The Distinct SEO Web Marketing Blog

Discuss the latest topics on web marketing, SEO, branding, and organizational development.
Chrome Lighthouse Extension for SEO Audits

Chrome Lighthouse Extension for SEO Audits

At Distinct SEO, we offer SEO audits and training for small businesses. However, if you have some basic web skills, there are a lot of good tools to help you perform SEO audits on your website. 5 years ago you needed someone with SEO expertise to run through your website with a fine tooth comb and make recommendations. Although more complex websites will benefit from having an expert audit, technology has progressed far enough that you’ll capture most glaring efforts on your own.

One such tool is the recently released Lighthouse extension for the Chrome browser. It’s made by Google and was built with the purpose to,

….be an automated auditing tool for improving the quality of web pages. It provides a well-lit path for improving the quality of sites by allowing developers to run audits for performance, accessibility, progressive web apps compatibility and more. Basically, it “keeps you from crashing into the rocks”, hence the name Lighthouse.

The SEO audit category within Lighthouse enables developers and webmasters to run a basic SEO health-check for any web page that identifies potential areas for improvement. Lighthouse runs locally in your Chrome browser, enabling you to run the SEO audits on pages in a staging environment as well as on live pages, public pages and pages that require authentication.

https is here to stay – SSL encouraged for all websites

https is here to stay – SSL encouraged for all websites

Google recently announced that their browser Chrome, will start popping up messages to browsers who encounter unsecured websites starting in July. That means any non-secure website (http://), their visitors using the Chrome browser will get a pop up saying the website is not secure. This is surely have a negative impact on visitors unless a fix is made.

What needs to be done? If you are not running https (SSL) on your website then you need to install one. Sometimes web hosts will have a free option. Most of the time you’ll have to install one for your website. There are a few options depending on what kind of website you have, but the simplest version will run you about $10.

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Google WMT Updates Guidelines and Adds Rich Results Testing Tool

Google WMT Updates Guidelines and Adds Rich Results Testing Tool

Google Webmaster Central is constantly updating and unveiling new tools for web owners. Depending on your level of expertise the features provide significant insight about your website.

For updated guidelines provide the latest best practices for web site optimization. In particular, focus on the aspects of mobile responsiveness which is quickly becoming crucial to any web presence. How far you go with these guidelines depends on your capacity and time to implement changes. This is why you may want to hire an SEO to help. The guideline offers some tips to help find a reputable consultant.

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Mobile Devices Now More Popular Than Desktops

Check out this graph from StatCounter.

Source: StatCounter Global Stats – Platform Comparison Market Share

Mobile devices coupled with tablets now outstrip the use of desktop as the primary device for users. Google unofficially confirmed the results when an engineer nonchalantly commented on the topic at a recent event.

That data reflects the US. Canada is slightly different (I assume it’s related to the astronomically high data prices Canadians are gouged with.)

Source: StatCounter Global Stats – Platform Comparison Market Share

What’s the main takeaway from the charts? Simply, how well does your website respond/perform to mobile devices. Is it well designed? Do the action items display properly, are you getting the right conversions? If not, you’re missing the bulk of visitors now.

You can test your website using Google’s mobile friendly test online.

Here’s Why You Should Use Brand Name over Keywords in Your Titles?

There are only a handful of true competitive advantages, and fewer still when you move online. Brand, however, is one that you must develop and leverage if you’re going to differentiate yourself from the crowd.

One the applications to ensure you leverage your brand as best you can online is with proper website design and structure. I want to look at the structure of one of the most important elements to help your brand get noticed online in the search results–the title element.

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Google Hunting for Spam Guest Posting

Google Hunting for Spam Guest Posting

Google has made an official comment, a warning, for the use of guest posting for the sake of SEO. There are numerous websites that rely on guest posting for content, and in return offer a link back. Here’s the grey area, how does Google determine what is quality content and what’s been created to manipulate search? Their post of best practices suggests they can tell the difference, which wouldn’t surprise me.

How does this impact the average user? If you’ve remained focussed on creating valuable content for your readers/target market, then you’re fine. If the value you offer from your website is for content writers and the link they could get, then you’re on the radar for a possible ‘penalty’.

More from Google:

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50% Off Coupon for BOTW – Promo Code BOTW Discount

**Updated** BOTW Coupon – BOTW Discount

The latest working BOTW (Best of the Web) discount code will work in April 18th 2018, is: 24Years .

Use the promo code by following this link and when prompted enter the BOTW coupon promo code: 24Years

You MUST follow the link below to take advantage of the deal. This BOTW discount offers a 50% discount on all products including the BOTW Directory (botw.org), BOTW Blog Directory (blogs.botw.org) and BOTW UK Directory (botw.org.uk).

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Adult Colouring Book by Calgary Artists

Adult Colouring Book by Calgary Artists

Our publication wing, RoBarry Publications, recently published an adult colouring book made and created in Calgary.

We thought we’d give them some love with a shout out for the book:

Soul Coats: Restoration – Adult Colouring Book

You can pick it up at a few retail stores in Calgary, or online at Amazon. The book is on par with the top books on the market in terms of premium construction and beautiful art. It features 7 different illustrators, all from Calgary’s own ACAD!

Have a great holiday!

Google Index Mobile First – Time to Update Desktop Only Websites

Google has announced continued focus on providing search results to the primary used devices–which are mobile devices.

To make our results more useful, we’ve begun experiments to make our index mobile-first. Although our search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results. Of course, while our index will be built from mobile documents, we’re going to continue to build a great search experience for all users, whether they come from mobile or desktop devices. – https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2016/11/mobile-first-indexing.html

What does this mean? If your website is not mobile compliant you’re in trouble. Static websites built in HTML for desktops will slowly become less prominent in search results (in many ways they already have).

Setting up a new website, however, doesn’t have to be difficult. Many of the websites that still remain non-mobile compliant tend to be simple websites with only basic company information within. Having someone install a CMS of say, WordPress, and using an existing theme that suits your preference, is a quick and easy way to keep your information, have an updated website, and become mobile compliant. Depending on how many content you have, this change could be done within an hour.

So don’t wait any longer!

Google Penguin Algo Goes Real Time

Google Penguin Algo Goes Real Time

Over 700 days later, the codenamed ‘Penguin’ algorithm update is now live in real-time influencing the SERPs on a now ongoing basis.

Historically, the Penguin filter caught spammy website (usually due to poor manipulative incoming web links). Those sites would remain penalized even until the next Penguin update, months, to sometimes years. Now we’ll see ongoing updates that impact daily rankings, but may enable sites caught with their proverbial pants down, a chance to clean up their act and reclaim rankings faster.

The official announcement from Google:

https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2016/09/penguin-is-now-part-of-our-core.html

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