20211221 SEL Brief

Posted by on Dec 21, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on 20211221 SEL Brief

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Coalition Technologies Review: Everything You Need to Know

Posted by on Dec 20, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Coalition Technologies Review: Everything You Need to Know

Coalition Technologies is an SEO firm based in Los Angeles, California. Here’s everything you need …

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5 ways marketers can support entry-level SEO talent

Posted by on Dec 20, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on 5 ways marketers can support entry-level SEO talent

5 ways marketers can support entry-level SEO talent

Despite almost two years of massive societal and market transformation, the SEO industry has remained largely intact. In fact, it’s expanded far beyond its prior reach.

“Rewind to March 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic beginning — people couldn’t go in stores, so they went online to buy their products,” said Abby Reimer, SEO manager at marketing agency Uproer, during her session at SMX Next. “With that, you saw a lot of businesses prioritizing their website and their online search presence, naturally leading to an increase in the need for SEO.”

“The demand for SEO has increased; however, the supply has not,” she added.

Image: Backlinko

Like many industries, entry-level SEOs are often undervalued, making it difficult to land a relevant job when starting their careers. But, with such a high demand for their expertise, marketers and brands would be wise to capitalize on their talent.

Reimer says focusing on entry-level talent and training them to become senior-level SEOs can:

Bring in a much larger pool of candidates;Make it easier on your budget; andIncrease diversity in your organization as well as within the SEO industry.

Image: North Star Inbound

Neglecting these promising professionals could prevent your organization from growing in an ever-changing changing market. Here are five ways Reimer recommends marketers attract and support entry-level SEOs.

Reach out to colleges and universities

“One tactic our company has seen a lot of success with is reaching out, whether to your alma mater or a local university, and asking to be a guest teacher in certain marketing classes,” Reimer said. “Professors love this because it gives them a chance to take a break and let their students hear from someone who’s doing this day-in and day-out.”

Local colleges and universities offer plenty of opportunities to connect with up-and-coming marketing talent. As a professional in the industry, you can offer to give a guest lecture, mentor students or connect with the organization’s career center — essentially, whatever you can do to show you value entry-level prospects.

“This gives you a great chance to mentor a few students who you think might be potential hires by giving them resources and a roadmap for learning SEO,” she said. “By the time that they’ve graduated, they have the experience and the knowledge to get started.”

Connect with programs for students and recent graduates

Many higher education institutions have programs that help students and recent grads find jobs. Marketers can connect with instructors or program organizers to find the most applicable programs, then make connections with students interested in an SEO career.

“The nice thing about these programs is that the students and grads who are joining them are already motivated,” Reimer said. “They’re generally very passionate about marketing, so it’s a great way to meet motivated candidates.”

Yet, it can be hard to find these organizations, says Reimer: “I will say that these programs are a little difficult to find just by Googling. When you go to universities, talk to the professors and students and ask them if there are any of these programs that you can get involved with, either as a mentor or as a sponsor.”

Work with recognized digital marketing organizations

Digital marketing organizations are designed to attract industry talent from around the world, so marketers should make sure to check them out. There are plenty of organizations to choose from, but Reimer pointed to a few well-known groups doing good work:

Women in Tech SEO;American Marketing Association;MnSearch; andPaid Search Association.

“The nice thing about these organizations is that not only could you meet people fresh out of school, but you can also connect with people who have several years of experience under their belts,” she said, “So it gives you a wider range of candidates to talk to.”

Ask for referrals from team members

One of the most effective ways to connect with talent outside of your organization is via team referrals. Chances are that your team members have connections you’re unaware of, so it’s important to ask them to keep a lookout for potential hires — offering incentives when necessary.

“We’ve gotten quite a few of our hires from referrals,” said Reimer, “Just ask other people on your team if they would be willing to share the job description with anyone they think is a good fit.”

“Most importantly, incentivize them — offer a referral bonus, or a gift card or a free lunch,” she added.

Speak at beginner-friendly SEO events

While there was already a slew of SEO-themed conferences before the pandemic, an increasing number of beginner-friendly SEO events and media are popping up, no doubt due to the increased SEO demand. These include virtual conferences, webinars, podcasts — even local marketing events. They’re often important hiring avenues for agencies.

“This is how I got my start in SEO,” Reimer said. “I attended a beginner-friendly digital marketing conference and I met my now-boss there. He was speaking about SEO and said that his agency was hiring.”

“These conferences are a great way to not just meet entry-level people, but even people who have a year-plus of experience in the working world who are just looking to get into something new,” she added.

Watch the full SMX Next presentation here (free registration required).

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Non-stop updates: SEOs share the impact on their day-to-day, work-life balance and career outlook

Posted by on Dec 20, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Non-stop updates: SEOs share the impact on their day-to-day, work-life balance and career outlook

This year, Google rolled out an unusually high number of updates. As a matter of fact, the company released a local search update as we conducted interviews for this article. Google updates can be frustrating for brands and businesses because they might negatively impact their visibility, ceding rankings to competitors and impacting traffic and/or revenue. 

The heightened frequency of updates this year may intensify that experience, which means that SEOs might also be under more pressure to identify issues and implement solutions. But, there are many types of SEOs working across different verticals as well as at agencies and in-house, and their respective experiences vary.

To provide a comprehensive picture of what it’s like to work in this environment, five SEOs have shared how their workload changes after updates rollout, how their clients might respond, along with how this year’s updates have changed their work-life balance and career outlook.

How a site performs after an update influences the work ahead

Algorithm updates are inevitable and the days and weeks following one can be thrilling when the hard work pays off, or potentially devastating if rankings suddenly tank. The high-stakes nature of these updates means that, after the dust settles, workloads can vary greatly from brand to brand and SEO to SEO.

“We’re definitely busier after an algorithm update,” said Chris Long, VP of marketing at Go Fish Digital. “We need to communicate that information to the client and share any data on how that impacted their site,” he added, “In terms of strategy, we like to keep the same course of action but sometimes algorithm updates shift some priorities around.”

“Some sites, like DTC [direct to consumer] businesses are particularly sensitive to algorithm updates and may see big changes to revenue around this time,” Crystal Carter, senior digital strategist at Optix Solutions, said, noting that it’s important to have a clear understanding of how the site has been impacted as well as recommendations for the next steps. “This can take time to put together, so there is generally an increase in monitoring and reporting following an update,” she said.

As with any career that involves working with clients, the demands of the job will vary depending on the client’s needs and expertise with the subject matter. “For contacts who are extremely knowledgeable and up to date on industry news, they may require a deep dive analysis into how the site was impacted by the update,” Jason Melman, senior director of SEO and analytics at Inseev Interactive, said.

SEOs that work in-house may have a different experience after a Google update since they work for one brand (as opposed to several clients). “Unless the algorithm update hits us very badly, the workload doesn’t increase, but instead gets shifted,” Masaki Okazawa, technical SEO product manager at SimpleTire, said, “My team and I start monitoring for shifts in organic traffic to identify risk areas. From there, we update our roadmap to accommodate if needed.”

“I think that a Google update should never make SEO people crazy,” Veruska Anconitano, SEO and language manager at Canva, said. Anconitano views Google Search updates as an opportunity to reassess her site’s visibility and to create a checklist of improvements.

“I tend not to look at the data as soon as a new update comes out,” she said, highlighting that updates often take more than a week to finish rolling out. “My workload doesn’t change that much; what changes is the analysis of the data to try to understand if a drop or an improvement is related to the update or to not tackle it,” she added.

Be prepared to explain updates to stakeholders

Changes in traffic and rankings after an update might be well received or, on the drastic end, throw stakeholders into damage control mode. “Good news is good,” Carter said, “It’s reaffirming to the hard work that has been invested in the site and can help to build more stakeholder buy-in.”

On the other hand, “When things don’t go to plan, SEOs who may normally report to a single contact within the business may need to provide a wider context to higher-ups, like the board of directors,” she added, “This is not unusual so hold your nerve. In these conversations, there is value in demonstrating how SEO directly correlates to business objectives and how you, as an SEO, can provide context to the wider search landscape.”

“Even if [the client] hasn’t benefited from the update, they often understand that Google’s algorithm isn’t perfect and that the approach we’re taking is setting them up well for the long-term,” Long said, “Sometimes it helps to talk about our perspective on updates before they happen. That way, we’re on the same page when they inevitably happen.” Stakeholders may also be interested in how their competition was affected by the update as well, he added.

Some clients will want a simple explanation of the update (e.g., what kinds of sites it affected, what aspects of a site it emphasized, etc). “Sometimes the client needs to disseminate information to internal teams to keep everyone at the company informed,” Melman said, “In these cases, we will often help put together a PowerPoint for them to share with their teams.”

Although stakeholders may want a straightforward overview of an update, that’s not always possible. Some updates are much broader than others: Google’s core updates are wide and cover many aspects of a site. Product reviews updates, on the other hand, are much more narrow and impact e-commerce-related content. For sites that have taken a visibility dip after a core update, Google has provided some advice on recovering, but figuring out what pieces of advice are most applicable to your site (and then prioritizing them) can be a process of trial and error.

Whether in-house or at an agency, it’s an SEO’s duty to contextualize updates and shifts in rankings and/or traffic to stakeholders. “Rather than responding to Google updates, stakeholders generally want to know the big picture: why the traffic dropped, why it improved, why a specific page is doing well or worse in terms of conversions, etc.” Anconitano said.

Work-life balance can be an issue, but SEOs aren’t ‘saving lives’

When a site’s visibility improves, you can “Pat yourself on the back and keep on keeping on,” Carter said. But, “Challenging results can be stressful when clients are feeling the pinch,” she added, “If you need to pause scheduled activity to respond to an update then let the client know that you are adjusting your plans. If a client would like more regular check-ins, then setting a schedule can help everyone focus.”

“I’ve had stakeholders ask our team to create a traffic recovery plan within 72 hours of an algorithm update,” Okazawa, who also has experience working at an agency, said, “This definitely adds a lot of stress for the team and I’ve personally had nights just tapping into all of my SEO knowledge in order to find an appropriate solution to the issue.”

“While it’s generally busier for us and more work during the days, it hasn’t impacted my work-life balance too much,” Long said. Anconitano, who works in-house, shared a similar sentiment: “Overall, unless there’s a huge emergency, my work-life balance stays the same… at the end of the day, I’m not saving lives.”

There have been a lot of updates this year; how has that affected your outlook on SEO as your career?

Although Google rolls out thousands of updates a year, only a handful are impactful enough to get announced. This year, SEOs experienced more announced updates than they have in the recent past; below is a list of updates from the last half of 2021.

Core updates:

July 2021 core updateNovember 2021 core update

Non-core updates:

June 23rd spam updateJune 28 spam updateJuly link spam updatePage Experience updateNovember 2021 spam updateNovember 2021 local search updateDecember 2021 product reviews update

The unusual frequency of these updates can result in a variety of challenges, such as more requests from clients or greater difficulty in isolating the impact of specific updates, for example.

The updates, themselves, may also be shaping SEO career paths: “The SERPs and updates are becoming more niche-targeted as Google works to keep pace with user needs,” Carter said, adding, “I see more of a need for SEO specialization in particular aspects of search rather than being expected to do it all. E-commerce SEO is different from content SEO, is different from local SEO — and you can drill down further from there. Specializing helps you to keep on top of your requirements and implement them effectively.”

“Recently there seems to be a shift towards more niche sites having an even harder time competing against the big names,” Melman said, “While many SEOs may see this as unfair or frustrating, I personally enjoy the challenge and find it rewarding to figure out how to overcome these challenges and still win top positions for our clients.”

The fast pace of change makes it an exciting time to be in SEO, “but it can be difficult to want to keep it as a long-term career,” Okazawa said, “What I’ve done as a safety net is develop my soft skills like project management and road mapping so that I can make a transition into product management if I ever decide SEO doesn’t cut it for me.”

“You just learn to expect them and know they’re coming,” Long said of Google updates, “I think that helps me stay focused on long-term solutions that will make it more likely clients benefit from updates. If you know what the algorithm updates are looking to reward, you need to fold that into your overall strategy.”

Despite some volatility, SEOs still have a north star to guide them

The goal of search engines is to provide users with the best possible experience, which is what brands should be focusing on as well. The overlap means that, regardless of what updates may come, SEOs always have a north star to guide them.

“I see the Google updates as a way to emphasize that the purpose of SEO is to serve users and move away from the idea that ‘ranking and traffic is everything,’” Anconitano said, noting that ROI and conversions are more significant business metrics. “The only way to generate conversions is to serve users well. Being first in Google helps, but being relevant matters more than anything else, both in Google’s and users’ eyes,” she said.

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Advanced Ahrefs Review + How to Use It (Like an SEO Pro)

Posted by on Dec 20, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Advanced Ahrefs Review + How to Use It (Like an SEO Pro)

Looking for an Ahrefs review that doesn’t suck? You’re in the right place. I’ve been …

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Vue Storefront & Shopify Integration

Posted by on Dec 20, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Vue Storefront & Shopify Integration

Learn more about Vue Storefront + Shopify Integration, a low friction foundation for composable solutions that provides long-term extensibility and flexibility.

How to Get Backlinks Like an SEO Pro (NEW Guide for 2022)

Posted by on Dec 20, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on How to Get Backlinks Like an SEO Pro (NEW Guide for 2022)

How do you get more backlinks in 2022? Well, this website you’re on right now …

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Google Ads rolling out new icons more widely

Posted by on Dec 20, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Google Ads rolling out new icons more widely

Google Ads rolling out new icons more widely

Google, over the past few months, has been rolling out new icons within the Google Ads console. Those who spend their days inside the ad console are taking notice of the new icons.

Screenshot. Here is a screenshot of the new Google Ads navigational icons from Brett Bodofsky on Twitter:

Some saw these earlier. Some have said they saw these icons begin to show up months ago, so we assume Google is now more widely rolling the new icons out now.

Me too – interesting that not everyone had them

— Melissa L Mackey (@beyondthepaid) December 15, 2021

Reaction. The reaction to the change of icons is not all positive but you’d expect that when Google makes any sort of change to any of its interfaces. ere are some of the responses to the new icons:

Can’t help but feel as though it’s a step backwards for readability!

— Chris Bailey (@Chris_Baileys) December 16, 2021

Have it on some and not on others. Same MCC. Similar issue w FB currently different icons and sub-menus. Ad platform UI mental switching costs are TOO DAMN HIGH.

— Tim Halloran (@timmhalloran) December 16, 2021

I had a sneak peak of this last week when I took on a new client. Personally not a fan but they also had a different style of filtering views.

— Chris Ridley (@C_J_Ridley) December 15, 2021

Why we care. This is not a huge change from the Google Ads team but it is a change that some PPC experts are taking notice of. Don’t be distracted by the change, the core functionality has not changed in Google Ads, this is just a user interface change that you might take some time to get use to.

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The ‘Vicinity Update’: Winners and losers from the November 2021 local update

Posted by on Dec 20, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on The ‘Vicinity Update’: Winners and losers from the November 2021 local update

The ‘Vicinity Update’: Winners and losers from the November 2021 local update

Google announced last week that it rolled out an update to the local search and map pack results. It began on November 30 and finished on December 8.

We noticed really dramatic differences in ranking on December 6, 2021. My agency named the update “The Vicinity Update” because the most significant impact we saw was that Google made it so that smaller, less established businesses that are closer to the user are now ranking better than overpowered businesses further away. Google said that it “rebalanced” the factors that make up the algorithm and we have observed that proximity got a big boost while some relevance factors declined. 

What industries did it impact?

This update was dramatic, and in my findings, is the biggest update we have seen in local search since the Hawk update in 2017. Some industries are seeing the impact more than others. We are seeing huge differences for lawyers, home services, insurance, dentists, and many others. It’s important to note that you won’t likely see the impact of this update unless you are doing grid tracking that shows you how far away from your office you rank.

The winners

The winners in this update are:

Businesses that don’t have keywords in their business name but have strong competitors that do.Secondary locations for prominent businesses. For example, I’ve seen almost uniformly, across every example I’ve looked at, that the primary location for a business took a hit but their newer offices increased. Here is an example in the insurance vertical:

Top 3 Rankings BeforeTop 3 Rankings AfterDifferenceBusiness A – Main Location848668-180Business A – Second Location679730Business B – Main Location12298-24Business B – Second Location214625

The losers

The losers from this update are:

Businesses that ranked really far from their office.Businesses with keywords in the business name.

For example, here is a business that meets both criteria. One of the keywords that describes their service is a part of their actual LLC name. They used to rank really far from where they are located and no longer do.

Why we care

Google has weighted keywords in the business name too heavily for as long as I can remember. This often leads to businesses adding them, regardless of the fact that it breaks Google’s guidelines, because it has such a significant impact on ranking It has also led to Google showing fake listings in the search results instead of real businesses. With this update, businesses that are newer and trying to follow Google’s guidelines should have a much greater shot of ranking. 

If you have questions about how the algorithm update impacted you, feel free to chime in over at the thread at the Local Search Forum.

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December 20: The latest jobs in search marketing

Posted by on Dec 20, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on December 20: The latest jobs in search marketing

Content Specialist @ Simple Strat (U.S. remote)

Salary: $70-80k/yrWrite long-form content that stands out (articles, product marketing information, whitepapers, ebooks/guides, case studies, etc).Work with strategists and clients to determine compelling content topics.

Growth Marketing Manager @ GivingData (U.S. remote)

Salary: $70-100k/yrDevelop inbound marketing programs, guide lead generation efforts, and nurture prospects throughout the sales cycle.Plan full-funnel campaigns to targeted segments using lead scoring for qualification (e.g., content, paid search, events, webinars).

Digital Campaign Marketer @ Swit (U.S. remote)

Salary: $50-70k/yrResponsible for creating marketing campaigns based on market segments to gain new customers.Execute campaign effectively, on schedule, and on budget.

Digital Marketing Manager @ AgentSync (U.S. remote or Denver, CO)

Salary: $65-95k/yrPrepare content for distribution and help identify content distribution channels.Ownership of social channels — paid and organic; along with keyword research for SEM strategy.

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