Category Archives

4 Articles

Technical Mobile SEO and How to Do It

The mobile phone is becoming more and more indispensable as time goes by. Almost every person in the developed world own at least a single mobile phone or smart phone. People are now using their mobile phones to browse products and services online. Smart phones today allow them to do a lot of things such as pay bills, purchase products and get information. Smart phones now work just like computers.

It would be a travesty for any website owner or business owner to ignore millions of mobile users all over the world.  Your business will be losing a lot of money if it does not cater to these people. Mobile SEO is a must, but how do you go about the technical aspects? How do you do it right?

The Mobile User’s Experience

Google has announced that it will not start including the mobile user’s experience in ranking results for smartphone users. Searchers vary depending on whether they were done through a mobile phone or a computer.

If you are designing your mobile page from scratch, you will have a lot of questions on your mind and this is only natural. If you have already set up the mobile experience, you can just skip some things and jump right to what you need for your site or what applies to your site.  There are three important things which you must look out for and they are:

  • Responsive design. You may have already noticed that mobile phones have smaller screens than laptops or desktops. There are some sites which will not display properly on mobile phones if they have not been optimized for mobile use. Responsive design means your site must be able to detect if screen size and build the layout accordingly.
  • Dynamic serving. The page should be able to serve different content to different users. The server should be able to detect the device being used and return the right content.
  • Mobile URL. Back in the old days it would have been very difficult and even impossible to use responsive design for users of mobile phones. It is important that Google understands the relationship and the differences between your desktop page and mobile page so that your site will be visible for people searching on both platforms.

Redirect Mapping

The best thing which site owners can do for both mobile and web search engines is to ensure that both searches redirect automatically. If mobile users are searching for anything, they should be redirected to the mobile version immediately. If users are using their desktop to access the site they should be redirected to the desktop version of the site. This will make it more convenient for users and they will have a better experience.

If users are pleased with their experience, they are likely to come back, as well as share and promote your page to others. A very important thing to remember is that your mobile page should have a desktop equivalent. You should note that there are websites which do not show ads when in mobile version.

SEO Pagination and the Proper Tactics

Those who want to pursue SEO should learn what pagination is.  This is a topic which not everyone is familiar with but this is certainly something which people should learn about. Pagination can be a very big deal. It is just as important as faceted navigation but it can also be problematic, especially for someone who is not very familiar with the subject.

What are the best practices for SEO pagination?

The best practices for SEO pagination and they are the following:

  • Classic or non-index method
  • View all method
  • Rel prev/next method

Classic or non-index method

This technique indirectly transfers any equity from other pages to the primary page.  The other pages get crawled back to the canonical page and the equity is transferred as a second-order effect.

This method is not generally recommended for pagination nowadays for a variety of reasons but it is only beneficial for fringe cases. However, it is perfectly fine to use it and it will not do sites any damage, however, there are other better practices out there.

View all method

This is often considered as the most elegant and sometimes the best method of all. This approach has some prerequisites. It must load quickly and if the page is able to load progressively users will not have a bad experience. It is also important that all products and items are included on the component pages. This will help ensure that nothing is left out of the crawl.

The view all method has two benefits and they are:

  1. Users will love viewing all pages. Pages with products and items which are featured at once convert to much higher landing pages. However, it is important for page to load fast.
  2. All the other pages in the series transfer to View All their equities

Rel pre/next method

This is the newest technique in SEO pagination and for those who want a more detailed explanation of the method should go to Google’s support page for more information. It might be difficult for ecommerce sites to implement the view all method and this is where the next method comes in. This approach has many advantages and some of them are the following:

  1. All other pages share equity with the series. When a link is obtained by a 9-page series, equity is shared all across the series and across all pages.
  2. There is a self referencing rel canonical tag. Duplication is avoided.

Pagination recommendations

If you possess a fast loading View All page which contains products or items, the View All method is the best to use.  If you do not possess a quality View All or the company does not want to use this method, the rel nex/prev method is the next best option.

It is a must to remember that the classic method is not always the best for everyone so do not be afraid to look at other options before you make a decision.

SEO and Pasta Sauce

There are many commonalities between SEO and pasta sauce than most people know. Before there was Prego, Ragu was the king of tomato cause. It took Howard Moskowitz a long time to perfect the formula for the best pasta sauce. It was not until 1989 when Prego came out and slowly became the best pasta sauce in the market.

Before Prego was even launched, people were already looking for the perfect sauce much in the same way that people today are looking for the perfect hamburger, the perfect shampoo, etc.  However, it was Hollywood who pointed out that people should not settle for just one perfect something when they could have a variety of the perfect some things. It turns out also that Hollywood was right. Not everyone wanted chunky sauce and not everyone wanted plain sauce or spicy sauce. Prego focused on the right kind of sauces and tickled people’s fancy.

The bottom line is people are different from one another and they do not like the same things. One thing may already be good for someone but somebody might be looking for something else.

The Right Solution for SEO

Companies and individuals spend a lot of time, money and effort in figuring out the best and the right solution for everybody but this is not always correct.  In SEO, market research is done ahead of time. There is an array of keywords to look at and these keywords are bucketed into segments. These keywords help businesses know what people are looking for however, they are still not enough to solve all problems in SEO. Why? Because doing so is akin to making everyone eat the same type of pasta sauce even if they abhor said pasta sauce.

After keyword research is done, there is a need to determine the valuable phrases and this is where the problem lies. Keywords are used in pre existing conditions and in pre existing content. Although we mostly listen to the users or audience, we often fit people and their interests into these pre existing content. This will not help your business at all.

It is essential that everyone learn a lesson or two from Prego and how they beat the champion of sauces. If done right, SEO can work wonder but if not, it might as well be useless. Prego made a lot of money by looking at a segment which was often ignored. Do not fall into a rut and commit the same mistakes your competitors have been doing and that is trying to stuff everyone down the same funnel.

It is better to break things into segments and serve people more explicitly. By doing so you will have a brighter future in the industry, you will have more following and you will have more sales compared to other companies which do not do this.

Although this will require more effort and more time, everything you invest will have great results which will benefit you in the end. So, do not be afraid to delve a little deeper.

 

Everything You Need to Know about Redirects

If there are changes made to any website, one of the most important things the site owner can do is to alert the search engines so that they can use redirects to guide the search engines to the right location. If you do not guide the search engines to the correct route, it will have a very negative impact on your site and your rankings, as well.

You could be moving your pages, switching platforms or whatever it is you are doing to avoid having duplicate content; you need the help of redirects so that you do not end up throwing away your link juice.  There are many ways of redirecting and you need to do things right so as not to waste all your SEO efforts but you do not want to run the risk of falling outside the guidelines.

Redirects

Programmers who are not well-versed with SEO are likely to use a temporary redirect which is also known as a 302 redirect.  However, the bad thing about this redirect is it does not transfer the link juice you acquire from the redirect URL to the destination URL.  It is not that these programmers are not intelligent enough; it is just that they do not know much about certain topics, including this one.  If you are a SEO consultant or if you have hired one, he or she should know well enough to tell the programmer to use the 301 redirect.

If there are going to be changes to any of your links, the 301 redirect must be employed right away. Some of the instances when you need a 301 redirect are when you change domain names or migrate a new content management system.  If you are retiring certain pages, you also need a 301 redirect.

Conditional redirect

Another type of redirect which needs to be monitored regularly is what is called the “conditional redirect”. This type of redirect comes with a warning because it has the potential to get you in big trouble with Google.  As a matter of fact, Matt Cutts, the head of the webspam team of Google has advised against using the conditional redirect because of a risk of getting banned or penalized. Although you might have the purest of intentions, you can still get penalized.

Employing the conditional redirect means that the spiders requesting the tracking URL has the potential of getting redirected instead only to the canonical URL. Conditional redirects have their own purpose too and sometimes they are able to solve difficult problems. As a matter of fact, there are lots of small retailers which use it for their needs.

These retailers have the option to redirect all their visitors, both the human and the non-human kind, however, it is the affiliate’s decision to or power to not pass Page Rank. The good thing is if the redirects were conditional, the clicks could still be differentiated.

Indeed there are lots of reasons to be learned regarding redirects and how they can be best implemented so learn as much as you possibly can.