Top 15 Most Popular Blogs | January 2015

huffingtonpost1 | Huffington Post
38 – eBizMBA Rank | 110,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors | 21 – Compete Rank | 13 – Quantcast Rank | 79 – Alexa Rank | January 1, 2015.
The Most Popular Blogs | eBizMBA

tmz2 | TMZ
187 – eBizMBA Rank | 30,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors | 166 – Compete Rank | 55 – Quantcast Rank | 340 – Alexa Rank | January 1, 2015.
The Most Popular Blogs | eBizMBA

businessinsider3 | Business Insider
414 – eBizMBA Rank | 25,500,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors | 314 – Compete Rank | 710 – Quantcast Rank | 218 – Alexa Rank | January 1, 2015.
The Most Popular Blogs | eBizMBA

mashable4 | Mashable
418 – eBizMBA Rank | 24,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors | 682 – Compete Rank | 349 – Quantcast Rank | 222 – Alexa Rank | January 1, 2015.
The Most Popular Blogs | eBizMBA

gizmodo5 | Gizmodo
434 – eBizMBA Rank | 23,500,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors | 769 – Compete Rank | 111 – Quantcast Rank | 421 – Alexa Rank | January 1, 2015.
The Most Popular Blogs | eBizMBA

lifehacker6 | LifeHacker
448 – eBizMBA Rank | 23,250,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors | 807 – Compete Rank | 133 – Quantcast Rank | 403 – Alexa Rank | January 1, 2015.
The Most Popular Blogs | eBizMBA

gawker7 | Gawker
510 – eBizMBA Rank | 22,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors | 783 – Compete Rank | 99 – Quantcast Rank | 648 – Alexa Rank | January 1, 2015.
The Most Popular Blogs | eBizMBA

thedailybeast8 | The Daily Beast
674 – eBizMBA Rank | 15,500,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors | 706 – Compete Rank | 275 – Quantcast Rank | 1,041 – Alexa Rank | January 1, 2015.
The Most Popular Blogs | eBizMBA

techcrunch9 | Tech Crunch
684 – eBizMBA Rank | 15,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors | 1,229 – Compete Rank |*435* – Quantcast Rank | 387 – Alexa Rank | January 1, 2015.
The Most Popular Blogs | eBizMBA

perezhilton10 | Perez Hilton
795 – eBizMBA Rank | 14,500,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors | 941 – Compete Rank | 251 – Quantcast Rank | 1,194 – Alexa Rank | January 1, 2015.
The Most Popular Blogs | eBizMBA

engadget11 | Engadget
1,026 – eBizMBA Rank | 14,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors | 1,430 – Compete Rank |*1,193* – Quantcast Rank | 454 – Alexa Rank | January 1, 2015.
The Most Popular Blogs | eBizMBA

cheezburger12 | Cheezburger
1,071 – eBizMBA Rank | 13,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors | 1,856 – Compete Rank |339 – Quantcast Rank | 1,017 – Alexa Rank | January 1, 2015.
The Most Popular Blogs | eBizMBA

jezebel13 | Jezebel
1,109 – eBizMBA Rank | 12,500,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors | 1,374 – Compete Rank |174 – Quantcast Rank | 1,780 – Alexa Rank | January 1, 2015.
The Most Popular Blogs | eBizMBA

deadspin14 | Deadspin
1,110 – eBizMBA Rank | 12,250,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors | 1,623 – Compete Rank |90 – Quantcast Rank | 1,617 – Alexa Rank | January 1, 2015.
The Most Popular Blogs | eBizMBA

kotaku15 | Kotaku
1,428 – eBizMBA Rank | 10,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors | 2,600 – Compete Rank |308 – Quantcast Rank | 1,377 – Alexa Rank | January 1, 2015.
The Most Popular Blogs | eBizMBA



Wilderness Downtown1 | The Wilderness Downtown
The Wilderness Downtown is an interactive music video for Arcade Fire’s song ”We Used to Wait”. Visitors are asked to input the address of the home they grew up in and then the site uses Google Earth and HTML5 to create a personalized music video that takes the user on a journey back home.


Heart of The Artic2 | Heart of The Artic
Heart of The Arctic takes users on an Arctic expedition/scavenger hunt through four distinct environments designed to show users the steps that would be needed to restore climate balance to the arctic region. This site perfectly showcases how Html5 can be used to create fun and educational websites.


Rome3 | Three Dreams of Black
3 Dreams of Black uses HTML5 to promote Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi’s album Rome. The site creates a 3D interactive world using WebGL where all the objects in the video react to both the music and user inputs. The site will make you feel as if you’ve EXPERIENCED the song and not simply listened to it.


Enjoy Your Privacy4 | Enjoy Your Privacy
The website was created to warn consumers about the dangers of not using password protection on their mobile devices. This is done by using Html5 to produce a second-screen experience that will truly scare those that hitherto have avoided password protecting their mobile devices. So protect yourself.


Google Music Tour5 | Google Play Music Tour
Google here uses Html5 to showcase the many features of its Google Play streaming music service. This is one of the prime examples of how the integration of video, sound, and interactive graphics can be brought together with Html5 to create an exciting and fun product promo that can drive consumer usage.


Soul Reaper6 | Soul Reaper
A scroll activated digital comic book developed by Saizen Media uses HTML5 to breathe some new live into the presentation of graphic stories. The added motion and pacing makes the static images and story seem to come alive in a way that seems to be a bridge between old comics and video.


The Expressive Web7 | The Expressive Web
Adobe created the Expressive Web website to highlight the functionality and creative potential offered through the use of HTML5 and CSS3. Through various examples and code snippets this is truly the best ”advanced” HTML5 user guide we’ve seen. This site should be bookmarked by all HTML5 developers.


Art of The Stars8 | Art of Stars
Art of the Stars uses your IP address to draw a picture of the Star constellation directly above you. What is most interesting about this project is that it uses HTML5 to develop an application on the web in a similar manner to those currently built in mobile applications for the Droid and iPhone.


This Shell9 | This Shell
This Shell website is an HTML5 experiment created by Legwork Studios that promotes Gamit’s new album ”Parts” in a rather fun and rewarding manner. The website presents fans with a video puzzle that if solved, before the music ends, allows them access to a free mp3 download of the song.


Lost Worlds Fairs10 | Lost Worlds Fair
The Lost World’s Fair site was developed to showcase the HTML5 capabilities inherent in IE9 by creating interactive posters that take users on a journey to three fabled locales. By using your mouse to scroll down each poster visitors are allowed to uncover further mysteries hidden in each location.


8 Great On-Page SEO Techniques

There are many people who are just starting to blog and many more that have run their own site for a while, that don’t know what SEO is and how to implement it!

SEO simply stands for Search Engine Optimisation. This is where you construct your web pages and implement certain techniques to help you rank as high as possible on search engine result pages (SERPs). The higher your pages can rank on Google/Bing/Yahoo/etc. results pages, the more traffic your site is likely to get.

Now, SEO can be split up into two separate categories; On-Page SEO & Off-Page SEO.

On-Page SEO refers to all the things that you can do ON your website to help you rank higher, such as page titles, internal linking, meta tags & descriptions, etc.

Off-Page SEO refers to all the things that you can do directly OFF your website to help you rank higher, such as social networking, article submission, forum & blog marketing, etc.

In today’s post we will be looking specifically at On-Page SEO and some of the most effective ways toincrease your page rankings on search engines.

Search Engine Optimisation

On-Page Search Engine Optimisation

1. Page Titles

Your page titles are one of the most important SEO factors on your site. Each of your pages & posts should have its own unique title, which includes the main keywords for that page.

For example, you could write a blog post about a new chocolate cake recipe that you have tried. It is therefore vitally important that you include ‘Chocolate Cake Recipe’ within your post title, perhaps “Easy Chocolate Cake Recipe” or “ Chocolate Cake Recipe for kids”, etc.

This way, whenever someone searches for Chocolate Cake Recipes in a search engine, your post has a better chance of showing up because you have included those keywords.

2. Meta Descriptions

Many people forget to include meta descriptions for their pages. These descriptions are an important place to include relevant keywords for your content, as these are used within the search results when your page is listed.

For instance, if we continue to use the ‘Chocolate Cake Recipe’ example, then a good meta description for that page would include those keywords and related ones. So, “This easy chocolate cake recipe is possibly the most delicious, mouth watering, chocolatey cake ever made.” would be a great meta description to use, as it is relatively short, whilst containing a number of specific keywords.

3. Meta Tags

For each of your pages, you can include a set of keywords in the form of meta tags. These should be all the relevant keywords of your content, which you will have researched previously.

I use a WordPress plug-in on my sites called ‘All In One SEO Pack’. This allows me to enter all of mymeta tag keywords, meta description and page title at the bottom of each of my posts before publishing. This simply inserts all of the information into your page HTML format for you, making your life a little easier.

Page Title, Meta Description and Meta Tags

4. URL Structure

Including search engine friendly URLs for each of your pages is highly recommended, as these bring better crawling. Shorter URLs seem to perform better in search engine results, however that is not the only factor.

URLs that include targeted keywords, also perform better. The location of these keywords can also be a major influence. For example would perform better than etc.

As you can see for this page, the URL is I have included the keywords that are relevant for this post.

5. Body Tags (H1, H2, H3, H4, etc.)

When writing your articles, you should break up your content into smaller sections & paragraphs to make it easier for people to read. These sections can be given heading, which is where H1, H2,H3, H4, etc. tags are used.

Generally H1 tags are reserved for your main page title, with subsequent headings (just like the ones I have used throughout this post) being issued H2, H3, etc. Search engines use these to determine what is important within your content. This is why keyword rich headines are more useful than generic ones. Make sure you write keyword rich headings in the order of priority in H1, H2 and H3 title tags. They are used by many crawlers to differentiate important content.

6. Keyword Density

Including relevant keywords throughout your content is very important, as it helps search engines work out what your content is about. However, try not to excessively repeat and overuse keywords just for search engine robots. This can lead to your site being banned from search engines.

To avoid this, try to keep your keyword density to roughly 2-5%. If you find this hard, get out a thesaurus and broaden your writing vocabulary. This way, you are still writing about the same thing, without risk of being banned.

7. Image SEO

On-Page SEO

Using images within your content is a great way to make your site more visually appealing and break up boring chunks of text. You can utilise these images to help improve your site SEO.

All your uploaded images have titles, so treat them just the same as your page titles. Including relevant keywords can help people find your site when searching on Google Images.

You can also include Alt Text and Descriptions for your images, making them even more useful with SEO.

8. Internal Linking

People often think that the only links that count are those from other websites. While these links are important, these are not the only important links!

Placing links to your other website pages, is a great way of improving your site and used properly,internal links can be a useful weapon in your SEO arsenal. Not only does it make it much easier for your visitors to navigate around your site and find all of your content, but it also ensures that your site gets properly crawled allowing the search engines to find all of your pages. It also helps to build the relevancy of a page to relevant keywords and phrases, whilst also helping to increase theGoogle PageRank of your pages.

There are a number of different methods that you can use to improve your internal linking structure. The main being; content links and permanent navigation links.

For bloggers, content links are very useful when used properly. These are links that are placed within your article posts, which redirect people to other relevant pages on your site. For example, this post is focused on increasing traffic to your site, so readers may also find a post on ‘How To Drive Traffic To Your Blog‘ useful. Perhaps other people are just starting out blogging and want to learn more.


These 8 techniques are just some of the ways that you can improve your on-page SEO. Any one used independently of the others won’t make much difference to your site ranking, however when used together, they can help to improve your site traffic.

They will help to get your pages working better, they will help to get your entire site crawled by search engine spiders, they will help increase the value of internal pages and they will build the relevancy of internal pages to specific keyword phrases.

Original Posted Date at  Posted By
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6 Reasons Why Penguin Has Been A Great Success AND An Epic Failure

6 Reasons Why Penguin Has Been A Great Success AND An Epic Failure

Love it or hate it, most SEOs are likely to have a strong opinion about Penguin. From its initial release in 2012 through last month’s launch of Penguin 3.0, it’s still not clear to many people whether or not this algorithm has caused more harm than good.

On The Bright Side

#1. It Made Quality Content King

For years, Google preached to webmasters that “Content Is King”, while all the while rewarding some form of volume based link building. Since link volume had more algorithmic value than quality content, webmasters and SEO service providers spent more time on backlinks and less time on creating great content. Then Google launched Penguin and link building changed forever. They still preach that Content Is King, onlythey mean this time.

#2. It Changed Behavior

While a big chunk of the SEO community still seeks to find and exploit algorithmic loopholes via linking strategies, for the most part Penguin has been very successful in changing SEO behavior at the macro level. Since Penguin is a punitive algorithm, many SEOs don’t want to engage in black hat or even gray hat link building anymore because there is too much liability and risk in doing so.

The mainstream SEO industry is now more focused on earning links through content-driven SEO – and this is a good thing. Furthermore, webmasters and SEO service providers pay much more attention to managing backlink profiles for quality and relevance, and they are as interested in pruning away bad links as acquiring new quality ones.

#3. It Brought SEO Services Back Onshore & In-House

Prior to Penguin, there was little risk in buying services from SEO community websites and offshore freelancers. In the pre-Penguin era, digital agencies would often get a new client and then outsource link building through online communities or crowdsourcing and freelancer websites. This created a huge boom for offshore service providers that lasted for years.

Offshore link building packages became so popular and widespread that even mainstream digital agencies and business owners started buying them directly. While Google played a cat-and-mouse game battling these techniques, for the most part these services worked. Then Google dropped the hammer with the launch of Penguin in 2012, instantly shining the bright lights of accountability and liability to SEO services industry. Now companies and agencies are much less likely to outsource link building services and in this sense, Penguin was a game-changer.

The Ugly Side of Penguin

#4. It Hurts Small Businesses

While most people view Google as another highly successful tech company, it’s actually much more than that. Google Search has become a fundamental part of the economy and for many types of transactions, Googling is now an integral part of the purchase process. It’s become part of the Internet’s digital infrastructure just like resource commodities and transportation systems are a part of our brick and mortar world. Yet, while food and energy commodities are highly regulated, Google Search is not. No other private company on the planet can affect such an immediate, far reaching change on the global economy the way Google can with a major algorithm update.

Josh Bachyski, an SEO and ethicist, wrote a fascinating post on The Moral Conceptwhere he claims that Google lacks the moral authority to penalize websites with algorithms such as Penguin.   Mr. Bachynski uses a very interesting metaphor comparing Google to a multi-national that builds a dam and water reservoir, where native tribes (i.e. small businesses) build a dependency to this resource. Arbitrary and punitive algorithms like Penguin, combined with Google’s lack of transparency, can have a crushing effect on small businesses every time they are updated.

#5. It Created Negative SEO

By creating and launching an algorithm that penalizes spammy link building, Penguin gives some people the incentive to try to use link building to trigger a penalty on other websites. Since Penguin’s initial release, Google webspam team members have claimed that negative SEO is very hard to achieve. Yet, many in the search community believe that negative SEO is real and much more effective than Google claims it to be.

#6. It turned ‘Webmasters’ Into Web Slaves

Since Penguin is in essence a punitive algorithm, it has taken a great deal of control out of webmasters’ control and put it in the hands of third parties. Anyone can link to your site and thus send Google an important ranking signal without your consent. While it’s hard for you to earn the links you want, it’s easy for anyone to give you links you don’t want. If Google only counted good links and ignored bad links, this wouldn’t be a big deal. It would be nice if Google gave us the option to moderate incoming links, but instead, they want us to find and disavow junk links.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the effect of Penguin to date has probably been a wash. Some people feel Penguin would have been a much better algorithm if Google used it to neutralizespammy links versus penalizing them. What we do know is that Google launched Penguin 2.1 on October 4th 2013 and it took over a year to release Penguin 3.0 on October 17th 2014.

While some may believe that Google relished keeping websites in the penalty box waiting for a refresh, others were more hopeful that Google was simply taking extra time to test and fix Penguin’s perceived flaws. Regardless, this link spam algorithm is here to stay and Penguin will continue to fascinate the SEO community with each and every new update.

Original Posted Date at Nov 17, 2014 Posted By
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Twitter Is Now Keeping Track Of What Apps You Use, But Don’t Worry, You Can Opt Out

A new change to Twitter’s mobile app will see it collect information about the other apps installed on your phone for the purposes of delivering “tailored content that you might be interested in.”

Twitter points out that they’re only collecting a list of apps you have installed, it’s not collecting any data about what you do within the apps.

The company is calling this initiative an “app graph”, and intends to use the data to create a more personalized experience. Some of the things it may do with the data collected about your apps include:

  • Improving “who to follow” by suggesting other other people with similar interests.
  • Including content in your timeline that Twitter believes you’ll find interesting, such as tweets, accounts, or other content.
  • Showing you more relevant promoted content.

This may not sound like the worst thing in the world, but it’s understandable that you may not want Twitter to collect unnecessary data about you. You’ll know when this feature is activated because you’ll be promoted with a message notifying you: “to help tailor your experience, Twitter uses the apps on your device.”

If you have not seen this prompt it’s safe to assume the feature is turned off. If you do see the prompt, you can manually shut off the feature by following these steps:

On Android:

  • Tap the overflow icon
  • Tap Settings.
  • Tap the account you’d like to adjust.
  • Under Other, you can adjust the setting to Tailor Twitter based on my apps.

Using Twitter for iOS:

  • From the Me tab, tap the gear icon
  • Tap Settings.
  • Tap the account you’d like to adjust.
  • Under Privacy, you can adjust the setting to Tailor Twitter based on my apps.

Another way to prevent Twitter from collecting data about you, and displaying unwanted content in your feed, is to use a third party app as those features are only included on Twitter’s official app. Some of my personal favorites include Tweetbot for iOS and Talon for Android.

Original Posted Date at Nov 26, 2014 Posted by Matt Southern

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SEO 101: Getting The On-Page SEO Basics

Getting The On-Page SEO Basics Right in 2014

SEO 101: Getting The On-Page SEO Basics

With this in mind, here’s a brief guide to getting on-page SEO right, looking at the basics as well as the other essentials you need to ensure are in place if you want to outrank your competitors. SEO is constantly evolving, however this should set you right over the next few months unless anything unexpected comes along.

shutterstock 159960014 SEO 101: Getting The On Page SEO Basics

The below isn’t in any order of priority, it’s all important and should be used as a bit of a check list:

1. Title Tags

Ensure you place your main keyword and variations in the title tag of a page. Always ensure you target one main keyword and variations per page and don’t try and trick the search engines by optimizing multiple pages for the same keyword. Write your title tag in a natural way which uses your main keyword at the start with variations added too. Think about what looks natural and will entice searchers to click on your site.

Historically, Google would display around 70 characters of a title tag but since recent redesigns, they’re now displaying based on pixel width. There unfortunately no longer is a magic number for how long a title tag should be, but Moz has a great tool (which you can findhere) which lets you preview what title tags will appear like in Google’s latest redesign.

Spend time putting together title tags which include your main keywords for a page and also look natural, aren’t stuffed with keywords and read well! There’s nothing worse than spammy, over optimized titles!

2. Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions don’t contribute as a ranking signal anymore, but they’re still an incredibly important aspect of on-page optimization. They’re the first introduction potential customers get with your brand, so it pays to get them right.

Meta descriptions should be well written, approximately 156 characters and essentially a sales pitch for what the landing page is about. As with title tags, don’t spam or over optimize and always think about what works for users before the search engines.

3. Heading Tags

If you’re not using H tags in a strategic way, you should be! Starting with your pages’ H1 tag, ensure you utilize headings correctly without over-optimizing them. Place your main keyword in a H1 tag, again making sure it works for users ahead of search engines, and split the rest of your content up with ascending H tags…H2 comes next then H3. You get the picture. One thing to remember is to only use one H1 tag. Others can be used multiple times if needed.

Don’t keep repeating your main target keyword in each tag, rather use variations which enhance the value of the content and help break it up into readable and easy to digest sections. These tags essentially signal the descending importance of page headings so think carefully as to which H tag should be used in each instance.

4. Content

You’ve probably heard that content in king and that couldn’t be more accurate! With Google’s Panda algorithm, you can no longer get away with thin content and creating unique and informative content should be where you spend the most time. Content needs to be written primarily for users and secondly for search engines, however that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t mention core key-phrases. Just make sure you do so in a natural and organic way.

Keyword stuffing is a technique which has been long dead, so don’t even consider mentioning your main terms in every other sentence. Google’s algorithm works on latent semantic indexing, so simply writing naturally about the topic of the page should mean you are writing relevant content. So long as it’s unique and not copied from somewhere else, you shouldn’t run into any problems.

Think about the message you want to communicate and keep that at the forefront of all content you write. Are your primary goals to directly sell and drive leads, to inform, or to build brand awareness? Your goals should always dictate your style of writing and the way you structure your content. As above, don’t forget to use H tags to break up your content into easy to digest sections and always ask someone else to proof read for you before going live.

5. Canonicalisation Of Duplicate Content

It’s a common fact that many CMS’ (Magento as an example) allow pages to be accessible via a number of different URL’s, however from a search marketing perspective, it’s bad news! In such instances, you’re not trying to manipulate search results via having a page live on duplicate URL’s so you shouldn’t have a problem in adding a canonical tag to reference one main page for Google to index and assign PageRank to.

Google themselves offer a great example on implementing canonicalisation here and it makes sense to spend ten minutes getting your head around it there rather than re-publishing. Getting canonicalisation right, however, is something which should be considered primary importance.

6. URL Structure

If your site uses query strings for page URLs, this is something you need to look at as a priority. It’s far bestter to use a search engine friendly URL structure such as as opposed to It makes more sense to both users and search engines and should be regarded as a priority.

Always use hyphens rather than underscores and try not to have main pages sitting too many directories deep in your site. Don’t forget, however, to implement 301 redirects from the old URL to the new if you do make changes, otherwise you’ll see crawl errors pop up in Webmaster Tools and users being faced with 404 pages.

7. Crawl Error Resolution

Following on from the above, you should always check Webmaster Tools for crawl errors and find a way to resolve any showing. It’s not good from either a user or search engine point of view to have crawl errors and it’s usually a fairly easy job to fix with 301 redirects (assuming the pages are permanently removed. If it’s only a temporary removal, use a 302).

When it comes to deciding which page to redirect to, use common sense. Don’t redirect to a page just for the sake of it — try to redirect to the closest alternative. If there isn’t one, consider permanently redirecting to a 404 page.

8. Check Your Robots.txt File

When it comes to first optimizing your site, check your robots.txt file which will usually be located at to make sure no key pages are being blocked from being crawled by the search engines. If you see Disallow: / followed by any directory or page name, ask yourself whether it should be accessible to search engines. The best practice is to block admin panels and low quality pages which need to be in place but you don’t want search engines indexing, however if there’s anything you regard as a core page in there, take it out!

9. Multi-Device Friendly

Some may argue this technically isn’t an on-page SEO factor, given a site being multi-device friendly isn’t always a prerequisite of attaining top search positions, but it  should always be looked at…if only from a conversion optimization perspective.

If at all possible, opt for a responsive version of your site which will resize to each device. There was a fantastic post by the team at Koozai who recently touched upon the importance of having a responsive site and how they’ve got a whopping 7 versions of their site for different devices.

We certainly live and work in a multi-device world and with rumours that mobile usage set to surpass desktop usage at some point this year, perhaps now is the time to start designing sites for mobile devices first and desktops second?

10. Page Speed

Take a moment to analyse your site’s page speed using the Page Speed Insights tool from Google to outline how fast they can load your site as well as receive a whole host of suggestions as to how you can improve things. As a general rule, try and get it as far above 90 as possible to ensure you’re not a search position lower than you should be because your site is sluggish.

There you go…a relatively in-depth guide on how to get the SEO basics right in 2014. What are your thoughts on on-page SEO? Do you have anything to add? Is there anything you’d place preference on over that listed above?


Original Posted Date at April 11, 2014 Posted by James Brockbank
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SEO 101: How to Do On-Page Optimization Like a Pro

Let’s face it. The foundation of anything (house, structure, or marketing campaign) is the single most important piece of the overall plan. Build on a weak foundation, and you can expect a collapse.

The same goes for SEO.

Even the best off-page strategy won’t do much if the foundational on-page strategy is not properly in place. Every internet marketer knows and understands this, but I constantly see shoddy on-page optimization when reviewing websites.

After recently reviewing two websites with awful on-page SEO work, I was driven to write a detailed guide for new or experienced SEOs who want to effectively optimize their site on-page – the right way. To make this article as short and concise as possible, I have provided links to other great articles in order to expand on ideas that I believe require more in-depth reading, such as Schema markup and keyword research.

shutterstock 106092281 SEO 101: How to Do On Page Optimization Like a Pro

AUTHOR NOTE: Every SEO practitioner approaches on-page a little differently, especially in terms of where they start. This approach is my personal preference and is not listed in order of importance.

Website Page Errors

shutterstock 130961099 SEO 101: How to Do On Page Optimization Like a Pro

Your first step should be to review the site for broken links (404’s) or any temporary redirects (302’s). You can use a bunch of tools for this like Screaming Frog or Link Slueth.

Make a list of all the links that need to redirected and do so either via HTACCESS or via your favorite CMS plugin or control panel.

For 404 errors, you want to make sure the broken page is redirected to the appropriate new page. If none exist on your new site, redirect it to the homepage, so you keep all your link equity.

For any 302 pages, make sure they are converted to 301 eventually. This step should ensure your site is easier to crawl for both visitors and search engine bots.

Website URL Canonicalization

For this step, I would use one of the website analysis tools mentioned above to make sure none of the pages have duplicate URLs. Make sure the non-www 301 redirects to the www version or vica versa.

Another important aspect often overlooked are URL extensions that sometimes show up as duplicates. For example, you find that there are two URLs like and or

Make sure there is only one version for all URLs. Anymore and you’re going to be penalized for duplicate content. You can easily check this by running Screaming Frog and sorting all the URLs by name, and you will quickly see any closely named URLs. Once you find all the duplicate URL’s, make sure you 301 them to the appropriate page. Also, make sure if you have an e-commerce website, all the canonical pages have a “rel-canonical” tag in place.

Every time a page is sorted for price or rating, it creates a whole new page/URL, which needs the relevant re-canonical tag inserted on it. Here is a great article on rel-canonical tags from Google.

Keyword Research

There are many great resources that can be found on this topic, so there’s no need for me to re-hash old information. Make sure you read a few articles and do proper keyword research for all the relevant pages.

This is the single most important step in a successful SEO campaign.

This recent SEJ article on keyword research is worth reading for additional insight.

Metadata Implementation (Title, Meta Description, H1 & ALT)

After you have done proper keyword research, the next logical step is to create compelling metadata tags for all your relevant pages.

Title Tags

Personally, I have steered away from the old days of creating title tags like: Keyword 1 | Keyword 1 | Brand Name

I prefer writing more descriptive title tags that read like a sentence (think Hummingbird update). Something like:

Internet Marketing News & Tips | SEJ

A descriptive title tag reads more naturally and it’s probably better for conversions as well. Also, make sure the title tags are within the new recommend length of 55-60 characters. Anything more and you will see your title tags truncated in search results, which kills user experience.

Meta Description

These are not calculated in search engine rankings, but they are read by searchers to better understand what a page is about. It can also be effectively used as a call to action for your product or service.

Make sure you use your meta description to entice searchers to click on your website over all others. The recommended character limit for meta description tags is between 155-160 characters.


Depending on the page, try to incorporate a descriptive H1 tag with relevant keywords without going overboard. Your goal is to give your audience the best user experience.

ALT Tags

While you’re optimizing all the tags, you should also optimize the images. Try and incorporate descriptive ALT tags for all images. Who know? They could show up in a Google image search and bring in some relevant traffic via that channel.

Site Load Speed

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Use the Google Page Insight tool to see how fast your website loads. It has long been known that Google incorporates site speed into its search rankings. And this is for good reason. As a user, I personally hate slow loading websites. Google has taken note of this and gives preference to faster loading websites.

Depending on the size of your site, a good average is at least 90+ for both desktop and mobile versions. If your site falls short, take Google’s recommendation and hand them to the site Webmaster for implementation. Sometimes, it could be as easy as tweaking the HTACCESS file, but sometimes it could mean changing the image size or JavaScript.

XML Sitemap

Make sure the site has an XML sitemap created. The easiest way to check for this is to type in

If you see a 404 page or the homepage show up, this means there is no XML sitemap. This type of sitemap is recommended by all the major search engines (Yahoo and Bing, too) and helps search bots know how many pages your site has.

There are several tools that will create an XML sitemap for you. Create one and place it in the root directory of your website via FTP or you can use your favorite plugin for WordPress or any other CMS system you are using,

Social Media Icons

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Make sure you have signed up for the major social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. Then, take it one step further and insert those social media icons on your website. This helps Google bots make a direct connection with your website’s social media pages, but it also helps user experience as it provides an extra layer of credibility when searchers land on your website.

Let’s face it, what company does not have social media profiles these days? When I see a site without one, it raises suspicions about their credibility.

Content/Copy Optimization

There are several studies around long versus short copy. Without getting into it, my personal recommendation would be to go for at least 500+ words of relevant copy for each of theimportant pages.

Obviously the “Contact Us” page will not have a lot of content (generally speaking). Additionally, having more content cannot hurt your site, but less content can make your website come across as “thin”.

Hire a good copywriter to create some relevant and compelling content. It will help both conversion and search engine visibility.

Schema Markup

my pic SEO 101: How to Do On Page Optimization Like a Pro

For those unfamiliar with this markup, it helps search engines better understand specific information about your site, like the official business name and address, and displays this information correctly on result pages.

If you have products for sale, it helps Google list reviews and ratings right on the SERPs. If you’re an author, it would display your author picture next to your articles. This greatly increases the click-through rate (CTR) as searchers can see exactly how popular a product is without even clicking on a result.

It is essential that your site has some form of Schema markup implemented. You can read this great guide from SEJ on how to implement schema for various websites.

Website Structure and Architecture (aka Internal Linking)

Always ensure that all your pages are connected in a hierarchy via the main navigation. This can also be referred to as a “silo structure”.

Essentially, this means there is a logical order of all your products and services. For example, a page about cars should further break down into types of cars. The URL structure should look something like this:

This helps searchers (and search engine bots) make logical connections between all the different pages on your website.

Also make sure that all the pages on your site are interconnected to avoid creating “orphan” pages or a page that is not connected via a navigation or any other page. Google bots find pages by following links, and a page that isn’t linked internally won’t be indexed on search engine.

Here is a great SEJ article that goes into detail on how to properly implement site architecture.

Contact Information

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This is another area that adds trust to your website for both search bots and users. Always list your contact number and e-mail address on your website. Whether you are a local business or an e-commerce website, customers might want to get in touch with you.

Make sure this information is easily available on your website.


And there you have it folks! A concise, step-by-step guide on how to implement SEO like a pro. Once you have covered all these crucial areas, you can start your off-page SEO strategy with a peace of mind.

Original Posted Date at July 3, 2014 Posted by Zain Shah
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The 10 Best Free Blog Sites


best free blog sites

Considering we live in an age where bloggers are sitting front row at Fashion Week, it’s not shocking that more and more women are looking to start their own. Of course, how to become successful and how to actually make money blogging is its own beast—it’s easy to write about shoes and skirts, but when it comes to the technical stuff it takes serious smarts—but you have to start somewhere. That said, we’ve rounded up the 10 best free blog sites that’ll help you on your path. 

MORE: How to Make it as a Fashion Blogger: Insider Secrets

They’re all easy to use and to customize, so whether you’re writing about fashion, food, or other stuff you love, these will give you a platform to share your thoughts with the (online) world.

Proceed, new blogger!


It’s free to start a blog here, and you’ll be able to choose from several gorgeous themes. You can also upgrade to their premium package and receive your own domain name.


Perhaps one of the most well-known platforms, Blogger is backed by Google, so it’s trustworthy and reliable. It’s incredibly simple to start using Blogger as the site takes you step-by-step through creating your site. There are a lot of customization options and you can purchase templates through outside website as well.



Penzu is loved because of it’s versatility: There are three different types of journals you can start when you sign up for the site: Daily Diary (public), Expressive Journal (private), and Travel Journal (great if you’re going on a trip). You can also try the site out before you sign up for it as well.


Defintiely the most creative, modern and professional of the 10 platforms, SquareSpace is the only pricey option but will surely deliver the best results. Amazing for photographers, store owners, bloggers, musicians and business owners, this platform features tons of templates that will keep your blog looking polished and professional.

Price: 14-day free trial, then $8-$24/month based on your preference

Svbtle best-free-blog-sites

A super-slick and modern platform, Svbtle feels more like a doodle pad.


Tumblr is easily the best of the 10 platforms when it comes to visuals. Images, videos, music—it’s all really easy to display on your tumblr profile. And, there are tons of creative ways that you can showcase them. People can also “reblog” your posts leaving you with more followers and a larger fanbase.


This is a great platform to use if you’re looking to create more of a professional environment for your readers. You can drag and drop elements around your site for the ultimate customized page. The site also featured an ecommerce feature—great if you’re trying to sell a product.

Price: Free


Weebly features tons of unique and modern themes to start you blog off looking fresh. It also offers ecommerce, an iPhone app for posting on the go, and easy linking to your social media. This site is surely dummy-free and makes it as easy as possible for you to dive right into the blogging scene.


Wix features hundreds of unique and very professional-looking  templates that can easily be customized to keep your blog unique and different from everyone else’s. You can also add apps onto your site as well as an online store and your links to your social media accounts.


Another hugely popular platform, WordPress is super-flexible for anyone whether you’re a blogger who writes or a photographer who wants to show their portfolio. You can also upgrade and get your own domain name. Like Tumblr, other WordPress users can like, see, and reblog your posts leaving you with the potential for more followers and readers.

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It goes without saying that you want potential customers and clients to locate and access your website easily. However, to accomplish this, you must first make search engines aware of your presence. The collection of methodology known as search-engine marketing (SEM) has been used for decades by marketing experts to increase a website’s online presence in regular and/or paid search. SEM allows Google to recognize your online presence, subsequently ensuring that customers will have an easier time finding you. As our society continues to ingrain the idea of the Internet as a household tool for  researching products, finding information, and locating services, businesses overshadowed by the rest of the internet “clutter” will continue to lag behind the competition.

The Cline Group has years of experience in all aspects of SEM including:

  • SEO is the analysis and optimization of a website for the purposes of indexing and authoritative measurement within search engines. Google’s algorithm has an estimated 200 technical and on-page factors that play a role in how a website is ranked. Because of this fact, it is essential for your website to be optimized for them all. The SEO process includes a comprehensive audit of your proposed or existing site, competitor analysis, keyword research, on-page optimization, and content creation (when needed). A few weeks to a few months after the on-site optimization is complete, a website will usually see a boost in its rankings for its desired search terms. In addition, as SEM becomes increasingly integrated with other aspects of online marketing, our team will be able to advise your company on optimizing your website for social-media sharing and inbound-marketing. This advisement would include sales funnels, calls to action, and conversion optimizations.
  • Linkbuilding is another technique to help increase your website’s keyword rankings. Whenever a reputable website or social media outlet links back to you, Google sees a digital “vote” for your website. Websites with the most “votes” tend to rank more highly. However, in recent years, many of the common practices associated with linkbuilding have changed. Now, spamming comments in blogs, forums, and other directories will no longer work and instead negatively affect your rankings. In order for other website owners to have a reason to link to you, it has become essential for websites to combine the practices of content creation, social-media marketing, and traditional public relations.  More information on our linkbuilding services can be found below.
  • PPC advertising is an SEM technique to immediately drive relevant, quality traffic to your website through the placement of paid advertisements located above and to the right of regular Google search results. To help your advertisements achieve the best results, our team will research and target the most-affordable and conversion-friendly keywords most commonly used by your target audience. Concurrent, with the initial launch and perpetual maintenance of your PPC campaign, TCG will also design a quality landing page with an effective call to action. In addition, our team will continuously measure the results of these campaigns and optimize them accordingly. Conversion optimization – the testing of elements including different landing pages – can be used as well.

Our Process

1. The Cline Group performs an SEO and Marketing Audit of your existing or proposed website that analyzes numerous factors including the ability of the various search engines to index your site comprehensively, whether any aspects of the site’s design will impede Google from doing so, whether an online-metrics tracking system is in place for later marketing and sales analysis, and whether the site’s design and functionality is conducive to converting prospects into leads and sales.

2. TCG performs a Competitor Analysis of up to three websites of your choosing to gauge how they are engaging in SEO/SEM efforts, how successful they have been, and what your website can do to mimic their success (if relevant).

3. Our teams will work together to create a list of agreed-upon search terms that your audience uses to find your website. Our team will then use that list – along with a list of what terms are discovered in the Competitor Analysis – in our extensive research on those keywords that are determined to be the most suitable to target. Always making sure to keep you in the loop, TCG will then give the list to you for approval and further suggestions.

4. Our team prepares a keyword-targeting strategy that will propose recommendations on the overall hierarchy of the revised website, which sets of keywords will be targeted on which pages, and how each page will be changed for on-site optimization. As always, you approve the recommendations before TCG proceeds.

5. TCG works with your website developer (as needed) on the on-site optimization. Together, our respective teams will review the new website and make any additional changes that are needed.

6. If there are any unused keywords that should be targeted, TCG will provide future content recommendations to incorporate those search terms within additional website pages.

7. After the SEO is complete, our team will continue with the linkbuilding operations for as long as our partnership endures. This typically includes:

  • Researching and identifying the major websites, media outlets, and bloggers who would be most likely to link to you
  •  The regular creation of content, including: blog posts, infographics, white papers, podcasts, webinars, and videos
  •  Developing relationships with the identified influencers mentioned above, and nurturing those relationships to ensure that they will want to link to the content produced by your website and share it on social media

8. Along with general consulting, TCG will provide monthly updates on search-engine rankings as well as website traffic and conversions and/or sales (as relevant) from organic traffic.


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Bigger Is Not Always Better in PR


Being raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, I often spent time in Center City, Philadelphia exploring what the city has to offer – it was not too big or daunting so I quickly became acclimated with the ins and outs. I attended a small high school as well as a small university, which both provided a sense of comfort for myself and an extremely hands-on approach.

Being comfortable working and living in a small environment translated perfectly into my first job here at The Cline Group, which has small offices but a global presence. Even though we are small in size we deliver remarkable results that distinguish our clients from their competitors across the board.

Responsibilities: My days consist of leading client calls, drafting press releases, guiding Assistant Account Executives and Account Coordinators and reviewing any necessary materials, a majority of which I would not be handling at a larger firm – or a lot of hand holding would be involved.I have become confident in my work and decisions because I do not and cannot rely on several levels authority to approve or disapprove. We have to work diligently and take on assignments that may seem above our expertise but we are human – so we learn and we make mistakes.  I now have the ability to directly build relationships with top tier reporters and foster work relationships with our clients overseas and all over the world.

Culture: It is not every day that you have the opportunity to sit down face-to-face with your company’s CEO to discuss what needs to be improved and why, or to simply hold a non-work related conversation.  In most medium or large companies this process of change takes a long time and requires approvals, forms, and mediated conversations. Working in a small firm I have the privilege of discussing how things can be improved about what the team wants, when we want.  It also allows me to build greater trust with employees at all levels. I never worry about having to leave for a doctor’s appointment or to run a quick errand.  Our management believes that we all will get our work done.

People:  Being selective in the interview process is how we succeed as a small firm. We do not just hire to fill a position based on a resume – we invest the time to learn about our applicants to make sure they are a great cultural fit for our team.  It is better to hire the correct person even if it takes time because we all work so closely together on a daily basis.  As a small team, we are able to learn one another’s strengths and weaknesses.

When you are looking to switch professions or join a new company I would recommend giving the smaller companies a look. There is great opportunity for upward growth, reward, and learning. I am thankful to have begun my marketing and PR experience in an entirely hands-on small firm. Your skills and ability will not get lost in a sea of politics or people.

Original Posted Date at November 24, 2014  Posted by Ariel Shore
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