DeepCrawl – Useful SEO Takeaways and what’s New with 2.0

I recently began using DeepCrawl after putting it off for awhile. I quickly saw the advantage of not only being able to crawl much larger sites (since desktop applications begin to use up a lot of memory once your crawl exceeds a certain number of URLs). I was happy with my decision to begin using DeepCrawl and I quickly found some opportunities for on-site improvements I had previously missed. I quickly became a believer. Aside from the fact that Deep Crawl can crawl a larger number of URLs, it also integrates with Google Analytics and Google Search Console. This allows the tool to give you far deeper insights than a typical site crawler. … Read more

Referral SPAM and how to Block It

referral spam

Why you’re getting visits from suspicious or even non-existent websites

By now you’ve probably noticed in your Google Analytics (or other web analytics package or even your log files) that you’re receiving an unusually high rate of foreign traffic from odd websites which may or may not load when you try vising them (they may have even redirected you to a NSFW website). … Read more

Using your iPhone/iPad as a TV or Universal Remote

A common question I get when I show someone how easy it is to use my Samsung Phone (I currently have the Note Edge) as a universal remote is “can my iPhone do that?,” to which I awkwardly have to explain that certain Android phones are able to do this because of the infrared blaster, which iPhones lack. However, with the purchase of an additional device (in this example, a small device known as Pronto) you can get similar functionality with an iPhone (or iPad).

Pronto allows your iPhone to act as a TV or Universal Remote

In this case, your iPhone connects to Pronto via Bluetooth, which in turn connects to your TV, top box, media player, and or other devices via infrared. It’s an extra cost, but it’s not unreasonable when compared to a really good universal remote.

Pronto

I recently purchased a Pronto from Amazon so my wife and sister-in-law (both stubborn Apple/iPhone users!) could have the sort of functionality I have with my Edge. The setup was less complicated than I expected.  One quick note: The Peel app is also available on Android and I’ve found it more useful and intuitive than the other TV/Universal remote apps I’ve used. … Read more

E-Commerce SEO: Challenges and Solutions

e-commerce

My first few years of professional SEO experience was purely automotive e-commerce. It wasn’t until years later where I’d begin taking on SEO projects for other types of sites (local businesses, startups, etc) that I’d begin to understand how different and unique e-commerce SEO was in relation to other sites. The sheer number of factors and potential mousetraps is is astounding. Fortunately there is an answer for every problem.

The sheer number of pages

Whereas a local business or SaaS website might be a few pages (occasionally, a single page), e-commerce sites generally have thousands, sometimes millions of pages. What this means is that one small change can have resounding effects. This makes it even more important to correctly silo your pages and still make them crawlable. … Read more

Why Google Analytics is showing 0 Average Time on Page

Google Analytics’ “Average Time on Page” can be a bit confusing and I’ve had people ask me why they’re seeing sessions with an average time of zero, wondering if they’d perhaps installed their analytics correctly. If you’re in a similar situation, there is good and bad news.

  • The Good News: There is probably nothing wrong with your GA integration.
  • The Bad News: GA’s method of tracking time on page can be misleading and leaves much to be desired.

How Google Analytics calculates Time on Page.

Google Analytics triggers upon page loads or other … Read more

Checking your Canonical Link Element En Masse

Auditing your website’s canonical link elements

The ability to cite canonical URLs can be a great asset for an SEO. Unfortunately it can also have negative impacts if used inappropriately. Between site migrations, the creation of new pages, switching to https, misuse or bugs in an SaaS, domain name switches and just the everyday grind of making changes that are due yesterday, it’s not that uncommon for an SEO or webmaster to use the canonical link element in a counterproductive fashion. Since it’s not visible and its effects are behind the scenes, incorrectly used canonicals can go unnoticed for years. Fortunately, finding bad canonicals can be rather simple. … Read more

Thule EnRoute Escort 2 Daypack Review

Thule EnRoute Escort 2 Daypack ReviewI recently received a Thule EnRoute Escort 2 Daypack as a gift. It was a perfect gift for me since I’ve decided to start hiking again and have been in need of a better daypack. What’s more is I don’t leave home without my laptop these days and have been long overdue for a daypack with a laptop compartment.

15 or 17 inch laptop?

The description on Thule.com is a bit confusing as it’s not clear from the copy that the compartment will house a 17″ Windows laptop. It turns out that my 17″ Toshiba Satellite fits just fine, though it does stick out at the top a bit. But the point is that … Read more

BuzzFeed account creation trouble: IP address filtering

In an attempt to create a BuzzFeed account, a friend of mine ran into some unexpected trouble. Following every possible manner of creating an account (connecting via Google+, Facebook and “the old fashion way” of creating a username and password) only to receive error messages like “an error has occurred” and “trouble creating account.” … Read more

Tracking Internal Redirects in Analytics and Tracing External Redirects

This post is split into two sections.  The first is for tracking your own internal redirects using Google Analytics.  The second portion is for tracing URL redirect paths.

Tracking Redirects with Google Analytics

One of the problems people run into is their inability to track redirects in Google Analytics. For example, let’s say you purchase radio or print ads in order to advertise a product. Rather than simply advertising your domain name (ie (www.yourdomain.com), you may add an easy to remember folder name (ie. www.yourdomain.com/adpage), which redirects to the appropriate product page (which is probably too long and complicated to display on a radio, TV, or print ad).

Depending on the type of redirect you use, Analytics may not be able to track visits and user behavior. Fortunately, there are at least 2 ways you can track redirects. In both instances, you have to make sure the directory actually exists as a file (ie. /adpage/index.php). The difference lies in the type of redirect you use. If you use a 301 redirect, you’ll want to add campaign tracking to the url you are redirecting to, so Analytics can track visits as a campaign. The other option is to use a standard javascript redirect, and add the Analytics tracking to the redirecting page (ie. /adpage/index.php). This way, you can track visits and user behavior in the Analytics Content section.

Read more

GoDaddy Gmail Setup – Sending from your Gmail Address

If you’re handling multiple email addresses, you’ll probably want to be able to send from multiple email addresses from the same email address account, as opposed to having to individually log in to a different email address account every time you need to check or send an email from/to that email address.  Having to constantly log in to other web mail accounts is enough to drive any quasi-busy person insane. Fortunately, large email service providers like Gmail, Yahoo! and Outlook/Hotmail allow us to easily send emails from other domain names.

However, there does seem to be some hiccup with getting Gmail to properly do this, at least when it comes to Godaddy-based email addresses. Part of the issue is that some of Gmail’s default options won’t work with Godaddy, and so you have to know what to change them to. Having run into this in the past, I have jotted down the changes I used to allow me to use Gmail to send email from my Godaddy-hosted email address.

One quick note: In order to get this to work, your Godaddy-based … Read more

SEO for 2015: The State of SEO and some Predictions

SEO predictions for 2015

2015 is here and SEO is barely recognizable from SEO in 2005 (the year I began doing this professionally), when carpet bombing link and article directories, adding some keyword-stuffed”rich” landing pages, and making sure you weren’t doing anything stupid (like blocking your site via robots.txt) was enough to dominate the SERPs. Today, good (even decent) SEO requires addressing so many non-traditionally-considered-be-a-part-of-SEO-things that some no longer call it SEO (hence, the increase usage of titles like content marketers, growth hackers, digital marketers, etc). … Read more

SEO Spy Tools – 6 SEO Spy Tools to Research your Competitors

SEO Spy Tools

SEO Spy Tools

In a previous post, SEO Keyword Research – Choosing Keywords for SEO, I mentioned the ability to spy on your competitors for SEO purposes.  I’d like to expand on that in this post.  Below is a list of free research & spy  tools that will give you insight into a competitor’s SEO status.  Seeing which keywords your competitors are ranking or bidding on may give you a few ideas for your own campaigns. These tools should help you make more informed decisions for your search engine marketing campaigns.  Not being first in the game isn’t always a bad thing.  You can skip the growing pains and trial and error of the first comers have to endure and put all your time and resources into the proven methods, and avoiding the first-comer blunders.  Spy tools like this allow you to see which other sites are being visited by visitors to your website (as well as your competitor’s) can provide expanded knowledge on who your competitors are. … Read more

Google Analytics/Adwords Tracking Audits with A1 Website Analyzer

Google Analytics makes our lives easier. Easy installation, intuitive (usually) reporting/metrics, easy integration with Adwords and Webmaster Tools, etc. Best of all, it’s free. Of course, installation is also easy to botch, and future installations don’t always correctly overwrite the old ones . You may have failed to add the tracking code to certain pages. Or perhaps you have multiple implementations on certain pages. Maybe certain pages have your old Google Analytics tracking code. Perhaps you have 2,3 or even 50 websites sharing a code base and you ended up getting your wires crossed.  This can really skew your metrics in numerous ways.

Enter A1 Website Analyzer

I have been using this nifty tool for a lot of on-site optimization lately. You can use it to crawl your site and find broken links and redirects, link juice flow, last date modified, review meta and H tags, etc. It’s also useful for checking for instances of specific code implementation. Out of the box, A1 WSA can check for gat and gaq object methods for Google Analytics tracking code as well as Google Adsense tracking. This is useful for searching for pages that lack this code (or pages where the code has been been implemented more than one). … Read more

Updating Chromecast when you change your Wifi network

I first purchased a Google Chromecast over a year ago. It’s been pretty amazing what this $35 has been able to. Aside from the obvious things like streaming YouTube, Netflix, etc there are some other really cool things like streaming security camera feeds. It’s a great shortcut for getting a lot of the functionality you’d get from Apple TV or Roku but at a fraction of the price (the Chromecast apps list now also includes Showtime Anytime, HBO GO, Watch EPSN and a variety of apps that will let you stream local media files, like MP3 or AVI files from your computer, phone or tablet).

I recently updated my home network (completely changing my wifi setup) at which point my Chromecast stopped working … Read more