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seo tips

New Study Shows Top Position on Google Gets 33% of Traffic

24
Jun
Google-images-logo

We all know the age old saying: If it's not on the first page of Google then it doesn't exist. Although this may be a little dramatic, the idea that most of what we search for on Google rarely goes beyond the first few pages is quite an obvious one. 

 

What's the verdict?

 
Various studies have been made which have produced differing results. This often has to do with how the data has been collected and interpreted. 
 
The online company Chitika has conducted a study which claimed that a whopping 33% of SERP traffic heads straight to the first result of the first page on Google. 18% goes to the second ranking and after that the numbers just get smaller and smaller. 
 
Now, this is for organic searches - sponsored links are not included here which puts all the emphasis on SEO. Paid advertisement is obviously valuable to your online business but a strong concentration on SEO will reap more results in the long run. 
 

An unchanged trend

 
According to Chitika who conducted a close study in 2010 and found very similar results have come to the conclusion that being on the top of Google's first page is the only place to be. This has probably only become more crucial in the last few years as Google grows in size and influence. 
 

Differing points of study?

 
Now, although there is no doubt that being at the top of Google is the best place to be on the internet, different studies have produced different results, thus making it harder to understand what's going on. 
 
Another study by Slingshot in 2011 showed that 18.2% of clicks go to the top position. We can easily say that this is still a significant proportion of all searches but it does stand at quite a distance from Chitika's figure. 
 
After an examination of both studies, we can figure out that the Chitika results are more wide reaching in their examination and may therefore be too vague to help users understand how to get to the top. 
 
Slingshot's results focus more on specific terms and correlated it to Google's search volume for said terms. 
 

Who to believe? 

 
All in all, it seems that stats such as these need to be understood before they can be used in any way as they are never as straight forward as they originally seem. 
 
The point being is that for most of us getting as close as possible to the top naturally is the best goal. Plus, focusing on SEO will always pay off so sort out your keywords! 

More Top Tips for your Company Blog

6
Jun
them beijing web design

We already went over some of the features your blog should include if you really want it to work for you and your company. 

 
We saw that correct pagination was vital as well as adding a "related post" section to your article page. Come to think of it, this does not always need to be in one specific area of the page and can be featured along the side of even similar to how we'd add a photo to a body of text. Shop around the internet to see what you think. 
 

New

 
Now, for this second part we are going to look into the importance of categories and how they can be used to improve content classification. We will also stress the importance of keywords, especially in titles. Finally, our last point will emphasize SHARING. 
 

How to use categories

 
These can be really key to boosting your organic search. Indeed, categories can help you classify your articles into themed pages. For example, it's more interesting to have articles about SEO on a different page than those reviewing the upcoming 4G network in Shanghai. 
 
Don't have too many categories or they become redundant and, of course, make sure you have relevant content in each one. 
 

Titles and Keywords

 
Keywords are vital to any blogger. They are the foundation through which search engines will find you. Needless to say that when we Google something we only use keywords such as "period jewelry" we don't write "I would like to find some period jewelry for sale on the internet please Google" in the search bar. 
 
Keywords are vital and for that sake they must be carefully placed in the title, the subtitles and of course the text. 
 
Plus, keyword variation is also the way to go as it gives you a larger chance of arriving in the search engine results we are all so desperately trying to reach (well the first page anyway). 
 

Last but not least

 
Sharing buttons are the absolute best way to get your word out there. As people push your article outside of the confines of your blog, it acquires more likes and comments which in time will enable it to show up in Google's radar sooner. 
 
Those are our tips for a great blog SEO-wise. If you have any more, please feel free to share. 

Easy Tips to a Better Blog

4
Jun
google SEO.jpg

Coming up, a blog post about how to have a great blog: Blogception

 
Having a blog linked to your website serves two major purposes: it helps build you brand and the awareness around it. This means that people see that you are active in your area and have things to say. Beyond this it firmly places you in your community and develops your niche market. 
 
Also, a blog is the perfect way to showcase your skills in whatever you do. For example, if you design websites - blogging about something that includes links to your creations is a great way to showcase. The same goes if you make clothes, or anything that you can show off through writing about it. 
 

Blogging and SEO

 
This is the second great virtue of a blog: it can send your SEO activity through the roof. 
 
Adding vertical keywords about your business. Now, what this entails is pushing more keywords about your products, services, news that goes beyond the broad terms. Thus ensuring that search engines are more in the know about the exact market that you're after. 
 
Blogs are also great for generating social signals AND there is no better way of getting your organic traffic up.
 
Now, how can we all ensure our blog is really working hard for us and the company?
 

Tips for an efficient blog

 
The first important aspect is good pagination. Indeed, you need a system that demands the smallest amount of clicks as possible for search engines to access as well as users. Bad pagination leads to long loading times and difficult access. 
 
The best pagination offers us clickable page numbers whereas the worst have "older entries" type links which take ages when looking for something specific. 
 

Related posts must appear

 
It seems that as of late, more and more blogs and websites are clocking on to this idea of including related posts on the article's page. Now, if these are strategically placed, and are actually related to what one is reading, it can be tempting to click onto that one thus creating more traffic onto your blog. 
 
You especially do not want old content to be completely forgotten in the corridors of the internet and we should therefore ensure the related information gets placed where we can see it. 
 
This will always improve circulation on PageRank and keywords come to gain even more importance as those in the titles of related posts reinforce the current article. 
 
From a quick online survey (I asked my Skype contacts who happened to be online) it has been deduced that people are more willing to click on another similar post if it comes with an engaging image. Indeed, something for all of us to think about for the future of our blog. 
 

Add the titles of other posts

 
Very similar to the idea of adding a "related post" segment, actually linking to the article just previous and the one coming up next, this increased findability and improves links in all sorts of manners. 
 
Furthermore, this can often guarantee more time spent on your blog and a deeper interest into the content that you're writing about as the reader finds himself "stuck" on your blogs for hours. 
 
That is enough tips for one day, tune in tomorrow for part two of "how to rule the blogosphere". 
 
For more information on SEO and how to enhance your website or blog, please visit our site and find out about our services here. 

15 Reasons to Use a Responsive Web Design

20
Jul
Responsive Design

What is a Responsive Web Design ?

A Responsive design website uses CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), the technology used to adapt the layout of webpages to the viewing environment, by automatically detecting the resolution (width) of the electronic device that you are using. In other words, whatever is your device; all pages will be displayed in accordance of its requirements.

This technique has become more important during the past few months as more and more internet users are now looking for information directly from a mobile device such as smartphones and tablets.

Why Smartphones can Influence the Website Design?

Because surfing on a traditional website, not adapted for small screens, doesn’t give a very nice user experience to your visitors. In fact, the reality is even worse, as according to a recent survey by Compuware, about 40% of users will close the website and visit a competitor’s website rather than struggling to find information on a poorly optimized mobile site and 57% of them will not recommend a company which provides a bad mobile site experience to its visitors.

Responsive Design is the Solution

Instead of creating several websites for each device: desktop, laptop, tablets, smartphones, Interactive Tv,… like it was the solution few years ago. Today, you only need to create and manage only one website with a responsive design which will distribute a tailored design and content for each of your device.

Major Benefits of Responsive Web Design

  1. You only need one accessible and fully designed website for all the devices: smartphones, desktop computer, tablets, interactive tv,…
  2. You will save money as you don’t need to create several versions of your website.
  3. It will save you a lot of time as you only need to use one CMS for all the devices, when you publish a post it will be perfectly displayed instantly on all devices.
  4. Your visitors enjoy content optimized for their devices.
  5. It helps to create a better user experience as visitors won’t need to learn how to deal with the mobile version since the website is the same.
  6. Your link building strategy only needs to be done one time! This is a huge advantage as you won’t need to establish several building campaign for each of your dedicated website. Your SEO development will need less time.
  7. You rank only one website and do not split your incoming traffic into several ones and so you gather your incoming traffic in one place. This strongly increases your SEO performance as none of your websites competes against each other, only one website is ranked.
  8. You don’t need to worry about preventing canonical issues and duplicate content penalties.
  9. You don’t need to develop an application for each smartphone operating system and as there are many of them: Android, RIM, Nokia, Windows Mobile, iOS,…
  10. It’s web-socially friendly; when your visitors will share your awesome content they will only share it from one URL and not several which as a consequence...
  11. Make your community stay at one place and not spread it over several social website accounts.
  12. You don’t need to worry about upgrading your website for the next generation of screens as it will fit for the bigger ones instantly.
  13. You don’t need to indicate to your users they are in the wrong website and they have to switch to the appropriate one.
  14. You show to your competitors that you are mastering the state of the art of web development and keeping your information tools up to date.
  15. You are in concordance with the Google policy which highly recommends the use of a responsive design:

“Sites that use responsive web design, […], with each URL serving the same HTML to all devices and using just CSS to change how the page is rendered on the device. This is Google’s recommended configuration”

Source: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/recommendations-for-building-smartphone.html

If you still have some doubts about the advantages of having a responsive design, keep in mind there are more than 1B mobile phone customers in China, 400 million of them are mobile Internet users and 150 million are 3G users.

Of course, you can still contact us if you have any interrogations or if you wish to have a responsive design website.

The 5 Most Common SEO Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

22
Mar
seo mistakes

Google has recently released a video explaining what the most common SEO mistakes webmasters make and presenting some SEO tips on how to avoid them.

Here is the video presented by Maile Ohye, Developer Programs Tech Lead at Google:

According to Maile, here are the top 5 SEO mistakes:

1. Having no value proposition

As a business owner, you should have a clear value proposition. This value proposition should be clearly highlighted in your website and search engine results pages. Always keep in mind this question: why would a search user select my site in search results?

To do so, make your product or service compelling! Think of what differentiates your business from your competitors and integrate it in your content, page titles and meta descriptions!

For instance, you may be a non-profit organization, you may offer free estimates / demo / audit, or you may be the oldest independent shop in your city!

As an E-commerce, you differentiate from the competitions since you may offer low prices, free shipping, excellent customer service, and of course a great value proposition.

In brief, no need to start your SEO if you don’t have any good value proposition!

2. Having a segmented approach

This may sound a bit theoretical but this is really important.

Instead of having an single approach of your online strategy, you should align with other larger business goals and communication with every department.

You should consider SEO in entire user experience, from marketing campaign to conversion.

For example, your marketing team may have different marketing goals and may want to promote one campaign site, so you should take it into account and add new content and specific keywords into your main site.

3. Spending too much time in workaround

Other useful SEO advice from Google:

- Avoid rel=”canonical” from each component page in a series to page one, use instead new rel=”next” and rel=”prev” markup for paginated content.
- Submit new/updated content to be crawled through “Fetch as Googlebot” in Webmaster Tools.

4. Being caught in SEO trends

According to Maile, websites and search engines were used to chasing users in the past, so they can get more visitors and conversions.

However, today, some websites only chase search engine algorithms! They only think of the optimal keyword density for their content instead of writing compelling stuff.

I totally agree with this view. No need to optimize a website if it doesn't contain any compelling content!

5. Slow iteration

Latest SEO tip: be agile, and don't forget to:

- Define metrics for success
- Implement improvements
- Measure impact
- Create new improvements
- Prioritize improvements based on market and personnel
- Repeat!

6. Conclusion

In a nutshell, according to Google, a good SEO is about to:

- Do Something Cool
- Include relevant keywords in your copy
- Be smart about your tags and site architecture
- Signup for email forwarding in Webmaster Tools
- Attract buzz and natural links, votes, +1s, follows
- Stay fresh and relevant (social media, accessible on new devices, etc.)

Read also 10 other SEO mistakes millions of websites are doing!

Google Adjusts Search Data in SEO Reports

30
Jan
google-webmaster-tools

Google will modify the way it computes top search queries in the SEO reports of Google Webmaster Tools (now also available in Google Analytics).

Google now shows first positions 

The change concerns the feature named “Top Queries” accessible via “Search Queries” in the section “Your site on the Web”.

Users will see rankings in search results data differently.

Previously, Google displayed the average position of all links to your website. Now, you will see the average of all the first positions.

How Google calculate the average position?

Let’s take our website as an example (them.pro). If you search for [seo services beijing] on Google, there are great chances that you see URLS from our site in positions 1 and 2, especially if you’re in China. 

Let’s say another user search for [seo services beijing], and our URLs appear in positions 3 and 4. 

With the old method of calculation, we would have had an average position of (1+2+3+4)/4=2.5 (let’s round up to 3). Now, with the new report, we average the highest position for each search result and therefore get an average position of (1+3)/2=2. 

How will this affect my SEO report?

Well, as you may have guessed, when the new method of calculation is used in your Google Webmaster Tools, you will see lower average positions on your SEO report

Of course, if you only have one URL return for the query, you shouldn’t see any difference (this may be the case for numerous search queries).

What about my previous data?

This change won’t affect your historical data. The new calculation method will only affect your search queries going forward.

How will this affect my website rankings?

No worries, this new method of calculation won't affect your website rankings. It will only affect the way data is computed in your SEO reports.

Top SEO Blog Posts of 2011

4
Jan
2011-2012

Here comes year 2012, and the time to look back at 2011 in order to check the most popular articles of our blog. In case you didn’t read all of our blog posts, here is a recap of our 12 most read SEO blog posts in 2011:

1. SEO for Baidu

An article summarizing everything we previously wrote on how to optimize your website for China’s leading search engine. We give you free Baidu tips and ranking tools, but also advice on how to submit your website to Baidu index and optimize your Chinese URLs. More SEO tips.

2. SEO Jokes

One of our funniest blog posts. Who said Internet professionals don’t have any sense of humor?

3. International vs. National Domain Extensions

A very interesting blog post emphasizing why choosing the right domain extension is crucial for your website rankings. 

4. SEO Agencies Bullshit

I really like this article. Many companies offer search engine optimization services, and it may be tough to make a choice among them. However, this article gives you clear advice on how to detect bullshit ones and helps you select the right agency to work with.

5. 10 SEO Tools to Check Backlinks 

I really like this kind of articles where many useful (and free) optimizing tools are presented. Here they help you check your backlinks. More SEO tools

6. 10 SEO Tips for Mobile Apps 

We usually talk about optimizing your website. What about optimizing your mobile apps?

7. 5 SEO Chrome Extensions

I think the article title is quite explicit :)

8. 10 SEO Firefox Addons

Similar to the previous article, but this time for Mozilla Firefox browser.

9. SEM vs. SEO

The blog post presents situations when SEM is a better choice than SEO. Yes, it happens sometimes!

10. 10 SEO Mistakes Millions Websites Are Doing

Most websites are NOT optimized for search engines. Here is a recap of the 10 most common mistakes and advice on how to avoid them.

11. Why Start a Google Page?

In case you still don’t have any Google Page for your business, the article gives you plenty of good reasons to think of starting one.

12. Google +1 Button

Why adding a Google +1 button on your site is a good idea, and can actually help you improve your rankings!

Bonus: SEO & Web Design Shanghai

As you may already now, THEM opened an office in Shanghai in 2011 in addition to our main office in Beijing. If you have any web projects you want to talk about, I’d be glad to meet you in Shanghai and discuss about your website and SEO needs.

On behalf of our team, I wish you a happy new year full of great rankings!

10 SEO Tips for Mobile Apps

30
Nov
app-store-android.png

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has traditionally been applied to websites only, and mobile websites in a certain measure. However, talking about SEO for mobile apps is more seldom. Yet, having your mobile application visible online is actually crucial for your success. 

What is SEO for Apps?

As more and more people submit apps to the mobile application market places, notably Apple App Store and Android Market, the competition to rank high for application searches becomes even fiercer. 

Application marketplaces work similarly to simple search engines that only search a select inventory of mobile apps. Therefore all you know from SEO can be used when submitting an app.

When you think of SEO for mobile apps, keep in mind that you can actually talk about two things:

- Optimize your app rankings within mobile application marketplaces: key ranking factors include number of downloads, reviews, title, keywords, etc.

- Optimize your app rankings within search engines results pages (SERPs): traditional SEO ranking factors apply to app's download page.

Let me give you very specific SEO tips on how to optimize your app rankings both in Apple App Store and Android Market, as well as in search engines such as Google, Bing, and Baidu.

How to Optimize your App?

If your end goal is to increase downloads and installs of your app, you have to optimize it to make it more visible in app stores and SERPs.

Here are 10 SEO tips to optimize your app in both mobile marketplaces and SERPs

1. Define Target Audience Keywords

As for traditional SEO, you first have to define and understand your target market: who would be interested in downloading and using your app?

Following that, you must know what words and terms your audience search. You can use free SEO tools to see what keywords people use according to specific filters such as country, language, etc., and also get additional suggestions.

Of course, when you target a specific audience, it doesn’t exclude other users to find and use your app, you’re just more likely to attract the users who are most valuable to you.

2. Optimize App name

Having a good name for your App has positive impacts in terms of SEO, both in search engines and mobile app marketplaces.  

When I say a good name, I mean you should consider having relevant keywords in your app’s name that can include your brand name, but more importantly additional keywords that describe the app, and will be added to your keywords tag (see below).

Remember you have to think about character limits and ensure you follow the guidelines for each application store, especially if you use brand names (you may be requested to show licenses before your app can be approved).

3. Optimize App URL

As in “traditional” SEO, the URL of the app is also a ranking factor. You must ensure that the URL of your app contains your keywords. 

Note that the name of your app will automatically be used as your file name in the URL for your application.

If you don’t want to have an SEO-unfriendly auto-generated URL with numeric APP ID, it clearly means you should be sure to have the keywords you want in your file name (and avoid including special characters).

4. Create  Keyword Tag

After downloads, reviews, and name, keywords play an important role in promoting your app in Android Market and Apple App Store. 

For instance, in the Apple App Store, you should optimize all your keywords for 100 characters maximum, including spaces. You can separate your keywords with commas only.

Keep in mind that Apple App Store understands keywords one-at-a-time (rather than in phrases) unlike search engines. Therefore don’t forget to include plurals and synonyms to rank for those keywords. 

I’d recommend you to think about what people who don’t know your application may search if they're interested in an app like yours. 

And contrary to what you may read, spamming the keyword tag with un-related keywords or your competitor’s name won’t help you rank higher, and may even result in having your app rejected. 

5. Optimize App Description

When you write your app description, think about it in terms of potential users just scanning it. Most people won’t read your app description, especially if it’s free, so the vital information must be clearly highlighted.

What should you write in your app description? Share insight on what makes your app unique, without going overboard on features and specs. Focus on the main values your app offers.

Pay strong attention to how the text is formatted in the app, notably where line breaks since most of users will read your app description from their mobile phone.

For instance, in the Apple app store, each line can contain 120 characters, and  you only get three lines above the fold (before you have to click “more”), so that is a maximum of 360 characters including spaces.

A great tip is also to include user reviews directly in your app’s description, especially if your app doesn’t have many reviews in the store yet. This will encourage people to download your app, as well as add pertinent keywords in your download’s page, and therefore help you rank in search engines.

6. Choose Right App Category

Choosing the right category to submit your application to is actually crucial. 

Your app can be listed in multiple categories but you have to find the ones that both reach your target audience and have the least competition, notably in terms of apps and keyword search rankings.

MobClix is a very useful tool that can help you determine the level of competition between different categories of Apple apps. 

For example, you can divide the number of apps by free and paid, and then even sub-divide within the different categories. 

7. Display Screenshots and Icons

Don’t neglect your images as they may have a great influence on conversion for apps. Your application should display great images, especially good quality icons, as well as visual screenshots.

Pay attention to quality of images, as well as sizes that may differ from one mobile marketplace to another.  Besides, remember that large landscape images may be cropped.

8. Add Video Trailer

Another great feature of Android Market is video trailers that enable you to showcase your app. 

You simply need to add the URL of your video on YouTube. As text description, keep it short and highlight the top features of your app.

Video trailers clearly increase downloads and conversions for apps.

9. Get User Reviews

User reviews are taken into account by mobile marketplaces to rank your app. Of course, the more positive you have, the better.

If your app is new and doesn’t have many reviews, you can invite your users to leave positive feedbacks. However, make sure they like as reviews don’t expire. 

In addition, and as social media, interaction with the community is something vital. Try to spot top influencers among your users and interact directly with them. That is how you’ll satisfy them and get more and more users.

10. Promote App on Social Networks

Anything that is done online to promote your app is good for your SEO. From websites’ reviews to social networks, strive to promote your application online.

Use all your knowledge about SEO to optimize your pages to drive traffic to your app’s page.

For instance, the Android Market allows visitors mark apps as +1 and recommend them with their followers on Twitter. Those are simple but great ways to lead visitors to your app’s download page.

Feel free to share your other SEO tips for mobile apps!

Too Many Ads on Your Website Could Harm SEO

14
Nov
No Ads

Google will be paying more attention to the ads on websites. The search engine’s goal is to penalize websites that abuse of advertising, said Matt Cutts, head of Google’s web spam team, during his keynote session at PubCon in Las Vegas.

Google Penalizes Ad Heavy Pages

Google’s search algorithm will be able to analyze the proportion of ads, as well as their visibility compared to the real content of the page.

Ad heavy websites usually make it difficult for users to find good content on web pages, notably because ads usually obscure content. 

Others websites that abuse of advertising also try to fool users in making them believe ads are part of the content, especially affiliated websites that want monetize their website by generating more traffic through sponsored links. 

In these both cases, websites may be considered as spam by Google, and see their rankings dramatically decrease.

Above The Fold Ads

Besides, displaying too many ads in the “above the fold” section of your website is also something to avoid in terms of SEO.  “Above the fold” is the area of a webpage that can be visible without scrolling. 

However, this announcement is a bit odd since Google AdSense advices you to place ads above the fold.

Google Is Not Perfect

Matt Cutts also admitted that Google’s search algorithm still occasionally makes mistakes and unfairly marks a website as spam. 

If your website has been marked as spam but you don't agree with this decision, you can report the problem to his team of spam experts.

SEO always evolving

As Matt Cutts noticed, “SEO will always be evolving”. Google strives to deliver a better search experience to users with better, fresher, and more personalized results.

After every update on search algorithmic or release of new Google service such as Google Instant, everyone wonders whether SEO is dead, or even whether SEO is spam.

Well, SEO survived Panda update, and will survive Google’s latest search algorithm update that allows users to get fresher results.

Read more about our SEO tips for Google and Baidu.

Baidu SEO Audit Tool

25
Oct
baidu

In our SEO blog, we usually give you some SEO tips to increase your rankings on any search engine, including Google, Bing, and of course Baidu in China.

Today I am writing about Baidu SEO audit tool available in Baidu Zhanzhang, the Chinese search engine’s equivalent of Google Webmaster Tools.

The service is currently in a beta version and isn't available to everyone.

The tool checks and grades your website on a scale of 0-100 according to several factors, namely:

- The length of your URLs. Keep them short! According to Baidu, the length of your URLs should not exceed 255 bytes.

- The use of dynamic parameters. Check your URL parameters to avoid creating several URLs which access the same page, and therefore avoid having duplicate content issues.

- Your Meta data. If you do not include or use generic terms in Title and Meta Description, you could negatively affect your display and rankings in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

- Your frame information. Baidu recommends you not to use any iframe on your website.

- Your flash. As you know, search engines cannot read everything contained in flash animations. However you can write text descriptions to help Baidu better understand the content of your flash animation.

- Your images. The use of “alt” tag helps Baidu better index your website’s images.

Well, this is not very detailed SEO information but Baidu makes a good step in providing users with support. If you want to read more, you can have a look at our previous articles on how to do Baidu SEO.

Please note we recently released our Baidu SEO tool for Chrome that enables you to easily check your organic rankings on the Chinese search engine in addition to our Baidu Ranking Tool.