bryan coe digital marketing strategist

Google Search Console Finally Gets Historical Data!

Everyone that has a Google Search Console account should have recently received a notification “Introducing the new Search Console (beta).”  And if you’re an SEO or a marketing agency you probably been suffering from an onslaught of emails notifying you of this. Google REALLY wants everyone to know about the updated UI and functionality.

But with that minor annoyance aside. It’s like Christmas for SEOs! FINALLY we can now see historical data in GSC, up to 16 months. This means we will be able to finally do year over year comparisons. WOOHOO!! Older than that you won’t be able to see in the tool so you may still need to do some exporting and backups, but this is so much better than the previous 90 days.

To do this:

  1. log into Google Search Console and go to the property you want to look at.
  2. If you end up in the old version. Go to notifications. There you should see the notification about the new GSC and you can click on the link to the new version.
  3. Then go to “Performance”
  4. At the top you’ll see the standard filter for “Last 3 months”
  5. Click the edit pencil
  6. Then choose “Full Duration” to get the last 16 months.

Your report should then look something like the one below.

Google Search Console full duration report

Google Updates Meta Descriptions Length – But Don’t Panic!

google updates meta description length

OK Melodrama aside, you may or you may not need to rewrite all your meta descriptions. Here’s why.

If  you have searched for anything recently you may have noticed a lot more text under each result.  Google has changed their rules for meta descriptions that show up in search results.  Although meta descriptions are not part of the ranking algorithm, they do play a role in whether people click or not. The change means that Google may show up to 320 characters instead of the previous 160 characters.

This is what Google is saying about the change.

The fact that our snippets have gotten longer doesn’t change the fundamentals of writing a description tag. They should generally inform and interest users with a short, relevant summary of what a particular page is about

What this means is that we now have the freedom to write longer descriptions, however if you are happy with your current descriptions you don’t need to change them. If you’re not happy with them or you think you could do a better job with more characters, now is your change to write a bit more.

What it doesn’t mean is that we should stuff a bunch of keywords and junk in there in order to try to trick the search engines.

As always, Google may or may not use the meta descriptions you write. Well written enticing descriptions that describe the content of the page will continue to be best practice, and will give a better chance that Google will use them and that people will click. .

If you’re interested in reading more about this, check out this article from Search Engine Land.

Google: Fundamentals of writing meta descriptions don’t change with longer search snippets

Google’s Year in Search 2017

How did you search this year?  View the trending list for 2017.

 

Why You Always Need Editors #HomeDepot

As SEOs we often look at a lot of website pages. It can sometimes be monotonous to write meta-descriptions, titles, H1 copy and other SEO bits that go into a site. But it’s always a good idea to have an editor (or at least a second set of eyes) no matter how little or if it seems like something trivial that is behind the scenes.

After all, you don’t want people to miss your best iffer!

Sometimes things slip through.. even for big national companies!

home depot - bad meta description

Sometimes Google is Smarter Than You Think

sundar-pichai-google-ceoI learned something new today that made me realize Google is sometimes smarter than you think and yet still pretty dumb.

Since starting at Armstrong Floooring, I’ve been working on the SEO for our new international website. International SEO can be quite complicated especially when you are using the same language in multiple countries. I know I’ve been quiet in terms of blogging for a long time, but I’ll be posting about some of the interesting things I’ve learned and accomplished with the new site.

Anyway, what I learned today has to do with a bug. Something went wrong in AEM (Adobe’s content marketing platform) and some of our non-English sites were showing the URL as their title. So if you went the sites and looked in your browser’s tab you’d see a URL instead of the title of the page. Google crawled the site while the bug was still in place, but was able to determine a title.

Armstrong Commercial Flooring Mexico SERP result

Since this isn’t actually the title I did some digging to see where it could have come from. It turns out it is the Alt-Text from the logo. I didn’t realize Google would look there if there was no proper title on the page. Great!

But then I checked the respective English version of the Mexican site, which does have an actual title on the page, but Google is still using the Alt-Text from the logo. So smart, but at the same time so dumb. Oh well.

 

Micro-Moments That Every Marketer Should Know

This spring Google Announced that mobile-search has surpassed desktop search in the US. Knowing this we as marketers need to evolve to understand how people are going online and what is driving their usage.

What micro-moments are driving engagement for your brand?

Check out the infographic from Google.

4 New Moments Every Marketer Should Know

4-new-moments-every-marketer-should-know

SEO Trends In 2015 – Penguins, Pandas & Hummingbirds, Oh my!

SEO Trends In 2015 - Penguins, Pandas & Hummingbirds, Oh my!

With all the changes we’ve seen over the past few years it may be tempting to say, “SEO is dead.” It seems we hear it every year, but every year SEO continues to be relevant. The key is to be adaptable.

One of the most significant updates and maybe the best change in terms of user experience, is the way the Hummingbird update changed how Google parses queries. Rather than simply matching keywords to pages, Google now understands search intent.

This doesn’t mean keywords are no longer important, it means you have to widen your scope of niche-specific phrases. Plus, these phrases should come from normal conversational language.

If you are selling chocolates. You might try phrases such as “gourmet chocolate gifts”, “holiday gift baskets”, “milk chocolate shops”, “the best white chocolate truffles”, or “where to buy artisan chocolate.”

To understand this further. Think about why someone would perform a search, i.e. what is their intent?

seo for artisan chocolateSomeone that searches “where to buy artisan chocolate” clearly is looking to buy chocolate, so this would be considered a transactional search. This type of search is indicative of someone who knows what they are looking for and is probably close to making a purchase. For this type of intent, use target keywords such as, product names “Hershey’s milk chocolate” or generic products “chocolate raspberry truffles”. You should also include terms like, “purchase” or “buy” in your pages to attract transactional searchers. Other types of intent include informational and navigational searches.

Navigational searches are often when people already know the brand, product name, or they are looking for a particular site. So they may search for “youtube” or “godiva.” It would be difficult to rank for someone else’s company name or website, so targeting for navigational searches is usually reserved to your brand.

Informational searches are typically early on in the decision making process and at the time when someone is looking for information or just performing a general search. Typical searches could be, “chocolate” or “holiday gift ideas.” To rank for informational searches, create educational content, or content that genuinely provides helpful information relevant to the target query. This is where content marketing comes into play. Then to drive traffic to your products and services add links to product and services pages.

For SEO 2015 will be the year for understanding search intent. To make sure you don’t get left, behind start thinking about how your website and content are a solution for what people are searching.

Really tired of “SEO Pros” from India friending me on Facebook!!

So, as many of you know I’m on Facebook. I use it for personal and professional reasons. So, I keep getting friend requests from people who work for some company in India. I’m not going to dignify them by giving their name or a link either, because that would just help them. They know who they are! But, anyway… What they do is friend you and if you accept they start chatting with you and throw a bunch of web addresses at you and then start asking for outsourced SEO projects. It’s really agressive and quite frankly annoying! And by the way.. the site is crap. The English on the site is very poor.
I made the mistake, twice now, of accepting the friend request. Dumb I know. The second time was a bit better. The person on the other end could kind understand what I was saying.. I think. The first one’s English was so bad he didn’t know that I was taking the piss out of him… or US English “making fun of him” 😉 …
So, seriously. If you are a self proclaimed “SEO Pro” from India.. don’t waste your time trying to friend me. Got it???

A Nice Pat on the Back for the Blackbird e-Solutions SEO Team

From e-Life: Discussions about Blackbird e-Solutions and the Search, Tech and Localization Industries

If you remember in the past six months I’ve posted about a Search Engine Optimization client of ours, Superior Wash of PA (See links below). There was some buzz about the deal because the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce was excited that we made our connection at the new members welcome event. It was the first event I visited for Blackbird e-Solutions. The subsequently did an article about us in their monthly newsletter.

The project was finished several months ago, which has given enough time for an evaluation of the effectiveness of the campaign. It took about a month for the sites to climb into a good position in the search engines, but then as you can see in my previous posting: SEO Project a Success for Superior Wash of PA they, reached a top ranking. Today I received the following email from Jen at Superior Wash:

Bryan,
I just wanted to tell you that we have had an increase in Superior Wash’s website traffic. I am sending out 3 quotes to companies who found us on the web and completed the “contact us” form! Very exciting! I owe that all to you and I just wanted you to know it’s working!!

Hope you are having a good summer and maybe I’ll see you at a Chamber event
soon.
Jen

This is great news! I’m excited that they are seeing results from our campaign. It’s always good to have satisfied customers. 😉

Other Superior Wash of PA posts:
SEO Project a Success for Superior Wash of PA
Blackbird e-Solutions Secures SEO Deal With Accubright Systems, LLC and Superior Wash
Blackbird e-Solutions Featured in Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce and Industry Newsletter!

SEO Project a Success for Superior Wash of PA

From e-Life Discussions about Blackbird e-Solutions and the Search, Tech and Localization Industries

This is a follow up to my posting on February 29th, 2008: Blackbird e-Solutions Secures SEO Deal With Accubright Systems, LLC and Superior Wash.

In conjunction with their sister company Accubright Systems, LLC, where 4 pages were to be optimized, Blackbird e-Solutions was contracted to optimize 1 page for Superior Wash’s site. The page to be optimized was their mobile truck washing services page….

…Superior Wash’s target search query “mobile tuck washing lancaster pa“, the page Mobile Truck Washing and On-Site Fleet Cleaning Services- Superior Wash of PA, is ranked number 1.

Read the full story at e-Life: SEO Project a Success for Superior Wash of PA