5 reasons why your competitor ranks high on Google.

Reason #1: Click-through rate

Part of Google’s algorithm looks at a click-through rate. It calculates it as a percentage, reflecting the number of clicks you receive from the total number of people searching for that particular phrase you rank for.

The higher the percentage, the more appealing your listing is compared to the competition. And if your click-through rate is higher than everyone else’s, Google will slowly start moving you up the search engine results page as this algorithm factor tells it that searchers prefer your listing.

Looking at the click-through rate isn’t enough, however, as people could create deceptive title tags and meta descriptions to increase their results. So Google also looks at your bounce rate.

It assesses the number of people who leave your page by hitting the back button to return to the search listing page. If Google sends 1,000 people to one of your web pages and each of those 1,000 people hit the back button within a few seconds, it tells Google your web page isn’t relevant.

A lot of the websites that are ranking well on Google that don’t seem to be optimized have a high click-through rate and a low bounce rate. And that helps maintain their rankings.

Reason #2: Backlinks

Google doesn’t just look at the sheer number of backlinks a site has—it also looks at relevancy and authority.

Many of these non-optimized sites that are ranking well have a few high quality backlinks pointing to the right internal pages. For example, if you have only few links—but they come from .edu and .gov extensions—your site will rank extremely well.

In addition to having the right backlinks, those sites also have a spot-on anchor text for these links. Most SEOs think you need rich anchor text links to rank well, but the reality is you don’t.

Google is able to look at the web page that is linking to you and analyze the text around the link as well as the text on the page. It helps Google determine if the link is relevant to your site and what you should potentially rank for.

Reason #3: Cross-linking

Even if you don’t have the best on-page SEO and a ton of backlinks, you can rank well from an overall site perspective if you cross-link your pages.

And it’s important not just from a navigational or breadcrumb perspective, but from an in-content perspective. If you can add in-content links throughout your site and cross-link your pages, you’ll find that they all will increase in rankings.

On the flip side, if you aren’t cross-linking your pages within your content, you’ll find that some of your web pages will rank extremely well, while others won’t. It’s because you are not distributing link juice and authority throughout your whole site.

Reason #4: Mobile Friendly

Last week, Google updated its search algorithm to favor mobile-friendly pages in mobile search results — a move that could affect 40 percent of Fortune 500 websites. One of the best ways to prepare is to test that Google considers your web pages to be mobile-friendly by using its Mobile-Friendly Test tool.

Reason #5: Content quality

Since its Panda update, Google has been able to determine content quality of websites. For example, it can determine whether a site is too thin or has duplicate content, allowing for a much better analysis of content quality than before.

A lot of these well-ranking older sites have extremely high quality content. You may not think so, but Google does.

Why?

Because Google doesn’t just look at the content on a site… It looks at the content on one website and compares it to others within that space. So if you have higher quality content than all of your competitors, you are much more likely to outrank them in the long run.

Conclusion

There are a lot of reasons why sites that don’t seem well-optimized rank well. The five I listed above are the main reasons I’ve seen over the years.

So the next time you are trying to figure out why a certain site ranks well when it shouldn’t, chances are it’s because of one or more reasons on the list.

As a website owner, you shouldn’t focus too much on your competition; instead, you should focus on improving your website. In the long run, the company with the best product or service tends to win.

 

Are you making the most of your Facebook page?

Facebook is one of the most important social media platforms for small businesses. Your business page can be a valuable marketing tool—if you know how to make the most of it. Here are nine ways to use Facebook to engage your customers and drive traffic to your business:

aab design inc. marketing

Facebook for Business

 

It is not too late to make sure your website is mobile-friendly.

Google’s mobile ranking algorithm will be released at April 21 and is going to include mobile-friendly usability factors. It’s a change in the search and mobile search era because the impact of this algorithm will be higher than Google Panda, Google Penguin and Google Hummingbird.

Be sure your website is mobile-friendly; it is now more important than ever. mobile friendly

Why go “Mobile Friendly?”

  1. 60% of all traffic for Google is mobile. If you don’t have mobile friendly website, you risk falling in Google rankings.
  2. 50% of people use their smartphones and tablets to choose what to buy and where to buy products and services.
  3. 78% of consumers who search for a local business on their smartphone end up making a purchase.

Not enough? Think about the advertising revenue generated by mobile devices for your business.

Prepare Your Website for the “Mobile Friendly” Algorithm

  1. Google officially recommends responsive design for your website, more information is here. Be sure that your pages are available from the same URL to all devices.
  2. Test your website for mobile-friendliness using Google’s free tool. You want the green with “Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly” message.
  3. Track positions for mobile rankings. Now you can choose from multiple tools that you can use and track your positions and competitors mobile rankings.

If you don’t have the green bar from Google, you have to change your website soon. 

Avoid “Mobile Friendly” Mistakes

  1. Don’t block JavaScript, CSS and image files: the Googlebot needs easy access to your website files.
  2. 404 Mobile Error: Don’t redirect the desktop version of the page to 404 error if it not available for mobile.
  3. Media content: Keep media to be played on every device, which includes video and audio files that are not unplayable on smartphones, for example if they require Flash.
  4. Mobile page speed: Page load is an important user experience factor and you have to optimize the loading process. You can use the Google’s Page Speedtest tool.
  5. Avoid duplicate content: Don’t duplicate content on desktop and mobile versions. (That’s why Google recommends a responsive design solution.) Don’t use different URLs and redirects between the desktop and mobile versions.
  6. Don’t implement the mobile site on a different domain, subdomain, or subdirectory from the desktop site.

aabdesigninc.com has the responsive design solution for your website.

How to understand your Facebook audience beyond likes

Facebook AnalysisThere is more to measuring your audience on Facebook than keeping track of how Page Likes rise and fall. Your Page Likes may grow thanks to a limited-time offer or promotion, but that doesn’t mean all these Likes come from members of your target social audience: people likely to engage with your content, buy your product, and/or visit your site.

Without deeper insights, it’s impossible to steer audience growth, tailor content to your audience, or maximize engagement. Audience analysis is about understanding the following:

  • Who you’re connecting with
  • Which type of content resonates with them
  • How you can more effectively build a community around your brand

Here are five tactics that will get you focused on the right metrics and give meaning to your Facebook audience analysis.

1. Measure the Audience You Actually Reach

Those who see content associated with your Page are not limited to those who like your Page. For that reason, reach — which measures the unique number of people who saw content associated with your Page — can give you a better idea of your effective audience.

Reporting on reach over time helps you understand how the sharing of your content impacts your ability to attract and engage your audience. Without reach, you can’t accurately measure your potential to engage people or
convert them into customers.

You can segment reach by its two main types: organic and paid. This will help you understand whether your content got seen primarily via people engaging with your content or via a boost from your ad spend.

2. Analyze Your Engaged Audience

Growing your engaged audience each month is important. As your number of total Page Likes increases, you want to also grow the number of users who engage with your content. If you grow your audience with users who don’t engage, the value of that audience growth is negligible.

3. Create Context for Like Growth

Although your total number of Page Likes isn’t the only metric you should be paying attention to, Like growth still serves as a community health indicator. With the right context, it can help you identify tactics to organically increase your audience size too. Here’s how:

Look at Your Like Sources.

By analyzing your Like Sources, you can determine where within Facebook people were or what device they were using when they Liked your Page, as well as identify whether Likes were acquired via a paid source (paid Likes) or an organic source (organic Likes).

Compare with Other User Actions.

By looking at Likes, comments, shares, and clicks for a given time period within the same chart, you can easily see which other kinds of activities Likes aligned with.

Check Out Your Page and Tab Visits.

Look at the number of times each of your Page tabs was viewed during a given time period alongside your new Page Likes. This information from your Visits tab will tell you which part of your Page is a major attraction for people who newly Like you or people who are deciding whether they should Like you.

Consider Your External Referrers.

Finally, look at your Likes progress over time in context with the number of people visiting your Page from off-Facebook sites. With this analysis, you’ll be able to find out which off-Facebook activities drive the most Likes.

4. Identify Who Likes Your Page

To identify who likes your Page, establish an audience baseline using Facebook Insights demographic data.Then put this data to use. For example, knowing where your fans are located can help inform decisions about what kind of content you share and when you publish it.

Say a sizeable percentage of your Facebook fans are in San Francisco and the San Francisco Giants win the World Series. You could use that as a newsjacking opportunity to drive fan engagement. Or, consider Ford as an example. When this brand realized its Facebook Page had a strong following in Germany, it announced on Facebook that it would introduce the Ford Mustang into European markets.

5. Discover When Your Fans Are Most Active

When fans are online, you’ll be able to time content posting more wisely to increase Page Likes.
By comparing the timing of your Likes to when you’re fans are online, you’ll get a concrete idea of how posting times affect Page Likes in particular.

From increasing brand awareness to maintaining a competitive edge, the possibilities are endless with rich measurement and a keen eye to the buzz around your brand and others in your space on Facebook.

We’ve walked you through the basic analyses that you need to plan, execute, and measure fruitfully on Facebook.
How will these tactical analyses reveal, reinforce, or reinvent the way you strategize and think about your audience? Don’t settle for hoping that your campaigns are working. Understand the real data and know for sure. Let aabdesigninc.com help you maintain a competitive edge.

The Interactive Website Redesign and Migration Checklist

Time for a website redesign? Whether you’re migrating, changing your URL structure, or just switching to a different CMS, a website redesign is not a one-step process. For an SEO, especially, it requires the participation in every step of the process and of every member of the team.

But don’t pull out your hair just yet! We put together this list of site redesign/migration best practices to help alleviate one of the most stressful processes for an SEO. After all, it’s a lot easier to prevent site migration problems, than to fix site migration problems. Which, if you haven’t heard before, have the possibility of being pretty disastrous.

Remember though: every site migration/redesign is unique. Don’t just rely on this (fantastic) list; make sure to cover all your bases by informing yourself as much as possible. Check out these other resources: Intelligent Site Redesign & Migrations Webinarand Only You Can Prevent Site Migration Disaster.

Jump to a section:

I. PRE-MIGRATION

  • Find the best time for your site migration. Give yourself leeway for potential problems/delays. Discuss with your team.
  • Understand why fluctuations occur during post-migration and relay these to your project manager.
  • Understand the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle).
  • Analyze and review all requirements for SEO. Make sure SEO is involved from the beginning of the process.
  • Estimate the financial impact of your re-launch.
  • Review the current state of your site. Do a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats).
  • Run baseline report in your analytics platform.
  • Take inventory of what you’ve done. Identify your assets.
  • Export your top pages report (Monitor your top pages at least a month before your migration).
  • Which pages have naturally attracted links? Which pages have attracted social links or movement?
  • Export your revenue-producing landing pages.
  • Look at how those pages are internally linked.
  • Gather key metrics and trends:
  • Natural search traffic.
  • Search engine rankings on top terms (Tip: Use Searchlight).
  • Page load times.
  • Number of indexed pages in search engines.
  • Number of unique landing pages that are driving natural search.
  • Clean up the legacy content or assets you’ve built.
  • Corral your server errors (Tip: Use Webmaster tools).
  • Find broken links (403s, 404s). (Tip: Use Broken Link Checker)
  • Get all your links’ status codes. Find not just 404s/410s, but also, “Soft 404s.” (Tip:URI Valet (for multiple redirects))
  • Prevent 404s in your navigation.
  • 301 Redirect all URLs to similar content. Stay clear of blanket redirects as much as possible.
  • Have a XML sitemap strategy (Tip: Use GSiteCrawler, Intellimapper, Integrity, XML-Sitemaps.com).
  • Make sure your sitemaps are up to date
  • Submit sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools.
  • Submit sitemap to Bing Webmaster Tools.
  • Double-check any geo-targeting preferences.
  • If there is a domain/URL change:
  • Keep major changes to a minimum (if possible).
  • Check Internet archive, waybackmachine, to see if there was harmful content previously on your domain.
  • Verify both sites in the same Webmaster tools account.
  • Make sure old and new URLs can be fetched by Google bot.
  • Use the change of address option in GWMT site configuration.
  • Do not run two identical sites simultaneously. Use the cross-domain canonical.
  • Inform linking partners of your new URL structure.
  • Make solid design around SEO.
  • Make sure there are no crawling issues with your design.
  • Reduce duplicate content issues.
  • Test aggressively and make sure to back up your claims with real data!

 

II. LAUNCH

  • Be proud of yourself. You did it!

 

III. POST-MIGRATION

  • From your baseline report pre-launch, monitor what has changed.
  • Validate robots.txt file in your production environment.
  • Validate your page load times and compare it to your pre-migration baseline.
  • Reduce ranking fluctuations by updating the date stamp in your XML sitemap (for your old 301-redirected URLs).
  • Reclaim links. Attempt to get your old links updated.
  • Try to establish a 1:1 relationship for all your URLs. Check that the pages actually getting traffic are being redirected.
  • In your previously exported landing pages report in Searchlight, make sure you’re getting a similar background of backlinks.
  • Take a deep breath… the checklist is finished. (But don’t stop monitoring your analytics!)