CategoriesDigital Marketing

Search Marketing Trends 2018

Thoughts on the latest organic and paid search innovations for marketing managers to review and act

Success in SEO has always gone to those businesses and their agencies who have the best data-driven processes and people to give attention to the detail needed to compete.

Search engines, and especially recently Google, have gradually improved their insight data sources and tools to help businesses identify new opportunities and fix problems.

Review how your business can improve your data visualization and alerts to identify search threats/problems/opportunities by harnessing data APIs (Application Programme Interface).

Smaller businesses can work with insight sources like Google’s Keyword Planner, Campaign Planner, Analytics and Search Console (GSC) to help identify improvements. These services have improved and I hope to see larger data volumes and longer time intervals than the current 90 days in GSC.

Although some have proclaimed (and Google has advised) that keyword analysis is futile, given Google’s advances in personalization and semantic analysis, SEO still demands you know which keywords you are targeting…


Use a keyword ‘gap analysis’ to define opportunity.

You can make the case and review the opportunity to attract more visits by reviewing a defined set of keywords and qualifiers against actual visits to a site.

Ask your team, consultant or agency for their approach to gap analysis or use spread- sheet-based tools like the Smart Insights Gap Analysis to explore your opportunities Gap between page content and user queries is a common problem at site-wide level.


Treat your content assets as a portfolio as shown below. Work to improve problematic content and update and surface performing content more prominently in the customer journey. This article3 gives an example of how HubSpot has used ‘Historical optimization’ to more than double the number of monthly leads generated by the old posts they have optimized, they also increased monthly organic search views of old posts, optimized by an average of 106%.

As part of your SEO and AdWords programmes, I recommend prioritising improvements by thinking of your content as a portfolio of pages of different types, which contribute different amounts of value to the business based on their popularity and conversion rates. Content optimization is about making your content work better for you, by reviewing content effectiveness using the type of analysis below and then making improvements for SEO and conversion purposes.

An improvement we have seen in rolling out in 2017 are data visualisation tools such as Google’s Data Studio1, Microsoft’s Power BI and Tableau. These tools enable superior, more professional reports that show the channel and goals deltas (e.g. month-on-month, year-on-year changes) needed to manage performance much more clearly than was practical in Google Analytics.

Another benefit of these tools is that you can use different API data sources to pull in and combine different data. I’ve been suing Data Studio for some of my monthly and weekly trading reports alongside. However, for more detailed analysis, I offer Google Sheets reports at a URL level which access the Google Analytics APIs.

CategoriesDigital Marketing

The Real Time Google Penguin Algorithm is rolling out

Google just confirmed the Rollout of the Real Time Penguin today on the Official Google Webmasters Central Blog.

This is it: Google Penguin 4.0. Now everything will happen in real time.
Google Penguin is officially part of Google’s Core Algorithm.

Important points about the Real Time Penguin

1. The Google Penguin positive or negative signal is now recalculated with every new crawl. Tools like Link Detox Boost is, therefore, the perfect tool also to “test & try” links effects and not only make the disavow work.

2. Google pointed out that Google Penguin will be more granular. That means that it now not only affects the whole site (or not). It has its impact on all levels like domain, folders, pages and probably also keywords and keyword groups. Anything that goes into the organic rankings will now be affected by the Penguin algorithm on a fine level. This will be harder to diagnose “small Penguin penalties” in many cases.

3. An aggressively SEOed part of a website trips the Penguin filter, while other parts are ranking fine.This comes with Google Penguin being granular from now on.

Read more about Real Time Google Penguin roll out here.

CategoriesDigital Marketing

Own a small business in Canada? Make sure your business is listed in these local business directories

Experienced Local SEO’s no doubt already understand the tremendous importance of citations for ranking well in Local Search.  Below are my recommendations for where to acquire citations for Canadian businesses after a qualitative (though fairly extensive) review of results across a number of industries, provinces, and city sizes.  Additional valuable guides have been published by Jim Rudnick and Dev Basu.