Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Citations For Local SEO

What are citations?
A citation is an online reference to your business’s name, address and phone number (NAP). Like links to your website, Google uses them when evaluating the online authority of your business. Unlike links though, citations don’t need to be linked to your business’s website in order for you to be credited for them. So, having your NAP listed in plain text is fine.

A partial citation is one which includes only part of your NAP – maybe your name and phone number or name and address. This is better than nothing, but not as beneficial as a full citation. A full citation is one which includes your business’s complete NAP. It doesn’t matter how that information is visibly listed (horizontally or vertically), so long as it’s all there. This is an example of a full citation:

SEOmark, 34 Links Drive, Birmingham, West Midlands, B91 2DL (0330001152)

For a citation to help with your local SEO strategy, it’s important that it exactly matches the NAP on your website and on your Google+ Local page. What format you choose for your citations isn’t important, but picking one format and sticking with it is. You need to be 100% consistent in the name (abbreviations? Ltd?), address (suite number? floor?), and phone number (+44? spaces or no spaces?) used when building citations.

Why are citations important?
Along with links and reviews, citations are a primary factor that Google uses when deciding on which order to rank businesses in their local search results. To them, it’s logical that a business that’s mentioned a lot online deserves a higher ranking than one that’s hardly mentioned at all, especially if those mentions are on websites that are relevant in terms of location and/or topic.

Google uses citations to verify the accuracy of the contact details in their local business listings too, as listing addresses or phone numbers which are out of date, incorrect or falsified, looks bad on them and causes people to question the reliability of their search results. If exactly the same NAP is listed on 50+ different websites then it’s highly likely to be correct information, and Google can be more confident in showing that NAP to searchers.

Another reason citations are important is that, as well as helping to improve your business’s rankings in local search results, they increase general awareness of your business and provide more ways for people to find you online. The more places that your business’s NAP is listed, the higher the likelihood of people seeing it, and the more people who see it, the greater the number of people who will contact you.

Where can you get citations?
It’s a common misconception that the only place to get citations is from directories – either local or industry specific ones – but that isn’t true. Directories are good places to get citations from, but blogs, forums, social media sites, etc., are too. So, don’t restrict yourself to only considering directories as citation sources. Some alternative sources for citations include:

Press releases
Article and guest post bylines
Question and answer sites
Image and video descriptions
Profile pages
Forum signatures
The best starting place for citations is directories though, with the following ones recommended for local businesses in the UK:


Depending on your location and your business type, you should be able to list your business in at least 75% of those. All of them provide a free listing option, which typically won’t allow a link to your website, but that’s fine for the purpose of building citations. When signing up for these directories, do the following:

Set-up a new email address specifically for sign-ups, as you’ll inevitably get repeatedly sent spam/marketing emails afterwards.
Provide as much detail as you can, including, where applicable, opening hours, descriptions, photos, etc.
Claim ownership and/or verify listings on all sites that allow you to do so.
Don’t link to a site just because they say they’ll only link to you if you link to them.
Listing your business in those directories is a good start, but you shouldn’t stop there. You should find out where your competitors have citations and try to replicate them. You can find your competitors’ citations by searching on Google for a competitor’s name and their postcode. To do this, search Google for the keywords you want to rank for. Look at the Google+ Local page for each business on the first page of the local business listings and note down each competitor’s name and postcode.

Next, search on Google for each competitor using this search query:

“Competitor’s Business Name” AND “Competitor’s Postcode” -site:http://www.competitorswebsite.co.uk

As an example, to find out where this site is listed, you would search Google for this:

“SEOmark” AND “B91 2DL” -site:http://www.seomark.co.uk

It’s important that you use both the quotation marks and the AND in the search query, and also to exclude results from the business’s own website (using -site:http://www.), so as to keep the results as concise as possible. Look through the first 5-10 pages of search results for each competitor and make a note of the urls where their business is cited and yours isn’t.

For each competitor that you analyse, you’ll find…

Source: http://www.seomark.co.uk/local-seo-citations/#ixzz33ZIHra00

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Google Analytics Interview Questions and Answers - Part 1

Google Analytics offers very good opportunity to make a career in, to get you started here are top Google Analytics interview questions and answers. Remember, these are not for just the beginner..

1.       What do you mean by Analytics?
Analytics is the discovery and communication of different patterns in data. It helps us making better decision, it works like a customer's feedback to a particular product/service. Digital Analytics is a combination of mathematical statistics and computer programs.

2.      What do you analyse most often in Google Analytics? OR what is the most important things in Google Analytics you will want to analyse.

Google Analytics provides a lots of data and insights and every data pattern is important but still there are some areas where we can focus more like: - Traffic Sources - Bounce & Exit Rate - Top Performing Pages/Landing Pages - Unique Vs. Returning Visitors - Funnel & Goal Conversions - E-Commerce Tracking (If applicable) - Visitors Demography/Geography

3.      What is a visit?

A visit is a browser session initiated by an actual visitor, the session timeout is 30 Minutes in Google Analytics.

4.      What is a Search Depth?

The average number of pages visitors viewed after performing a search.

5.      What is RPC?

RPC stands for Revenue Per Click, we use this parameter during the E-Commerce tracking.

6.      What is event tracking?

Event tracking involves the Google Analytics code customization and is used to track a particular event/activity on a website like a click, file download or any other conversion.

7.      Which is more important - Bounce Rate or Exit Rate

Both are almost equally important but still depends on the number of factors like a high exit rate of a contact page/thanks page or a funnel's end page is natural.

8.     Where to include the Google Analytics code in the HTML & why?

just before the close body </body> tag, because the code will run only after the whole page body is loaded in the browser, thus it increase the quality of visit count and only an actual visitor is counted.

9.      Difference Between Clicks and Visits

A Click is an event (Mostly Used in PPC Models) and a visit is a browser session initiated by an actual visitor.

10.  What are analytics cookies

Cookies are the text files which are stored on the client computer.

12 Latest SEO Interview Questions and Answers

Here is the list of 12 more latest & frequently asked technical SEO interview questions and answers.

1.       What is the Difference Between Google Panda and Penguin Update? –

Panda Update - This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful.
Penguin Update - This Update was designed to remove/down the websites from index which were doing much more that white hat optimization like creating too many low quality backlinks, use of aggressive exact match anchor text, overuse of exact match domains, blog spam and low quality article marketing, keyword stuffing etc...

2.      What is topic modeling? – Topic Modeling is a technique used by search engines to clearly analyse and identify the large volume of text on a webpage. Read more about topic modeling here: http://www.tdktech.com/topic-modeling

3.      What is Pagination in SEO? – Pagination is the practice of dividing a piece of content into different pages while at the same time allowing Google to better understand the important pages to be indexed. Read the Google's advice on using the pagination.

4.      What are rich snippets? – Rich Snippets are the combination of structured data displayed in Google search results for better relevancy to the user and more data at a glance. Rich snippets are shown after google identifies any microformats (http://microformats.org/) structured tags embedded in your webpage coding, on sept 20th, 2012, Google also launched the new Rich Snippets testing tool and named it the structured data testing tool

5.      What are URL parameters? – URL parameters are the values/attributes passed in the URL of a webpage to fetch any data from the database or to alter the order/structure of data displayed on the webpage, This is an important thing to consider while doing SEO for websites which uses URL parameters, especially e-commerce sites because these many times creates the duplicacy of content, you can handle this duplicacy using the rel canonical attribute and the Google webmaster tools, read more about configuring URL parameters in Webmaster Tools.

6.      What is A/B testing and Multivariate Testing? – A/B testing is the testing of a webpage by creating its two different versions and redirecting some of the users to variation version from the original URL to know which version is more effective, multivariate testing is done using the software programs to dynamically insert/alter the components on a webpage and record the user interaction/behavior with all the combinations and identify the most effective combination. Google recommends using 302 temporary redirect while running the A/B testing in your website.

7.      How to decrease the bounce rate of a webpage? – Using strong Call to Action within the text of the webpage (Known as contextual CTA), alongside with the content, improving design of the page, adding links to the related content, increase the speed of webpage loading, designing easy and user friendly navigation and overall creating a responsive design.

8.     Why we use noodp in meta robot tag? – To block the open directory project description from displaying in the search results, applies only to websites which are listed in ODP, i.e. dmoz.org.

9.      What is meta refresh tag, should we use it? – Meta refresh tag on a webpage send the user to another url after a specified period of time, typically in seconds. It is not recommended, rather use server side 301 redirect.

10.  What are breadcrumb? – Breadcrumb is a website navigation system that clearly states the structure of website to both the users and the search engines, in case, making search engines clearly identify the structure of website, the microformats tags for breadcrumbs should be embedded in the HTML.

11.   Is there a way we can tell Google that a particular webpage contains the Adult content? – Yes, we can do it by adding one of these two meta tags to that webpage 
1.       <meta name="rating" content="adult" /> OR
2.      <meta name="rating" content="RTA-5042-1996-1400-1577-RTA" />

12. How Google treat links in PDF files? – Same as in the HTML pages, these passes the page rank, indexing signals and other data, it is not possible to nofollow the links in PDF files.

Source: http://www.topteninternetmarketing.com

30 Most Asked SEO Interview Questions & Answers

Here is the list of 30 latest & frequently asked technical SEO interview questions and answers for the candidates who are willing to grab a new job in SEO field in the very first attempt.

1.       Which are the most important area to include your keywords? – Page title and Body text are the most important areas where we can include keywords for the SEO purpose.

2.      What are webmaster tools? – Webmaster tools is a free service by Google from where we can get free Indexing data, backlinks information, crawl errors, search queries, CTR, website malware errors and submit the XML sitemap.

3.      What is the best way to maximize the frequency of crawling of your website by search engines? – Frequently adding new, original and quality content on the website.

4.      Do you know who is Danny Sullivan? – He is a Journalist who covers the field of web search, considered as search engine guru and editor at searchengineland.com

5.      Who is Matt Cutts? – He is the head of web spam team at Google. Read more about Matt Cutts here: http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/

6.      What is the best criterion to identify the value of a backlink? – The authority of the domain, quality of the content on the page where the backlink is provided and then the page rank of the website.

7.      What is keyword proximity? – Keyword Proximity is a measurement criteria of the closeness of the keywords within the Page Title, Meta Description and Body Text.

8.     What is keyword prominence? – Keyword prominence is the location of the keywords in the page title, meta description and body text…..Read more about prominence at: http://www.seoglossary.com/article/64

9.      Difference between exit rate and bounce rate? – Bounce rate is the percentage of people who leaves a particular website just after visiting a single page on this and exit rate refers to the percentage of people who leaves from a particular page….read more here http://www.blindfiveyearold.com/bounce-rate-vs-exit-rate

10.  What is the Panda update and which is its current version? – Panda is a search algorithm update by the Google to take on the content farms, low quality websites and the websites getting low quality backlinks, Google removed a lot of the webpage from the higher search index during this update and the current version of Panda is 2.5.3 updated on October 19/20th Oct. 2011…read here for latest panda updateshttp://www.seroundtable.com/tag/panda

11.   What was caffeine update? – Caffeine update was rolled out by Google in June 2010 and the main purpose of this update was to include more fresh results in the search index, at least 50%..read more about caffeine update herehttp://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html

12.  A customer can give you an access to only one tool, which one will you choose, Webmasters or Analytics? – Of Course Webmaster tools, because these are almost the essential tools for the search engine optimization, we can have some analytics data in the webmasters as well. But now due to the inclusion of webmaster data in Analytics, we would like to have access to Analytics.

13.  What is 404? – It is a server error code which is returned by the server what a particular webpage or the file is missing from the webhost server.

14.  What is 301 redirect? – It is a SEO friendly version of permanent redirect for the webpages or the domains. Read more about 301 redirect herehttp://www.webconfs.com/how-to-redirect-a-webpage.php

15.   What is 302 redirect? – It is a temporary redirect. Read more herehttp://www.internetofficer.com/seo/302-redirect/

16.  What is robots.txt? – Robots.txt is a text file used to give instructions to the search engine crawlers about the caching and indexing of a webpage, domain, directory or a file of a website. Read more here http://www.robotstxt.org/

17.   What are the other methods to restrict a webpage from the search index? – we can use noindex meta tag. Read more herehttp://www.robotstxt.org/meta.html

18.  What are Google Webmaster Tools crawl errors? – Crawl errors provides the information about the URL’s of your website which are not accessible but linked from somewhere. Read more herehttp://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35120

19.  What is a landing page? – a landing page is a page in the website which is designed to attract the visitors to contact/subscribe/buy a service or the product by reading few lines of important information about that particular service or the product on that page. Read more about landing page herehttp://www.copyblogger.com/landing-pages/

20. What is the recent change in Google Analytics? – Real time visitors info, visitors flow, webmaster tools SEO data and website speed data. Read more herehttp://analytics.blogspot.com/

21.  How to handle the duplicate page in the website? – using canonical tag. Read more here http://www.seomoz.org/blog/canonical-url-tag-the-most-important-advancement-in-seo-practices-since-sitemaps

22. What are the types of CSS and which is better for SEO? – 3 types, Internal CSS, inline CSS and external CSS. Read more about CSS types here athttp://www.expression-web-tutorial.com/Types_CSS_Styles.html. The external CSS is best for SEO purpose. Read why to use external CSShttp://www.basictips.com/tips/article_64.shtml

23. How many heading tags are there in HTML? – 6 tags, from H1 to H6

24. Can we use more than one H1 on a single webpage? – Of course, if there is a need of describing two related topics on the same page then we can use, but using more than 2 or 3 will not provide any credit to the search engines.  Matt Cutts advise on using more than one H1 tag http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIn5qJKU8VM

25.  Italic or Bold, which is more useful? – Both are almost same but Italic have a slight more better for keyword targeting on the webpage. Read more herehttp://www.seomoz.org/blog/perfecting-keyword-targeting-on-page-optimization

26. What are top SEO ranking factors? – Quality of content on the webpage, quality and quantity of backlinks to the webpage, anchor text used in the backlinks, domain authority, social sharing metrics and some other traffic metrics like page CTR, bounce rate and average time on the webpage. Read more here http://www.seomoz.org/article/search-ranking-factors and herehttp://www.searchengineoptimizationjournal.com/2010/01/14/google-ranking-factors/

27.  What is the criteria for removing a webpage from Google search index? – It should return a 404 not found error or it should be 301 permanently redirected.

28. Some basic and quick steps to increase the webpage speed. – removing the unused code and scripts. Replacing internal and inline CSS with the external CSS. Using web server’s page compression methods. Using small sized images or minimizing the no. of images.

29. What is CTR? – It is Click Through Rate. Read more about CTR herehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clickthrough_rate

30. What is CTA? – It is Call to Action. Read more here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Call_to_action_(marketing)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What SEO is

Search Engine Optimization refers to the collection of techniques and practices that allow a site to get more traffic from search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing). SEO can be divided into two main areas: off-page SEO (work that takes place separate from the website) and on-page SEO (website changes to make your website rank better).

Without Search Engine Optimization, there is no way that internet users or customers can find your website, unless you choose to advertise offline like using radio, TV or print media. But even though you go for offline advertising, you are hitting a broad audience but not the specifically targeted to your products or services, besides which, not all of them use the internet or are even looking for your services.

The most effective way to get long lasting success is to ensure your website appears on the first page of the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) for specific keywords and phrases that you want to appear for. This is how you ensure that a Targeted Internet User finds your website and becomes a potential customer or user of your service.