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Technical SEO: How to Leverage HTML for Better Rankings

Technical Website OptimizationEvery webmaster wants his website to generate more traffic, and increase conversion rate. Both these aspects of a website represent better growth opportunities. This is where Search Engine Optimization comes to play. However, a lot of webmasters fail to understand the essentials of technical SEO.

Since usability is directly related to user interface of the website, users can see the result of a web browser’s interpretation of the HTML code, and not the code itself. HTML can be used to improve your website’s usability and rankings. This post will discuss how you can leverage HTML code and technical SEO to realize gains in your website’s search engine rankings.

Head

This is considered to be the most important aspect of the HTML structure of a website from a technical SEO perspective. In this section, you need to insert title tags, meta description, and search engine analytics code. In addition to this, the head tag uses other crucial tags, including meta tags and canonical tags. The Head tag needs to be relevant to the content and purpose of your website. It should not be general or random.

Title

Unlike the good old days, you can’t just stuff the title tag with some random keywords to attract more traffic. Search engines also display the content of the title tag as a clickable headline on Search Engine Results Pages. Moreover, the title tag is also used to determine the subject of your web page.

The primary reason is that search engine crawlers or spiders analyze the content on your page title, and translate the page topic. Due to this, the content of the title tag needs to be relevant to the content on your web page. If you consider this simple rule, the title tag will provide you with an optimized title tag.

Meta Description

Search engines tend to retrieve the web content placed in meta description tags. This content is displayed as the description in Search Engine Results Pages. It is worth mentioning that the length of description content in SERPs varies with search engines. Thus, you should try not to exceed 160 characters. The presence of meta description can help you attract more traffic. You will also grab users’ attention.

Canonical

A canonical page is a set of pages with similar content. In case your website has some pages with similar content, you don’t need to keep making changes to every page. Setting a URL as canonical can help you overcome the problem of similar content in your website. It is important to understand that duplicate content is penalized by search engines.

Links

Links are extremely important for technical SEO. With XML site maps, links represent the standard way in which crawlers index and locate web pages. In order to determine the basic value of the links, Google uses link juice, or the Page Rank of the linking domain. Thus, links need to be search engine friendly. They should be descriptive with keywords and a complete title attribute.

Besides these simple SEO elements, there are many other ways to leverage HTML for better rankings. You can need to focus on every aspect of your website. Successful website optimization for companies depends on an integrated approach towards HTML, web design and other elements.

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The Social Influence On Search: Insights From SMX London

SMX LondonThere's a great deal of speculation in the SEO community on the influence that social media has on the overall ranking/indexing on search engines. Most SEO experts believe that though Google and Bing have both denied any impact on the “natural selection” algorithm, there is great likelihood that social media has a part in the process.

The number of likes, tweets, pins, +1's, and shares should, to an extent, influence the indexing. John Mueller (Google) and Duane Forrester (Bing) recently responded to these uncertainties during the London SMX that took place on the 13th May 2014. Although their explanations still maintained social media activities are not part of the ranking reckoning, they did provide useful insights on possible influence. This is how they broke it down:

Definite Reasons for Likes/Tweets/Pins/+1's/Shares

Both Bing and Google explained that there has to be a definite reason why people would share, tweet or like a given page in larger numbers. This naturally attracts the search engines attention which they maintain is purposefully for evaluation meaning; the system will be interested in the content in these pages.

If the content is relevant, there is a great chance of a higher ranking for the pages. This is a basic explanation to address how social media can influence ranking. It is acceptable that where there are more shares, likes, pins, tweets and related socail activities, people must be to some extent realizing usefulness and search will close down on the same. In simple terms, more social activities combined with information relevance may increase your rankings.

Links & Socail Signals: Evaluation Mechanism

Usually Google and Bing rank sites that have been evaluated and determined to provide useful and relevant information according to the search. The two greatest search engines explained how social indicators are used in link evaluations rather than ranking. When webpage content receives a lot of social activity, it should be obvious that some people will make links to that content and include them in their sites/blogs or pages permanently.

This reshapes the idea behind links and introduces a new definition as well as evaluation, which search engines use to evaluate “credibility” and actions taken may include penalization. What this means is that a new content with over 100 links should exhibit correspondence in the number of shares it receives.

If say it only gets three shares, that situation would arguably be very abnormal insinuating less relevance and subsequent low rating. If it receives 1000 social shares on the other hand, that makes more sense and could influence indexing although this was not proclaimed in the event.

Conclusion

For any keen SEO expert, social indicators certainly do have an indirect influence on indexing which is entirely aimed at providing the most relevant and informational result as per the search. Search engines use social media to some extent in determining how quick content is indexed and whether the permanent links pointing to such content are valid.

However in conclusion, social media does not form part of the search engine algorithm, bet rather content relevancy and links still remains the strongest consideration.

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The Ideal Length of Your Online Marketing Content

Content marketingIf you’re going to create influence with content marketing, then it goes without saying that you must get the length of the content right. The biggest question then becomes, what is the ideal length of online-based marketing content?

While most online marketers may want to wish this question away, the truth of the matter it’s a very crucial question. The ideal content length is determined by a number of factors including industry standards and the level of engagement with the readers. While there are no rules cast in stone as far as the length of your content is concerned, there are universal guiding principles outlined below as per content type.

Blog Posts and Articles

The ideal length of a blog post varies from one author to the other. For instance some authors are comfortable writing short blog posts while others can write posts containing more than one thousand words.

According to statistics, the ideal length of a blog post should take the reader about seven minutes to skim through. This in essence means that it should be 1,400 to 1,750 words long bearing in mind that a typical person reads 200 to 250 words per minute. Anything that takes more than 7 minutes to read might not prove to be very popular.

Blog posts and articles should be broken in to short paragraphs to enhance readability. Use headings, subheading and bullet points. Have line breaks and let the length of each paragraph be three to four lines long. Also, if you're doing guest blogging, then be mindful of your blog host and the nature of the content presently on the their site.

Social Media

There’s a set upper limit on the number of characters you can use in most social media sites but no lower limit. Here’s a look at how long your content should be on various social platforms.

Twitter

If you want your tweet to be re-tweeted a number of times, then it should have 72 to 100 characters. Keep in mind that you need to engage with the audience and desist from using all the 140 characters allotted for tweeting. One hundred or less characters are bound to attract up to 117% engagement rate.

Facebook & Google+

Images are very powerful when it comes to creating engagement on Facebook and Google+, which are both very similar in nature. As a matter of fact images attract up to 120% engagement rate. How about text posts? What is the ideal length to encourage engagement?

According to some quarters, long posts put up a poor engagement standpoint. The perfect length for a Google+ or Facebook post should range from 100 to 119 characters.

Streaming Media

Short videos and podcasts will attract more viewers. Videos which are 30 seconds long usually have an amazing 85% completion rate. The ideal length of a YouTube video should be between 3 to 4 minutes so you must ensure you pass the intended message to your audience as fast as possible.

Title Tags and Meta Description

Title tags need to be eye catching while optimizing the keyword at the same time. A title tag shouldn’t be too long; it should be 50 to 565 characters and in case it’s longer than that, Google will abbreviate it.

In the same breath, Meta descriptions should be short too. They should contain precise words to summarize content, thus their ideal length should be between 150 and 160 characters. For more best practices regarding content length for title tags and meta descriptions, check out this blog post.

How long or short your content should be depends on a number of factors. The guidelines outlined above are just that; guidelines. They are meant to help you make the most out of your content and Internet marketing efforts; therefore it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s all there is to content-length.

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Bing Ads Intelligence: New Tools That Take Keyword Research Deeper

BingWhen Bing introduced their first keyword research tool, it received low appreciation and Google’s keyword tool was the bee's knees. However, this meant a great room for improvement and they have now launched a new tool that meets all the user friendly faults.

The new Bing Ads Intelligence allows users to perform keyword research for all their accounts held on Bing. It is an add-on for Microsoft Excel and exhibits customization of keyword lists according to the search trends derived from the Bing search engine.

Features of Bing Ads Intelligence

Keyword research is basically used to identify the common search patterns that users type in the search engines. This information can then be used to perform search engine optimization (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC) optimization, among other search marketing strategies.

Some of the features of the Bing Ads Intelligence include the campaign button that allows users to import keywords from existing websites and create extension versions of higher performance. Others include the bulk sheet that offers additional evaluation for an already existing analyzed worksheet. This tool works when the user is logged into an account and requires internet connectivity to use.

Benefits of Bing Ads Intelligence

The main advantage of using Bing Ads Intelligence is that it was designed using information derived from search patterns in Bing search engine. This makes it more appropriate in performing keyword research for the Bing clients.

Some benefits of Bing Ads Intelligence include the following:

Ease of installation – This tool does not require any technical skills to install and immediately introduces a tab in Excel. This application does not affect other functions of the original Excel and can be easily used in keyword researches. 

Easy usage – The Bing Ads Intelligence tool can be used by anyone with basic PPC knowledge and houses enhanced GUI features to help direct users. The descriptions are vivid, links easily navigable and the generated display in a clear readable format. 

Profound research options – The traffic, keyword performance and “more research” options allow users to ponder further on how keywords are typed on the search engine. With Bing Ads Intelligence, one can access a list of keywords relevant for a given webpage. Additionally, one can select a single keyword and request further expansion and ideas in order to facilitate online campaigns. 

Robust menu – The functionality of Bing Ads Intelligence is enormous with several features on the menu such as the campaign button. This allows users to import from other keyword campaigns and use it to formulate better efficient campaigns.

Summary

Bing has finally produced an excellent keyword research tool that can be used by online companies to optimize their words thus become more visible. This tool is easy to install and the user friendliness is incredible. It is configured to blend with Microsoft Excel and carries out speedy research as well as analysis.

This feature also helps to monitor keyword campaigns and how other established sites are succeeding in their approaches. Keywords can be mapped and extensions formulated intelligently to create better versions that will be optimized in Bing’s engine. Additionally, relevant keywords from existing sites can be extracted making this tool very efficient in research and online campaigns.

To get started with this new and awesome platform, download it here.

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