Thanks to Atlanta Business RadioX for Having Me as a Guest!

ATLANTA BUSINESS RADIOX HAS CHRIS EVERETT AS A GUEST

As an entrepreneur, I have a certain affection for people and organizations that support small businesses. Today I had the privilege of being a guest on Atlanta Business RadioX and meeting two influential small business advocates, Lee Kantor and Ryan McPherson.

During the 33 minute segment, I spoke about about many things related to search engine marketing including:

I also had the opportunity to talk about the great work that Rebuilding Together Atlanta, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that I have the privilege of being on the Board of Directors, is doing for our under-served populations in our community.

Listen to My Guest Segment on Business RadioX

If you’d like to listen to my segment on Business RadioX, you can listen by clicking on the play button at the left, or you can visit the Business RadioX website.

Want to Be a Guest on Business RadioX?

Business RadioX offers several opportunities to be a guest, with numerous studios throughout metro Atlanta. If you’d like to get your company featured on Business RadioX, simply visit this link and pitch them your story.

11 HTML Tags that Impact Organic SEO Success

In SEO, so much of the industry discussion centers around developing great keyword-centric content and building as many quality links as possible.

While these two topics are absolutely essential ingredients in successful SEO strategies, there’s a lot more technical HTML based components that also play into to creating SEO friendly web pages that rank well organically.

While this isn’t a comprehensive list but, below are 11 essential HTML tags that have a direct impact on your on-site (and in some cases off-site) organic SEO success.

On-Page Structure Tags that Impact Organic SEO Value

Meta <title> Tag

The most important tag on any web page, the meta <title> tag, similarly to a cover of a book, tells the search engines (and users) what the content of your webpage is all about – which is why it’s important to include your targeted keyword phrases in it! It’s also an important tag because it shows up at the top of your listing in the search results:

Meta TitleMeta Description Tag

While the Meta Description tag has no impact on how well your website ranks organically, it’s still a critically important HTML tag for organic SEO because it can convince users to click through to your webpage:

Meta Description Tag

<h1> Tag

H1 TagThe <h1> tag is the first HTML tag that relates directly to on-page content structure. Think of the <h1> tag as the headline of a newspaper or blog article.

The search engines understand the <h1> tag to be the most important content header tag, and by using keywords within your <h1> tag, you give your site a better chance to rank organically for your keyword targets. Best practice tip: Only use one H1 tag per page!

<h2> Tag

<h2> tags signify breaks or subsections of your web pages that help organize content, assisting both your readers and search engines in determining what sections are important. Using both targeted and long-tail keyword phrases in your <h2> tags are also an SEO keyword-relevancy best practice for organic search.

<h3> Tag

The third content header tag in line is the <h3> tag, which is given a lower value than the <h1> or <h2> tags by search engines. The H3 tags should be used in cases where you need to further break down your subsections into more specific topics. Optimizing these for longtail keywords is a smart move, but not to the detriment of well-written copy. Though it may be tempting to try to stuff in keywords, this can look spammy and be detrimental to your overall organic SEO success.

The Link Rel= HTML Tags that Impact Organic SEO

Rel=”Canonical” Tag

The Rel=Canonical tag is an essential guide for search engines to determine find which web pages are the most important and which should be ignored when they crawl your website, particularly in the case where you have duplicate content on your site.

Canonical Link

Without use of the Rel=Canonical tag, you basically leave it up to the search engines to determine what pages are the most significant and should be ranked/indexed.

Rel=”Author” Tag

Assigning an author to your text moves your site from being an anonymously written website to giving weight to what your text and content is by attaching a specific author and their Google+ account to it.

Authorship

While there has been no direct confirmation by Google, on Authorship being a ranking signal, it’s been widely speculated that Author Rank will be incorporated in the future. By developing your Authorship, you’re building trust with users and with Google and if Google deems you worthy enough, they’ll include your head shot next to your listing in the search results.

Rel=”Publisher”

Where an author tag can give relevance to content through a personal perspective, the publisher tag does something similar for business. This can be used to great effect by any business or brand with a Google+ page. Using this tag ensures that Google establishes a connection between your Google+ page and your actual website, thus impacting overall SEO.

Link Rel=”Nofollow”

Though assigning a link as a rel=nofollow may seem slightly mean-spirited in the SEO stakes, it can actually be an important part of preventing your site from looking spammy, and thus deserving of a search engine penalty.

This was first developed as a way for webmasters to prevent blog posts from essentially becoming link farms for unscrupulous “black hat” marketers who were just looking to pass PageRank to websites. With Google’s recent penalization of Guest Blogging sites, the rel=nofollow attribute should be used more thoughtfully by bloggers who are blogging on sites that do not belong to them, and by blog owners who allow others to post on their sites.

The Crossing Your T’s and Dotting Your I’s HTML Tag Attributes

Link Title Attribute

Though it’s not an important aspect of the SEO puzzle, the link title is often confused with or duplicated anchor text. Essentially, the link title acts as a road sign for users and should be as descriptive as possible so they know what to expect should they click on the link.

Link Title Attribute

This is particularly true when it comes to more general anchor text links such as “Click Here” or “More Info.”

Image Alt Text Attribute

By using your targeted keywords your Image Alt HTML attribute, you can increase the overall keyword value of your web page. Image Alt attributes also promotes higher rankings for your images in Google’s blended and image search results.

Image Alt Text

It’s sometimes so easy to forget that the little details can make a significant impact. So, if you’re a DIY SEOer, or someone who is relatively new to the industry, be sure you’re taking the time to optimize each of these HTML elements on your web pages. Doing so can keep your organic SEO program moving in the right direction.

I’m Set to Speak at STC Atlanta’s April Chapter Meeting!

Chris Everett Speaks at STC Atlanta's April Chapter Meeting

NOTE: The Venue of this Meeting has Changed to:

IBM Security Systems facility
6303 Barfield Road NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30328

One of the fun things I get to do as an SEO consultant is I’m often invited to present/speak to local groups, classes, or at events around the metro Atlanta area.

A few months back I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of students about using social media effectively while job seeking during Georgia Highlands College’s Passport to Success program.

Last week, I accepted an invitation to speak at STC Atlanta’s chapter meeting on April 15, 2014, in which I’ll be presenting on “Optimization and Getting Your Work Found in Google,” to this professional association for technical communicators.

During this hour-long presentation I’ll discuss:

  • the basics of how search engines work
  • optimizing HTML documents, PDFs, and videos for better organic search visibility
  • the importance of a website’s content structure and topical authority

I will also be fielding questions related to search and technical communication from the group during the presentation.

Want to Attend the Presentation?

If you’d like to attend the presentation, refreshments begin at 6:30pm, and the presentation will start at 7:00pm at the IBM Security Systems facility 6303 Barfield Road NE Atlanta, Georgia 30328. The presentation is free for STC Chapter Members and is $10 for non-members. All proceeds go to the chapter, as I’m volunteering my time for this presentation.

I hope to see you there!

Want me to Speak at Your Event?

As a consultant and small business owner (not to mention husband and father!), my time is very limited, but I do enjoy presenting to groups on SEO/search related topics and would invite you to contact me if you’re interested in having me speak at your event.

In SEO, Top Rankings Aren’t Everything

In SEO, Top Rankings Aren't Everything

The job of a search engine optimization consultant has evolved greatly over the last few years. No more is SEO just a narrowly scoped task to get clients ranked in the top 3 for their targeted keyword terms and then calling it a day.

Top rankings are nice, but that’s not the ultimate goal of the client who is paying the SEO consultant to his/her services. It’s all about return that they receive for their dollars invested in the Internet marketing campaign.

What separates the top Internet marketing companies from the mediocre ones is their understanding of how to optimize their clients’ websites not only for the search results, but also to capture more conversions (sales/leads) from visitors who land on their clients’ websites. This element of Internet marketing is known as website conversion optimization.

Varying Definitions for “Conversion”

“Conversions” can be defined in multiple ways depending on the website’s functionality and set of goals. Ecommerce websites have an easy definition for “conversion” in that if someone makes a purchase on the site, they’ve converted.

Website Conversion OptimizationFor other lead-generating websites, a website conversion can be construed in a few different ways. For example, if you’re a realtor, getting a lead (phone call or email contact) from a prospective listing simply gets that site visitor into the realtor’s “conversion funnel.” It’s then the realtor’s job to sell themselves as the right agent for the job to the person. But the Internet marketing company can’t necessarily help in that process once the initial contact is made, so the contact itself is considered a website conversion.

For other websites that are more concerned with information gathering for future marketing purposes, capturing a website visitor’s name, email address and phone number would be a website conversion.

Ultimately, the goal for any business whether it be ecommerce or offline is to make a return off the investment they’ve made in Internet marketing. If your SEO company is driving traffic to your website, but you’re not receiving any sales, leads or other website conversions, then you’re not going to be receiving a return on your investment.

Optimizing Your Website for Conversions

It’s important to understand that in Internet marketing and website optimization, web design and SEO go hand in hand. There are several key elements to optimizing a website for higher conversions. Some of which deals with SEO and others that rely on an effective website design. Below are some ways in which website conversion optimization relies on each of these sides.

Conversion Optimization and Web Design

Take Action Now CTAIn terms of website optimization, simply having an attractive website doesn’t guarantee a user will convert. Here are some ways that web design elements play into a user’s overall experience and ways to increase the likelihood of a conversion:

  • Simple, easy-to-use navigation to get the users to the information they’re looking for.
  • Utilization of appealing graphics that have a strong call to action such as enewsletter signups, eBook downloads, discounts and deals, free information, etc.)
  • Creation of custom landing pages for SEO-targeted keywords.
  • Easy to find placement of pertinent contact information.
  • Inclusion of social sharing icons on each page of the website for easy sharing amongst users.

SEO and Conversion Optimization

When it comes to SEO and its role in bolstering website conversions, there are both on-site and off-site factors that can play a significant role. Here are just a few:

On-site:

  • Utilization of cross linking to other related internal pages on the website that might be of interest to a user.
  • Crafting highly optimized, but balanced web copy that is well structured so it speaks to the search engines, but also convinces a user that the product or service they’re reading about is of value to them (ultimately turning them into a conversion.)

Off-site:

  • Using link building and content marketing initiatives to help achieve high rankings for “conversion oriented” landing pages on the website (i.e. product landing pages on ecommerce sites, etc.)
  • Promoting the website and its conversion-oriented pages in a variety of Social Media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+

Feel free to leave your thoughts on SEO vs. website conversion optimization in the comments section below.

Getting Back In Touch With Project Management Basics

Getting Back In Touch With Project Management Basics

Today I came across a great article titled “14 Ways to be the Worst Web Project Manager” … It’s a great article that really emphasizes the fundamentals of project management basics and the career path that I’ve chosen. I’ve been managing web redesign and SEO projects for the past 3.5 years. Every project is different with its own set of technical specs and stakeholder personalities, but after reading this article it really puts a perspective on what’s important for being an effective project manager – project management basics.

With Project Management Basics in mind, here is the list of 14 Ways to be the Worst Web Project Manager:

    1. Let Interruptions Dictate Your Schedule
    2. Don’t Communicate Clearly With Your Clients
    3. Keep Your Clients Guessing
    4. If You’re Not Going to Meet a Deadline, Don’t Tell the Client
    5. Always Underestimate the Resources Needed for a Project
    6. If a Client is Being Rude, Respond in Kind
    7. Never Admit to Making a Mistake
    8. Shift Blame to Someone on Your Team
    9. Don’t Double-check Your Team’s Work
    10. Spend Very Little Time Writing E-mails
    11. Don’t Get to Know Your Team
    12. Assume Your Team is on Schedule
    13. Don’t Create a System to Remind You to Contact Clients
    14. Come into Meetings Ill-prepared

Here is a link to the article if you’d like to read the whole thing.

Or you can download the PDF Version