Infographics for SEO Benefit

Excerpts from my latest article at Practical eCommerce: “The SEO Benefit of Infographics.”

Search engine optimization professionals don’t usually recommend creating more images, but infographics can have a real benefit to SEO. Typically, images are used in place of textual content to convey the same message visually. Consequently, images tend to be viewed as detrimental to SEO efforts. Infographics, however, are in a class by themselves because they can quickly convert to links and shares that benefit SEO.

USA Today’s print newspaper popularized infographics in America years ago with its bite-sized front-page informational images. The same concept applies to the Internet, where visitors expect to receive information and entertainment instantly. The instant digestibility and visual appeal of infographics lure visitors to learn more.

  • Creating Successful Infographics
  • Hosting and Promoting Infographics
  • Infographics Gone Wrong

Read the article in full at Practical eCommerce »

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Originally posted on Web PieRat.

SEO and Microsites: A Hard Row to Hoe

Excerpts from my latest article at NBC 5 Chicago’s Inc. Well blog: “Why Microsites Make SEO Harder.”

Marketers love to spin off microsites for campaigns, e-commerce capabilities, mobile sites and more. It can be easier to create a microsite from scratch than just integrate a new feature or campaign into your existing website. But unless you’re working on a project that you don’t want associated with your brand, reconsider hosting it as a microsite on a new domain.

For SEO, it all boils down to authority. A new microsite on a new domain will have zero domain authority when it launches. It has no links, no shares, no domain history, nothing to tell search engines that it’s the new hotness. And while you’re certain that the content on this sparkling new microsite is amazing, the search engines will turn a blind eye until other sites link to it to confirm its worth and relevance to the wider world.

In addition, the new microsite essentially competes for the same organic search rankings and traffic that your primary site needs to win in order to drive leads or sales. In the beginning at least, the microsite will be very weak in terms of the domain and link authority required to win those organic search rankings. It will require a large amount of content marketing and link building work to strengthen the microsite’s authority to the point where it can rank. And those resources will have been used to essentially build a competing site that, if successful, will cannibalize traffic and conversions from your primary site.

Instead, the same content and resources spent on the microsite can be used instead to strengthen the SEO performance of your primary site rather than competing with it….

Read the article in full at Inc. Well »

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Originally posted on Web PieRat.

4 Ways to Kill Your SEO Dead

Excerpts from my latest article at Practical eCommerce: “4 Fast Ways to Kill Your SEO.”

Search engine optimization experts usually focus on what you should do to improve your site’s organic search rankings. In this post, I’m asking the opposite question: What are the fastest ways to destroy your site’s SEO performance? Here’s a list of my top four mistakes:

  • Launch the New, Ignore the Old
  • Follow Your Gut
  • Buy Links
  • Seek Shortcuts

Read the article in full for descriptions of each of these SEO killers at Practical Ecommerce/a> »

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Originally posted on Web PieRat.

Get More Links Doing What You Already Do

Excerpts from my latest article at Practical eCommerce: “SEO: 3 Ways to Grow Links to Your Ecommerce Site.”

Search engine optimization relies in large part on relevant content and authoritative links from other sites. As the search engines develop ever-more stringent algorithms around relevance and authority, it becomes harder to acquire links that will actually matter to your site’s SEO efforts. Fortunately, your business is likely already doing some things that can be tweaked to encourage sites to link to your site for SEO benefit.

These days, links need to be earned organically from relevant and authoritative sites rather than built or submitted as they could be even five years ago. The best links will come from sites that manufacture, write about, or sell the same types of products that your ecommerce site sells. In addition….

Read the article in full at Practical eCommerce »

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Originally posted on Web PieRat.

Avoiding Algorithmic Pandas and Penguins

Excerpts from my latest article at Practical eCommerce: “SEO: Avoiding Penguins and Pandas.”


Google’s recent penchant for naming major algorithmic updates after animals has the world of search engine optimization sounding more like a zookeeper’s dilemma. But with rumors of an impending Penguin update right around the corner, ecommerce marketers need to know their Penguins from their Pandas, and how to avoid the ire of both.

In both cases, Penguin and Panda are algorithmic updates. Each represents updates to the hundreds of signals that Google uses to analyze and rank web pages for its search results pages. Penguin and Panda are primarily associated with negative impact on organic search traffic. Algorithmic updates are different than a manual penalty, in which human members of Google’s Web Spam team manually identify violations to Google’s webmaster guidelines and assess penalties on those pages. Because Penguin and Panda act algorithmically, if a site that has been demoted can identify and remove the issue, the site should be able to rebound algorithmically as well.

Most algorithms are being constantly tweaked and updated within Google’s main index. As a result, the impact of these continual updates isn’t felt strongly or suddenly as the algorithms evolve. Interestingly, Penguin and Panda are processed outside of the main index. Consequently, the updates to the rankings that these two algorithms produce are experienced in sudden bursts of change to rankings and traffic, lending Penguin and Panda their fearsome reputation.

Read the article in full at Practical eCommerce for more detail on Google’s Penguin and Panda algorithm updates. »

PS: For lots of interesting details on how Google instructs its human quality raters, see Search Engine Land’s article from 9/7/12: “Google Search Quality Raters Instructions Gain New “Page Quality” Guidelines.” I guess this topic is on a lot of minds lately.

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Originally posted on Web PieRat.