Updates! Some nuggets of SEO wisdom that you may have missed.

Hey people! It seems I’ve been spending way too much time on client work and have been leaving a number of articles unfinished.  That doesn’t mean I’ve stopped dispensing SEO knowledge though; I’ve just been sharing them on Facebook and Quora.

This update post started as an idea – an idea borne from a busy (more like lazy) man. “How do I create a new article in a short time, while also providing something new to learn for the readers?”

The genius answer: Grab the nuggets of wisdom that I’ve been sharing elsewhere, and share them here. These are some mini knowledge bombs you may have missed if you aren’t following me on Quora or Facebook.

Some “wisdom” I’ve shared on Facebook.

Weird trick?

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Here’s a weird trick that might help your next website rank a teeny-tiny bit better.
When registering a new domain name, try a name starting with the letter ‘A’.
Why?
Websites start with the letter ‘A’ have a better chance at appearing higher on lists arranged in alphabetical order. Some examples:
– Online directories
– Useful links or Resource pages
– Articles that have a huge list of links
Links appearing nearer to the top of the page tend to get the most ‘link juice’. Higher placed links are also more likely to get crawled and not get ignored by spiders with spent crawl budgets.
Cool tip or not worth to try?

How to deal with expired Ecommerce promotions


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While working with a couple of clients, I found an issue that was common with ecommerce sites or websites that offer one-time promotions/deals/events/giveaways/contests (or even products that are out of stock or you no longer sell).

i.e.
Valentines’ day promotion!
Summer giveaway!
Christmas Sale!

You spend time + money creating the landing page and actively promoting it; and when the event ends, we sometimes remove that landing page entirely because well, the promotion is over and we don’t want to confuse customers.

What you didn’t notice is that other pages of your site might have linked to that promotion page. Other sites might also be linking to it, and when you remove that page, it creates a lot of broken links and 404 errors. You also waste the external backlinks that are pointing to those landing pages.

Broken links = bad for SEO, bad for UX, bad for business

My recommendation is to leave those pages published. Here are a few options to deal with promotion pages that have ended.

  1. 301 redirect it to latest promotion (if it’s the exact same kind of promotion, just on a newer date, i.e. CNY 2015 vs CNY 2016)
  2. At the very top of the page, in BOLD, state that the promotion is over, and add a link to a newer promotion.
  3. Create an archive page specifically for promotions (using category or tag archives) and for expired promotions, do the same as option 2, except linking to the promotion archive page. Do some SEO to rank the page for “brand + promotion/deal” keywords.
  4. Create custom 404 pages. Pretty much just use the custom 404 page to link to more useful pages on your site.


Tip for web designers

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Tip for web developers/designers:

When you are doing a live mock-up version or developmental version of a website – whether using a subdomain of the client’s site or a subdomain of your own agency website – sometimes Google can end up indexing that version of the site as well.

What happens is when you “port over” the finished site into the actual client’s domain, Google will index the new site again. If the transfer wasn’t done correctly, you’ll have a lot of SEO problems such as :

  1. duplicate content when Google has indexed 2 versions of the same site with the same content
  2. a lot of broken links (and images) if certain links are still pointing to the previous ‘test’ website.

(if the site is huge and there are many pages still using Lorem Ipsum… that’ll look quite ugly too.)

My costly mistake

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I made a costly mistake on one of my sites recently. I accidentally removed the link to the About Us page from the main menu. Conversion rates TANKED.

We were wondering why enquiries dropped significantly, and why closing rates were so low – even though traffic remained the same.

Turns out the About Us page is an important part of the mid-funnel. It plays a big part in trust signals, especially when we were selling services with a high degree of personal touch.

Lesson learnt.

Why I feel SEO should always be a cornerstone of a digital marketing campaign

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Why I feel SEO should always be a cornerstone of a digital marketing campaign.

  1. Someone glances past your FB/Adwords/Twitter ad, but gets distracted by the other content on the page. the prospect wants to remember the ad, but isn’t able to make it appear again. he naturally Googles with whichever keyword his subconscious mind could remember.
  2. Someone likes your ad, clicks on it, likes your offer, but still needs time to think it through. when he finally decides, he might not remember your brand, your offer, or the exact url of your website. he resorts to Googling.
  3. You serve up an offer/promotion. depending on your target audience, the savvy buyer would use Google to compare prices, find reviews, look for alternatives. – you should always at least rank for your own brand name. – when you utilize content marketing or youtube promotion, you’ll want to make sure the content is search optimized. – your ad/promotion should also at least contain your brand name.

Further reading: What happens if you stop doing SEO

Some questions I’ve recently answered in Quora

How can I create backlinks by using Q/A sites?

Read Marcus Wong‘s answer to How can I create backlinks by using Q/A sites? on Quora

What are some of the most effective content hacking strategies that drive traffic to a website?

Read Marcus Wong‘s answer to What are some of the most effective content hacking strategies that drive traffic to a website? on Quora

That’s all I have for you for now.

What do you think of this content format? Let me know your feedback if you have any, or share any nuggets of wisdom you’ve come across lately.

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