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Showing posts from April 15, 2016
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HTTP to HTTPS: An SEO’s guide to securing a website

Back when I wrote the article, “Why Everyone Should Be Moving To HTTP/2,” it was meant to bring awareness to an awesome protocol upgrade that I thought was an easy win to make a website faster.Since then, I have spoken to hundreds of business owners and SEOs about upgrading, performed dozens of upgrades and troubleshot dozens more. I have realized that there is still one big hurdle for both business owners and SEOs: HTTPS. The gotcha moment with HTTP/2 is that most browsers only support this new protocol over a secure connection, which means you have to migrate your website to HTTPS.It shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that Google and many others want the web to be more secure. Google had their HTTPS everywhere campaign, they announced HTTPS as a ranking signal, and they have started indexing secure pages over unsecured pages. They even have their own guide, “Securing Your Website With HTTPS,” which I encourage everyone to read, along with this article.Yet with all of this push towa…

How I use my marketing technology stack (SEO edition)

Marketing technology (martech) stacks are all the buzz right now, especially following the Stackie awards given out at the MarTech Conference recently. There were some excellent visualizations of what technologies companies use and how they categorize them within different stages of their funnel.To me, this is all very fascinating. I love checking out what other companies are using and discovering new tech solutions. But these visualizations are missing something: how do they specifically use it all?We need some good how-to content around using martech stacks. Originally, I had wanted to outline some step-by-step use cases for my martech stack(s), but I realized that I could write a book on it. Instead, I’m going to focus on how I use my martech stack to manage my SEO efforts.I look at SEO like a carousel:It’s constantly going round and round — continuous, unending efforts are needed to compete in new topics or keywords and to keep up with changes in the way search engines operate.The…

Learning CSS with Cats and a Dinner Table

CSS, short for Cascading Style Sheets, are rules (or “styles”) that define how content should look on a web page. To give you an example, if your web page contains a table, you can use CSS to specify the thickness of the border and the color of text inside that table.Learning CSS is easy. There are a plethora of good online tutorials or, if you prefer the traditional route, get a book. My favorites CSS books include HTML & CSS by John Duckett and CSS Secrets by Lea Verou.You should also watch the YouTube series by Travis Neilson and Guy Routledge, probably the best free video resources for learning everything about CSS.I recently stumbled upon a couple of web resources that take the help of cats and post-it notes and make learning CSS even more interesting and entertaining.CSS Basics with Post-It Notes (link)Designer Kaylan takes the help of colorful post-it notes for visualizing the the basic concepts of CSS.CSS Selectors Explained with CSS (link)If you have figured out how to wr…

Five of the most interesting SEM news stories of the week

In this week’s round up we have penalties for bloggers, Google indexing image alt tags and the most expensive AdWords keywords. Google begins testing green ‘ad’ labelsA few people starting spotting green ‘ad’ labels on Google paid ads from yesterday.It initially seemed to be a UK test, but I’ve since seen examples from around Europe, the US and Australia so it seems Google is testing this widely.The question is why, and it’s not hard to guess that making them seem more like organic results is a possible explanation.Testing whether Google will rank keywords in image alt tagsAn interesting test conducted by Dawn Anderson, which she writes about on SEM Post.Dawn explains the test in detail, but it shows that Googlebot will read and index keywords in the image alt tag.The most expensive PPC keywords in the UKWith help from SEMRush, Chris Lake looked into the most expensive PPC keywords on Google UK.The most expensive was £148…Mobile advertising statsThis week we released our State of Mobi…

How to adjust SEO strategy to Google’s new SERP ad layout

Removing the ads from the right rail of Google search results pages was a long time coming (well, a long time for digital). An eye-mapping study from last year showed that people have gone from viewing the SERPs in an “F” pattern to doing a quick vertical scan down the left side, mostly ignoring the ads on the right side. People are also scanning the page faster by taking only eight or nine seconds to click, down from 14 to 15 seconds in the 2005 study.It only makes sense that Google would eventually react to how searchers are adapting to the line of links they are used to by taking away the right bar. This is also further evidence of Google’s continued gravitation toward being a mobile-first search engine, since the right column of ads was not visible on mobile search.While I understand why SEO professionals might worry, I don’t think the recent move to showing up to four ads above organic results will have a profound effect on organic search. The extra ad will only be showing on “hi…

6 remarkably effective ways to get higher conversions on your mobile site

The future of the internet is mobile.According to Cisco, mobile traffic has grown by a whopping 4,000 times over the last 10 years and an eye-popping 400,000,000 times over the last 15 years.At 6.8 billion devices, there are nearly as many mobile phones today as there are people in the world — which would be equivalent to 97 out of 100 people alive today having a mobile connection.Mobile usage is expected to increase even further in the next few years. Cisco estimates that by 2020, there will be 1.5 connected devices for every person on the planet. Nearly 50 percent of these devices will be smartphones.Given the sheer size of the audience, this is a market you can’t afford to ignore. A mobile website or app is now crucial for the long-term survival of your business.However, just having a mobile version of your website isn’t enough; you also need to make sure that it converts well.In this post, I’m going to share six proven ways to get more conversions and sales through your mobile sit…

12 valuable marketing lessons from Snapchat’s success

Snapchat is turning into a very appealing platform for brands, while the engagement of its users keep increasing. How did it become the new trending social platform?Snapchat has surprisingly evolved into a very interesting social network, both for the users, but also for the brands that start exploring its numerous opportunities for increased engagement, curated content and new creative directions.It has shaped a new form of mobile-focused marketing that combines engagement, (playful) creativity, uniqueness and fun filters and Snapchat has achieved to measure a significant growth, counting more than 100 million daily active users and we are expecting this number to rise very soon.Which marketing lessons can we extract from its successful case then?Start with a narrow audienceA small and engaged group of people can be very useful at the initial stage of your platform, in order to examine what needs to be adjusted, depending on the users’ habits.There is no need to chase the larger audi…

A deep dive: Not all data is created equal

It’s 11:30 a.m., and a reminder notification appears on your desktop. It reads, “Two weeks until campaign launch — ensure data is received by DMP.” The time has come.A few months ago, you convinced senior management that by utilizing more consumer data, the company could better understand their customers and increase digital marketing performance. You’ve since taken the necessary steps with internal IT resources and a trial relationship with a Data Management Platform (DMP).Now it’s crunch time to ensure you’re collecting and processing consumer data in a usable format, and hopefully with fewer inaccuracies than the national average of 23 percent. Taking the hint of your notification, you cross your fingers and call your IT contact to see if your customer data is in fact where it needs to be.Sound familiar?In a recent study by the IAB, 45 percent of US marketers reported that the number one obstacle to deploying and deriving value from a data-driven marketing initiative is insufficien…