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by Lenka Istvanova on 17th December 2013
Christmas time is a really busy period for everyone and with so much to do I have come up with a list of my favourite 13 Social Media and SEO tips that are really easy and quick to implement so you can have a great 2014. Some of them will take you only a couple of minutes to do and you won’t need advanced coding knowledge.
Feel free to pick and mix from the below:
I’m sure that all of you have a Google Webmaster Tools account and use it on a regular basis. However, now it’s time to make the most out of Bing too. Although it doesn’t have the same search volume as Google you shouldn’t give up on Bing yet. Remember that while Google Webmaster Tools provides you with useful insight into the health of your site, it’s also beneficial to see information from another source. This can help you identify new areas of improvement. As such, I recommend creating an account on Bing Webmaster Tools to see if you can spot anything new.
Below are quick instructions on how to add a website to Bing Webmaster Tools
The sign up process is really quick and easy especially if you have a Microsoft account (e.g. Hotmail);
Once your sign up is successful, head over to your Dashboard and add your site;
In the next window, you can also add the URL of your sitemap and specify the time when you receive the most website traffic; however this is optional;
The last step is to verify ownership so you can run checks. You have 3 options on how to do this;
Option 1: Download and upload an authentication file to your site’s root directory. For this option you will need to have your FTP details on hand. You can then upload the file via any FTP client (I use FileZilla)
Option 2: Copy and paste a <meta> tag into your default webpage. This option is suitable for WordPress users, for people who don’t have FTP access or those who don’t know how to use an FTP client. I’ve used this option for my WordPress blog and here’s how you can easily do it too;
Login to your WordPress Dashboard and click on ‘Appearance’ and then ‘Editor’
In the right-hand corner click on ‘Header.php’
Now copy the <meta> tag from the Bing page and paste it just before the closing </head> tag;
Now go back to Bing and click on ‘Verify’. That’s it!
I love schema mark-ups and so should you. I call them little helpers as they help search engines better understand the elements of your website. Schema mark-ups provide you with plenty of possibilities for how you can highlight important information on your website such as reviews, ratings, testimonials, your location/s, contact details and much more.
Such marked-up information can then be displayed in SERPs; below is an example of a ratings rich snippet;
These rich snippets can provide you with a lot of perks including:
There are two ways you can make your listings richer and therefore more relevant for users. You can either use Schema.org templates and/or Google’s Highlighter tool.
Using Schema.org templates requires a bit of coding and time but it’s definitely worth it. Below I’ve listed a couple of websites which will generate these codes for you; you just need to enter the correct information;
If you have only a couple of minutes then I would highly recommend having a go with this tool. No coding is required; you won’t need to adjust your website’s code at all. Google Highlighter is a super easy point-and-click tool that enables you to tag or highlight the information with your mouse.
With Google Highlighter you can currently mark-up the following items on your website;
So why not try it today; have a go and mark-up at least your local address before Christmas.
To use it now, log in to your Webmaster Tools account and click on the ‘Search Appearance’ section > ‘Data Highlighter’ and then ‘Start Highlighting’
Rel Publisher has the same function as Rel Author with the only difference being that Rel Publisher is for companies with Google+ business pages. It’s really surprising that there are still many companies (some of the big ones too, for example John Lewis!) which haven’t yet implemented Rel Publisher.
It’s an important element worth having as it allows enhanced search engine presence. Simply put, with the Rel Publisher tag you can take up a little bit more space within the SERPs.
If implemented correctly the details of your company (e.g. logo) as well as you recent Google+ activity will be shown on the right hand side;
To save you a bit of time I’ve created the code/tag for you; you just need to copy and paste the URL of you Google+ page and add it to your site’s code before the </head> closing tag. The steps for adding this tag to your site are the same as for Bing site verification highlighted above.
Google Rel Publisher Code
<link href=”add your Google+ URL here” rel=”publisher”/>
For example, the Rel Publisher for Koozai’s Google+ page is this
<a href=”https://plus.google.com/100306647630320689759/” rel=”publisher”></a>
If you have your site built with WordPress then you can download Yoast’s WordPress SEO Plugin where you can simply add the URL of your Google+ page. No coding involved!
For those who don’t know, the speed with which your website loads affects your website’s ability to rank well. Moreover a slow loading website can have a negative effect on your conversion rates. A recent study by KISSmetrics showed that 40% of people would leave a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. In addition, just a one second delay can cost your website a 7% decrease in conversions (Source). If you still don’t believe me have a look at the below real-life examples when even a tiny delay could cost a lot;
Now is the time to give your website a proper speed check; if your website site speed is really low you should definitely spend some time on improving this number; anything below 80 on the Google Page Speed tool (or Chrome extension) means that there is a room for improvement. Their tool will test how fast your website is on desktops as well as on mobile phones;
Pingdom is another great free tool which will give you a more detailed insight into why your site is slow. I like to use the historic data feature which helps you compare the site speed on a monthly basis.
With search engines taking a tough stance on duplicate content, it’s extremely important to ensure that all content on your site is unique and hasn’t been used anywhere else on the internet. Be aware that if your pages have issues with duplicate text they can struggle to rank for targeted terms and as a bonus you can get a nice present from Google in the form of a penalty.
It only takes a couple of minutes to check whether you should be worried or not. Plus if one of your key terms keeps dropping in rankings one of the first things I would check is the content uniqueness. To do so I use Copyscape which is a cheap and effective tool for reviewing content. You can also use it for free however you can only review one site at a time. The paid version is really worth it especially if you have a big website, have had problems with duplicate content previously or you participated in in any of the black hat techniques from the launch of your website.
To use it you can either paste the text or page url;
You will get a list of websites and the percentage of duplicate content;
So if you are concerned about any of your copy go and check it now at www.copyscape.com; for $0.05 you will be able to quickly check whether your content has been published on other sites. From my experience I would first check your homepage as the content can be duplicated across many directories. I had a client who had a major issue with duplicate content on their homepage as all of the directories featured the same ‘About Us’ paragraph (over 400 words).
I don’t think I can stress this step enough. You simply must get the settings on your Social Media profiles right! So go login to your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest or any other profiles you have and make sure that;
Go do it now, I can wait.
Get your custom Google+ vanity URL if you haven’t done so already. For businesses, you need to have a linked website or a verified local business page in order to claim a custom URL. It’s been said that Google may charge for a custom URL in the future so you’d be better off logging in to your profile and claiming it asap.
Posting your updates when more people are likely to see them is important. If you have an active Twitter account for your business but don’t seem to get the results you want then checking whether you tweet at the right time can help. So go and check when your target audience is active and tweet at this time. There are a couple of tools you can use to determine your most ‘profitable’ time;
I use RetweetLab from HubSpot and Tweriod as they’re free, quick and easy, you just need to connect them with your Twitter handle. In a matter of seconds you will get some interesting insights in to your Twitter activity;
When to post on other Social Media
These Pinterest tips come again from my own experience; some of my clients have Pinterest profiles with many boards however these boards have only up to 5 pins. So if you are like them instead of creating a new board focus on your current one and make sure that you aim for:
Spending some quality time optimising your Pinterest board and pins is really worth it as your boards can appear in SERPS. For example, I’ve spent quite a while on optimisation of my personal Pinterest which is already gaining some good results. My Pinterest board, “Fashion Running Tights” appears 3rd in the SERPs for ‘Printed Running Tights’; successfully competing with big retailers such as Sweatshop, Amazon, JDsports and more.
Make it easier for people to find your Pinterest profile by adding it to a Pinterest Directory (such as WePin Pinterest Directory). This will create a relevant link for the profile and also help other web users discover your pins and boards. Simples!
Talkwalker alerts are great for tracking potential brand mentions. This works in a similar way to Google Alerts and when used in conjunction with Google can find some good quality brand mentions. To be honest I prefer TalkWalker alerts as they find more sources and are often divided into categories such as news, blogs, discussions and more.
The benefits of setting up these types of alerts are for example;
They are really easy to setup; you just need to add the term you want to track and enter your email address;
If you haven’t heard of Polyvore then you might be missing out big time, especially if you have an ecommerce business. Polyvore is the web’s largest fashion community, where users can create fashion boards with a drag and drop editor, then share those boards with the Polyvore community or anywhere on the internet.
As a business you can upload your products to Polyvore, so people can use them in their collections. The images are also linked to your website, so users who are interested in buying the products can simply click on the links. I like Polyvore as it’s really niche and it works in the similar way as Pinterest does.
So if you sell beauty, fashion, clothes or home products you should definitely create a profile for your website and upload your products.
Rebel Mouse is a new revolutionary publishing platform that plugs in to all of your social media accounts and creates a standalone website based on your social media content. I’ve stumbled across it a couple of months ago and liked it straight away. You can pick what stories to display on your RebelMouse page and you can also manually edit and change things around.
Big brands such as GE, Burger King or even the Wall Street journal are starting to employ RebelMouse into their marketing strategy. You can have a look at some of the examples below;
What presents will you be giving your website this Christmas?
I’m sure there are tons of other useful tips/presents out there, so please feel free to add your favourites in the comments below if you think I’ve missed something. I would love to hear the presents you’re giving your website this Christmas.
Gift box with a signature SEO from BigStock Photo
Lenka has a wealth of experience in the creation and management of Social Media, SEO, PPC, and Email Marketing campaigns. She has a strong passion for all things Digital and Sport related; when she's not competing in marathons she can be found blogging about digital marketing in sport.