In the hard slog towards building a true Semantic Web, “rich data” is one of the stops. Marking video, audio, article content, products and many other types of data allows it to be categorized much more easily, and in a much more precise, specific and versatile way than old HTML meta tags.
We have recently created a new furniture liquidators page on the website of our client Universal Hotel Liquidators; we have marked an embedded video on the page with extensive rich data.
In order to validate rich data snippets, you can use the convenient Google structured data validation tool, which allows you to input any URL and see if the meta data is entered correctly. In this post, you can see an example of meta data testing on the new page we added for our client.
While most, if not all, of the fields can be omitted – for example, you can enter the video thumbnail URL but not the video’s duration – the more information you enter, the more capabilities your site will have for organizing and managing your data, and the more likely your data will be to get properly parsed and categorized by search engines. This is why using structured data properly is important for online businesses, if they want to increase the chance of their products showing up in online shopping directories such as Google Shopping.
This is only a small sample of what structured data can do for you and your site; mastering this powerful tool will only become more important as more activity happens online.
We’ve worked on hundreds of websites over the years, and every week we hear from someone we served in the past. This week we received a call requesting information on SEO services for a new domain a client had setup on Godaddy website builder. They were going to first try Godaddy’s SEO service and get back to us after giving that a chance. I thought it was worth providing some insight into what you’re really buying with a service that’s about $3 per month.
The Godaddy seo tool really only offers 3 things
Submission – This is a service that is a free tool from the major search engines, and there is no reason to pay a monthly fee for it, hence the low price.
PayPerClick – If you aren’t familiar with this, we’d be glad to discuss, but for their pricing they cannot have any significant budget at play for you
Analysis – They will give you a report telling you what you need to do, but you will still have to do it. You can generate a similar report with a free tool online.
I would also note that the website builder tool produces a fairly poorly coded website, something that negatively impact search rankings.
While there is nothing wrong with trying out an affordable tool, website owners should not assume that this will serve as a solution for building a website that can earn and maintain top organic rankings in Google. You will need to invest time into expanding the content on your site to lay the groundwork to compete effectively for valuable keywords.
In our last post, Factual: A Key Player in Local Search, we talked about the data aggregator Factual and its impact on local search marketing. In this post, we will discuss Acxiom, a more established and prominent data aggregator.
About The Company
Acxiom is a publicly-traded company that was founded in 1969. The company is headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas. According to Wikipedia, “Acxiom offers marketing and information management services…Acxiom collects, analyzes, and parses customer and business information for clients, helping them to target advertising campaigns, score leads, and more”. According to Forrester Research, Acxiom is one of the leading database marketing services and technology companies in the world.
As A Data Aggregator
Acxiom has a major influence on the local search ecosystem. According to Moz Local, Acxiom is the primary or secondary feed to several important directories, especially Superpages, YP.com, and Google My Business (formerly Google+ Local):
Courtesy of Moz Local
Acxiom says their information goes to the following places:
Directly to over 80 companies in the Internet Yellow Page and Local Search marketplace
Directly to the largest search engines
250+ distribution partners through online private labeled solutions
Directly to the top directory print publishers
Because of Acxiom’s powerful influence on the local search ecosystem, it is important that you take control of your listing in their database. We’ve seen instances where a company’s Google listing has their current address while Acxiom has their older address. This seemingly minor inconsistency led to the Google listing being suspended.
Claiming Your Listing
The good news is that, unlike Factual, it’s relatively easy to claim and modify an Acxiom listing. The first step is to create an account in Acxiom’s My Business Listing Manager. Once logged in, you need to search for your business to see if it’s already there. If not, you must create a listing. Listing verification can be done via telephone or through submitting official documents that contain the business’s name and address.
For the most part, creating and claiming an Acxiom listing is pretty straightforward, but complications can arise. At 3PRIME LLC, Acxiom is an essential part of our Local SEO package. We believe having Acxiom under control, a lot of common problems in local search marketing can be avoided.
To receive a proposal for our annual program to optimize local search rankings and use online business listings for effective marketing, contact us today!
The second source is users who submit information (such as photos) about business.
The third source is other local search directories.
The fourth (and often most overlooked source) is from data aggregators.
What Is a Data Aggregator?
Data aggregators are vast databases that local search directories regularly verify their listing information against. Some of the more well-known data aggregators include Infogroup, Axciom, and Localeze. Local search directories often get their information using a combination of the sources listed above. However there are some directories that get all the information from a single data aggregator and no other source. All of this results in a very complicated local search ecosystem.
Courtesy of Moz Local
Overall, data aggregators are the most trusted source for business information and essentially serve as the backbone of local search.
Who Is Factual?
Factual is one of the newest (but least known) data aggregators. It was established in 2007 and is headquartered in Los Angeles, with offices in San Francisco and Shanghai. According to their website, Factual has data for “over 65 million local businesses and points of interest in 50 countries”. Factual strives to clean up and standardize data, while preventing duplicate and erroneous listings. Even though Factual doesn’t have the same name recognition as the other 3 data aggregators, its influence is not to be underestimated. As you can see below, Factual is the primary feed to Apple Maps and Yelp, and a secondary feed to Bing and Trip Advisor. Factual also has some influence over Google My Business (formerly Google + Local).
Courtesy of Moz Local
The above map on Factual was created in 2013 so it is safe to assume that Factual’s influence on local search has grown since then.
Fixing Your Business Information on Factual
Unlike the other data aggregators (Infogroup, Axciom, and Localeze), Factual doesn’t allow users to update business information directly on their website. Instead, you must go through a “Trusted Data Contributor (TDC)”. Some well known TDCs include GoDaddy, Moz, and Yext. In order to fix your business information, you must sign up for a paid membership for one of these TDCs. Costs vary depending on the package you purchase.
Conversion tracking can be very valuable, but requires planning to execute properly. To properly set it up, you need to define specifically what constitutes a “conversion” meaning what action would a website visitor have to have taken that would indicate that they took a concrete step in the buying process.
Considering a general “brochure” or non-ecommerce website, here are examples of a customer that converts:
Submits a Contact or Quote Request form
Submits an Appointment or Reservation Form
Visits a Specific page
Signs up for Newsletter
What is key is that for each of these “actions” there must be a unique URL, a Thank You page, for each, where we can place “conversion code”, or at least define that URL as only being visited upon a successful conversion. This means that if that code is loaded, that specific conversion just happened, and can be tracked.
There are 2 ways that this can be setup:
Goal Conversion in Google Analytics
Once we define the steps that would have to happen for the conversion to have taken place, we define each URL that would apply as a “funnel” in Google analytics. As long as the regular analytics code is on all pages of the website, you don’t need extra coding, you just need to be sure that you have unique URLs for each step in the process.
To set this up, we’d install google conversion code from adwords on each of the “thank you” pages for each action. Then in adwords, we can see which keywords are converting.
The first step is to clear any roadblocks, like making thank you pages, and define specific URLs that constitute a conversion funnel, or path a visitor takes through a website on the way to being a successful conversion.
Am interested in learning SEO completely am an B-tech Graduate, what should be my key skills?
– Arun P. 24 / M / Chennai, India
Learning SEO Completely is a tall order. You’re going to need to learn from experience. Start by picking a goal, a keyword you want to earn a first page ranking in Google. Make it a phrase with 5-6 words so it won’t take 6 months for results. Then, build the best page/result you can make for it. You’ll need useful content and inbounds links to your page to earn a Google ranking.
On a philosophical note, SEO may not be learned completely since what works changes regularly. That said, our long held general approach to SEO has remained the same since 2004
The best answer for the implied question in a given keyword phrase will be preferred by search engines. The best answer is well written, well-optimized and has lots of references to it from other informative website resources.
John D. Rockefeller, the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, late on Tuesday sent letters to Google, Microsoft and Yahoo alerting them to how their search engines are being gamed through search engine optimization Continue »
I ran into this issue for someone this week when cleearing out issues from Google webmaster tools. specifically I was trying to remove the problem of duplicate descriptions for web pages from their blog posts. here’s what All-in-One-SEO has for the meta description setting:
Here’s what I wanted it to do:
But what it did was put add this text to the beginning of my meta description tag!
I tried several other combinations, no luck. so I contacted the plugin developer and said:
Referring to this thread:
I have a client using this plugin, the free version, and I cannot get the meta description in posts to display the %post_title%. I was wondering if this bug was fixed in the pro version.
In their second response I gleened the following solution! Put this as your description:
And Viola! My post title, pulled in using the variable “%wp_title%” is included in my meta description. Thanks Semper Fi Web Design, great plugin and valueble support responses!
Earlier this year, Capcatcher’s owners met with 3PRIME to discuss utilizing our search engine optimization services. Capcatchers produces an ingenious product which is called, you guessed it, Capcatchers. Capcatchers are personalized, wall mountable bottle openers, which catch all of the caps sheared from bottles. They make very unique groomsmen gifts and 3PRIME co-owners Ryan and Cornel have been using them long before they were contacted by the company.
Needless to say, we’re really excited about the project and it is always a great opportunity to work with another Connecticut based small business.