Jill Kocher on June 24th, 2013

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After 12 weeks off, I’m back to work today. I’ve missed SEO and the challenge and satisfaction of working with committed clients. I will miss spending the day with my sweet baby Hamilton. But we have to work to keep him in Google onsies! Actually, keeping him in Google stock would be a better idea….

Jill Kocher on April 6th, 2013

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Introducing the newest member of the Pierat family, Hamilton. His first eight days have been filled with love and learning, and very little SEO. Next week we’ll start him on metadata, maybe. I’ll be taking a little hiatus from writing and SEO through June. Until then, keep your hat on straight and your sails to the wind. Anchors aweigh, mateys!

Jill Kocher on March 21st, 2013

Excerpts from my latest article at NBC 5 Chicago’s Inc. Well blog: “How URLs Impact SEO.”

apple mapsIf networks of links are the road map that search engines use to crawl the web, URLs are the street names that give that map meaning and consistency. As such, URLs affect search engine optimization in a couple of important ways: relevance and consistency.

Relevance is what most people think of when they think about URLs and SEO. Keyword relevance in URLs is like the street names that give maps their meaning. Using relevant keywords in URLs passes a keyword signal that search engine algorithms can use to boost your rankings slightly.

Optimal URLs will also be as short as possible, however. It’s important to balance keyword use with length for two reasons….

Read the article in full at Inc. Well » “How URLs Impact SEO.”

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Jill Kocher on March 15th, 2013

Excerpts from my latest article at Practical eCommerce: “SEO Audits: What to Expect.”

checklistOne of the challenges that plagues the search marketing industry is a lack of standards around the quality and scope of work. Different agencies and consultants will use similar words to describe very different deliverables and processes. One of the most abused of these is the SEO Audit.

Clients have told me bitter tales of ghosts of “audits” past that didn’t live up to expectations, like the big-brand shoe retailer that paid $10,000 over three months’ time for a two-page Word document containing weak, tactical recommendations. I thought my client was exaggerating for effect until he emailed me the product.

To protect their investment, businesses need to understand what to expect from an SEO audit and which questions to ask to ensure they’ll receive the quality and scope required.

An audit commonly begins a search marketing engagement with a client. The goal is to identify the challenges and opportunities the client’s sites have for improving their SEO performance to drive more brand impressions, visits and conversions. The input is a client’s web analytics, access to search tools like Webmaster Tools or SEOmoz, the client’s own site and the search results themselves. When combined with SEO knowledge and experience, the SEO professional has what he or she needs to analyze the site and document a strategy to improve organic search performance….

Read the article in full at Practical Ecommerce » “SEO Audits: What to Expect.”

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Jill Kocher on March 6th, 2013

Excerpts from my latest article at NBC 5 Chicago’s Inc. Well blog: “Why You Can’t Fight Search-Engine Results.”

dart2Searchers ultimately control what a search phrase “means” and what types of content are relevant for a search query. A business selling furniture pads might be 100 percent certain that they sell “protective pads,” and therefore have the right to rank highly for searches for “protective pads.” But they’d be wrong.

A quick search in Google shows that nine out of 10 of the results for “protective pads” actually refer to sporting goods like knee pads for skaters. For a bit of diversity, one listing for incontinence pads also shows up on page one. At the bottom, the “searches related to protective pads” section displays some suggests for furniture-related queries. Google doesn’t consider any sites featuring furniture pads highly relevant to search queries for “protective pads.”

So, if you sell furniture pads, do you want to hang your SEO hopes on the phrases you think you should rank for, like “protective pads?” Probably not, and here’s why….

Read the article in full at Inc. Well » “Why You Can’t Fight Search-Engine Results.”

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