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Beginner’s Guide to Optimizing Websites for Better Rankings

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Beginner's Guide to Optimizing Websites for Better Rankings

You want to rank on the #1 spot in Google. I get it. Everyone wants that spot but how come you’ve never been able to get your keywords there consistently?

I wrote this guide for you to get some of your keywords there in 30 days or less.

Just like a car needs regular tune-ups to keep it running smoothly, your website needs periodic SEO maintenance to help it maintain a high ranking.

Here are some routine tasks that me and my team in SEO Hacker do for our client’s website upkeep.

Publish fresh or update old content regularly

One crucial element to maintaining your website rankings is your content. Without content, search engines can’t take into account that your website is authoritative and trustworthy.

With that said, do you consistently create original and satisfying content? Have you also backtracked some of your old content and looked to see if there are articles that needs updating?

With Google’s recent helpful content update, it’s important to consider how you create content.

Below are some guide questions to help you re-evaluate previously published content and how you create new content:

  • Does your content demonstrate your expertise and depth of knowledge from using a product or service?
  • Does your content primarily summarize what others have to say without adding much value of your own?
  • What impression will your content leave on a reader? Will they learn something new or experience something satisfying?
  • Do you create valuable content while keeping Google’s guidelines and core algorithm updates in mind?
  • Does your content promise to answer a question without a clear, confirmed answer yet, or one that hasn’t been confirmed?
  • Does your visual content follow Google’s image SEO best practices?
  • Is your content and web design and interface mobile-friendly?
  • Is your content likely to receive backlinks because of its resourcefulness and value?

These questions will help you plan and create substantial content for your website that’s aligned with your audience and Google’s recommendations.

Check your internal and external links periodically

Did you know that backlinks help to establish the expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) of your website? Links are an active and powerful ranking signal to this day.

When other websites cite your website or web page via links, it shows Google that you’re authoritative and trustworthy.

To maintain your website’s rankings, you will need to check your internal and external links periodically. Internal links or interlinks are hyperlinks that point from a page in your site to another page on your site.

Internal links help users navigate your site and find the content they are searching for.

What internal links do for SEO is that it helps search engines find and understand the value, relevance, and relationship between your web pages.

On the other hand, external links or outbound links are hyperlinks that point from your website to an article on a third-party website. Every time you link to another website altogether, it is an external link.

I’m guessing your next question here is, does creating outbound links matter in SEO?

Some SEO specialists agree it matters in SEO, while some don’t. In any case, how I decide is if it helps the reader know more about the topic or the content that I wrote, I will link out for sure. Every external link included in our content is meant to cite relevant and authoritative sources.

Consequently, these links let my readers learn more about the topic deeply. In addition, it also gives me the opportunity to build some expertise and authority to the content I wrote as well.

An experiment done by Reboot Online showed how external links can help improve your website’s ranking. Their study concludes that “outgoing relevant links to authoritative sites are considered in the algorithms and do have a positive impact on rankings.” To learn more about their updated study in-depth, you can read about it här.

What this study and my personal experience concludes is that linking to sites with good contextual authority has a positive impact on your content’s rankings when done correctly. It helps send trust signals to Google.

But why do you need to occasionally check your hyperlinks?

Remember, we create content for people. If someone clicks on a link and receives an error message, they are more likely to leave the site. Links that no longer work or are inaccessible are called broken links. While broken links do not directly affect your website’s rankings, inaccessible links directly affect user experience – which I could argue is a ranking factor.

Optimize your titles, meta descriptions, and alt text for images

You shouldn’t neglect the small details like titles and meta descriptions that contribute to your website’s organic traffic and ranking. Titles and meta descriptions play a major role in making your website visible in the search results.

These elements aren’t considered on-page ranking factors per se, but what they do is they help searchers see and understand what your website or your webpage is about straight from the search results page.

meta description screenshot
A lot of people click on titles and meta descriptions on search engine results pages (SERP) that contain relevant summaries. When searchers click on your website’s title and meta description related to their query, your click-through rate (CTR) increases.

On the other hand, adding alternative text (alt-text) to your images plays a role in making your websites rank because of its importance on Google Image Search. If an image doesn’t load or is inaccessible to a web browser, an alternative text provides a helpful description of the image to users.

In essence, adding alternative text to images is like hitting two birds with one stone: it helps searchers who may have images or scripts turned off in their web browser understand what your image is about. Similarly, it helps Google bots crawl and index your website better.

So, if you haven’t optimized your website’s titles, meta descriptions, or your images’ alt-texts yet, now’s the time to do so. If you don’t know how to optimize your meta description, here’s a helpful post where we share some useful tips on how to do it.

Key Takeaway

In SEO, nothing is sacred. This is why SEO is never a one-time fix. Rankings in search results aren’t permanent. Search engines like Google constantly update their algorithms. Plus the fact that your competitors can catch up and get ahead if they employ better SEO strategies. Whatever tactic or strategy you have in place now for your website to rank may not work tomorrow.

This is why SEO maintenance is important. By regularly performing these and other web maintenance tasks, you can help your website earn high rankings in search results and keep it there.

Did you find this article helpful? Let me know in the comments below.

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SEO

How To Get More Traffic By Fixing Keyword Cannibalizations

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How To Get More Traffic By Fixing Keyword Cannibalizations

This post was sponsored by DinoRANK. The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor’s own.

Google is a great source of qualified and recurring traffic for your business – that’s a fact.

Many people say that the key to SEO success is to establish yourself as an authoritative source for all the keywords in your industry, even niche keywords.

Unfortunately, your competition is doing the same thing. In some cases, you may even be competing with yourself.

Everyone is creating the same content to rank high on Google. So, you need to set yourself apart.

Your competition may be using the same niche keywords as you, but are they optimizing their domain’s SEO by cleaning up cannibalized content and keyword cannibalization?

They may not be; so, this is a great way to propel your website to the top of Google.

What Is Keyword Cannibalization In SEO?

As you may know, sometimes two or more URLs on the same domain may rank for the same keyword or group of keywords.

When this happens, Google does not know which piece of content to show on search engine results pages (SERPs).

When these URLs compete for the same search terms, it is called SEO cannibalization.

How Cleaning Up Cannibalization Can Instantly Boost Your Rankings

When you and your competition are ranking for the same keywords, yet your position on SERPs is lower, you may have a cannibalization issue.

If your content is cannibalizing itself, you not only have to fight your competitors for a top position – you also have to fight your own pages.

There’s enough competition out there without having it at home, right?

Cannibalization is a detrimental factor when URLs compete with each other. They can even harm your domain authority if there are too many of them, especially if you haven’t told Google that there is a clear difference between two similar pieces of content.

As you can see, cannibalizations have a negative influence on your domain’s SEO.

To solve the cannibalization problem, we must first know how to find them.

How To Find Cannibalization On Your Website

There are different ways to find cannibalization on your domain:

  • The Manual Way
  • The Easy Way

How To Find Cannibalized Keywords By Hand

There are two ways to locate content and keyword cannibalization without using a tool:

  1. Use a rank tracker or Google Search Console to see which positions your pages are ranking in the search results, as well as the keywords they are ranking for; then, find matching URLs for the same keywords.
  2. Review your site’s content manually to see if there are several pages that address the same topic or include the same keywords. Then, go to Google and search for that keyword you suspect you are cannibalizing and check if you really do it or not; this can also help you prevent it from happening.

How To Locate Keyword Cannibalization With A Single Click

Using DinoRANK, you can simply click one button and instantly see all your cannibalized content.

All you’ll need to do is create a project in the tool, and sync it with your Google Analytics and Google Search Console account. DinoRANK does the rest.

Screenshot from DinoRANK.com, January 2023

See what content is cannibalized on your website now →

Now, once you have located all the cannibalizations that affect your website, what decision should you make? 

What Is The Best Way To Fix Cannibalization?

Once you have found the cannibalizations on your website, you can take these steps to solve the problem:

  • Join or merge two URLs into one.
  • Make a 301 redirect.
  • Make a shift in focus to one of the two contents and de-optimize or optimize for the word that it cannibalizes.
  • Place a canonical tag in one of the two URLs.
  • Remove one of the two contents if you consider it thin content or duplicate content.

How Do I Pick The Best Method?

What analysis should you do when facing cannibalization to perform the most optimal action?

Let’s say that you have 2 URLs of the same domain that are positioned for the same keyword; 1 URL is in position 5, and the other URL is in position 7 on the SERPs.

In this case, you should:

  1. Check the content of both pages to see if they are addressing the same topic or include the same keywords. If so, they are probably competing with each other and causing cannibalization.
  2. Review the page authority of each page, as measured by the number of inbound links, quality of links, site structure, etc. The page with higher authority will likely perform better in search results.
  3. Check the traffic received by each page to see which one is receiving more visits, and analyze which URL is responding better to the search intention of that or those keywords.
  4. Check the conversion rates of each page to see which is generating more sales or conversion actions.

Once the analysis is done, you will have enough elements to recognize what action you should take in each cannibalization.

Still not sure?

Don’t worry. DinoRANK will show you recommendations on how to proceed, depending on the case.

How To Get More Traffic By Fixing Keyword Cannibalizations Quickly & EffectivelyScreenshot from DinoRANK.com, January 2023

Usually, content is consolidated into one of the two cannibalized URLs (the one with higher authority or higher traffic), and the discarded URL should become a 301 redirect.

The impact of this repair is usually positive in a very high number of cases. 

Although if both contents fulfill their function (for example, one URL belongs to the product card and the other to a blog post), a better option would be to optimize or de-optimize the content as appropriate or choose to implement a canonical tag to one of the URLs to indicate to search engines which is the main page.

In any case, it is important to continuously monitor the performance of the pages and make adjustments if necessary to avoid cannibalization in the future; with DinoRANK you will have this under control.

How To Optimize Or De-Optimize Content That Is Cannibalizing

Search engines use algorithms to determine the relevance of a web page for a given search query, and one of the ways they do this is by identifying the keywords that appear most frequently on a page, relative to the keywords that appear on other similar pages.

Before optimizing or de-optimizing one of the two contents, it’s important to know all the keywords for each URL being cannibalized.

Then, you’ll need to analyze their semantic content with TF*IDF analysis.

So, analyzing a URL whose content you want to optimize/promote for a specific keyword with TF*IDF will allow you to understand which keywords are relevant to that content.

How To Get More Traffic By Fixing Keyword Cannibalizations Quickly & EffectivelyScreenshot from DinoRANK.com, January 2023

Expanding and semantically optimizing content that is already ranking highly, whether it is cannibalizing or not, is one of the best ways to gain more relevance for those terms that only received impressions or a few clicks. This is because you are now providing a greater semantic richness to that content.

With DinoRANK, you can use TF*IDF analysis on already published URLs to see how to optimize them.

You can also use this feature when you want to create new content based on a keyword or a group of keywords you want to rank for.

How To Get More Traffic By Fixing Keyword Cannibalizations Quickly & EffectivelyScreenshot from DinoRANK.com, January 2023

DinoRANK arranges the information visually, separating the graph into three filter layers: one keyword, two keywords, and three keywords.

How To Get More Traffic By Fixing Keyword Cannibalizations Quickly & EffectivelyScreenshot from DinoRANK.com, January 2023

In addition to the recommendations, you will also be able to quickly see the header structure used by your most direct competitors in Google’s Top 10.

In a very short time, you’ll discover opportunities and content ideas with an optimal heading structure, including the related semantic keywords needed to rank.

If, in addition, this semantic content extension is complemented by some internal links to that optimized URL, and you do it with anchor text of the primary keyword or exact semantic keywords, you will strengthen the authority and the typicality of that URL you want to promote.

With internal links, you derive a greater semantic context and strengthen the authority of that page already optimized, thanks to the semantic prominence analysis TF*IDF.

If you want to use these features to work the SEO of your projects in a simple but effective way, you can try DinoRANK.

All the SEO your website needs can be found in DinoRANK.



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Microsoft Announces ChatGPT Capabilities Coming To Bing

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Microsoft Announces ChatGPT Capabilities Coming To Bing

Microsoft announced today that it is bringing cutting-edge AI capabilities to its Bing search engine, with the addition of a new ChatGPT-like feature.

Microsoft revealed its plans for integrating ChatGPT at a private event held at its Redmond headquarters today, which centered around its partnership with OpenAI.

Unlike recent virtual events, this particular press conference was held in person and not broadcast online.

During the event, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella highlighted the significance of this new feature and how it will revolutionize the way people interact with search engines.

“I think this technology is going to reshape pretty much every software category,” says Nadella.

Nadella proclaimed, “The race starts today,” and Microsoft is going to “move and move fast.”

The event attendees were given a sneak peek at the latest search experience, which Microsoft refers to as “your AI-powered copilot for the web.”

This new experience combines the all-new Bing search engine and Edge web browser, which are designed to complement each other.

Nadella explained that the new Bing would provide direct answers to questions and encourage users to be more creative.

He also stated that the current search experience is not working as efficiently as it should be, as 40% of the time, people click on search links and then immediately click back.

This clearly indicates that the search experience needs to be updated and improved. Nadella claims that the search engine user experience hasn’t changed in 20 years, and it’s time for Microsoft to adapt.

Introducing The New Bing

The new Bing is powered by a next-generation language model from OpenAI, which has been specifically customized for search purposes. It’s even more powerful than the ChatGPT model.

Microsoft has implemented a new way of working with OpenAI called the “prometheus model,” which enhances the relevancy of answers, annotates them, keeps them up to date, and more.

The search index has also been improved by applying the AI model to the core search algorithm, which Nadella calls the largest jump in relevance ever.

It runs on a new user experience with an expanded search box that accepts up to 1,000 characters. Examples shared during the event look exactly like recent leaks.

The new Bing includes a chatbot that behaves similarly to ChatGPT, allowing users to interact with Bing in a natural language.

Bing’s new ChatGPT-like feature will take it a step further by allowing users to have an actual conversation with the search engine, with the ability to follow up on previous questions and provide more context for their search.

The new Bing is now available for a limited preview on desktop, and anyone can try it out by visiting Bing.com and performing sample searches.

You can also sign up to be notified when it becomes more widely available.

The preview will be expanded to millions of users in the near future, and a mobile version will be available soon.

The New Edge Browser

The chat interface Microsoft demonstrated in Bing is available as a sidebar feature in Edge, allowing users to access it without navigating to the Bing website. The interface can run alongside any webpage and interact with it.

During a demonstration, the AI assistant in Edge could summarize a 15-page PDF with one click and even translate a code snippet from Stack Overflow into another programming language.

Another benefit of the Edge browser’s “AI co-pilot” is having it complete tasks for you, such as filling out forms and writing emails.

In Summary

Microsoft has made a substantial leap in search engine technology by integrating a ChatGPT-like feature in its Bing search engine.

The new Bing is powered by a next-generation language model from OpenAI, which takes key learnings and advancements from ChatGPT and GPT-3.5.

Bing with the AI co-pilot is now available for a limited preview on desktop, and a mobile version will be available soon.

Additionally, the chat interface will be available as a sidebar feature in the new Edge browser, which has the ability to summarize information, translate code, and even complete tasks.


Source: Microsoft

Featured Image: Poetra.RH/Shutterstock



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From Competitors To Partners: Conductor Acquires Searchmetrics

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From Competitors To Partners: Conductor Acquires Searchmetrics

Conductor, a leading enterprise organic marketing platform, has acquired European-based competitor, Searchmetrics, to accelerate its expansion in the European market.

After acquiring ContentKing in 2022, the acquisition of Searchmetrics continues to strengthen Conductor’s position in the industry.

Seth Besmertnik, Conductor’s CEO and co-founder, said that the acquisition would bring the best of what Searchmetrics does to Conductor and its shared customers:

“Searchmetrics has been a competitor almost since we started Conductor, with a strong data foundation and a powerful presence in the European market. We are excited to bring the best of what Searchmetrics does to Conductor and to our now shared customers. Our goal is for customers to greatly benefit from this acquisition through delivery of more product value on a global scale.”

 

Matt Colebourne, the CEO of Searchmetrics, expressed his excitement for the company to join Conductor, calling it the “definitive global leader”:

“Conductor is indisputably the SEO space market leader. For years, we’ve admired their commitment to innovation for customers and their efforts to foster a dynamic and rewarding workplace culture for employees. By joining Conductor, we bring the best of what we do along with a large European customer base—solidifying Conductor as the definitive global leader. We cannot wait to build more for customers going forward.”

 

Ken Ogenbratt, Searchmetrics’s Chief Financial Officer, said the acquisition is a “pivotal step” for the SEO industry as the two companies move forward as partners with the opportunity to drive even greater value to customers.

With this acquisition, Conductor continues its commitment to creating a single, global platform that integrates all parts of the SEO workflow.

With Searchmetrics’ strong European presence and solid customer base, the acquisition will significantly accelerate Conductor’s growth in Europe.

Conductor has completed its second acquisition in a year with the purchase of Searchmetrics, which follows the company’s significant funding round from Bregal Sagemount in 2021.

This acquisition is seen as a sign of Conductor’s recent growth. It is expected to solidify its position as a leading player in the SEO space by incorporating the strengths of both companies for their shared customers.


Featured Image: dotshock/Shutterstock



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