The Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

seo

For the full version click below:

SearchEngineLand-Periodic-Table-of-SEO-2013

Thanks to Search Engine Land, we have a condensed overview of all the factors that play in the success of high ranking on search engines. It is important to be familiar with this canvas to ensure we don’t fall behind and optimise only off site SEO and forget the importance that on site factors play. With this canvas, we can compare our work done so far and identify areas of strength, as well as, areas where of weakness e.g. your website may have high quality backlinks linking back to your platform, but where you are failing is that fresh content that you have been meaning to upload. With this in mind, we can create actions and set KPIS to ensure we are always working for those higher positions.

#SEO

What is Barnacle SEO? Why should you use it? #rogerbot

Oh hey you! Barnacle SEO is a simple and a free technique, so don’t allow those fancy business terms scare you away. Coined by Will Scott, Barnacle SEO refers to the idea of “attaching oneself to a large fixed object and waiting for the customers to float by in the current.” When relating back to SEO, the idea is to attach your website to another higher ranking directory, with the goal of earning those site’s high traffic. These sites not only experience thee hustle and bustle of engagement from the internet audience, however Google ranks and favors these sites like its own familia. Intrigued? Yes so I am. To give away the secret, some of these golden sites to name are:

  1. Yelp,
  2. YouTube,
  3. Facebook,
  4. Google Plus
  5. Yahoo
  6. Superpages
  7. & Other High Authority Directories

Now that we are familiar with the meaning of the term and are in on the secret of the types of platforms we should be attaching ourselves onto, the only thing that is left for me to share is the steps that are necessary to fully barnacle your platform. Are you ready? 3 quick guidelines to help us reach our goal. Let’s face it, none of us have the time to be reading long SEO manuals. Here we go:

1. Carry out localised google research and find out what are the highest ranking directories in your industry and geographical area. Yelp is one to consider for all, as of the multiple query sections it services.

yelp

2. Having identified a platform you have chosen to attach yourself to, the second step is to build a great profile. This means including basic information such as your name, address, opening hours and website url as well any additional details your customers may be in the search for. Once you have built the foundation, to further gain authority behind your name, spend time gathering reviews, uploading photos and building as many social signals as you can! Do think of keywords when writing the description of your business, however keep it simple and customer friendly!

3. After your profile on your chosen platform is the best that it can be, the last step is to ensure it can be found. This means adding external links to your profile from your website and other high authority links that are linking to your owned media. No reason to build something, if you don’t create a pathway on which it can be found 🙂

There you have it! Enjoy the benefits barnacle SEO brings 🙂

Beginner’s Guide to WordPress SEO – Yoast

Roger SEO, seo, wordpress,

‘Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to walk from here?’ Alice

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to’, said the Cat.

‘I don’t much care where’, said Alice.

‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you walk’, said the Cat.

(Alice in Wonderland)

Beginner’s Guide to WordPress SEO – Yoast

Alice, unsure of her journey was free to take any path she wished. That is, when compared to our usual Googler, polar opposite. This Googler, who is aware of his desired end goal, types in a specific search query to find related website results. To help this Googler find answers to his questions, ensure your website is optimised by following this simple Beginners Guide to WordPress SEO – Yoast.

Apart from sharing compelling and fresh content on your blog to reach your goal of more readers, it is important to ensure the reader can easily find your website. This Beginner’s Guide to WordPress SEO -Yoast will allow you to achieve those extra eyeballs and hopefully more time on site! To ensure maximum impact, it is important to first read this Beginner’s Guide to WordPress SEO -Yoast before having created your blog, in order to make sure you optimise every single post from the get go. However, If you have alreadylaunched your blog, not to worry, as you can start from now and try reedit older posts with these new guidelines later.

To keep this short and simple and to the point, I have broken down the guidelines into seven short points! Following these SEO tips you can’t go wrong and hope you have some fun turning those Yoast traffic lights from red to green! 🙂

These guidelines have the goal to optimise individual posts on your blog. Below are the most important:

1. You must first choose a focus keyword for your blog post which most summarizes the content of the post. This can be a keyword or a keyword phrase. The goal of this keyword is to act as a compass for google robots to match Googler’s search query to the relevant website. To note, it is important when choosing a focus keyword for your blog posts to try and envision what type of search query you would choose to find this particular content i.e you are trying to predict the keywords used by the Googler.

2. Now that you have chosen your relevant focus keyword you must ensure it appears within this page’s url, title of article, subheading, copy of content and meta description.

3. Your body of content for each post should be no shorter than 300 words which is the recommended minimum.

4. It is advised to add in images to your blogpost which optimises your page even further. If you do choose to add pictures, make sure to include the focus keyword within the image’s alt tag.

5. The page’s title is advised to have the recommended minimum of 40 characters.

6. Make sure to have unique focus keywords for each blog post.

7. Include outbound links as appropriate to further optimise blog post.

Follow these guidelines and watch those lights change to green! 🙂 Have fun!

Additional information on WordPress SEO – Yoast : click here

Usability Tests! Have you heard? #Websitedesign

Dilbert Cartoon website design

“While I acknowledge that there is a need for art, fun, and a general good time on the web, I believe that the main goal of most web projects should be to make it easy for customers to perform useful tasks.”

(Jakob Nielsen, Designing Web Usability, p. 11.)

1. So why Usability Tests?

Usability tests are aimed to engage participants by writing task scenarios that are realistic, encourage an action and do not give away how the interface should be used.

Usability tests are one of the most effective ways of understanding what works and what doesn’t in doesn’t work in an interface by watching how people use it.

The idea is to choose the right participants who will attempt realistic activities where qualitative insights into what is casing users to have trouble can be identified. This helps to improve design and alongside it user experience. Additionally, “you can measure the percentage of tasks that users complete correctly as a way to communicate a site’s overall usability.” (McCloskey 2014)

 2. Designing a Website

Before designing a website one is first advised to ask the fundamental question : what purpose is it going to serve in people’s lives? In addition, how to make sure the design is easy to use and understand for the target audience.

These fundamental questions are only a few of the key challenges that web developers are faced with when tackling a web project and one must take note of the vast difference between web and print design. Those who may view web design through the lens of print design may be mistaken as the screen medium differs greatly to print. This is true to the fact as websites are constantly evolving there are millions of different decisions to be made in order to optimise user experience.

In short, the anticipated goals of the art of web design are questions such as: does the website resonate with people? Do they get something out of it? Do they learn from it? As well as, does is help them move to action?

To make sure you achieve your optimal website goals, it is most important to follow key usability heuristics where the “most general principles for interaction design, which called “heuristics” because they are more in the nature of rules of thumb than specific usability guidelines.” Nielsen (2000) These ten usability heuristics for User Interface Design by Jakob Nielsen are as follows:

 1. Visibility of system status: is focused on the idea that the system should always keep users informed in what’s going on though appropriate feedback and reasonable time. As an example it is best practice to include progress bars to let the user know how long it will take for a certain action to complete.

2. There also needs to be a match between the system and the real world: this focuses on where the system speaks user’s language with “words, phrases and concepts familiar to the user rather than system-orientated words”. (Harrison 2014). Also, a need to follow real life conventions where information appears in a natural and a logical order.

3. User control and freedom: it is known fact that that users choose system functions by mistake where this calls the need to have a clearly marked “emergency exit” to leave the unwanted state which can be supported by undo and redo. In addition, you can include the back button as well as breadcrumbs which allow the user to trace its steps and go back to the point in time that relates to their original search.

 4. Consistency and Standards: bias should be eliminated where users should not have to wonder whether words, situations, or actions mean the same thing. It needs to follow platform conventions where it is advisable to use CSS as well as have hyperlinks in blue text. In addition, previously clicked hyperlinks in purple text.

5. Error Prevention Good and careful design prevents a problem from occurring in the first place, however to eliminate prior-prone conditions one must check for them as well as present users with a confirmation option before they commit to an action. To prevent errors you need to give out clear instructions, highlight mandatory fields and remove or grey out choices.

6. Recognition rather than recall This principle focuses on a need to minimize user’s memory load by making objects, actions and options visible. The user should not have to remember large amounts of information from one dialogue to another where instructions for use of the system should be visible or easily retrievable. This is due to Miller’s Law of Magic 7 where the arguments highlights that individuals are not able to contain 7 (plus or minus 2) items in their short-term memory.

7. Flexibility and Efficiency of use This principle focuses on ensuring that the website is tailored to different types of users. Accelerators which are unseen by the novice user may speed up the interaction for the expert user such that the system can cater both for the inexperience and experience user. This calls for the need to allow users to tailor frequent actions. As an example of some accelerators are as follows: shortcuts for experienced/ frequent users, keyboards shortcuts, history of interaction, stored values, defaults as well as saved searches.

8. Aesthetic and minimalist design Moving further, keeping in mind that good design is not about bells and whistles, dialogues should not contain information, which is irrelevant or rarely needed. Less is more and one should minimize all distractions. One should appropriately direct attention to key interactions points and avoid extraneous content.

9. Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors Error messages “should be expressed in plain language (no codes), precisely indicate the problem, and constructively suggest a solution.” There is a need to have concise feedback messages, which are in plain English, and no syntax used as well as the offer of some direction.

10. Help and Documentation It may be necessary to provide help and documentation. This information should be easy to search, focused on the user’s task, list concrete steps to be carried out, and not be too large. Even though users don’t like reading manuals and prefer spending time while working towards a task goal, manuals and online help are vial where the user is frustrate or in crisis. Help should be: searchable, context-sensitive, task-oriented, concrete and concise.

In addition, to the 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design factors, also important to consider the readability of a website, site navigability, accessibility and speed. In terms of readability user should be able to identify what each block of information represents and which call to action it offers. Heat maps should be taken into account as well as the 3-second rule in relation to the speed of a page uploading.

Most traffic comes and leaves immediately. Everybody has ADHD, you can’t stop them from leaving. #Data

avinash kaushik

Avinash Kaushik, is one of the greatest if not the greatest data evangelist there is to know! Apart from his intelligence, his vibrant personality and candid humour, is all that completes this genius! I have recently grown into a habit of watching this great gentleman talk and now share his knowledge with others. In the mid of learning all that I can about data and data analytics, I’ve been summarizing key points from Avinash Kaushik’s talks and within this particular blog post, share some of his truths! If you’d also like to see the full video, click (here)

 1. Data gives you lots of questions and numbers but no answers.

2. Data puking is no longer right in the frame of reports is no longer acceptable.

3. Say “So what” three times when trying to identify the right metric to measure performance.

4. Data should drive action.

5. There is a difference between a Dashboard and a Report but a lot of individuals confuse this.

6. You don’t have to accept what Google analytics default report offer, create personalised ones for your own business.

7. A lot of people obsess about the homepage of their websites, what people type into the search engine, that is the home page of your website, not what you created.

8. Look at entrance paths, entrance keywords and identify which is your home page.

9. Sometimes you cant make decisions on your data, because you don’t have context ( extremely important)

10.Setting up goals allows you to provide context to your data.

11. Who cares about the absolute number, what are the actual improvements that have been made.

12. People against lonely metrics (Palm)

13. Why look at one metric, you need to find a best friend for your page metric.

14. Never look at one metric by itself ( wont impact your bottom line) Such as Avg. time on website and page on site.

15. Avg. hide the truth very effectively. ( such as an example where Avinash compares his salary to Bill Gates)

16. Do distribution and you will find out what is happening on your website.

17.Powerful way of looking at data, if you identify how loyal your customers are.

18. What about recency? Do people come again and again, when was the last time you seen Jim? Use this metric.

19. Huge metric of bounce rate : “I came, I puked, I left, bounce rate is extremely important.”

20. Avg. conversion rate in America is 2%. As a benchmark.

21. Most traffic comes and leaves immediately. Everybody has ADHD, you can’t stop them from leaving.

22. Search engines and bounce rate together to measure performance.

23. Look at top three entry pages and look at bounce rate.

24. The 10/90 rule you need to get lots of value ( ten dollars for the tool and the rest on the people)

25. Business acumen and common sense is extremely important when working with data.

26. Reporting is not analysis.

27. An educated mistake is better than no action at all.

28. Define, measure, analyse, improve.

29. Experiment or go home!

30. Do testing as testing gives you control.

31. 80% of the time you are wrong what customers want.

32. Let the actions be taken for you, by your customers.

33. Robots don’t execute java script and java script tags.