Rel=Canonical Generator – How To Generate rel=canonicals using Excel

The rel=canonical is an HTML attribute that helps search engine spiders understand which is our preferred page and which exactly we want to be indexed on search engine results.

These are only some of most common cases where we would need the use of the rel=canonical:

Pagination content issues: This HTML attribute is particularly useful if you have an e-commerce site and your site maybe suffers from massive duplicate content issues.

Parameters: it is quite common to have an e-commerce site and see a lot of filters, parameters, instead of having faceted navigation which would be the best option. Thus, what happens if we don’t have facets but filters, parameters?? And worse, what happens if these parameters, filters are already indexed on SERPs? Well in this case again we would use the rel=canonical attribute which would indicate to search engine spiders our preferred pages. In this way search engine spiders will not have to consume their crawling budget for pages that should not be crawled and indexed in the first place.

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How To Generate An HTML Hreflang Using Excel – Hreflang Excel Generator Tool

Many people are wondering, especially when a multinational has many subdomains or folders or just multiple domains, how these domains or subdomains or folders appear in the right Google ccTLD.

That can be achieved in two ways: With the use of geo-targeting (using the Search Console) and with the use of hreflang, which admittedly the latter is not widely known.

The hreflang doesn’t have any impact on rankings but it helps you serve the right content to the right audience.

For example how zara.com has many folders according to the country that is targeting. Therefore see how Zara works:

1____screenshot

For more details about the importance of hreflang and geo-targeting you can read my article for hreflang and geo-targeting.

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How to make 301 redirections using excel – 301 redirections excel creator for SEO

All SEOs who are non-coders have been through this stage where they recommend to their clients to 301 (permanently) redirect their old URLs to the new ones.

Most likely these URLs are dysfunctional, they are not search engine-friendly or user-friendly. Let’s not forget that by doing a proper 301 redirect, almost 90% to 99% of the link equity is passed to the new URL.

Additionally, -I guess- less SEOs have been into the situation where the client asks from them to provide the list of the old and the new URLs so that they provide this list to their developers. Obviously the developers will generate the code.

Now, even less SEOs had to face a situation where the client asks them to provide the code, so that the developers to simply implement the code. Now, this is where things can get a bit tricky. However, this is where EXCEL can come to the rescue.

Without any further ado the code that I am providing in this case concerns website that use Apache server. For our case study, what we need to do is to make a 301 from a single page URL to another:

Redirect 301 /old-page.php http://www.abc.com/new-page/
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Google Analytics For Social Media Professionals

Many businesses on various verticals have realised that the importance of their online presence is now more important than ever. Thus, they have outsourced (well, in most cases) these kind of services to SEO professionals, Analytics professionals or social media professionals.

Our main focus of interest goes to the social media professionals. I used to be a social media professional and I suppose that now most social media professionals were relied on (and maybe they still are) on the data that they get via Facebook Insights. It’s not bad getting data about the Likes and Shares through Facebook Insights.

But what if there was a social analytics tool that could offer some of these things for social media professionals – that would be pretty neat, right? – that would allow you to do a few things:

  • Creation of measurable goals for your social media channels, so that you measure your conversions?
  • Find out how many people have engaged with your content (through g+ or through social bookmarking services) or found it interesting enough to save it for later (e.g through Pocket)?
  • See which sites (and the originating pages) have made a comment or linked to your site and develop relationships with them if they are influencers or just get the sentiment (positive, negative, and neutral)?
  • Track social interactions?

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The Importance of Goals for SEO

Which Goals we need to set?

One of the first things that we need to know from our clients, is their goals. What would be defined as success for their business? The thing that will define the success in their business should be our goal, which later on should be quantified through our conversions.

What can be defined as a goal?

Anything that matters to a business:

  • subscriptions
  • bookings/reservations
  • sales/check outs
  • page visits
  • duration of visits
  • downloads.

These are just some of the goals that the clients set for their business. So how do we take their goals and we make them goals within the Google Analytics context?

Before we go on this section we will need to talk about the association of Goals and SEO…

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Structured Data for Videos: The Case Study of Dailymotion, Vimeo and Vevo

In this article we are going to show:

  • Case studies (Warner Bros and Vevo), where structured data for videos are not properly used.
  • Case studies of best practices (DailyMotion) where structured data for videos appear on SERPs
  • Case studies of optimal practices (Vimeo) where structured data ( for Open Graph and Twitter Cards) appear successfully in the form of social rich snippets on Twitter and Facebook

Why is it important to have schema.org mark-up for videos? 

A video defines a company; especially if this company is related to the entertainment industry or (music, film industry etc.)  or the news industry (e.g. broadcast station or even a documentary channel etc.).

Thus, as important it is for a retailer to have an image in the search engine results (or a thumbnail in the social web), it is (or better, it should) be equally important for a company that produces videos to produce also video rich snippets, that will boost its CTR. Especially the right selection of the right thumbnail can make a significant difference is the potential increase of your traffic.

Enough with the talking and it’s better to cut into the chase.

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Google Analytics Solutions Gallery – How To Create Your Own Custom Report

How would you like for your reporting to use customised advanced segments, or custom reports or dashboards?

Rather than trying to find a needle (information that can be a metric or a dimension) in a haystack (where haystack is the abundance of data you are receiving on Google Analytics), why not bring the needle in you?

How would you like to share these custom reports or dashboards with the people that share the same problems with you when it comes to reporting? Wouldn’t you like your custom report or dashboard, or advanced segment to be one of the most highly shareable item within the Google Analytics community (probably vanity is talking)?

How would you like to create on-the-fly a customised solution for your reporting either for your site or for your client?

If I had to speak personally, there were enough cases where clients (e.g. marketing directors, campaign managers etc.) wanted to display customised reports to their superiors. These kind of custom reports were related to specific data that they wanted to report to their superiors but they didn’t know to do that (that’s where I come in this picture). My role in this case between client (who can be a marketing manager or a campaign manager who reports to the CEO) and my agency is to find a solution by creating a reports for specific data –e.g. conversions per hours of day or unique visitors from a specific external site etc. –

All these customised solutions can be offered via the Google Analytics Solutions Gallery.

These custom reports or dashboards can be either created by you or you can just the Google Analytics Solutions Gallery, based on the level of familiarity you have.

The Google Analytics Solutions Gallery or GASG is here to help you.

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The Use of Structured Data from Large Fashion Retailers – Case Study of River Island, Next and Cloggs

I like structured data, not because I have published 5+ articles (and more to follow), but because they are more than keywords. They are all about data that can be interpreted by search engine spiders and since they can be interpreted by search engine spiders they will be able to deliver more relevant results to users and above all these results appear in the form of rich snippets.

When we are looking for products from large fashion retailers the v majority of the snippets that we see on search engine results are plain, right? They look something like that:

Example - Plain snippet onSERPs

*If we are lucky, we may see a snippet related to breadcrumb navigation J

However, how much better would it be, if we saw rich snippets in the search engine results, where more information would appear? According to other fellow SEO professionals, there has been a 30% increase in CTR (sorry, I don’t have the results of this research, but if I do, rest assured that I will upload it), by including structured data in the source code of each page.

So, by including microdata mark-up (or JSON-LD, or microformats or RDFa) we will be able to see these rich snippets below.

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Hreflang and Geo-Targeting – the Netflix Case Study

Someone  would ask, what is hreflang or what is geo-targeting and why should we care?
First of all, in brief, what is hreflang? It’s  a tag that helps us tell to Google – in case we have a multi-lingual/multi-regional site- which language version and in which country our site should appear on Google. In other words the right language version of our site should appear in the right ccTLD of Google.

What is geo-targeting? Since we have multi-lingual/multi-regional sites, then we want to deliver the right language version of the content of our site to the right audience, according to its geographic location.
Google Webmaster Tools, through geo-targeting, helps us deliver the localised version of our website’s content in the right audience.

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Structured Data and Social Rich Snippets for Large Websites

What are the opportunities from the use of social rich snippets?

By using structured data (for our social media channels) in the source code we manage to:

  • Improve our CTR – think of the rich snippets on our social stream as social rich snippets that would appear in the same way that they would appear in the SERPs but only this time they appear on our social stream.
    • Based on the fact that rich snippets on the SERPs generate more CTR and thus more traffic, we should not neglect this dynamics that is offered by social media.
    • Therefore, all we need is to create Open Graph tags for our social media channels and add them in our source code. And we should not forget that by generating increased CTR level we can get more traffic.
  • It can be perceived as a signal of credibility and branding.
  • In terms of SEO -like it has been mentioned by Google in the past-, the use of rich snippets from structured data, doesn’t have any impact on rankings yet… so this means no one knows if in the future will matter but let’s be proactive.

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