We do a lot of SEO Audits here at Bowler Hat and one problem we see creeping up again and again are incorrectly indexed HTTPS pages.
This can present in a couple of ways but will most often mean that users clicking through from your site will see a yellow warning page before they reach your site which has one of two messages on that (scary looking) intermediate page.
Fortunately, there is a simple fix for those brave enough to dive into their .htaccess file and use some Mod Rewrite Wizardry!
Yet again we have another social media update on our hands. This time it is Twitter, and they are slowly rolling out the new profile layout which looks oddly familiar, don’t you think? I think we can all agree is it is very similar to Facebook, but I actually like this new layout. As you can see, it is all about the images, with both the profile image & the banner increasing in size, but this does bring one problem! Does anyone know the correct size for the banner or the profile image? Anyone? No? I guess I’ll have to tell you.
Does Google get your business? Can Google understand your address? Your phone number? It’s a simple yet important question and if Google does not ‘get’ your business and understand your location and phone number how likely are they to return you in local search results? As a local business, visibility and reputation in the local search results is an important element of your marketing and if Google does not get your address, phone number or service area then you will likely never show in local search results and never pick up your share of those eager, local customers.
In 2012, Google introduced a new feature to its search results, called the Knowledge Graph, but many people refer to it as the Knowledge Box. Its main purpose is to show any useful details when you search for a company, including address, phone number, map, reviews & opening hours. To get a Knowledge Box, you must create a Google Places page for your business. But it will only appear if Google trusts that you are at that physical location.
When it comes to marketing hotels or any other kind of business in search the first thing that most folks consider is visibility – and rightly so. Without visibility there is no online awareness of your business with the people searching for what you provide. But, visibility, as important as it may be is still only part of the picture and it is reputation and what people are saying about that drives conversions and will turn browsers into buyers.
The rest of this post takes a look at online reputation primarily through the reviews and comments on your Google+ listing and the many third party review portals.
When promoting your business online what are you looking to do? Do you try to drive visibility in paid search, local or organic and hope to be found? Or, do you make it so it is impossible for users not to find you?
The latter obviously offers much more awareness and branding potential and if you are doing everything else right will generate a lot more interest (and ultimately business).
The Three Musketeers of Search Visibility
We are all to often guilty of reductionist marketing campaigns that look at one single element of search visibility and in doing so we miss out on opportunities. Visibility drives confidence and visibility across the paid, natural (organic) and local components of a search results page provides an opportunity.
Google Street View – a cool new way for folks to see your business when using Google Maps, that is, when it works and the picture they choose for you is actually pointing at your business premises (a rarity in our experience).
Fortunately, it is fairly simple to correct this and ensure the street view image associated with your (or someone elses) business is correct. This is essential to paint the right picture for prospective customers and people trying to find your business premises.
In a world of content management systems (CMS) and plugins that can do nearly everything you want, instantly, often for free or a nominal cost it is easy to hang together a website with a raft of functionality without blowing your budget to pieces.
That’s great, it really is, but as anyone knows who works with search engines or websites for a while (15 years so far – kill me) there is no such thing as a free lunch and there are trade offs for this free functionality.
Many people have looked high and low to find the secret of being successful in local search results and we have found it… its your Google Places listing! Yes it’s as simple as that. We have created a step by step optimization guide for your Google Places listing. Your listing plays a huge part in local SEO, so it is vital to optimize your listing correctly with as much detail as possible.
Claim your listing! Google may have already created a places listing for your business so the next step is to claim your listing and verify your location.
It is fairly well documented how important citations are as part of your local SEO efforts and how the quality and the total number of citations can play a big part in raising the visibility of your business in localised search results. With this in mind most of the local SEO articles out there tend to list a series of directories and tell the business owner to dive in and get their business listed.
Now, that is fine in many cases, but it fails to address one important point: what citations already exist for your business?
We do a lot of SEO Audits here at Bowler Hat and often many of the sites we work with have multiple URLs attached to them and have multiple URLs indexed. This is problematic for many reasons with the primary one being a potential penalty due to duplication but more often you will see equity split over several different domains or sub domains. We all want links to our sites but if have 10 links to one site and 10 links to another then you are failing to pool all of your inbound link equity into the one single domain.
Luckily, there is a simple solution to this using the ever powerful mod rewrite tool that can redirect all of your many domain variations to the one single domain that you intend the site to run on.