Best SEO Tools & Resources for 2015
Jul08

Best SEO Tools & Resources for 2015

20SHARESFacebookTwitter 2014 was so last year, so I thought I’d create a new post on tools to use in 2015. Of course, preferred tools change all the time and tools that I used last year, I may no longer use anymore. Last year, I created a list of 14 of the best SEO tools to use in 2014 and now I look back at some of them, and think, are they still relevant or as important as they were last year? I’ve also changed jobs and have gone from agency to in-house, so the dynamic has changed in that respect. I’ve gone from doing ‘agency SEO’ to ‘in-house SEO’, which are vastly different in my opinion, but that’s another subject for another time. Introducing a twist to this article: I’ve included real life examples/scenarios of where I’ve used each of these tools. Click on the drop down bars below each section to view more information. Now, let’s get on with the list of the best SEO tools so far in 2015: 1. URL Profiler Website: URL Profiler URL Profiler is by far one of the most useful tools that I’ve come across in 2015. Its features are almost similar to another tool called Netpeak (free). I was introduced to that tool back in 2014, and was impressed with Netpeak, but I’m even more impressed with URL Profiler. It does come with a cost, but it’s well worth the cost with regard to the technical abilities you gain out of using this tool. This is a definite MUST for agencies and anyone working in-house. Its useful for analysing websites you work on and competitor websites. At £9.95 per month for a solo license, this tool is affordable for anyone doing serious SEO work on a website. The next biggest packages come at a cost of £12.95, £19.95, and £29.95. The various packages allow you to use the software on more than one machine, increased connections speeds, and allow for larger URL imports. More info on this tool (click to expand) Real Life Scenario with Using this Tool I used URL Profiler to do competitor analysis on Compare The Market and their new ‘2 for 1 cinema deals.’ I basically wanted to find out, as a result of their new marketing giveaway, how many websites and what websites were linking to CTM. Ahrefs & Majestic were only showing 21 referring domains to a certain section of their site where the 2 for 1 deal exists as a landing page. However, I knew that they’d seen far greater exposure. So I used a Chrome Plugin called OS Scraper to scrape relevant search results about...

Read More
Why has Search Interest in Free Web Hosting Declined Over Time?
Jun15

Why has Search Interest in Free Web Hosting Declined Over Time?

19SHARESFacebookTwitter I used to be quite big in the free web hosting industry. After all, I did run my own free web hosting company from 2007 to 2009. Today, I thought I’d check up on a few forums that I used to post on and essentially where I used to get my leads. Back then, for me at least, it wasn’t about making money. It was about providing a reliable web hosting service and supporting it in any way that I could. It became my first ever project and passion. You’d think, as being an SEO, that I got most of my leads from Google, but it wasn’t. I used to get my leads by signing up on relevant forums and contributing to discussions to make a name for myself. Whilst I was in my senior years in secondary school, I tried to run this free web hosting service. It was amazing at first, because I had a forum community that backed me at the time. They were voluntary staff who I’d give free web hosting to in return for their help. The business model was to make money from Google AdSense by basically forcing community members to add my Google AdSense ads to their website. For the majority of the time, I was working at a garden centre every weekend, trying to pay for the upkeep of 2 dedicated servers running on cPanel/WHM. I was paying up to $500 per month at one point. With the GBP being worth double that of USD, it was affordable and doable as I rented those servers in the US. Free Web Hosting Downward Trend So, that was then. The industry was on a downward trend according to the following Google Trends graph, but at the time, my web hosting service was averaging 30,000 unique visitors per month. It was significant enough for me. If you look at the chart below, I looked at the top 3 ‘free web hosting’ related terms, and as you can see in May 2015, interest has almost dropped to insignificant levels when in comparison to 2004 – 2009 periods. Why has search interest died for ‘free web hosting‘? Free web hosting used to be quite popular, as well as free forum creation services, which started to sprout up from 2005 on-wards. I used to be a real big fan of Invision Free in 2005, and that was a massive forum creation service that allowed anyone to create discussion boards on any particular subject. I remember at the time, Invision Free had around 100 active users on their support forum concurrently. If we look now, there are only...

Read More
How Aunt Bessie’s Redesign has Ruined Their Search Visibility
Nov04

How Aunt Bessie’s Redesign has Ruined Their Search Visibility

25SHARESFacebookTwitter Aunt Bessie’s is a well-known UK brand that produces processed frozen foods. Notably their Yorkshire Pudding range of frozen processed foods is what they are known for. In October, Aunt Bessie’s website was updated and from the looks of it, it was updated with interactivity and design in mind only. This of course has led to Aunt Bessie’s fall in search visibility, as there has been no thought in regards to SEO. One glance in Search Metrics of their SEO Visibility reveals quite a shocking drop: This drop in visibility occurred throughout September – October. You might be thinking that this was either a Panda 4.1 or Penguin 3.0 update that caused this. However, I ruled this out once I had identified what they had done when they had re-designed their website. The technical elements (redirects) have also played a large part in the demise of their visibility. It also hasn’t helped that they’ve deleted pages and not really replaced them with like-for-like pages. What Keywords Dropped? KeywordURLPos.TrendSearch Volume yorkshire puddingwww.auntbessies.co.uk/products/yorkshire-puddings/home-bake-yorkshires/16-666,850 roast potatoeswww.auntbessies.co.uk/products/potatoes-1/homestyle-roast-potatoes/13-130,191 yorkshire puddingswww.auntbessies.co.uk/products/yorkshire-puddings/home-bake-yorkshires/17-57,130 yorkshire pudding mixwww.auntbessies.co.uk/products/store-cupboard/yorkshire-pudding-mix-1/9-14,308 mashed potatoeswww.auntbessies.co.uk/products/potatoes-1/homestyle-mashed-potato-1/22-86,154 rice puddingwww.auntbessies.co.uk/products/store-cupboard/classic-rice-pudding/31-1017,916 spotted dickwww.auntbessies.co.uk/products/great-british-puddings-1/spotted-dick/17-27,570 dumplingswww.auntbessies.co.uk/products/savoury-additions/light-fluffy-dumplings/28-211,133 onion gravywww.auntbessies.co.uk/products/store-cupboard/onion-gravy-granules/30-512,441 If we look at the table above, Aunt Bessie’s has dropped for these highly searched-for keywords. Their website re-design has been the culprit for this. If you look at the above keywords and the respective URLs, you’ll find out if you go to any of those URLs they all redirect to one location: Original URL301 redirect to www.auntbessies.co.uk/products/yorkshire-puddings/home-bake-yorkshires/http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Product www.auntbessies.co.uk/products/potatoes-1/homestyle-roast-potatoes/http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Product www.auntbessies.co.uk/products/yorkshire-puddings/home-bake-yorkshires/http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Product www.auntbessies.co.uk/products/store-cupboard/yorkshire-pudding-mix-1/http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Product www.auntbessies.co.uk/products/potatoes-1/homestyle-mashed-potato-1/http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Product www.auntbessies.co.uk/products/store-cupboard/classic-rice-pudding/http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Product www.auntbessies.co.uk/products/great-british-puddings-1/spotted-dick/http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Product www.auntbessies.co.uk/products/savoury-additions/light-fluffy-dumplings/http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Product www.auntbessies.co.uk/products/store-cupboard/onion-gravy-granules/http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Product It’s because they’ve mass redirected everything to a single page that they’ve lost search visibility. They’ve not created pages to replace the old; instead they’ve created one HTML5 interactive website that tries to cater for multiple landing pages. However, there is no relevancy considering there is near to no textual copy on the page and when it comes to meta data they aren’t clearly defining pages. In effect, they aren’t helping Google at all with regards to defining their own pages, which in turn is impacting how Aunt Bessie’s website ranks. All Title Tags are the Same If we take a closer look at their page title tags, one of the most important SEO elements, they’ve effectively duplicated their title tag throughout their entire website: AddressPage Title http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Product/great-british-puddings/morello-cherry-pieAunt Bessies | Home Page http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Recipe/70Aunt Bessies | Home Page http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Recipe/73Aunt Bessies | Home Page http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Product/store-cupboardAunt Bessies | Home Page http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Recipe/72Aunt Bessies | Home Page http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Recipe/71Aunt Bessies | Home Page http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Product/potatoesAunt Bessies | Home Page http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Recipe/74Aunt Bessies | Home Page http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/PromisesAunt Bessies | Home Page http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/promises/board-packagingAunt Bessies | Home Page http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/Aunt Bessies | Home Page http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/promises/eggsAunt Bessies | Home Page http://www.auntbessies.co.uk/promises/meatAunt Bessies |...

Read More
Blogger Outreach is like Online Dating
Apr27

Blogger Outreach is like Online Dating

10SHARESFacebookTwitter Well, it’s more like match making. If your degree is in creative writing then you’re likely going to be attracted to someone that likes reading, writing and doing creative things. You aren’t likely to fall for someone who is the exact opposite and doesn’t like all these things. It’s not natural and this is what Google looks at and applies weight to. If your client is, for example, in the fashion industry then you’ll want to connect with bloggers in the fashion niche, and not blogs about car finance, insurance or a plethora of other niches. Not only will you be connecting directly to your audience, but you’ll be doing something that actually make sense. It’s a no-brainer. MajesticSEO & Dixon Jones @ BrightonSEO Last week I attended an SEO event in the UK called BrightonSEO, a yearly event that is hosted in the lovely beach town of Brighton. Dixon Jones from MajesticSEO presented with a presentation entitled “Do links still matter in 2014?” It was an excellent presentation backed with data and a new MajesticSEO feature that categorises websites’ backlink profiles. For example, if we look at Toyota UK’s website purely based on backlinks you’ll find that its ‘topical trust flow‘ is mostly based around websites about “Recreation/Autos”. I believe this essentially means that Toyota’s main pool of backlinks is sourced from motor enthusiasts or many of the popular motor advice forums that exist out there. This tool essentially allows you to see what this site is about — based purely on links. It doesn’t look at the website, but the links associated with that website. This paints a picture as to what Google’s spiders can be seeing when they go through the indexation process. So if Google knows what sort of sites are linking to Toyota then why wouldn’t they use this as a factor in ranking a website for motor related terms? Why would Google rank your website higher for a motor related term when the site linking to you isn’t about cars/motors? I feel it’s all about relevancy and this will prove vital for many websites in the future. It’s essentially why you should be targeting websites that are actually related to your website; and don’t ever forget the quality of that website or the links even pointing to that website; are they relevant? I mean, you wouldn’t date someone who is interested in American football, when you are interested in (rest of the world) football? Or would you. 🙂 Do links really matter anymore in 2014? In my notes during Dixon Jones’ speech I wrote down that Dixon said the following about links: ‘Of course links...

Read More
Authorship Rich Snippet Now Working After 3 Months
Mar25

Authorship Rich Snippet Now Working After 3 Months

12SHARESFacebookTwitter During the end of 2013, Google reduced the number of authorship rich snippets by 15%. Matt Cutts, Google’s head of webspam, announced that they would reduce the number of sites that would receive the authorship rich snippet based on the quality of the website the “rel=author” markup is being used on. On December 31st, 2013 I setup authorship on this website and for some reason I could only see the text snippet and the photo of myself seemed to be non-existent. I questioned whether my website was good enough, so I experimented by accepting a fairly reputable guest blogger in the field of SEO to blog on Vlexo.NET and implemented the correct markup, which resulted in their image eventually showing up in the SERPs: Whilst this was going on, I was still having issues with my authorship rich snippet image from showing up. But the above screenshot proves that it has NOTHING to do with my website, but perhaps other factors. I looked into the following potential issues: Perhaps I had implemented the “rel=author” markup incorrectly My profile picture was not within the correct guidelines (this appears to be quite a common issue) I rechecked everything to no avail, and nothing happened — so I sort of gave up at this stage. Obviously, there was something that Google didn’t like or perhaps I just needed to wait it out. And so I did! You can see what I mean when the G+ profile picture never showed up: Fast forward to today and this is currently what one of my articles look like on the search engine results page when searching for “Best SEO tools”: As you can see by the fancy arrow that I’ve added to the image above, my Google+ profile picture is now visible in the search engine results pages as a thumbnail. This should potentially increase my click-through rates (CTR) and I’m monitoring see if this has an impact on traffic. However, it’s not all good news as Google seem to have excluded a few articles that I had wrote from receiving my beautiful face from appearing in the search engine results pages. For example, Google has excluded my Google+ image from the following article in the search engine results page. I have found however that they have only included the authorship rich snippet on articles going forward from a certain date. I can’t see why they would do this, but it’s no big deal as they’ve placed the authorship rich snippets on most of the articles that I would like them to be on. Hopefully going forward I’ll still receive such snippets on future articles. It...

Read More
Page 1 of 41234