This month, Google rolled out a new help feature in their Webmasters tool. If you have been working on your site’s SEO, then probably you know most of this, however, its good to see how Google has nicely summarised this in one helpful page.
If you are not completely confident about your SEO fundamentals, then this is one thing that you should do immediately!
Once you launch a site, the work is not done … in fact the work of a webmaster has just begun! One clear metric for the success of your site (especially early on) is site traffic. Over a period of time as your site matures and you get a better sense of what drives your site, you will tend to discard this metric, but initially it is always traffic.
Search as a major component of Traffic
One good component of traffic is search, traffic that comes searching for content relevant to your subject. Yes! There are people out there who are actively searching for things about which you want to write!! Right from narrow niches such as Pathare Prabhu Recipes to broad gulches such as Being Awesome in Excel.
For content rich websites, Search is a major component contributing to the site’s traffic. For example, 70% of my site’s traffic comes from Google Search! This is actually higher than what I wanted it to be and I try to bring it down by driving traffic via other sources, however I will always want a good fat 40-50% traffic coming to my site via search.
In fact when I started working on my site on a regular basis around 6 months back (as part of my new year resolution), I hardly realized that it would make such a big difference to the traffic split.
If you want to acquire organic traffic, then write good content … write about things that move you, about things which you are passionate about. Write from the heart, and forget about those grammatical mistakes. If you have a friend who is a grammar nazi, get him/her to review your post later on.
Ranking that Content higher on Google
So now that you have a stream of content on your site, how to ensure that people who are searching for your subject matter actually end up finding your website?
This is where your friends and social circle comes in!
Sharing your content with friends and getting them like/+1 the content is a social signal that search engines read. This acts like a testimonial for your site in the eyes of the search engine.
See this for yourself, take one article on your site and like this on Google+. Then search for this article via your friend’s Google id … note the before +1 Search Engine Ranking Position (SERP) and the after SERP.
Google+, you have my attention
Here is a list of things that you need to get setup on with Google+ –
Setup Authorship on Google – This will link your Google+ profile to the content you create. It also ensures that your Google+ profile pic is displayed besides the content you write and this gets shown when someone is searching for the content that you have written. Stats provided by Google on this suggest that linking Authorship will get you a 30% boost in your organic click-through rates
Be active on Google+ – Make this a part of your daily routine. Google+ is good for content discovery, try and meet new people on Google+, focus on increasing the number of people who are in your circles and who have you in their circles. This will increase the visibility of your content on Google for at least those people. In case if you have had some interaction with them, then chances are they would want to read what you have to say about the subject that they are currently searching!
Get those Google+ Shares – To initially start off, ask your friends to share your site on Google+. This works. It does wear down on your personal equity, but what are friends for if not to help you out :-D
Don’t simply take my word for this. Even Moz (erstwhile SEOMoz) says that there is correlation between Google +1s and Higher SERPs. In layman’s terms what this means is that the more +1s on Google+ your article gets, the higher will it rank on Google.
So get on this network and start using Google+! Instead of wasting time liking lolcats on Facebook, try and use your spare time
I always get into a quandary when it comes to setting up the SEO strategy for a site which spans across multiple geographies. What would the best course of action be, to use sub-directories and depend on the equity of the main site, or to spawn separate Top Level Domains (TLDs) and increase the quanta of work.
In fact sometimes this becomes a case of Analysis-Paralysis … inaction which comes from considering too many pros and cons.
This is where Aleyda Solis has shined through with a simple infographic for people like me. Here’s the gist of this, and that’s why I love this infographic –
If you have content for all the different TLDs, then go ahead with multiple TLDs since that’s the best approach. If you do not have that much content, then you can use language based sub-directories with the hreflang attribute and meta content language.
Microsoft’s search engine is one of the lesser known search engines on the web. With lesser known I mean that its far behind in terms of market share with respect to the market leader – Google.
One thing that seems to be working in their favour though, is the So.cl is doing better than G+. Now, in an attempt to nudge out Google from the King of Search Engines, Microsoft has rolled out a new update with their Windows platform. The Bing Desktop.
Good features, and I do recommend this because I like beautiful wallpapers on my desktop :), is that Bing auto-changes the desktop on my Windows. It’s a simple feature, but its different from what Google Desktop does. The rest of the features are pretty much the same as Google Desktop (including the search bar when you hit Ctrl twice).
Google increased their business by focusing on their main product – Search. I think Microsoft is taking a page from that strategic move … focus on pushing products via their flagship product – Windows.