417 Marketing Blog

How to Do Keyword Research in 2014

So. Google Hummingbird. If you haven’t heard of this punk, let me fill you in. Google Hummingbird flitted onto the scene last year and dropped a bomb onto our cozy SEO bubble. For years, we’ve polished and perfected our keyword strategies, but Hummingbird threw all of that careful consideration to the wind. Or so they say . . . Many SEOs have claimed that Hummingbird killed keywords, that they are suddenly irrelevant and unimportant, but that’s not the full story.

Today we’re going to talk about how to do keyword research in 2014. That’s right—keyword research. Google’s algorithm has changed, yes, but that doesn’t mean that keywords are meaningless. They’re just a little different.

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7 SEO Tactics For 2014

As the President of 417 Marketing, I wear many hats. As the company grows and evolves, my role changes. When I founded the company in 2010, I basically wore all of the hats. Today, my primary functions are to find and acquire talent, oversee our development team, lead our SEO team, and strategically grow the company in such a way that we can serve more people without comprising quality.

Of the roles I defined above, leading the SEO team is a big one. Part of leading the team is defining the vision for our SEO services and then picking SEO tactics for 2014 that will help achieve that vision. To find these tactics, I do a lot of testing on a day-to-day basis. This gives me a pretty good idea of what SEO Tactics for 2014 will be those that are most effective.

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Are Social Signals Bogus?

Social media can sometimes feel like high school. Everyone can see how many “friends” you have and how many times those friends “like” or comment on your posts. There are awkward relationship statuses, ridiculous dramas, and oh so many typos. But despite some of its juvenile aspects, social media also plays a huge role in business these days. And some believe that all those “social signals” involved can greatly affect your website’s search ranking. But is it true? Are search engine rankings a big popularity contest? Or are social signals bogus?

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Google Authorship Changes

Since Google Authorship was introduced a few years ago, many people have applauded the program. With just a few easy steps, writers are able to establish their authorship of a webpage. When Google chooses to use that authorship markup in their search results, a picture of the author appears next to the link along with the author’s name and a link to his or her other work. Google Authorship allows writers to claim their content and gives search results more credibility. Plus, search engine users appreciate being able to identify noteworthy or favored authors, and websites appreciate the increase in traffic they get with results that feature authorship.

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How To Tell If Google Is Crawling Your Website

Today, I had a developer contact me with a problem. His client was saying that Google was not crawling the website he had built for him. This developer was concerned and wanted to know if I could help. At this point, I thought it might be helpful to explain how to tell if Google is crawling your website. So that’s what this post will cover (along with a few bonuses).

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What Should I Include On My Homepage?

A homepage is like a storefront. It welcomes your customers, persuades them to come inside, and showcases important information. Although all websites are different, the homepage is generally the most highly-trafficked section of your website and as such, it should be thoughtfully designed and attempt to both satisfy visitors and pique their interest. “So what should I include on my homepage?” you ask? Read on to find out.

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Google Hummingbird’s Effect on Local SEO

We discussed Hummingbird, the most recent update to Google’s algorithm, back when it arrived on the scene in October. A month later, we delved into its misconceptions and truths, concluding that the flighty little bird really hadn’t changed the tried-and-true rules of SEO. Quality content and relevant, authoritative links are still essential to SEO efforts, we decided, and there is no reason to fear this new update. But what has Google Hummingbird’s effect on local SEO been?

Last month, SEO expert David Mihm announced that Google Hummingbird’s effect on local SEO has been significant. His observations of Google Hummingbird’s effect on local SEO reveal that (contrary to many SEOs’ original reactions) local search results have lowered in quality since Hummingbird arrived on the scene. The results are noteworthy and (for some) could even be game changing.

Let’s dig right in.

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The Google PageRank Update

Before you start digging a grave for Google PageRank (which we reported as being on its death bed just two months ago), you should know that Google updated the Toolbar PageRank values about two weeks ago, on the morning of December 6. This was a shocking turn of events not only because many SEOs predicted PageRank’s imminent death, but because even Matt Cuts, Google’s head of web spam, tweeted in October that he “would be surprised” if there was a PageRank update before 2014 (source).

You may be wondering what this means. Has the Google PageRank update made the ranking system more relevant? Why would Google choose to spend time updating a program that’s been slowly fading away? Is it still on its death bed or it has jumped out of said bed and gone for a jog? Let’s find out . . .

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How to Optimize a WordPress Blog Post

Just about anyone can create and write a WordPress blog (your eleven-year-old cousin, your elderly neighbor, your doctor, your grocer, you!), but very few know how to optimize a WordPress blog post. It’s a simple process that too many bloggers overlook or ignore, but if you want your blog to be read by more than just your family and friends, optimization is essential. And I’m pleased to say that anyone can do it with the right plug-in and a bit of SEO knowhow. So if you’re interested in learning how to optimize a WordPress blog post, stick around. This will only take a minute, I promise . . .

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Simple Web Design: Why It Works

They say that “less is more” when it comes to graphic design, but is simple web design really best? To put it simply: yes. And while I’m tempted to leave it at that, a grand statement is useless without the evidence to back it up. So . . .

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