If left unpatched, this security flaw could lead to complete site takeover
Wordfence’s Threat Intelligence team has discovered a vulnerability in a WordPress plugin installed on over two million sites called All In One SEO Pack.
If exploited, the flaw could allow authenticated users with contributor level access or higher to inject malicious scripts which are executed when a victim accesses the wp-admin panel’s ‘all posts’ page.
After discovering this medium severity security issue, Wordfence reached out to the plugin’s team and All In One SEO Pack received a patch to fix the issue just a few days later.
Users of the plugin should update to the latest version of All In One SEO Pack (3.6.2) immediately to avoid falling victim to any potential attacks that try to exploit the now patched vulnerability.
All In One SEO Pack
All in One SEO Pack is a WordPress plugin that provides several SEO features to help a site’s content rank higher on Google and other search engines.
As part of the plugin’s functionality, it allows users with the ability to create or edit posts to set an SEO title and description directly from a post as they are working on it. This feature is available to all users with the ability to create posts such as contributors, authors and editors.
As the SEO title and SEO description for each post are displayed on the ‘all posts’ page, any values added to these fields would also be displayed there in an unsanitized format which would cause any saved scripts in these fields to be executed any time a user accessed this page.
In version 3.6.2 of All in One SEO Pack, the plugin’s developer has added sanitization to all of the SEO post meta values so that any code injected into them would be unable to become executable scripts.
Simple search engine optimization hints to increase your traffic
If you want more visitors to your website, one of the first things you’ll want to do is improve your website’s ranking on Google. This process is called search engine optimization (SEO). It is a crucial element of managing a successful website or online store.
Many things have been said about SEO, including that it is more luck than skill or that it’s a pay-to-play system, where the highest-paying sites get the best visibility. Neither of these is true.
In this article, we will provide you with several basic steps you can take to improve your SEO strategy and ensure that your website is shown prominently on Google searches.
When someone makes a Google search, they are shown two types of results: paid results and organic results.
Paid results are those from websites that have paid Google directly for their website to be shown above organic results. Studies have shown that while this is one way to increase traffic to your site, Google users prefer to click on organic results.
Organic results are not paid for and are determined by a variety of factors, including the page’s content and metadata, and how closely these relate to the search query. Therefore, the goal of SEO is to increase the number of organic results that lead to visits to your website.
How search engines determine what pages to show and how to show them is complicated and goes well beyond this article’s scope. However, a few essential points should be made.
First, search engines use bots or computer programs to trawl the web, following links and visiting all publicly accessible websites. They then use this information to build enormous indexes that are consulted each time an internet user performs a Google search.
Once a user has entered a query, the search engine will refer to these extensive indexes, incorporating tens or hundreds of different factors into complex ranking algorithms. These, in turn, determine what content to display on the search results page. PageRank, Google’s preferred algorithm, relies on over 200 different metrics to determine Google search rankings.
You can leverage these hundreds of metrics to improve your website’s Google ranking. Although we won’t be able to look at all 200, we’ll discuss the most important ones.
Let’s look at nine essential steps that you can take to improve your website’s Google ranking.
1. Creating a sitemap is one of the easiest things you can do to improve your website’s search rankings. This will enable Google’s bots to quickly and efficiently index your entire site, and it will ensure that no pages are missing (and cannot be found through Google searches). You can submit a sitemap file to Google via their Webmasters website.
2. Make sure you provide the necessary information to bots with a robots.txt file. More information is available on this website, but basically, keeping on the bots’ good side is one of the best things you can do to ensure your website features prominently in Google searches.
3. Here’s a simple one: Delete duplicate content. Search engine bots hate duplication, and it’s one of the easiest ways to see your site tumble down the Google search rankings. Some website managers think that creating pages designed to detect search engine bots is a good idea, but it will backfire and hurt your website’s SEO rankings.
4. Although less crucial than in the past, it still helps to create static versions of your webpages. Static content is more easily interpreted by search engine bots, at least more efficiently than dynamic content.
5. Create permalinks for your pages using keywords (for example: “/products/fridges/dynatech-coolfreezepro/”). These will result in better search rankings than permalinks containing mostly numbers or other random information. A good rule of thumb is that the more identifiable data you can provide the bot, the better.
6. An organized website with clear internal linking architecture will have higher Google rankings. This means displaying important information on the homepage and ensuring that similar content is grouped together on dedicated pages. A menu such as the one below makes it easy for search engine bots to index your site.
7. When creating text-based content, use keywords that your audience is likely to search for. These should be used throughout your text (don’t overdo it, though) and featured in the title of your article and its permalink. And remember, search engine bots can’t read images or text. If your site posts have many pictures, videos, or screenshots of text, add captions or descriptions that bots will be able to interpret.
8. Make sure your keywords are related to your business objectives. If you don’t know which ones are most relevant to your field, look them up. Finding the right keywords is essential if you want to feature prominently on Google searches.
9. One of the main ways that Google and other search engines rank content is by the number of sites that link to yours. If your webpages are frequently mentioned on other websites, your site will quickly begin shooting up the Google rankings. However, this is not always simple, and entire businesses exist to increase the number of inbound links to your website.
Time to call an SEO expert?
While the advice in this article will undoubtedly help you improve your website’s Google rankings, there’s only so much that you can do yourself. SEO agencies or experts have worked in this field for years and have an intuitive understanding of search engine algorithms.
Trustworthy SEO agencies will provide results-based testimonials that show how they improved a business’s SEO and Google rankings. However, be wary of SEO experts promising top-ranking Google results or radical increases in traffic to your site. Real SEO is a process of gradual improvement rather than overnight success.
A final point worth making is that when it comes to SEO, money can only get you so far. An in-house SEO strategy or a trustworthy SEO agency can certainly help you improve your Google search ranking. But the only guaranteed way to do this is to create high-quality content. Without that, even the best SEO strategy will only get you so far.
But what happens if you don’t have the luxury of time? Or you don’t have the financial resources to put in the effort that is truly needed.
What should you do?
Just forget about SEO?
Of course not. Today, I want to call out 11 tools that will help you get an edge over your competition. But unlike most lists, I am going to get very specific on the feature I want you to use within each tool to make your life easier and help you get results faster with less effort.
Let’s dive right in.
Tool #1: Ubersuggest Projects
You probably already know about Ubersuggest, but do you really have time to spend hours and hours each week to do your SEO?
Chances are you don’t.
So how do you improve your traffic with the least amount of effort?
You set up a project in Ubersuggest.
As you can see, it shows your SEO traffic over time. It will let you know if your rankings are going up or down, your link growth, and your SEO issues.
With so many things going on in marketing, you don’t have time to manually check your rankings or if things are going up or down or even what you need to fix.
Ubersuggest will do it for you all automatically and even notify you of what needs to happen through email. That way you don’t have to constantly check your SEO. Ubersuggest will do it all automatically.
More so, you’ll get notified of what you need to focus on each week to maximize your traffic.
All you have do is head to the dashboard and click on “Add Your First Project.”
It’s as simple as adding in your URL.
Then select the locations you do business in and want traffic from.
Then add in the keywords you currently rank for or want to go after.
And of course, set up your traffic preferences.
And then you’ll be good to go.
Then when things go great, you’ll be notified. And when things are going wrong, you’ll also be notified. Ubersuggest will even tell you what to fix.
That way you get the maximum results in the least amount of time.
Tool #2: Google Analytics Alerts
You have Google Analytics set up on your site, but how often do you log in?
And when you do log in, do you know what to focus on or what to look at?
And if you do, do you know what to do with that data?
Google Analytics is a great tool, but you don’t want to waste hours and hours looking at reports. Instead, you want to spend your time doing and getting results.
But if you set up alerts in Google Analytics, you can save tons of time.
If you watch from the 6:33 mark, it will show you how to set up alerts. I added the whole video as it will teach you how to set up Google Analytics in general in case you don’t have goal tracking set in place.
Once you set up alerts, you’ll again get notified when anything good or bad happens. I usually have alerts set up for only when things go bad, so I know when I need to focus on fixing my marketing.
Tool #3: Trello
You’re probably thinking how the heck is Trello a marketing tool. It really isn’t, but it is a good project management tool.
And with your SEO, you may have a team helping you out and Trello will help streamline the process, make you more efficient, and get your results faster.
I keep my Trello board simple by breaking it into 3 sections.
To do – what needs to be done over time.
Prioritized – what I need to be done now (tasks at the top are the most important)
Done – tasks that need to be double-checked to ensure they were done right.
It’s that simple. That way you don’t have to micromanage your team.
Some people have more complex Trello boards, but something simple like I have works too.
If you want to create a Trello board for your content marketing, assuming you want to write lots of content (such as 10 posts a week), this process works well.
The columns I use for content writers are:
Topics – this is where writers add topics they want to write about.
Outline review – writers submit their outline before they write for approval.
Draft – writers submit their rough draft.
Draft review – editors review each draft.
Uploaded, prepared, and ready to review – this is where the editor adds the post to your CMS (like WordPress).
Scheduled – this is where you schedule the content to go live.
Done – the content is now live.
We’ve found it effective if you are managing dozens of writers at once.
Tool #4: Content Decay Tool
Can you guess how many articles I write each week?
Seriously, that’s it. 1 article a week which is roughly 4 to 5 per month (depending on how many weeks in the month).
And can you guess how many articles my team and I update each week?
That’s roughly 90 a month.
Just think about it… why would I have a team of 3 people updating 90 articles per month when I only write 1 a week.
It’s because updating old content is an easier way to get more SEO traffic than it is to create new content.
It breaks down in order which articles you should update first, second, third… based on what will generate you the most traffic.
If you are wondering what is involved with updating content, just think of it this way:
Is there anything outdated within your post – if so, either update the outdated information and make it relevant again. If you can’t, then delete that part from your article.
Can you use media to improve the experience – do you need to embed videos, add more pictures, maybe even add an infographic? Use media to better tell your story and message.
Are you including the right keywords – a simple way to get more traffic is to integrate other popular related keywords within your article. Whatever your article is about, insert it into Ubersuggest and head to the “Keyword Ideas” report in the left-hand navigation.
Is there anything missing – try to poke holes within your content. What could you have done to make it better? What do your competitors talk about that you forgot to mention? What questions didn’t you answer that the reader might have? By asking yourself these simple questions, you’ll be able to make it better.
I’m not going to bore you with all of the features of the extension… instead, I am going to give you one thing that will save you time.
You know when you Google for information to learn more on any subject?
Chances are, sometimes you are Googling to learn something related to your space. And when you do, you’ll find that your site usually won’t be at the top of those search results.
And that’s ok.
But when you do a search, you’ll notice “monthly searches” in the Google search bar.
This shows you how often that keyword is searched.
So anytime you are looking up anything in your space, pay attention to that number. If you see a keyword with over 5,000 searches, it may be worth targeting.
And as you scroll down and start going through the sites that rank at the top, you’ll notice metrics under each site.
If you notice a web page with thousands of social shares and hundreds of links, it should reaffirm that you probably want to go after that term. And the listing that has thousands of social shares and hundreds of links is a good benchmark of a page that is high in quality and what people in your space prefer.
Ideally, you want to create something better than that one, as that is the main way you beat them over time.
Tool #6: Hello Bar
SEO is very different than paid traffic.
With paid traffic, you can drive people to a landing page with very little content, which makes it easier to generate sales or leads.
With SEO, Google prefers to rank content-rich sites.
But when someone lands on a page full of educational-based content, they are less likely to convert into a customer.
Are you really going to keep up to date with all of them?
If you followed the first tool and set up a project in Ubersuggest, you’ll get notified when your rankings go down.
And if you set up alerts in Google Analytics (tool number 2) you’ll also get notified when your traffic drops drastically.
What you’ll find is that it’s overwhelming to keep up with all of Google’s updates and it could be confusing to figure out what you need to fix to get your traffic back.
This report on Moz keeps track of all of the algorithm updates and gives you an overview of what has changed or what the update is about. On top of that, you’ll want to check out the Mozcast if you get a notification of ranking or traffic drops as this tool confirms if other people are also seeing changes from a Google update.
Keep in mind that Google doesn’t announce each update, hence you’ll want to cross-reference what you are seeing with the Mozcast.
That way you don’t have to spend hours researching each update.
Tool #8: Detailed
Link building is a pain. There are so many link tools like this one… but let’s not kid ourselves… you just don’t have the time to spend 10 to 20 hours a week doing link building.
So, each minute you spend, you have to make sure it counts.
There’s a tool called Detailed that breaks down the best links for every industry.
All you have to do is select an industry and a site and it shows you all of the good links that are going to your competition.
You can then focus your efforts on reaching out to those sites to get links.
Sure, you will still need to have amazing content or a good product or service in order to convince those sites to link to you, but hey, if you don’t have any of that it’s going to be hard to do well in the first place.
So, don’t waste your time trying to search for links when Detailed will give you a list of hundreds of amazing sites to get links from within your space.
Tool #9: Site Speed Audit
Speed impacts rankings.
Google doesn’t want to rank slow websites anymore.
It doesn’t matter that technology has become better and you can now purchase satellite Internet. Not every location has blazing fast Internet.
Whenever you perform a search on YouTube it will show you what’s popular, what keywords are being searched that are related to each video, and which tags people are using to get more SEO traffic.
I wanted to end this post with VidIQ because it’s not competitive.
See, unlike traditional SEO, it doesn’t take months to see results. YouTube SEO is the opposite in which it isn’t as competitive (yet) and you can rank at the top within 24 to 48 hours of releasing a video (seriously!).
They say SEO is hard and time-consuming. And I am not going to lie, you won’t get results unless you put in some effort.
But who says it has to be as time-consuming?
By using some of the tools I mentioned above you’ll save time. It really is that simple.
I know there is a lot and it can be overwhelming. So if you don’t have time to use all of the tools it is fine… just start at the top and work your way down (I put them in order based on what will save you the most time).
When you don’t monitor these things and fix them consistently, they start to add up. Think of it as a garden – it takes maintenance, or it starts to become overgrown.
It is incredibly important to stay technically correct, especially with new developments such as mobile usability, page speed, AMP and more.
If you don’t, you are sure to have an error at some point that will cost you down the line. Similarly, your tech stack will become so out of date that you can no longer compete in the market.
If you stop refreshing pages
When you refresh a page correctly, traffic will generally increase to that page 10% to 30%, sometimes more.
The reason for this is because Google sees the new text and the value it provides and wants to rank it higher.
Now, there are many ways to go about doing refreshes. Some of those include:
Adding FAQs to the page
Adding links to other articles
Making the text longer
Changing a page template
Lately, the most important thing to look for when refreshing a page is whether or not it matches search intent, and if the page in question is better than the #1 ranking page.
My process includes doing a search, categorizing the query based on intent, analyzing the top pages, creating a new strategy for the page we are trying to get ranked, and refreshing as a result of that.
If you stop building new pages
Building new pages are harder for some industries than others.
For example, when I worked with a few firms in the outsources accounting space, the lower funnel terms were minimal. If you compare that to a large e-commerce site like Amazon, its terms are endless.
While that is the case, I believe websites should always be targeting new terms and organizing them by segment. Those segments should be prioritized based on business goals and tracked in a dashboard.
But if you stop building new pages, you’ll lose keyword growth momentum.
I highly recommend creating these pages for SEO, but additionally, these new pages can be excellent landing pages for paid search and paid media, in general.
As a website grows, it’s a great idea to create more landing pages that target specific keywords and audiences. This will improve quality score on the page side and conversion rates all around.
If you stop this process, you’ll lose your competitive advantage. The people who win in the future of the web will be the ones converting traffic for less.
If you stop watching out for bad links
If you stop doing SEO, your backlink profile can get out of control.
Lately, spammy links are worse than ever before.
When you watch your backlinks, you will see the following happen:
People scrape your website content and keep the links in by accident.
You get Google alerts from sites hacked by malware.
Competitors try to do negative SEO on your site.
If you don’t update your disavow file once a month, you are putting your website rankings at risk. Lately, we have been doing it weekly for clients in competitive spaces.
If you stop watching out for stolen content
Go to your top landing page on your website right now.
Copy a block of text about three sentences long.
Put that text in quotes and search for it in Google. What do you see?
I’ll bet some of you will see other websites coming up for that content. Some might have even stolen from your website.
Now, think about the impact that can have if it happens across multiple pages on your site. Honestly, it can be devastating. Many times we find others have wholly duplicated a website, stolen key pages, or taken individual sections of a page.
When this happens, you need to address it.
Rewrite the content on your site.
Ask the other site to take it down.
File a DMCA on them if needed.
Consider sending them a cease and desist.
Sometimes, you can contact the hosting company and ask them to remove the site.
Regardless, if you stop watching for stolen content, it could have an extremely negative effect on your business and rankings. This is something you need to catch right away.
Bottom line: Why you should not stop doing SEO
Obviously, you’re not going to stop doing SEO. We all know it is an amazing asset to improve search ranking and help your business grow. The work you do to create and update content along with the technical issues that are easily solved if they’re on your radar, all improve your bottom line. But you also need to ensure you are compliant with privacy regulations if you wish to remain on top.
The ugly truth is that it’s hard to reverse momentum once a website starts going in the wrong direction. I am a firm believer that all things online should be scaled as the business grows, SEO included.
E-commerce is one of the fastest growing industries at a global level.
E-commerce is one of the fastest growing industries at a global level. With an increasing number of online companies, reaching customers becomes harder which is why promoting it in a way that stands out from the competition is essential especially when providing to a market where the products of companies are similar.Read
One of the first ways to promote a business to online clients is to create a website. The key is not to create just any website, but one that promotes the best features of your products or services. This is why, for this kind of job, the assistance of specialists is essential.
The creation of the website is just the first step, as there are others to complete in order to reach as many clients as possible. Some of them are listed below.
Mobile website optimization
In a world where the smartphone is equipped to act more and more like a computer, we will soon come to say that desktop computers and even laptops are obsolete as they do not offer the same mobility as phones. This is why having a mobile version of a website will lead to an increased traffic, thus a higher reach to online customers. The creation of a website for mobile devices goes hand in hand with a mobile application, so the two of them should be considered together. Mobile applications also work for those who want to use paid advertising for increasing their online visibility.
Search Engine Optimization or SEO
Having a website, even with a mobile version, is not sufficient to attract online customers. In order to be visible, it needs to appear on the first pages and lines of search engines. For this purpose, they need to be optimized based on the searches of people. The Search Engine Optimization or SEO process can help a company increase its visibility on the Internet.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is the most important channel to reach young audiences. Facebook and Instagram are the two most used social media channels, however, when promoting a business for online clients on these websites, content is what makes the difference. Time, regular posts of high-quality content and attention to the newest trends is what makes a page or account to generate profits and attract clients in the online environment.
The tools available for attracting clients online are quite a few and choosing the right ones is very important. However, through having a website, a business owner can build around to create an identity and later a brand.
There are few things more satisfying than clicking “Publish” on a shiny new podcast. All the hours of planning and recording are done. You ran down your podcast launch checklist. Now it’s time for the world to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
You can sit back and watch the downloads roll in, right?
Post-launch, your podcast promotion plan will likely include a mix of paid promotion, influencer amplification, and social media marketing to help build your audience. But before you record a second of audio, your organic strategy can help ensure your podcast is found and treasured.
Here’s what you need to know about SEO for podcasts.
Search Engine Optimization for Podcasts
We’ll get deep into how you can build SEO into your podcasts — as you would for any other type of content — in a few paragraphs. First, here’s a quick checklist of tactics that can help improve visibility.
Podcast SEO Quick Wins
1. Make Your Title Hyper-Relevant
Podcast directories like iTunes and Spotify rely heavily on your podcast title for ranking. What’s more, if your title does pop up in search, it needs to be immediately compelling. Make sure your title is something that clearly states what the podcast is about, and will inspire people to click — thereby sending positive signals back to the directory’s search engine.
2. Submit to Google Podcasts
You’ve likely heard that Google is indexing podcasts now. They’re even transcribing the audio to make it searchable. So yes, your podcast can show up in the SERP, right up top with a big play button next to it. But only if you have submitted to their directory.
3. Tag and Title
Your podcast host will have an option to add tags to your RSS feed. Use these sparingly; one or two phrases at most. For titles, focus on a clear benefit to the listener. Instead of, “Our Q&A with Bob Johnson,” make it, “Increase Your CTR with Tips from Bob Johnson.”
4. Use Keywords in Episode Descriptions
The majority of your clicks will come from your podcast title and episode title. But don’t overlook the description. Think of it like the meta description on a blog post. It should aim to draw your listener in as quickly and succinctly as possible.
5. Solicit Reviews and Subscribers
The other major ranking factor in a podcast directory is engagement. Every episode, you should encourage listeners to review and subscribe. It’s a good idea to include that ask in internal promotion and promotional emails, too.
How to Build SEO into Your Podcasts
Many podcasts in the B2B realm are produced as continuous conversations; informal Q&A sessions. They’re quick and easy to produce, and that’s certainly not a bad thing.
However, an informal interview/chat show usually involves talking to guests about their background, area of expertise, experience, that sort of thing. Then you listen back through and pull out key themes for your episode title and description.
Certainly, optimization can be done during production and post-production. But building SEO research and strategy into the planning stages will enhance your content and its visibility potential.
Plan Your Podcast Episodes Like a Blog Post
Google is transcribing your podcast and analyzing the content. What if your podcast episode was an audio power page for an entire keyword cluster? Imagine the SEO juice you can get from a pages-long transcript organized around a specific set of search terms.
Hopefully, you’ve already identified your overarching theme and topical pillars you want to cover. But as you’re planning each episode, do some additional keyword research to help ensure the topic or sub-topics are covered well. Find the topic that has the most interest, and the keywords (short and long-tail) that support it.
When you draft the questions (or topic notes) to guide the episode, use your research as the template. Treat each question as though it were an H3 tag on a blog post.
Make the Topic the Star
Now your questions will keep the conversation focused on what’s most relevant to your audience. For example:
Without topic planning: “Bob, tell us what you’ve learned in your five years with WidgetCorp.”
With topic planning: “Bob, based on your time at WidgetCorp, how do you optimize a widget assembly line?”
You can see how the focus shifts from Bob’s personal experience to tips that match your audience’s search needs. Bob’s response is likely to contain a whole host of long-tail keywords that match what your audience wants to know.
When you center your planning around keyword research, you’ll end up with a discussion that is naturally optimized for search. As with good written content, you won’t need to awkwardly shoehorn terms into the discussion. They’ll come up naturally because they will be relevant to the topic.
Now when Google crawls your podcast, it will be easy for the algorithm to determine what it’s about and what queries it should match. What’s more, your podcast is likely to be more relevant to your audience, too. That can inspire more linking and sharing, which in turn boosts your search visibility.
Publish a Good Transcript
Google will use their own auto-generated transcript for displaying your podcast in search. But you shouldn’t rely on that transcript for all your SEO needs.
Instead, publish a blog or episode page that includes a full, edited transcript. Don’t treat it as an afterthought; use a transcription service, then polish their work for publication. Include H3 headers for each question or topic shift, pull out the most valuable quotes for click-to-tweets, and include key takeaways at the top.
For a 15-20 minute podcast episode, you will likely have 2,000+ words of optimized, highly-relevant content for Google to feast on.
But for the second season, we wanted to take it up another notch. We organized the episodes around a single topic per episode, interviewed multiple guests, and assembled each episode around the central narrative.
The results so far: The new episodes are already among the most popular of the entire series. Episode 2 is smashing 30-day benchmarks after a single week. Focusing on a more edited, topic-driven format not only improved SEO, it also made for an even more compelling finished product. Hear for yourself:
Think Before You Cast
The barrier of entry for starting a podcast has never been lower. With enough time and know how, anyone can get a podcast up and running. Getting people to listen, however, requires a more strategic approach.
Plan your podcast like you would plan any other long-term content commitment: With an editorial calendar, solid keyword research, and always with audience value as the driving force. The best podcast SEO is to provide content people will love listening to and learning from.
In my line of work, I’m often asked, “What is this SEO thing I’ve been hearing a lot about, and why should I care about it?” These days, businesses already have to worry about website design and social media, so most business owners may not even be aware that search engine optimization (SEO) is a thing. If this sounds like you, then this guide might be of some help.
What is SEO?
Simply put, SEO is the process of optimizing your website in order to get organic or unpaid traffic from search engines like Google or Bing. It increases both the quality and the quantity of traffic to your site.
This means making changes to your website’s content and design that will make it rank highly on different search engine results pages. But why should you care about your website being the top result on Google? Why is generating organic traffic better than paying for ads?
The Internet’s Librarians
Imagine that you are one of the librarians for the most complete repository of knowledge and data that humanity has ever created. Imagine that millions of people come to you every day looking for information on a specific subject—for example, on Nietzsche or the Oscars or how to cook the perfect steak.
In order to help each person find the information they are looking for in a fast, efficient manner, you will need to know a bit about what each book in your library is about. You also need to arrange all the books according to some type of system—perhaps alphabetically, year of publication or by topic or keywords.
Search engines act like the internet’s librarians. They try to match the user’s search terms with the most relevant information in their database, and we need to understand how they do this in order to understand why SEO is so important.
How Search Engines Work
Search engines work in three steps. First, they send crawlers through all available content on the internet—webpages, images, audio, video and so on. Crawlers are bots that send snapshots of all accessible content back to the search engine’s servers.
Next, the information is organized into a searchable list. This huge list is called a search index and can serve as the basis for a raw keyword search. But good search engines like Google and Bing go one step further.
These search engines rank all the pieces of content relevant to a searcher’s query, using an algorithm to order the generated list from most relevant to least relevant. These algorithms are always changing, with Google, in particular, making constant adjustments.
Search engines that consistently deliver relevant results gain repeat users. These loyal users learn to depend on that search engine above all others. Recent data shows that Google and Bing make up almost 85% of all internet searches. This indicates a high level of user trust in these search engines.
Recent market share statistics show that most people begin their online experiences through a search engine. That’s why it is important for your website to rank highly on search engines: A high rank indicates high relevance, and high relevance brings trust in your brand and your website.
Google determines its ranking through a mix of hundreds of different ranking signals, but three have remained consistent: quality on-page content that satisfies the searcher, links pointing back to your site, and RankBrain, which uses artificial intelligence to simulate a human “gut feel” approach to interpret difficult searches.
Google and Bing employ metrics such as clicks, page views and time on page to measure the levels of user engagement throughout your website, which indicate how satisfied users are with the information they find on your site.
The more quality—and, therefore, more relevant—content you have on your site, the higher your pages are more likely to be ranked by the search engines. Good content makes satisfied users!
Links To Your Site
Another way search engines measure a website’s relevance is by external sites that link to it. The quality of the backlinks is just as important as quantity, as search engines will ban sites that attempt to spam backlinks.
A better way to build backlinks is to build relationships with the community. Fans and other satisfied users will link back to your website when they write about it and mention it on social media. This builds organic backlinks that are far more valuable than a hundred spam links generated by bots. Quality content is more likely to be shared.
SEO Versus Paid Ads
So, why use SEO instead of other methods of increasing traffic, such as paid ads? After all, Google itself offers a paid AdWords system where advertisers bid on keywords.
It helps to return to the library metaphor we used earlier. Imagine a book’s publisher launching a multi-million-dollar marketing campaign to increase awareness of a new book about, let’s say, building birdhouses. There are television ads and radio spots, print ads in newspapers and Google AdWords for the keyword “how to build birdhouses.”
These campaigns may boost sales of the book temporarily, but eventually marketing campaigns end, and the next clueless nest box enthusiast will have to go down to the local library and ask a librarian to recommend a book on building birdhouses. This librarian will most likely recommend a book that has satisfied previous birdhouse queries before, whether it was a bestseller when it was first released or not.
That’s the beauty of SEO and why it is the foundation of any small business marketing plan. It may take some upfront time and investment to set up properly, with quality content and a network of organic backlinks. But a well-designed website that follows the principles of SEO will continue to generate a steady stream of organic leads and traffic for your business, for free.
As brands and their marketing departments deploy strategies to capitalize on record ecommerce spending — which soared to $586.92 billion in 2019 — new research from leading provider of brand protection solutions, BrandVerity, has brought to light important findings and hidden risks pertaining to the journeys consumers are taking online.
In order to give brands a better understanding of the search experiences their customers are having and how they are impacting brand perception and customer experience, BrandVerity commissioned the “BrandVerity’s Online Consumer Search Trends 2020” research study in Q4 of 2019 to over 1,000 US consumers, balanced against the US population for age, gender, region, and income.
Amongst the many findings, three main themes stood out:
Consumers confused by how search engine results work
Only 37% of consumers understand that search engine results are categorized by a combination of relevance and advertising spend.
The other 63% of consumers believe that Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) are categorized by either relevance or spend, or they simply “don’t know.”
Additionally, nearly 1-in-3 consumers (31%) say they don’t believe search engines (e.g. Google) do a good job of labeling which links are ads.
Consumers more inclined to click on the result that appears first
Without a clear understanding of how search results are served up, consumers are more inclined to click on the result that appears first, believing it to be the most relevant option.
With 54% of consumers saying they trust websites more that appear at the top of the SERP, this isn’t just an assumption.
Consumers feel misled by the websites they find in the search engine results
51% of consumers say that when searching for information on a product, they sometimes feel misled by one of the websites in the search results.
An additional 1-in-4 report feeling misled “often” or “always.”
Even further, 25% also say they often end up somewhere unexpected that does not provide them with what they were looking for when clicking on a search result.
“Against a backdrop where consumers have increasingly high expectations of the brands they do business with, and are holding them to equally high standards, companies must ensure that the entirety of the experiences they provide meet customer expectations,” said Dave Naffziger CEO of Brandverity.
“As these findings show, a general uncertainty of how search engines work, combined with the significant occurrence of poor online experiences, mean oversight of paid search programs is more important than ever for brands today.”
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Dwell time is one of those ranking factors which is proven to impact your overall site’s SEO.
It is a user-based metric that refers to the period or length of time that a user spends on a page after a click. It is not the most talked-about metric. But it is an important measurement that every marketer should be paying attention to.
Dwell time is a good indicator that can help in evaluating the quality of your website traffic. However, the results of this metric can be misleading at times.
In this article, we will discover more about dwell time and its relationship with SEO.
What is Dwell Time?
The concept of dwell time was first introduced in 2011 in a Bing article. The blog post written by Duane Forrester indicated how to build quality content. This was the first time that the idea of dwell time was talked about and now it seems that the whole digital marketing community is raving about the concept.
In the blog, dwell time was defined as the actual time duration that a visitor spends on a page before going back to SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
Suppose I’m researching “Best digital marketing practices for startups in 2019”, I’ll type this into the search engine box. I’ll likely click on the results that interest me the most. Let’s say it took me 5 minutes to read the article I land on, and after reading the whole article, I return to the SERPs. The time between these two clicks is what dwell time is. So in this instance, 5 minutes is my dwell time.
Longer dwell times are considered as beneficial for businesses. If a person spends one minute or more on your page, then it is considered positive, and it concluded that the visitor is consuming the content. Duane considered it as a good signal. On the other hand, less than a couple of seconds time period is considered a poor result.
It is also important to understand that all three metrics, namely, dwell time, bounce rate, and average time-on-page are indicators of different results. These terms are not interchangeable.
Dwell time is not the bounce rate of the website.
It is not the average time a user spends on your page.
It is not the click-through rate. The role of dwell time only measures the results of what happens after the click. It does not measure or calculate the percentage of users who click on a result.
It is not session duration. The session duration is the amount of time a user is spending in clicking around your website. And in this case, the session didn’t begin with a keyword search. Therefore, it cannot end back at the SERPs, and it won’t calculate the time between those clicks.
Does dwell time really affect your SEO?
Now, let’s understand the relationship between dwell time and SEO. First of all, dwell time is a metric that we cannot measure. Only Google has access to measure the length of clicks. You can track a user’s engagement with the help of Google Analytics but can only measure dwell time with a third-party tool.
Classification of dwell time:
30 seconds or less than – The content was not up to the mark, and the user was not satisfied. So, he/she went back to find something better.
1 to 2 minutes – The content was useful for the user because they spent a couple of minutes reading the information.
15 minutes – The user finds the content super-useful.
On the basis of the above classifications, we can say that dwell time is a good indicator of the relevance and the quality of the content. It can have a big impact on SEO as it is an indicator of engagement and SEO is all about creating more engagement. Low dwell time is a clear sign that the users are not getting the desired or useful information on your site.
We all know the fact that every click is a visit. But as a businessman, all of us would like to engage with our customers for a longer duration of time and the dwell time is an exact measure of that time.
However, even if you click back after 15-20 minutes, Google will consider it as a bounce. Therefore, it is clear that bounce rate cannot give results about the level of engagement.
Instead of bounce rate, dwell time can be used as a ranking signal because people can bounce for a number of reasons. Also, it is easier for Google to calculate the data and measure the dwell time.
Dwell time can be measured by taking two other metrics into consideration – time on page and bounce rate. If the time on page is high and there is a low bounce rate, then it will be considered as high dwell time.
Factors which affect dwell time
Here are some of the factors which may affect dwell time:
Slow page load speed.
Your website is not mobile-friendly (Since a lot of users are using mobile phones, it is important for you to ensure that your site is mobile-friendly).
The title tag and description are inaccurate.
Improve your dwell time by improving your content and working on the above factors.
Guest author: Aditya works as a Growth Assistant at AirTract.Com, a social platform wherein people ask questions and get answers, share knowledge and experience. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science Engineering and has been working in the field of Digital Marketing for the past two years. He is also a voracious reader and a big sports fan.