Well, we did it! We made it through the tail end of summer and the first few days of fall!
(Although, to be perfectly honest, if your first few days of fall were anything like ours here in Hamilton, it certainly didn’t feel like the warm weather was on its way out).
But, we’ve got some sweet tidbits to cover for the month of September (crisp autumn air and changing leaves aside).
It does the world of digital a disservice to say that this was a particularly busy month. If only for the fact that there are no real dull days in our industry. Let’s just get right to the goods, see what happened in September and shift your focus to the latest and greatest in web marketing and all its lovely cohorts.
eCommerce Benchmark KPI Study (Moz / Wolfgang Digital)
Moz has some of the most brilliant minds in digital marketing at its disposal. This latest study is a goldmine of information for eCommerce companies.
It was conducted by Moz contributor and Wolfgang Digital founder Alan Coleman, who posted some key takeaways to Moz and the full study over at Wolfgang’s website.
It really is an insightful read. Here’s an idea of what the folks at Wolfgang were going for when they put it together, from the Moz post:
This study is our gift to the global e-commerce industry. The objective is to reveal the state of play in the industry over the last 12 months and ultimately help digital marketers make better digital marketing decisions by:
Better understanding their website performance through comparing key performance indicators (KPIs) with industry benchmarks.
Gaining insights into which key metrics will ensure e-commerce success
It certainly is a gift, and one that keeps on giving if you’re in the world of eCommerce.
Read the full study at Wolfgang’s website here.
Google’s Mobile First Indexing Change: Everything SEOs Need to Know (The SEM Post)
Jennifer Slegg over at The SEM Post put together this extensively detailed look at – well, just read the title: everything an SEO needs to know regarding Google’s impending mobile-first change to their index.
(For those not in the know: Google is preparing to split their search index into two, one for desktop and one for mobile, and both will prioritize websites seen as mobile-friendly in search results).
This one’s worth an in-depth read with its simple, Wikipedia-esque layout and links. Not to mention, answers from folks at Google, and an absolutely incredible amount of information regarding this upcoming, crucial change in search.
See the full article here and get educated on one of the most significant upcoming changes in search!
How to and Why Do a Mobile/Desktop Parity Audit (Moz / Inflow)
This one was also shared over at Moz. It was put together by Everett Sizemore, Director of SEO Strategy at Inflow, an award-winning eCommerce web marketing agency in Colorado.
A quick definition: a parity audit is, in the words of Mr. Sizemore:
When two or more versions of a website are available on the same URL, [this type of] audit will crawl each version, compare the differences, and look for errors.
You should do a parity audit if content is added, removed, hidden, or changed between devices without sending the user to a new URL.
A parity audit is a way of determining any discrepancies between web marketing content delivery on desktop and mobile. Most importantly, it will help you determine how well-optimized and crawl-able the mobile version of the site is.
It’s a very important practice for a website to undergo, especially with the impending mobile-first index we’ve already mentioned.
Read the full article at Moz here.
Google: Top Ranking Factors Change Depending on Query (Search Engine Journal)
Okay, I’m gonna admit that this one has a bit of a personal bias. It confirms a sneaking suspicion I’ve had but could not verify for quite some time.
Search Engine Journal published an article earlier this month detailing some answers from Google regarding their infamous algorithm. Namely, that there are no top 3 ranking factors that apply to all content, but that they change depending on the query used for search.
This article is just a brief news snippet and is not as in-depth or detailed as the first three articles in this roundup, but it’s still important.
Too often, we hear about businesses honing in on and obsessing over just a few key factors when it comes to SEO. This often leads to the neglect of other essential areas of this marketing channel.
A great deal of time is spent on title tags and META descriptions means quality on-page copy may be sacrificed.
There is excess focus on gaining fast rankings. This means slow-burn tactics that can be better for conversions in the long run, such as content marketing, are done away with completely.
Too much worry over building links from other websites can mean ignoring internal linking structure, which can be a very important tool in helping search engines understand your site.
The list goes on, and that’s why this is such essential news. It’s proof that search engine optimization is a multi-pronged channel with many, many angles – and they’re all worth paying the same of amounts of attention.
Read the full article at Search Engine Journal here.
How Long Does It Take to De-Index Low-Quality or Thin Content Published By Accident? [Case Study] (Search Engine Land)
This one also has a special place in my heart because of its focus on thin content, a pest in the world of SEO against which I have a personal grudge.
Not that there’s any shortage of space of the web, but thin content takes up far too much of it.
Another quick definition & rundown: ‘thin content’ refers to articles written for their own sake, and for the sake of increasing search engine rankings for keywords around which the articles are focused. Classic signs of thin content include:
- Poorly written, almost nonsensical articles
- Keyword repetition, more times than is natural or necessary
- No real point or direction – more-so written for robots or crawlers than human beings
You get the idea: you’ve probably come across this kind of thing in your own online adventures.
It’s a problem when it’s hosted on some generic article spinning website with a bunch of useless web marketing content. But, it’s an even bigger issue when it’s on a company’s official product or service page.
Many business owners in the habit of cutting corners have hired writers to do the bare minimum when it comes to copy. They disregard quality, value, and spelling and grammar in exchange for getting their keywords in the eyes of search engines.
But SEO doesn’t work that way any more, and hasn’t for a long time.
Which means that those who have been utilizing this tactic need a way to reverse the effects of their SEO efforts, and that’s what this article covers. A case study focusing on just how long a change like that will be picked up by Google.
It’s important information, especially if you’re concerned with the quality of the content on your own site.
Give it a full read at Search Engine Land here.
And That’s It for September in Digital!
Thanks for taking the time to go over our hand-picked creme-de-la-creme from digital news and insights. We hope you find at least one of these resources valuable. Please come back at the end of October to see what’s new in the world of web marketing as true autumn begins!