SEO Thoughts – Summer 2013

Over the last few years I haven’t really had much time to put any effort into any of my own personal sites including this one, so I’m hoping that can change over the next few months with some more content here, and some new development & design work on my other sites.

At the end of May the penguin update was rolled out and hit one of my newish clients that had a pretty poor backlink profile. When I took over the site there was a dilemma as to whether to spend time cleaning the site’s link profile as well as improving the on site over optimisation or just forging ahead with building a better site, with better content, less over optimisation and better quality links. Getting hit by Penguin 2 obviously made the decision easier.

I decided to run LinkRisk, to see if it matched what I thought were the poor links and to see how they scored the site according to their chart below.

linkrisk-litmus-test

One of my favourite SEO tools is SEOMajestic, I’ve been using this for a number of years, it’s one of the first steps I’ll take after looking at the on site SEO of a site. And too use LinkRisk, I was able to download all the links from SEOMajestic and import these into LinkRisk. LinkRisk did its job and highlighted some of the poorer, more toxic links.

There were a number of links that I don’t think deserved the high risk, there were a number of links that should have got a higher value. The overall value was probably fair enough, putting the site in the high risk category according to their litmus scale.

So the advice here would be if you take over a site, you might have to go and revisit the sins of the past first and start doing a link audit, and that is time consuming.

The starter package just allowed me to run 2 profiles for £50 a month, which I think is on the dear side.

Staying Involved in Your SEO/PPC

Another client approached me this week. They basically have no idea what they pay for with their SEO/PPC campaign, or what they’re doing. There’s no feedback, strategy plan, meetings, sporadic reports, and very little contact.

First thing to do would be ask the SEO company nicely what they’ve been working on, and try and get involved. The more involvement a client has the more response you’ll get.

In PPC you check out the campaign change history link, if this hasn’t been updated in months then likelihood is you need to speak to them, as the campaign could be just set up on autopilot now.

SEO V PPC

So what’s better SEO or PPC? I’ve never really thought SEO was better than PPC. I’ve been using PPC for along long time, and for me it’s just more traffic. I love working and using them both. Here’s some reasons why I wouldn’t dismiss PPC.

I’ve never thought that SEO is free, SEO costs both in time and money.

PPC is fairly instant and this is obviously critical. I can find out straight away whether a website converts.

You can cover more keywords without having to invest in more content, having to add that content to the website, all of which takes time and money. Don’t use PPC and you’ll miss out on plenty of traffic.

With PPC I can cover a wider area, without having to think up strategies to include cities and towns in page content. PPC gives me a wealth of information quickly, that I can use to help shape my SEO campaigns.

PPC seems to constantly evolve, with new features that increasingly add to it’s prominence. Even as I write this Sitelinks seem to have got more space.

So with a few of these in mind, I find myself more and more encouraging small business with local campaigns, to start off with PPC, and good on site SEO.

Funny Looking Photo

A while back I got my photo in Google search results, it appeared 2 days after I added a site wide link to my Google profile. After a few weeks the photo disappeared. With a couple of hours spare time, I decide to try out this plugin for this WordPress site http://wordpress.org/plugins/google-author-link/. It was easy to install, and within 1 week the photo was back.

google-authorship-image

It’ll be interesting to see if the photo stays about for a bit longer.

This site may be compromised

I was asked to do a Google Adwords campaign for a training company this week. After doing a few initial checks I noticed that Google was showing ‘This site may be compromised’ below their listing. The client was unaware of this, yet after checking Google Webmater Tools, this had been flagged up in Webmaster Tools a few weeks ago…No doubt the click through rate would have dropped. Anyway moral of the story, make sure to set GWT up for your site so that it notifies you of messages, you can do this in the ‘Preferences’, rather than just leaving the message in your Google Webmaster Tools account that you probably very rarely check. It’s fairly easy to configure.

email-notifications-gwt

  • Jordan McClements

    I had the wee photo coming up on my site for a good while too (though it seems to have disappeared for some reason), maybe because I accidentally added my personal profile as a publisher as well as an author to every page.. (?) Who Knows… It was definitely coming up on my top adwords tips page as I manually added my author info at the top with a clickable link before I even considered adding it sitewide. That seems to have stopped showing now as well. Frick sake. You would think I had nothing better to do all day but pander to every new whim that Google has… :-(

  • http://www.michaelwall.co.uk/ michaelwall

    Jordan, I just did a quick search on Google for ’20 top tips google adwords’ and your ugly mug came up! That seems to be the only page/search that it seems to show for.

    Isn’t there about 45 tips now, I was looking at it last week, good read, worth a link http://www.ppcni.com/top-20-google-adwords-tips-e-book/

  • Jordan McClements

    :-) Thanks. Not sure why it didn’t show for me this morning, must be the position of the moon or something….

  • Ray Hesketh

    A good meaty read Michael. Good links… I’ll be looking into this.
    P.S when are we getting together for a coffee….lol!

  • Michael

    Hope things are well Ray… fire me an email about the coffee whenever suits.

Michael Wall

Michael Wall is an experienced web developer based in Belfast N.Ireland currently running his own web design company.

Michael Wall is available for Internet Marketing, Google Adwords PPC and SEO work. Please call Belfast 02890 225729 or use the contact form.

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