Monthly Archives: August 2012

5 things I’m bored of hearing from SEOs

Following our ‘what not to put on your SEO agency website‘ post, here’s 5 phrases to avoid if you don’t want to sound like a chump.

“I’m a Rockstar”

Brent

As great as it is, SEO is not Rock ‘n’ Roll

So you’re a maverick? Not afraid to bend the rules, maybe buy the odd link or two?

But a Rockstar, really?

Rockstars sleep with supermodels and drive Rolls Royces into swimming pools.

When was the last time you did that?

“Content is king!”

Content is king?Most of the people who claim that ‘content is king’ wouldn’t know good content it it slapped them in the face.

It’s only after the recent Google updates that most SEOs have really started to wake up and smell the coffee.

Even now there are plenty of people who are paying lip service to the idea that content really matters.

 

“Google is so unfair!”

Google is so unfair!

Google is constantly changing it’s algorithm in order to deliver a great user experience.

Yes it’s annoying that you can’t just submit an ezine article or two to get rank any more. It’s even more irritating that you can’t see your referring keywords in Google Analytics.

But Google doesn’t owe you a living, quit whining about how evil it is and get on with it.

 

“I’m an SEO strategist”

SEO strategist

The SEO strategist knows everything there is to know about Google’s ark of updates.

Ask him to actually show you how to acquire some backlinks and he’s stumped.

 

“I’m white hat”

Amazon’s SEO guys are white hat, everyone else has to be at least a little bit grey to get stuff done. Stop claiming that you are whiter than white, you’re not fooling anybody.


We ♥ IE6

We’re constantly deploying new features to Copify.

Some are small updates that users are unlikely to notice. Others, where changes to the user interface are involved, require a bit more care and attention to make sure things are hunky-dory when it comes to cross-browser compatibility.

Let’s face it – the Internet is a mess. There are so many different browsers and devices, ensuring that your web-app works on all of them can be a bit of a minefield.

Thankfully, most modern browsers play nice, and all render HTML & CSS pretty much the same way.

Oh wait, no. They don’t. Do they, Bill?

Many agencies and web developers have fought hard for a long time to “convert” as many people as possible away from Internet Explorer, and with recent stats on browser usage it looks like it’s not all been in vain.

However, we still have a significant number of visitors using older versions of Internet Explorer (mainly IE6 and IE7) causing us headaches. One of the biggest headaches is testing.

If you’re on a Mac, or running Windows 7, you can’t just download IE6 and see how your site looks. You’re going to need XP.

In this post I’m going to show you how we use a virtual machine to test these older pesky browsers.

All you need is Windows 7 and a few gig disk space going spare.

Ready? You were born ready!

Windows Virtual PC

Head over to Microsoft’s website and download Windows Virtual PC. You don’t need “XP mode” so you can skip this if you like, just make sure that you select the correct version of Virtual PC for your machine and operating system.

Make sure you get the correct version 32bit V 64bit

Once the download has finished, have a bash at installing. You’ll figure it out.

Windows Virtual PC VHD

Next, you need to download the Windows Virtual disk image to run.

I need to test IE6 and IE7 on Windows XP so I download the package called “Windows_XP_IE6.exe”.

Take the mouse in your hand and click the thing that says “Download”

The disk image comes with Windows XP and IE6, and also the installation files for IE7.

However, once you’ve installed IE7 you can’t run IE6 again. So make a copy of the first image, rename it and use this for IE7.

Make a copy if you need to use both IE6 and IE7 regularly

Fire up Windows Virtual PC

First off, select which image you want to run.

Right click on the Windows XP VMC and enter “Settings“. From here you can choose which image to use. Change the setting for “Hard Disk 1″ and browse for your disk image.

Choose which disk image to run

Login issue

As with many Microsoft products, there is some kind of annoying, inexplicable problem with its use. In this case, it’s the fact you are presented with an impenetrable login form.

To get round this, choose “Disable Integration Features”. No idea what this does, but it gets you to login screen that works!

Disable this to get to the normal login

You can now login with the username “IE User” and the password “Password1“.

Password is case sensitive! Bless.

IE6

You’ve now traveled back in time and are about to experience the wonders of 1990’s web browsing. I suggest playing some classic Nineties pop tunes  while you test to get the the full effect.

OK let’s Brogram this Mother until all the horribleness is gone. Done? Great!

Probably losing £££s because of this, but it’s too funny to care

We’ve made our fixes to ensure IE6 users get the best browsing experience, and we’re now ready to do the same for IE7.

IE7

If you never wish to use IE6 ever again in your life (highly likely) then just run the IE7 install.

Unfortunately for me I may have to revisit good ol’ IE6, so I just reconfigure Virtual Machine to use the image copy I made earlier. I’ve renamed them so I know which is which.

Choose the IE7 image this time

Again, work your magic and fix all the nasty codez with some CSS hacks.

If like us, you’re using Git (What? You’re not using Git? Why not?) this is a good time to commit your changes and wave and scream at your boss, hinting you’ve made your website look great for pensioners and public sector workers across the country.

Commit your changes. Feels good.

Having problems following this guide? Tweet now or forever hold your forever hold your peace.

How to do a comprehensive keyword audit on your site

In this post, I’m going to show you how to carry out a comprehensive keyword audit on your site. The objectives of this are as follows:

  • Identify areas for improvement in site content.
  • Improve landing page relevancy, to boost both SEO traffic and improve Adwords quality score.
  • Ensure that you are covering all of the long-tail keywords that are driving traffic to your site.

What you’ll need

  •     Google analytics tracking and ideally conversion tracking.
  •     A spreadsheet.
  •     A couple of free hours and some strong coffee.

Step 1 – Get the data

The first step in your audit is to grab all of your keyword data from analytics. Log in and navigate to Search > Overview in the left hand column. Ensure that the date range is set to capture as much data as possible.

navigate to Search > Overview in the left hand column and ensure that the date range is set as far back as possible to capture as much data as possible.

Ensure that the date range is set as far back as possible to capture as much data as possible.

Next, filter the referring keywords from both organic and paid traffic by navigating to Filter by Secondary dimension > Traffic Sources > Keyword:

Secondary dimension > Traffic Sources > Keyword

Secondary dimension > Traffic Sources > Keyword

Next, export this data to a CSV file so that you can use the data in a spreadsheet.

Then toggle the number of the rows at the bottom of the screen to 500. Unless you are dealing with an ecommerce site with thousands of SKUs, this should give you enough data to play with.

toggle the number of the rows at the bottom of the screen to 500.

toggle the number of the rows at the bottom of the screen to 500.

Next, export this data to a CSV file so that you can use the data in a spreadsheet.

export this data to a CSV file so that you can use the data in a spreadsheet.

export this data to a CSV file so that you can use the data in a spreadsheet.

Open the file in the spreadsheet package of your choice, make sure that you select the comma separated option in the popup before opening the sheet.

The data black hole – ‘not provided’

Google tell us that their decision to block access to the keyword data you’ll see as ‘not provided’ is a privacy measure. Really it’s in a bid to push their premium Analytics package.

The bad news is that unless you’ve forked out the $150,000 Google is asking for this, a lot of your referring traffic will be anonymous. The good news is that if you are running an Adwords campaign, you will be able to see what terms are converting.

Step 2 –  Sort the data

Once you have your data, you can sort it by a number of different metrics. Which ones you choose will depend on what your objectives are:

Want to increase traffic? – The second column, visits is the most relevant, sort the data to see the terms that are driving the most traffic.

Want to increase profit? – If you have conversion tracking set up on your site, there are several columns that can help you to view your money terms:

Revenue, Transactions, Average Value, Ecommerce Conversion Rate and Per Visit Value.

Step 3 – Categorise the data

Once you have sorted your data, the next step is to categorise it. Add a new column and give each keyword a category based on the words it includes e.g. ‘content’ or ‘articles’. This may seem like a laborious process, but it does get quicker with time, particularly when the cells start to auto-populate as you type common terms:

Give each keyword a category

Give each keyword a category

Once complete, you can order sort these terms alphabetically to see them in groups:

Sort your sheet by category

Sort your sheet by category

Step 4 – Analysis

Analyse your data to identify areas of improvement and action points:

Add extra columns for analysis

Add extra columns for analysis

I have done this by adding 6 new columns to the sheet, which are as follows:

URL – Is there a page for this keyword that already ranks, or do we need a new one?
Keyword in URL – Is the keyword included in the URL?
Keyword in title – Is the keyword included in the meta title?
Keywords in meta description – Is the keyword included in the meta title?
Keyword in H1 tag – Is the keyword included in the page’s H1 title?
Keywords in copy – Is the keyword present in the body copy on the page?

Step 5 – Actions

Once you have your completed sheet, you are ready to action any changes that need to be made. This might involve adding new landing pages or editing the meta data and page copy of your existing ones.

Win 2 tickets to BrightonSEO!

BrightonSEO

BrightonSEO

BrightonSEO is one of the best search marketing conferences in the UK. Tickets for the next event on September 14th were snapped up in a number of hours, but as a sponsor we have 2 to give away.

To be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is Tweet the answer + @Copify to the following question:

Which of the following people is a world-renowned SEO expert?

A) Randy Jackson
B) Rand Fishkin
C) “Macho Man” Randy Savage

The winner will be announced on Friday 31st August.

Good luck!