments! Chapter 3: Keyword Research Understand what your audience wants to find. Now that you’ve learned how to show up in search results, let’s determine which strategic keywords to target in your website’s content, and how to craft that content to satisfy both users and search engines. The power of keyword research lies in better understanding your target market and how they are searching for your content, services, or products. Keyword research provides you with specific search data that can help you answer questions like: What are people […]

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Better Than Basics: Custom-Tailoring Your SEO Approach

Just like people, websites come in all shapes and sizes. They’re different ages, with different backgrounds, histories, motivations, and resources at hand. So when it comes to approaching SEO for a site, one-size-fits-all best practices are typically not the most effective way to go about it (also, you’re better than that). An analogy might be if you were a fitness coach. You have three clients. One is a 105lb high school kid who wants to beef up a little. One is a 65-year-old librarian who wants better heart health. One is a heavyweight lumberjack who’s working to be the world’s top springboard chopper. Would you consider giving each of them the same diet and workout routine? Probably not. You’re probably going to: Learn all you can about their current diet, health, and fitness situations. Come up with the best approach and the best tactics for each situation. Test your way […]

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Using the Flowchart Method for Diagnosing Ranking Drops – Whiteboard Friday

Being able to pinpoint the reason for a ranking drop is one of our most perennial and potentially frustrating tasks as SEOs. There are an unknowable number of factors that go into ranking these days, but luckily the methodology for diagnosing those fluctuations is readily at hand. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, we welcome the wonderful Kameron Jenkins to show us a structured way to diagnose ranking drops using a flowchart method and critical thinking. Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Hey, everyone. Welcome to this week’s edition of Whiteboard Friday. My name is Kameron Jenkins. I am the new SEO Wordsmith here at Moz, and I’m so excited to be here. Before this, I worked at an agency for about six and a half years. I worked in the SEO department, and really a common […]

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Rewriting the Beginner’s Guide to SEO, Chapter 2: Crawling, Indexing, and Ranking

It’s been a few months since our last share of our work-in-progress rewrite of the Beginner’s Guide to SEO, but after a brief hiatus, we’re back to share our draft of Chapter Two with you! This wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Kameron Jenkins, who has thoughtfully contributed her great talent for wordsmithing throughout this piece. This is your resource, the guide that likely kicked off your interest in and knowledge of SEO, and we want to do right by you. You left amazingly helpful commentary on our outline and draft of Chapter One, and we’d be honored if you would take the time to let us know what you think of Chapter Two in the comments below. Chapter 2: How Search Engines Work – Crawling, Indexing, and Ranking First, show up. As we mentioned in Chapter 1, search engines are answer machines. They exist to discover, understand, […]

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Reputation Management SEO: How to Own Your Branded Keywords in Google – Whiteboard Friday

A searcher’s first experience with your brand happens on Google’s SERPs — not your website. Having the ability to influence their organic first impression can go a long way toward improving both customer perception of your brand and conversion rates. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand takes us through the inherent challenges of reputation management SEO and tactics for doing it effectively. Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we are chatting about reputation management SEO. So it turns out I’ve been having a number of conversations with many of you in the Moz community and many friends of mine in the startup and entrepreneurship worlds about this problem that happens pretty consistently, which is essentially that folks who are searching for your brand […]

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The Local SEO’s Guide to the Buy Local Phenomenon: A Competitive Advantage for Clients

Photo credit: Michelle Shirley What if a single conversation with one of your small local business clients could spark activity that would lead to an increase in their YOY sales of more than 7%, as opposed to only 4% if you don’t have the conversation? What if this chat could triple the amount of spending that stays in their town, reduce pollution in their community, improve their neighbors’ health, and strengthen democracy? What if the brass ring of content dev, link opportunities, consumer sentiment and realtime local inventory is just waiting for you to grab it, on a ride we just haven’t taken yet, in a setting we’re just not talking about? Let’s travel a different road today, one that parallels our industry’s typical conversation about citations, reviews, markup, and Google My Business. As a 15-year sailor on the Local SEO ship, I love all this stuff, but, like you, […]

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The Rules of Link Building – Whiteboard Friday

Are you building links the right way? Or are you still subscribing to outdated practices? Britney Muller clarifies which link building tactics still matter and which are a waste of time (or downright harmful) in today’s episode of Whiteboard Friday. Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Happy Friday, Moz fans! Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Today we are going over the rules of link building. It’s no secret that links are one of the top three ranking factors in Goggle and can greatly benefit your website. But there is a little confusion around what’s okay to do as far as links and what’s not. So hopefully, this helps clear some of that up. The Dos All right. So what are the dos? What do you want to be doing? First and most importantly is just […]

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Your Red-Tape Toolkit: 7 Ways to Earn Trust and Get Your Search Work Implemented

Tell me if this rings a bell. Are your search recommendations overlooked and misunderstood? Do you feel like you hit roadblocks at every turn? Are you worried that people don’t understand the value of your work? I had an eye-opening moment when my colleague David Mitchell, Chief Technology Officer at VML, said to me, “You know the best creatives here aren’t the ones who are the best artists — they’re the ones who are best at talking about the work.” I have found that the same holds true in search. As an industry, we are great at talking about the work — we’re fabulous about sharing technical knowledge and new developments in search. But we’re not so great at talking about how we talk about the work. And that can make all the difference between our work getting implementing and achieving great results, or languishing in a backlog. It’s so […]

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Desktop, Mobile, or Voice? (D) All of the Above – Whiteboard Friday

We’re facing more and more complexity in our everyday work, and the answers to our questions are about as clear as mud. Especially in the wake of the mobile-first index, we’re left wondering where to focus our optimization efforts. Is desktop the most important? Is mobile? What about the voice phenomenon sweeping the tech world? As with most things, the most important factor is to consider your audience. People aren’t siloed to a single device — your optimization strategy shouldn’t be, either. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Dr. Pete soothes our fears about a multi-platform world and highlights the necessity of optimizing for a journey rather than a touchpoint. Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Hey, everybody. It’s Dr. Pete here from Moz. I am the Marketing Scientist here, and I flew in from Chicago […]

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How to Optimize Car Dealership Websites

Getting any local business to rank high on Google is becoming more and more difficult, but one of the most competitive — and complex — industries for local SEO are car dealerships. Today’s car shoppers do much of their research online before they even step into a dealership showroom. (And many people don’t even know what type of car they even want when they begin their search.) According to Google, the average car shopper only visits two dealerships when they’re searching for a new vehicle. That means it’s even more important than ever for car dealerships to show up high in local search results. However, car dealerships are more complex than the average local business — which means their digital marketing strategies are more complex, as well. First, dealers often sell new vehicles from several different manufacturers with a variety of makes and models. Next, because so many people trade […]

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What Do SEOs Do When Google Removes Organic Search Traffic? – Whiteboard Friday

We rely pretty heavily on Google, but some of their decisions of late have made doing SEO more difficult than it used to be. Which organic opportunities have been taken away, and what are some potential solutions? Rand covers a rather unsettling trend for SEO in this week’s Whiteboard Friday. Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re talking about something kind of unnerving. What do we, as SEOs, do as Google is removing organic search traffic? So for the last 19 years or 20 years that Google has been around, every month Google has had, at least seasonally adjusted, not just more searches, but they’ve sent more organic traffic than they did that month last year. So this has been on a […]

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The Minimum Viable Knowledge You Need to Work with JavaScript & SEO Today

If your work involves SEO at some level, you’ve most likely been hearing more and more about JavaScript and the implications it has on crawling and indexing. Frankly, Googlebot struggles with it, and many websites utilize modern-day JavaScript to load in crucial content today. Because of this, we need to be equipped to discuss this topic when it comes up in order to be effective. The goal of this post is to equip you with the minimum viable knowledge required to do so. This post won’t go into the nitty gritty details, describe the history, or give you extreme detail on specifics. There are a lot of incredible write-ups that already do this — I suggest giving them a read if you are interested in diving deeper (I’ll link out to my favorites at the bottom). In order to be effective consultants when it comes to the topic of JavaScript […]

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