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You Need to Know About Referrer Policy

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

If you’re running WordPress, did you notice a recent change in your analytics where more traffic is being attributed to direct traffic or a no referral bucket?When WordPress updated to 4.7.4,the text editor TinyMCE also updated, and this is where the problem actually lies.

TinyMCE should have left the security fix alone after adding noopener, and in a newer release they did remove noreferrer.The noopener tag is meant to close a security issue with target=”_blank” called reverse tabnabbing, which grants partial access to the previous page via the window.opener object. Basically, it can prevent a phishing attack by not allowing access to the window.opener object.With access, a simple phishing attack could change the window.

Noreferrer is meant to strip the HTTP referrer header (technically the “referer header” because of an old misspelling) and is intended to not pass this value between pages. The referrer header is meant to pass information about the previous web page to the new web page, so if I go from Page A to Page B, then the URL from Page A will be passed in the header, and I will know that the traffic came from Page A.

A lot of people confused “noopener noreferrer” with “nofollow.” Many forums and Q&A sites mistook these tags to indicate links weren’t passing value, as is the case with nofollow links, but that’s simply not true.Noopener noreferrer will not have any impact on your SEO, but noreferrer will create problems with your analytics.By stripping the referral value, the traffic from these links will be misattributed — instead of showing as referral traffic, they will be attributed as “direct”in Google Analytics.

A primer on Referrer Policy
Referrer Policy is used to determine what information is sent along with the requests.Many people know, for instance, that the referral value is stripped when going from a page using HTTPS to a page using the HTTP protocol, but did you know that’s because this is the default setting for the Referrer Policy if nothing is specified?Technically, this is “no-referrerwhendowngrade,” which means it will strip the referral when downgrading to an insecure request like switching from HTTPS to HTTP.You don’t have to use the default setting, though.In the case of the WordPress example we looked at earlier, noreferrer was added to the rel element on links set to open in a new window.This caused enough of an issue by itself,but there are many other ways that the Referral Policy can be set, including at a page level, which can wreak havoc on your analytics.

Referrer Policies
Referrer Policy isn’t just for removing the referral value; it’s for giving you control of the value.One of the things often missed whenmoving from HTTP to HTTPS is setting a referrer policy.Most people accept as fact that you lose the referral value when going from an HTTPS website to an HTTP website, but you don’t have to lose the referral value on downgrade requests if letting insecure websites know that you sent them traffic is important to your business model.

Referrer Policy options

*No-referrer — No referrer information is sent.

*No-referrer-when-downgrade — This is the default behavior if no policy is specified.It always passes the full path and will pass a value from HTTPS > HTTPS but not HTTPS > HTTP.

*Origin — Sends the domain but not the full path.

*Origin-when-cross-origin — Sends the full path when on the same domain, but only the domain when passing to another website.

*Same-origin — Sends the full path if it’s the same domain, but strips the value if going to another website.

*Strict-origin — Sends the domain for HTTPS > HTTPS and HTTP > HTTP, but not HTTPS > HTTP.

*Strict-origin-when-cross-origin — Sends the full path if on the same domain and from one secure page to another, sends the domain if going from HTTPS on one domain to another domain, and doesn’t pass if going from a secure domain to an insecure domain.

*Unsafe-url — Sends the full path.


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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SEO create Budget Efficiencies in Paid Search Campaigns

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

Oftentimes I’m asked, “Why should I invest in paid media when I already rank in position one for many organic search results?” Well, to answer that simply,investing simultaneously in PPC and SEO can and will result in an incremental rise in your brand’s bottom line.And we have the data to prove it.The main synergy between the two lies in monitoring two factors: advertising spend and rankings.Whether your goal is to lower cost per click (CPC) or increase total traffic,SERP (search engine results page) position can inform how we manage paid search ads.At our agency (ZOG Digital), our teams work without silos and integrate performance data regularly.In analyzing a few accounts further as a sample set, we began to identify a correlation larger than previously understood between ad CTR (click-through rate), organic CTR and cost per click for the keywords.

SEO and paid search need to work together
Optimal online marketing campaigns all come down to the key performance indicators.Once an SEO campaign begins, it can take time to set in and see results.Paid search’s core strength is that it allows for short-term performance with better visibility on specific queries.What bindsthem together is visibility on a SERP — with the right tools, marketers can influence position against competing results.It’s no secret that SEO is more sustainable long-term, but it can take a long time before results are realized.A PPC (pay-per-click) tactic can help to offset limited SEO results at the early stages of an SEO campaign; it also informs keyword and content strategies for organic keyword targeting and content development.With well-informed and properly implemented optimizations, organic positions will rise.

Improve CTR and decrease CPC
At ZOG Digital, we see a clear performance increase when brands employ both PPC and SEO.For example, after evaluating our book of business, we found that accounts implementing both PPC and SEO strategies saw a higher click-through rate for both organic and paid search efforts — as well as lower cost per click in paid search. Specifically, we organized the data by keywords — we have keywords with active search ads, keywords with search optimizations (organic rankings) and keywords with both active tactics.In analyzing this drop in CPC, we found that nearly all paid keywords with an organic presence had a higher Quality Score than paid keywords without an organic presence.This could occur as a result of higher CTRs from greater SERP exposure and/or richer content.It could also result from keyword relevance gained from landing pages optimized for organic search.Regardless of why PPC quality score is higher for overlapping keywords, the justification exists to apply a keyword strategy that incorporates both paid and organic tactics.An incremental increase in CTR and reduced CPCs can certainly be beneficial, but as search marketing practitioners, the natural tendency is to do something with this data and improve performance even further.We’ve found that one of the most effective paid+organic optimizations comes from adjusting bids and ad positions based on organic visibility.This isn’t an optimization practice that can be applied to all overlapping keywords, but with some data filtering and testing, CPC costs can be reduced further.

Monitor SERP competitors closely
But it’s not enough to just monitor and synchronize your work for an account.You have to track your competitors, too.Without direct access to their analytics or ad platforms, you’ll never have a clear picture of what they’re doing, but you can estimate by manually monitoring the SERP with specific insight reports, and by using third-party tools.Within AdWords, you can access the auction insights report.This report allows you to evaluate domains that are currently bidding on specific keywords.It provides a snapshot of your competitive landscape.You can also use the Domain vs.Domain tool within SEMrush to analyze competitors’search engine presence and backlinks.If you need to use this tool to get more granular, you can map out a SERP footprint to have an analysis on more specific competitors.

Final thoughts

When used together, SEO and PPC move from two channels into one to help achieve clear outcomes:more qualified traffic and budgetaryefficiency. As with any search marketing initiative,regular testing is required, but the results will exceed the effort, and the insights gained will help marketers consider search opportunities in new ways.


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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The Role of Traditional Public Relations in SEO

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

If you’re doing search engine optimization (SEO) properly today, then a significant portion of your effort will overlap with traditionalpublic relations (PR).This is because over the last few years, Google has minimized the effects of easily gameable ranking signals and refined their algorithm to better represent user experience.In other words, websites that satisfy their users tend to rank better than those that do not. Inbound links are still a critical component of any SEO campaign, but the easy link-building tactics of the past have been wiped off the board,largely thanks to Google’s Penguin update(s).This includes buying links,guest blogging at scale, embedding links in plugins or themes and more.The only type remaining as valuable and effective over the long term are the proverbial Holy Grail of link building: natural editorial links from high-traffic, authoritative websites.

Effective link building requires outreach, and that requires you to truly understand what motivates people — contributors and/or editors in this case.You have to introduce yourself, frame your pitch and demonstrate how you’ll make their job easier all in a couple of hundred words. That’s no easy task, which is why most people do it so poorly.But once you master that skill, it produces tremendous leverage for your link-building efforts.When you’re featured in a major publication like Forbes, Entrepreneur or Fast Company, you tend to get noticed bycontributors at other major publications, which makes it a lot easier to pitch them to be featured in the publications they work for as well.Increased exposure typically equals other publications wanting to cover you, too, resulting in even more exposure and links. It’s a powerful cycle.This works on the concept of social proof, which basically means that people see you as trustworthy and authoritative because they perceive others they already trust as seeing you that way.The evolution of search algorithms has resulted in link building and public relations becoming incredibly similar today.In the past, link building was simply about building links.It didn’t matter if they came from obscure little blogs with zero traffic or from media powerhouses with millions of visitors.Obviously, links from authoritative websites have always been preferred, but the goal for most link builders has always been to simply acquire more links to move the needle in terms of organic ranking.Google’s algorithm updates over the last few years —especially in regard to Penguin,RankBrain and their growing use of artificial intelligence — have helped them move away from ranking websites based primarily on the volume of links, and instead base rankings on quality, user intent and user experience

Making PR work for you
So now the million-dollar question: How do we get people talking about us?The first thing you need to do is find a newsworthy angle to your story.In order to do this, you’ll need to look at it from an outsider’s perspective, because frankly, no one cares about you yet.Contributors are typically juggling dozens of deadlines while engaging with their audience on social media and keeping up with the content in their industry — so your self-serving pitch will get moved to the trash folder with the dozens of others they receive every day.

A few examples that might be newsworthy for a real estate agent could include:

*If a contributor recently wrote a story about falling home prices in the area, you could pitch them on interviewing you about inexpensivehome improvement projects that have the biggest impact on how much a home sells for.

*If you’re a veteran of the US military and a real estate agent who specializes in working with fellow veterans (riches are in the niches, right?), then you could pitch a story about what veterans should expect when purchasing their first home as a civilian.(This transition is something that only a veteran can truly understand.)

Depending on the circumstances of your story, you may need to pitch a contributor cold.This will usually be the most difficult and leastlikely way to get you the coverage you’re looking for compared to the results you’ll achieve after you have an established relationship.That’s why I recommend being proactive and engaging with them long before you need anything.You do that by first compiling a list of contributors in your niche who produce content that is valuable to your target market.Next, follow their work.When they share something that you find particularly valuable or useful, share it with your audience; when possible,link to their work from your own articles.Over time, you’ll get to a point where they will welcome your pitches — so long as they provide value to their audience.It’s important to remember to treat them like humans, not objectives, because they will see right through that, and it will hurt both your personal and company brand.If you can’t do that, be a decent person and don’t waste their time.You should also include your phone number because they might prefer to simply call you rather than go back and forth over email.But it’s not over once they publish your story, because you’re not like all the other self-absorbed marketers out there, right? So your next step is to share it on social media, link to it from relevant websites that you manage, include it in your social media share rotation going forward, and then continue engaging with that contributor and sharing their other content whenever it seems useful for your audience.Link building today is a lot more like traditional public relations in that it is all about quality — in terms of publications, people and exposure, rather than just the volume of links.Approach it with that mindset, put in the necessary work that most others won’t, and you’ll enjoy the results that they can only dream about.


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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Your SEM Efforts When You are Hitting a Wall

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

Below are a few strategies to break through the SEM wall and grow your account in an effective yet efficient manner.

Use Dynamic Search Ads for query mining
This is an obvious one, but many folks forget or tend to not use DSAs as they fear them going rogue and eating up spend without performing. First off, what are DSAs?DSAs are a campaign type in Google that allows Google to crawl your site, matches ads in real time to shoppers, and directs them to the landing page most relevant to their query.Essentially, the goal I would recommend with DSAs is not to have that campaign as a volume driver but to leverage it for query mining.Cast a wide net, see what matches up and performs, then graduate those to keywords in your other campaigns where you can have more control over optimization, ad copy, and performance.

Use RLSA to expand keyword options
The great thing about RLSA is the fact that users who have visited your site are already familiar with you, your brand, and your overall offering.With this in mind,you can create a campaign leveraging more broad, upper-funnel terms that you would normally deem to risky or wouldn’t expect to convert.In addition, you can even include terms that you feel are somewhat relevant but may have been tested and paused for poor performance.Layering on RLSA audiences makes the same keywords less risky given that the audiences are already familiar with your brand – the goal is to get back in front of them, convince them to come back to your site, and convert.

A couple of additional tips on how to be more strategic with this strategy as you begin to test and expand:
*Segment different audience types based on their interaction with your website to see how each performs (e.g. researchers, high intent, add to carts, etc.).

*If you get significant traffic on your site and have fairly large audience list segments, you may actually want to create separate broad RLSA campaigns per audience segment.

Pair a token analysis with broad match expansion

We’re all familiar with doing keyword expansions, whether that involves poring over search query reports to find converting terms orleveragingcompetitor keyword tools.A note on tokens if you’re not familiar with them: Tokens are basically the different stems in the keyword(essentially, you break up the keyword into its individual words).For example, ‘Photography ecommerce website’ contains the tokens: photography, ecommerce, website.Download your last 3-6 months of performance data across your keywords.Break down your keywords to their various tokens, and aggregate the data for each token.(You’ll want to look at Impressions, Clicks, Conversions, CPA, or Revenue/ROI.)Abonus to the token analysis is that it can also help with efficiency efforts; if you notice bleeding or poor-performing tokens, add them to your negative keyword list and free up budget better spent elsewhere.These three strategies should help you push past the SEM wall – but you don’t necessarily need to wait for a performance plateau to use them.


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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Use Semantic SEO for Higher Rankings

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

What is Semantic SEO?
Semantic SEO is the process of building more meaning into the words you use in your content.Doing so gives more depth to your content and provides more value.Google loves to send searchers to pages where they will find exactly what they’re looking for.

What does semantic SEO really translate to?
*More chances to obtain a variety of keyword rankings.
*An opportunity to rank for a longer period of time.

How to Write Content Using Semantic SEO
Semantic SEO involves figuring out the deeper meaning of why someone is searching for content and strategically placing those elements within your content piece.You can figure out these building blocks to create your content using hints Google provides within the SERPs.Google’s “related to search” and the “people also ask” sections are windows of opportunity.The deeper meaning of queries will help position your site to sustain the fluctuations of organic search.The search algorithm is also trying to anticipate the next query, so thinking like the search engine will help you understand what you have to do.

Start With Traditional Methods of Keyword Research
You can use any keyword research tool you’re comfortable with.I use Google’s Keyword Planner Tool.Pick a topic relevant to your business or website and build from there.

My keyword research process looks like this:
*Broad term: plumbing pipes
*Expanded term: residential plumbing pipes (service offered)

Once you decide to build your content around the topic of residential plumbing pipes, you then have to figure out how to construct the content piece, keeping semantic SEO in mind.

How to Extract Semantic Information From Google
Start by searching for [residential plumbing pipe] on Google.

What do you see?
Use the information on Google’s SERPs to create the building blocks of a post.Start from the bottom by using the “searches related to” section.

There are a handful of ideas here you can use to construct the full content piece:
*What a PEX plumbing pipe is.
*What plumbing pipe types are out there and their uses.
*Whether new homes need different pipes. What about older homes?
*About the material.
*Which pipes are best for their water supply.

Semantic SEO Helps You Earn Featured Snippets
Using the SERPs to create content is valuable because it gives you direction.It can even help you rank above Position 1.Featured snippets aren’t new to SERPs and neither is the “People also ask” section. These sections are interesting because they are part of the new concept of “position zero”.While it is always amazing to get the top position in organic search, now there’s ample opportunity to appear before number one.

The Value of Semantic SEO
To paint an even clearer picture, let’s look back at what I said about using the SERPs to your advantage when creating content.When you click on the blue links within the field of related searches, they will generate a completely different search results page.Clicking on [plumbing pipe types and uses] within the related searches box to be sent to the new SERP.

The value here is obvious:
The post can afford to lose keyword rankings for one of these search queries and still sustain a good amount of its organic traffic in the long run.We can’t control whether our content ranks for our targeted keyword, but we can strategize to attack the SERPs with a series of different keyword targets.The post was intended to rank for the query [plumbing pipes].It has since lost its ability to do so within organic search results.But the post has so much depth that it still retains its traffic and continues to grow over time.


Offering value, building relevancy, and thinking about the new problems your customers will face is what will separate your post from all the other ones over a longer period of time.


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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Protect Your Site From Negative SEO

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

Negative SEO is real.It is possible to damage, if not destroy, a site through the use of malicious backlinks and aggressive backlink spamming.Negative SEO is a legitimate danger that can result in lost organic search visibility and revenue.But it is possible to defend against negative SEO.

What is Negative SEO?
Negative SEO is the practice of implementing black hat SEO techniques on another site.Usually,an SEO attack is unleashed by a disgruntled competitor and his or her minions with the goal of reducing that site’s rankings.Most SEOs are happy to play by the rules.We publish our content, we promote ourselves on social media, and we roll with the punches every time Google updates their algorithm.But sometimes — not often, mind you — you get on the wrong side of someone who doesn’t share your scruples.They play dirty. They might try to bog down your website with hundreds of spammy links, flood Yelp with fake reviews, or just hack your website outright.

1.Perform Regular Link Audits
Regular link audits are good practice for any business, but they can save your bacon if you’re ever the victim of a negative SEO attack.Monitoring your link profile growth is hands down the best way to spot suspicious activity before it spirals out of control.Your links might also suffer if you’ve been hacked. Perhaps the attacker has altered your content to include spammy links or modified your links to redirect to theirs.These attacks are insidious and can be difficult to spot,and the only way to safeguard your website is to perform regular website audits.It’s crucial that you monitor your link profile growth carefully so you can catch an attack before it costs you too much.Use link auditing software or perform a manual audit to check on your backlink health.If you are a victim of link farm spamming, let Google know and disavow the links ASAP.

2.Keep an Eye on Your Site Speed
Site speed is a key ranking factor.If your website is becoming sluggish and you have no idea why you should use crawling software to look for anything suspicious.If you can’t find anything and there’s still a problem, you might be the victim of forceful crawling.Forceful crawling causes a heavy server load, which means your site will slow down and might even crash.

3.Search for Scraped Content
Content marketing has been the name of the game these last few years, but not everyone is equally creative when it comes to content creation.Consequently, scraping has become all too frequent.Scraping is the process of lifting content from your website and copying it verbatim to other websites.Usually, the attacker will claim it as their own in an attempt to beef up their thin content, but sometimes they’ll combine it with a link farm attack to spam your site.Scraping has serious consequences.If the copied content gets indexed before your content then your page might be devalued, and your site might fall in rank as a result.

4.Monitor Google My Business
You work hard to build up your brand reputation and win customers.Negative reviews hurt, but you usually often use them as learning experiences on how to improve.Unless you’ve made a big public PR plunder recently, a whole slew of negative reviews might be a sign that someone is trying to flood your site with fake reviews.If you don’t act fast, these can seriously damage your reputation.

5.Watch Your Keywords’ CTR
This began to have an effect on their rankings — user experience is an important signal, and this looked like bad UX.What was actually happening was that someone had programmed a bot to target certainkeywords, land on competitor sites, and then bounce, which created a false SERP bounce rate.

6.Check Your SERP Ranking
You probably don’t need to be told to check your SERP ranking from time to time, but just in case,here’s a compelling reason why you should:A drop in rank might be the result of malicious intent.They used Google’s URL removal tool to remove Followerwonk from the web, and within 2-3 hours all Followerwonk URLs had practically disappeared from Google SERPs.For a full overview of your site’s performance, use rank tracking software to monitor your visibility.If you notice sudden drops, check your website’s crawl stats in Google Search Console and make sure your robots.txt is still set up properly.

7.Upgrade Your Security
Negative SEO might not be all that common, but cyber attacks are on the rise year after year.Make sure your software is up to date, you apply all security patches to your software, and your CMS software is equipped with powerful encryption to protect your users.Cyber attacks aren’t technically negative SEO, but they will have an impact on your SEO.Google flags compromised sites with a “this site may be hacked” line into your search listing,which will definitely warn traffic away.

Negative SEO is rare.Most of the time, Google is good at catching problematic linking behavior and curtailing it before it has an impact on your SERPs.That said, clever people are continuously trying to find ways to game the system.


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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Growth hacks: Optimizing Organic Market Share

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Internet Marketing

Welcome back to my eight-part series providing growth hacks to search marketers.Now let’s focus on organic.I’ll assume you’re already experienced with SEO best practices.But you might not know how tofine-tune your SEO efforts using competitive insights and keyword monitoring.You can achieve big gains in market share for your websites by monitoring keywords.

The few market share growth hacks below come from what I’ve learned from The Search Monitor (disclosure: my employer), which monitors millions of organic listings at the local and international level.

Hack #1:Improve page share
Page share means the number of listings where your URL is indexed out of the total listings that appear.This creates a list of keywords to prioritize.From this list, carve off the group of keywords where the impression volume is the highest and evaluate using your usual SEO best practices on how to improve your rank and number of listings on these keywords.To get a fast result, make sure that these keywords are part of your paid campaigns to boost rank instantly.This buys you time while you’re working on SEO.

Hack #2: Optimize for SERP sections
The organic SERP (search engine results page) has become a collage of different sections appearing dynamically based on keyword searches (often referred to as “blended results” or “Universal Search“).If your goal is to appear at the top of the page, but you are optimizing for a section that is below the fold for a particular keyword, then your goal is not achievable.Your objective should be to optimizeyour share for the sections that are most relevant for your business and that have the highest page rank.First, identify the page layouts for your target keywords.You can do this manually or by using a monitoring tool that breaks down the layout styles for you.Second, review your rank and position in the page sections that appear closest to the top.For example, if video results are important for your business, are you appearing there?Or, if the local/map section appears first for your target keywords, are you present there?Local listings are especially important for brick-and-mortar businesses.After you self-diagnose,prioritize a keyword list for which you’re absent from your desired section, or youappear below key competitors.Share this list with your SEO team to increase your site’s relevance for these sections.

Hack #3:Indexed content
Another hack to improve your organic presence is to study the type of content that is boosting your competition’s rankings.

Here’s the data you need for this exercise:
*Content listings that are indexed by Google.

*Keywords where each piece of content has ranking (to calculate impressions).

*Impressions for each piece of content (impressions = the total impressions or search volume for all keywords where the piece of content is ranking).

Sort your data by number of impressions.Then, review your competitor’s content with the greatest impressions or search volume to determine what you can adapt for yourself.

Hack #4: Organic reputation
This hack focuses on a crucial element of organic listings for many businesses: reviews and ratings. These appear as a star rating (out of five) and number of Google reviews in the local/map section or right-side info panel.If these apply to your business, it’s crucial to understand how your reviews and ratings appear, as well as how they compare to those of your competitors.You also need to learn how they change over time compared to your competitors.Gather the review and rating data that the engines display on your organic listings, then work to improve your scores by encouraging your satisfied users to submit ratings and reviews.

Hack #5: Local
It’s important to remember that your organic market share can — and often does — differ by the location of the searcher.My last hack for improving organic share is aimed at business with a local focus,whether it be brick and-mortar stores or just businesses who have different offerings by geography.Start by building a list of your priority geographies and learning the impressions, rank and overall market share for each location as compared to your competitors.Prioritize locations that are most important to your business and where you’re the weakest versus competitors.

Final thoughts
The few growth hacks presented here will help you appear more often, and higher up, in the desired sections of the organic SERP. They all start with knowing which competitors appear above you, where, how often and how they do it.Only then can you tweak your on-page and off-page SEO tactics, and reallocate resources, to increase your organic market share.


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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Voice Search Will Forever Change SEO

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

Voice search is the fastest growing type of search, according to the keynote speech given by Behshad Behzadi at SMX West in March, Principal Engineer at Google Zurich.

Search Smarter Than Ever Before
Very few people type the way they speak, especially when it comes to search queries.When you type, you adopt a sort of stilted shorthand, so you enter something like “weather Paris” into your search bar.As programs like Google Now, Siri, and Cortana become more popular, and their programming becomes more refined, it’s increasingly important that search engines learn to interpret natural phrases.

Voice search is now capable of interpreting and responding to:

1.Spelling Corrections/Queries
If you ask Google to show you a picture of Wales, and you get back a picture of whales, you can then clarify, “W-A-L-E-S,” and a picture of the country will now pop up.

2.What’s Been Previously Said/Searched For
If you ask “Where is the Golden Gate Bridge” and follow that up with the queries “I want to see pictures of it” and “who built it,” Google is able to interpret what “it” is based on your initial search, delivering pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge and an answer on who built it.Alternatively,if Google cannot immediately answer a query, you can help it narrow down the answer through context.So, if you ask “How high is Rigi,” voice search may not respond,because it’s an obscure mountain in the Swiss Alps.

3.Context Based on Location
If you’re at a Convention Center in San Jose and you ask voice search, “How far is the airport from the Convention Center?”Google will understand that “the Convention Center” refers to your current location in San Jose.

4.App-Based Context
If you’re chatting about a specific restaurant in an app like Viber, you can ask Google to “Show me the menu.”Google will understand which restaurant’s menu you want to see based on context, and bring up a menu for that restaurant.

5.Context of What You See On-screen
Looking up a Wikipedia entry on Johnny Depp?You can ask voice search to “Show me pictures of Johnny,” and get back a smorgasbord of Johnny Depp photos, because he’s the “Johnny” you currently have on screen.

6.Context About You
It’s not hard to imagine how this could lend itself to making instant purchases, asking voice search to “Order me a large pepperoni and mushroom pizza from Pizza Hut” or “Show me blue jeans /Show me size 12 / Order me the pair from American Eagle.”

The Death of Short Tail Keywords?
Well, for one thing, we need to seriously incorporate voice search strategy into our websites,because voice search optimization is the future of SEO.That means doubling down on excellent content, written in a conversational tone.We also need to understand that people who type a query and people who ask a question into voice search are often after two different things entirely.

1.Focus on Long Tail Keywords
While I don’t believe that short tail keywords will ever disappear entirely, they do become far less relevant when we consider the natural phrases used in voice searches.We need to focus more attention than ever on conversational, long tail keywords.

2.Provide Context with Schema Markup
This HTML add-on helps search engines understand the context of your content, which means you rankbetter in normal searches, and you’ll be more relevant in specific queries made through voice search.

3.Optimize Your Site’s Microdata
Make sure things like directions to brick and mortar locations and XML Sitemaps are readable to visitors and search engines on your website.This is the kind of information mobile users and voice searchers will most often be after.

4.Add Pages That Answer FAQs

When voice searchers as a question, they typically begin it with “Who,” “What,” “Where,” “When,” “Why,” and “How,” and they’re looking for answers that fulfill an immediate need. To answer these queries, make a FAQs page and begin each question with these adverbs. Then answer them conversationally to appeal to voice search.

5.Do Keyword Research on Conversational Queries
Keyword research tools like Rank Tracker (disclaimer: my tool) will let you autocomplete queries using a keyword and a wildcard.Base the questions on the FAQs described above and look for commonly searchedlong tail keywords to figure out what questions you should be answering.

Where We Go From Here
I think a lot of us who grew up in an age where technology couldn’t talk back still have a certainstigma attached to talking to our phones when another human being isn’t on the other end.Voice search isclearly on the rise and we’d be foolish to ignore this trend in the SEO industry.It’s time to stop thinking linearly about only text-based queries, and start talking about how we can optimize for voice searches as well.Clearly, the future is conversational.


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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SEO Power Pack: SEO Predictions for year

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

Changes in the SEO landscape are happening faster than you can say SEO.In year alone there have been as many as 13 Google algorithm updates, necessitating that a dynamic strategy be followed when it comes to search engine optimization.

Optimization of website for Mobile traffic
Optimizing your site on the mobile device is the single largest trend to watch out for and implement in year.With mobile searches taking priority over desktop ones, a responsive web design, a mobile sitemap and optimization of embedded images and videoare the primary need of the hour.It is also equally important that other than tracking regular metrics, mobile search metrics are closely tracked.

Optimizing your website for not just Google but other search engines well
While optimizing for Google is essential, it is also time to keep a close watch on the market share of other search engines.Several new developments seem to suggest this.With Firefox dumping Google in favor of Yahoo as the default search engine and Google’s deal with Safari drawing to a close, ignoring the other search engines is taking a myopic view of the search engine landscape.It will become increasingly important to optimize your website for engines such as Yahoo Bing,DuckDuck Go, to name a few.

Developing a ROI focused approach
While for long SEO Companies have focused energies on keyword rankings, it is time to change focus tothe return on investment being generated by your SEO efforts instead of just tracking the ranking reports to see in which keywords you rank on the top.Ultimately it is not the ranking on a specific keyword that will impact your business but the returns in terms of actual conversions and sales that your SEO campaign is delivering.

Rise of semantic searches
In fact the focus is increasingly shifting from specific keywords to semantic searches.The focus therefore has to be more on context than specific keywords as Google algorithms are changing.For SEO specialists, this means that instead of thinking about specific keywords alone, they need to think of the context of search, use of related terms, synonyms etc to ensure that they feature in search results.

Developing an effective social media strategy
At one time, social media was used by marketers to merely publish their content.Today, however, it is an important channel to engage with audiences.Social Media engagements can not only result in converting traffic to customers but also create brand evangelists who will in turn create more sales channels.

Building an Author Rank
In the past ranking of content was heavily determined by the site on which the content was found.Now,additionally, the writer’s authority and following play an important role in the ranking of content. It is therefore time to build on your author rankings for the content to enjoy higher rankings in Google.

“Earning” Links
If creating backlinks was at one time the buzzword, the focus is clearly on“earning” those links now. This is made possible by creating enduring relationships.This can be done in many ways, be it reaching out to influencers to seek their point of view or following them on social media.

Brand mentions and citations
A natural progression of “earning” links is the concept of citations and brand mentions.These go a long way in establishing credibility for your brand and are likely to be given increased importance by Google.

Investing in a secure website
With Google making a public declaration that they encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS and giving a small SEO boost to secure sites, it is clear that investing in a secure website isthe need of the hour.

Convergence of SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing
In year, more than ever before SEO departments will stop to work in silos.Instead there will be an integration of SEO, social media as well as content writing and marketing.SEO will be a strong component of the marketing mix driven towards brand amplification.

Negative SEO
On the not so positive side, negative SEO, damaging a site’s organic rankings is likely to be on therise and emerge as a threat to Google.Currently, Google treats negative SEO as a form of webspam with a Disavow Tool that allows site owners to request that certain low-quality links should not be taken into account in assessing the site.


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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Winning Additional PPC Budget From Your Clients

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Internet Marketing

Clients come to us because they want more out of their paid search and social program; they want consistent volume, revenue and profit growth.To drive organic growth, account managers must “always be selling.” This article will discuss methods PPC account managers in any situation (agency, consultant, in-house) can use to persuade their stakeholders to invest more budget into their PPC accounts.

Method #1:Have a solid strategy
Having a solid strategy is the cornerstone of any PPC program.Without a coherent plan in place, it would be extremely difficult or nearly impossible to convince stakeholders that investing more budget in paid search is a wise idea.Stakeholders want to know why more budget should be invested, how the extra budget is going to be spent and what the expected results are going to be.Working under the guidance of a coherent, larger plan creates both trust and credibility, which is the first step to complete in any sales process.If clients don’t have trust in the plan —or worse,don’t trust that there is a plan — it will not be possible to create the necessary justifications to win any extra budget.

Method #2:Pitching new ideas
Presenting new ideas to clients is critical to winning more budget from them.Why is it important to
always be presenting new ideas?

*PPC is dynamic, and the landscape is changing all the time.A strategy or tactic that’s implemented today could be outdated in a few months, or it could simply stop working.New ideas prevent stagnation and keep your PPC program fresh.

*There are more pay-per-click platforms than ever available for marketers to utilize.Breaking into social advertising platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter opens new possibilities for growth and expansion.

*Expansion leads to new budget over time.For an account to grow, it often needs more budget to properly test new ideas and initiatives.Always strive to bring new ideas to the table.Innovation is the key to account growth, and ultimately, to growing PPC spend.Successfully convincing clients to invest in new initiatives vs.routing budgets from existing ones provides more flexibility to test and iterate, which are key backbones of PPC success.

Method #3:Overcoming objections
In any selling situation, you must be prepared to overcome objections.Despite having a strong strategy in place and regularly presenting innovative new ideas to clients, there will come a time when clients say no.“No” should not treated as the final word but rather the beginning of a rolling dialogue that ultimately leads to winning more budget.Use those nos as an opportunity to strengthen your pitch and develop a stronger case for obtaining more budget.Overcoming objections is all about building credibility.Being fully prepared and confident in the information being presented can help reduce objections and lead you to secure more budget for your PPC initiatives.

Growing PPC accounts is all about selling clients on the notion that your approach is the best way forward and that more budget is required to execute the plan.You need to have a coherent strategy,a steady stream of new ideas and a compelling argument for why they should be implemented to expand your client’s PPC program.


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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