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

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 moreGoogle Analytics/Adwords Tracking Audits with A1 Website Analyzer

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 moreUpdating Chromecast when you change your Wifi network

Yelp Advertising Review

Yelp advertising solicitations

The rise of Yelp has fundamentally changed internet marketing, especially for local businesses. Many consumers bypass Google and other traditional search engines altogether and simply conduct their search on Yelp. Many will check out a company’s Yelp reviews before bothering to contact them. In addition to this, Yelp listings and categories often shows up in traditional SERPS, thereby serving as another asset (if it’s your business listing) or hindrance (if it’s your competitor’s). So for better or worse (I say better), Yelp has changed the local search game, and it’s not going away any time soon.

Read moreYelp Advertising Review

Traveling in Mexico – Safety Tips

I just came back from another vacation in Mexico (Puerto Vallarta this time). As usual, it was a great time full of food, partying, great weather, beautiful sunsets, and really interesting and kind strangers. As usual, my trip was preceded with the usual warnings from friends about the dangers of traveling to Mexico.

While there is no arguing that Mexico’s homicide rate and other violence indicators are worse that those of the US, there are a couple of things to consider. A disproportionate amount of the violence takes place in specific cities. When Americans

Read moreTraveling in Mexico – Safety Tips

SEO for YouTube (Updated 2014)

Making sure your YouTube videos Rank

Optimizing your YouTube videos is more important than ever.  Google often ranks videos on the first page of their traditional SERPs.  The extent to which it does so varies by subject and algorithm update, but overall, the trend has been to rank YouTube videos and other parasite pages.  Furthermore,  YouTube is essentially the second most-used search engine after Google.  So if you’re taking the time to upload videos with the intention of having them found, it’s a good idea to take a little extra time to make sure they are optimized.

Read moreSEO for YouTube (Updated 2014)

Marginal Revenue Product (MRP)

The marginal revenue productivity theory of wages states that wages are paid in accordance to the marginal revenue product of labor. As long as the incremental revenue of an additional worker is greater or equal to the cost of the additional worker a firm will hire the additional worker. However, no firm will higher an additional worker if the incremental revenue is less than the cost of said worker.

More information:


Useful SEO/Marketing Chrome Apps/Extensions

As I’ve become more a Chrome junkie and found it necessary to better manage my time, I’ve come across a number of apps, extensions, tools and hacks that have become a necessary part of my routine.  Here I will focus on 5 Chrome Apps/Extensions.  This is not a complete list, and there are several non-Chrome tools I use as well.  But for now, here are the 5 Chrome Apps/Extensions I find useful for everyday SEO/Marketing tasks and ongoing projects.

Read moreUseful SEO/Marketing Chrome Apps/Extensions

Stop Saying SEO is Dead!

SEO is not Dead

It seems that every time Google deploys a major change in their algorithm, a few authors/bloggers proclaim the death of SEO, and marketing websites/blogs are awash with titles like “SEO is Dead” and “Is SEO Dead?” In most cases they admit (later on in their piece) that it’s not really dead, but rather that “SEO as we knew it is dead.” In other words, their blog/article title was mainly hyperbole (no doubt meant to increase click throughs and serve as link bait).

SEO is Dead

SEO just keeps dying!

However, some authors/bloggers appear to really believe that this is the case. Never mind that it was supposedly dead in 2009 when Google began to place more emphasis on personalization. And before that, it was dead in 2007 when Universal Search became more prominent. This time it’s for real! And no doubt, SEO will continue to suffer more fatalities in the years to come.

So why did SEO die this time?

All that’s happened is this:
Google has gotten better at weeding out gimmicks meant to ‘trick’ their algorithm into giving a page/wesbite more relevance and/or authority than it actually deserves. For years Google has been giving SEO people mixed signals. On one hand we’ve been told time and again that useful and intuitive content is the way to improve rankings and we’ve been told to avoid gimmicks. On the other hand, we’ve had to watch competitors climb the SERPs by gaming the system through link networks and other schemes. Google is simply doing a better job of putting into practice what they’ve been preaching for years.

Read moreStop Saying SEO is Dead!

Blogroll Links and the Link Building Overreaction

seo blogroll link nofollowBetween Google’s latest round of penalties, and Matt Cutts’ new outspoken stance on guest blogging for the sake of link-building, many SEOs have been spooked to the point of actually refusing voluntary, natural links. Companies are asking hobby bloggers to remove links, or at least embed nofollows on them. This is defeating the purpose of Google’s actions against unnatural link building.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with accepting links from hobby bloggers who happen to think your company retail site is Aces in the particular subject they blog on. In fact, this is why inbound links became such an integral part of SEO to begin with: Google decided that links like these would count as “votes.” Unfortunately, this led SEO to largely became a game of seeing who could “buy” or “negotiate” the most, largest, and most relevant votes. Google’s algorithmic updates, manual penalties, and Matt Cutts’ warnings have addressed the manipulative voting schemes, not the traditional and voluntary voting (linking).

Read moreBlogroll Links and the Link Building Overreaction

SEO for 2013 Checklist – New Rules for SEO

The world of SEO has seem some significant ‘changes’ with Google’s major and much publicized Panda and Penguin updates, along with the less known but equally important constantly-updated algorithmic changes being tracked by MozCast.  Countless articles, blog posts and podcasts have proclaimed major changes in the SEO world and along with it, numerous catch phrases like “inbound linking is dead,” or “link purchasing is dead,” and the  classic “SEO is dead.”  But the reality is: Google has finally stamped its foot down and assertively enforced the best practices it’s been encouraging all along.  Updates like Penguin and Panda simply codified these best practices by punishing the bad practices we’ve been told to avoid overwhelmingly depending on (or engaging in whatsoever) all along.  Here is a list of 10 SEO strategies to pursue in 2013 (not in any particular order).  They are not significantly different than in the past, but they overlap with one another in new ways.

  • Strong Branding (citations, using brand name in anchor text links, etc)
  • Very relevant and unique content
  • Optimized Meta Title tags
  • Guest blogging/authoring (Google AuthorRank)
  • Strong Branding (citations, using brand name in anchor text links, etc)
  • Highly optimized structure (use of CSS, Image ALT tags, link title tags, etc)
  • Link Purchases (Directories, enthusiast sites, etc)
  • Social Media links/citations
  • Sitemap(s)
  • Fast load time
  • Light code structure
Strong Branding (citations, using brand name in anchor text links, etc)
Branding has continually become a stronger factor in search engine ranking signals.  The stronger your brand, the higher

Read moreSEO for 2013 Checklist – New Rules for SEO

Some Great SEO Links

Every once in awhile you run into some SEO-related content you just want to share.

  • Microsoft Excel for SEOs – Whether you’re a freelance or office monkey SEO (or like me, both), you really need to be on top of your excel game and avoid as much manual data entry and copy-pasting as possible.  After going through these tutorials, a few of my newly gray hairs have returned to black.
  • The Guru’s Guide to Online Success – A great collection on web design, SEO and SMO links.  It’s not often you come across a single page that links to so many useful resources (there are even book recommendations).  I’ll be going through these for awhile yet.
  • Time Management: 5 Tips You Need To Know – Excellent tips for people who have to manage multiple ongoing projects.

Website 101: The Essentials of Website Creation

It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything.  I’ve been busy with several projects, one of which is a short Kindle book I published through Kindle Direct.  The book is meant as a guide for those who’d like to build a website but aren’t sure where to start and those with a website and no idea how to get traffic (as opposed to a seasoned internet marketer already familiar with the various internet marketing channels).

Website 101: The Essentials of Website Creation and Marketing

Website 101: The Essentials of Website Creation

Google’s update to Branded Site Links

Last month, in my Google’s Recent Updates: SEO Game Changers post I mentioned that Google now gave extra listings to site for their own brands.  I used as an example.  In this example, Magnaflow gets the first 4 listings.  The rest of the organic results consists of 6 listings, the first of which is

Google site links for brands - Magnaflow old

Recently (August 16th to be exact) Google made a change to this.  Now, instead of extra search result listings, brands get site links underneath their homepage URL listing.  Following this, there are 9 organic listings, the first of which is

Read moreGoogle’s update to Branded Site Links

Google’s Recent Updates: SEO Game Changers

Over the last year Google has made some changes to its algorithm which really affects organic traffic rankings.  Typically Google’s changes are merely a shifting over ranking factors.  However, Google’s recent changes have, to a certain extent, changed the rules a bit.

Local Search has become more Relevant

Local listings now appear more frequently on non-geospecific-searches.  For example, merely searching Jeep Parts will show still show the typical listings but you will also see physical locations in Google Places.

Read moreGoogle’s Recent Updates: SEO Game Changers