4 Ways to Improve Your Data Hygiene - Whiteboard Friday
Posted by DiTomasoWe base so much of our livelihood on good data, but managing that data properly is a task in and of itself. In this week's Whiteboard Friday, Dana DiTomaso shares why you need to keep your data clean and some of the top things to watch out for.



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Video TranscriptionHi. My name is Dana DiTomaso. I am President and partner at Kick Point. We're a digital marketing agency, based in the frozen north of Edmonton, Alberta. So today I'm going to be talking to you about data hygiene.
What I mean by that is the stuff that we see every single time we start working with a new client this stuff is always messed up. Sometimes it's one of these four things. Sometimes it's all four, or sometimes there are extra things. So I'm going to cover this stuff today in the hopes that perhaps the next time we get a profile from someone it is not quite as bad, or if you look at these things and see how bad it is, definitely start sitting down and cleaning this stuff up.
1. FiltersSo what we're going to start with first are filters. By filters, I'm talking about analytics here, specifically Google Analytics. When go you into the admin of Google Analytics, there's a section called Filters. There's a section on the left, which is all the filters for everything in that account, and then there's a section for each view for filters. Filters help you exclude or include specific traffic based on a set of parameters.
Filter out office, home office, and agency trafficSo usually what we'll find is one Analytics property for your website, and it has one view, which is all website data which is the default that Analytics gives you, but then there are no filters, which means that you're not excluding things like office traffic, your internal people visiting the website, or home office. If you have a bunch of people who work from home, get their IP addresses, exclude them from this because you don't necessarily want your internal traffic mucking up things like conversions, especially if you're doing stuff like checking your own forms.
You haven't had a lead in a while and maybe you fill out the form to make sure it's working. You don't want that coming in as a conversion and then screwing up your data, especially if you're a low-volume website. If you have a million hits a day, then maybe this isn...
A Guide to Setting Up Your Very Own Search Intent Projects
Posted by TheMozTeamThis post was originally published on the STAT blog.

Whether you’re tracking thousands or millions of keywords, if you expect to extract deep insights and trends just by looking at your keywords from a high-level, you’re not getting the full story.
Smart segmentation is key to making sense of your data. And you’re probably already applying this outside of STAT. So now, we’re going to show you how to do it in STAT to uncover boatloads of insights that will help you make super data-driven decisions.
To show you what we mean, let’s take a look at a few ways we can set up a search intent project to uncover the kinds of insights we shared in our whitepaper, Using search intent to connect with consumers.
Before we jump in, there are a few things you should have down pat:
1. Picking a search intent that works for youSearch intent is the motivating force behind search and it can be:

Informational: The searcher has identified a need and is looking for information on the best solution, ie. [blender], [food processor]
Commercial: The searcher has zeroed in on a solution and wants to compare options, ie. [blender reviews], [best blenders]
Transactional: The searcher has narrowed their hunt down to a few best options, and is on the precipice of purchase, ie. [affordable blenders], [blender cost]

Local (sub-category of transactional): The searcher plans to do or buy something locally, ie. [blenders in dallas]
Navigational (sub-category of transactional): The searcher wants to locate a specific website, ie. [Blendtec]

We left navigational intent out of our study because it’s brand specific and didn’t want to bias our data.
Our keyword set was a big list of retail products — from kitty pooper-scoopers to pricey speakers. We needed a straightforward way to imply search intent, so we added keyword modifiers to characterize each type of intent.

As always, different strokes for different folks: The modifiers you choose and the intent categories you look at may differ, but it’s important to map that all out before you get started.
2. Identifying the SERP features you really wantFor our whitepaper research, we pretty much tracked every feature under the sun, but you certainly don’t have to.
You might already know which features you want to target, the ones you want to keep an eye on, or questions you want to answer. For example, are shopping boxes taking...
The Basics of Building an Intent-Based Keyword List
Posted by TheMozTeamThis post was originally published on the STAT blog.In this article, we're taking a deep dive into search intent.
It's a topic we've covered before with some depth. This STAT whitepaper looked at how SERP features respond to intent, and a few bonus blog posts broke things down even further and examined how individual intent modifiers impact SERP features, the kind of content that Google serves at each stage of intent, and how you can set up your very own search intent projects. (And look out for Seer's very own Scott Taft's upcoming post this week on how to use STAT and Power BI to create your very own search intent dashboard.)Search intent is the new demographics, so it only made sense to get up close and personal with it. Of course, in order to bag all those juicy search intent tidbits, we needed a great intent-based keyword list. Here’s how you can get your hands on one of those.
Gather your core keywords First, before you can even think about intent, you need to have a solid foundation of core keywords in place. These are the products, features, and/or services that you’ll build your search intent funnel around.
But goodness knows that keyword list-building is more of an art than a science, and even the greatest writers (hi, Homer) needed to invoke the muses (hey, Calliope) for inspiration, so if staring at your website isn’t getting the creative juices flowing, you can look to a few different places for help.
Snag some good suggestions from keyword research toolsLots of folks like to use the Google Keyword Planner to help them get started. Ubersuggest and Yoast’s Google Suggest Expander will also help add keywords to your arsenal. And Answer The Public gives you all of that, and beautifully visualized to boot.
Simply plunk in a keyword and watch the suggestions pour in. Just remember to be critical of these auto-generated lists, as odd choices sometimes slip into the mix. For example, apparently we should add [free phones] to our list of [rank tracking] keywords. Huh.
Spot inspiration on the SERPsTwo straight-from-the-SERP resources that we love for keyword research are the “People also ask” box and related searches. These queries are Google-vetted and plentiful, and also give you some insight into how the search engine giant links topics.

If you’re a STAT client, you can generate reports that will give you every question in a PAA...
Do Businesses Really Use Google My Business Posts? A Case Study
Posted by Ben_FisherGoogle My Business (GMB) is one of the most powerful ways to improve a business’ local search engine optimization and online visibility. If you’re a local business, claiming your Google My Business profile is one of the first steps you should take to increase your company’s online presence.
As long as your local business meets Google’s guidelines, your Google My Business profile can help give your company FREE exposure on Google’s search engine. Not only can potential customers quickly see your business’ name, address and phone number, but they can also see photos of your business, read online reviews, find a description about your company, complete a transaction (like book an appointment) and see other information that grabs a searcher’s attention — all without them even visiting your website. That’s pretty powerful stuff!

Google My Business helps with local rankingsNot only is your GMB Profile easily visible to potential customers when they search on Google, but Google My Business is also a key Google local ranking factor. In fact, according to local ranking factor industry research, Google My Business “signals” is the most important ranking factor for local pack rankings. Google My Business signals had a significant increase in ranking importance between 2017 and 2018 — rising from 19% to 25%.

Claiming your Google My Business profile is your first step to local optimization — but many people mistakenly think that just claiming your Google My Business profile is enough. However, optimizing your Google My Business profile and frequently logging into your Google My Business dashboard to make sure that no unwanted updates have been made to your profile is vital to improving your rankings and ensuring the integrity of your business profile’s accuracy.
Google My Business features that make your profile ROCK!Google offers a variety of ways to optimize and enhance your Google My Business profile. You can add photos, videos, business hours, a description of your company, frequently asked questions and answers, communicate with customers via messages, allow customers to book appointments, respond to online reviews and more.
One of the most powerful ways to grab a searcher’s attention is by creating Google My Business Posts. GMB Posts are almost like mini-ads for your company, products, or services.
Google offers a variety of posts you can...
How to Identify and Tackle Keyword Cannibalization in 2019
Posted by SamuelMangialavoriIf you read the title of this blog and somehow, even only for a second, thought about the iconic movie “The Silence of the Lambs”, welcome to the club — you are not alone!
Despite the fact that the term “cannibalization” does not sound very suitable for digital marketing, this core concept has been around for a long time. This term simply identifies the issue of having multiple pages competing for the same (or very similar) keywords/keyword clusters, hence the cannibalization.
What do we mean by cannibalization in SEO?This unfortunate and often unnoticed problem harms the SEO potential of the pages involved. When more than one page has the same/similar keyword target, it creates “confusion” in the eyes of the search engine, resulting in a struggle to decide what page to rank for what term.
For instance, say my imaginary e-commerce website sells shoes online and I have created a dedicated category page that targets the term ‘ankle boots’: www.distilledshoes.com/boots/ankle-boots/

Knowing the importance of editorial content, over time I decide to create two blog posts that cover topics related to ankle boots off the back of a keyword research: one post on how to wear ankle boots and another about the top 10 ways to wear ankle boots in 2019:


One month later, I realize that some of my blog pages are actually ranking for a few key terms that my e-commerce category page was initially visible for.
Now the question is: is this good or bad for my website?
Drum roll, please...and the answer is — It depends on the situation, the exact keywords, and the intent of the user when searching for a particular term.
Keyword cannibalization is not black or white — there are multiple grey areas and we will try and go though several scenarios in this blog post. I recommend you spend 5 minutes checking this awesome Whiteboard Friday which covers the topic of search intent extremely well.
How serious of a problem is keyword cannibalization?Much more than what you might think — almost every website that I have worked on in the past few years have some degree of cannibalization that needs resolving. It is hard to estimate how much a single page might be held back by this issue, as it involves a group of pages whose potential is being limited. So, my suggestion is to treat this issue by analyzing clusters of pages that have some degree of...
People Ask Their Most Pressing SEO Questions — Our Experts Answer
Posted by TheMozTeamWe teamed up with our friends at Duda, a website design scaling platform service, who asked their agency customers to divulge their most pressing SEO questions, quandaries, and concerns. Our in-house SEO experts, always down for a challenge, hunkered down to collaborate on providing them with answers. From Schema.org to voice search to local targeting, we're tackling real-world questions about organic search. Read on for digestible insights and further resources!How do you optimize for international markets?International sites can be multi-regional, multilingual, or both. The website setup will differ depending on that classification. Multi-regional sites are those that target audiences from multiple countries. For example: a site that targets users in the U.S. and the U.K.Multilingual sites are those that target speakers of multiple languages. For example, a site that targets both English and Spanish-speakers.To geo-target sections of your site to different countries, you can use a country-specific domain (ccTLD) such as “.de” for Germany or subdomains/subdirectories on generic TLDs such as “example.com/de.” For different language versions of your content, Google recommends using different URLs rather than using cookies to change the language of the content on the page. If you do this, make use of the hreflang tag to tell Google about alternate language versions of the page. For more information on internationalization, visit Google’s “Managing multi-regional and multilingual sites” or Moz’s guide to international SEO.How do we communicate to clients that SEO projects need ongoing maintenance work?If your client is having difficulty understanding SEO as a continuous effort, rather than a one-and-done task, it can be helpful to highlight the changing nature of the web. Say you created enough quality content and earned enough links to that content to earn yourself a spot at the top of page one. Because organic placement is earned and not paid for, you don’t have to keep paying to maintain that placement on page one. However, what happens when a competitor comes along with better content that has more links than your content? Because Google wants to surface the highest quality content, your page’s rankings will likely suffer in favor of this better page. Maybe it’s not a competitor that depreciates your site’s rankings. Maybe new...
Communicating to Clients & Stakeholders in a Constantly Changing SEO Landscape
Posted by KameronJenkinsWhen your target is constantly moving, how can you keep your clients informed and happy?Raise your hand if you’ve ever struggled to keep up with all the changes in our industry.
Go ahead, don’t be shy!
Even the most vigilant SEOs have been caught off guard by an algorithm update, changes to the SERP layout, or improvements to the tools we rely on.
It can be tiring trying to keep up with a constantly moving target, but it doesn’t even stop there. SEOs must also explain those developments to their clients and stakeholders.
Work at an agency? Your clients will want to know that you’re helping them stay relevant. During my agency years, I can’t tell you how many times clients emailed in with a link to an article on the topic of a new development asking, “Do we need to be worried about this? How can we use this for our SEO?” Keeping apprised of these changes and informing your client how it applies to them is a critical component of not just campaign success, but customer loyalty.
Work in-house? The main difference here is that your client is your boss. Whereas at an agency you might lose a client over communication lapses, in-house SEOs could lose their jobs. That’s obviously the worst-case scenario, but if you’re in a budget-conscious, SEO-immature company, failing to stay relevant and communicate those changes effectively could mean your boss stops seeing the value in your position.
Anticipating changes and mitigating anxiety There are some changes we know about ahead of time.
For example, when Google announced the mobile friendly update (remember #mobilegeddon?), they did so two months ahead of the actual rollout, and they had also been encouraging the use of mobile-friendly design long before that.
Google announced HTTPS as a ranking signal back in 2014 and had been advocating for a secure web long before that, but they didn’t start adding the “not secure” warning to all non-HTTPS pages in Chrome until July 2018.
Big changes usually warrant big announcements ahead of the rollout. You need time to prepare for changes like this and to use that time to prepare your clients and stakeholders as well. It’s why Moz put so much effort into educational materials around the rollout of the new DA.
But in order to mitigate the anxiety these changes can cause, we have to know about them. So where can we go to stay up-to-date?
If you’ve been in...
Using STAT for Content Strategy - Whiteboard Friday
Posted by DiTomasoSearch results are sophisticated enough to show searchers not only the content they want, but in the format they want it. Being able to identify searcher intent and interest based off of ranking results can be a powerful driver of content strategy. In this week's Whiteboard Friday, we warmly welcome Dana DiTomaso as she describes her preferred tools and methods for developing a modern and effective content strategy.




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Video TranscriptionHi, everyone. Welcome to Whiteboard Friday. My name is Dana DiTomaso. I'm President and partner of Kick Point, which is a digital marketing agency based way up in Edmonton, Alberta. Come visit sometime.
What I'm going to be talking about today is using STAT for content strategy. STAT, if you're not familiar with STAT Search Analytics, which is in my opinion the best ranking tool on the market and Moz is not paying me to say that, although they did pay for STAT, so now STAT is part of the Moz family of products. I really like STAT. I've been using it for quite some time. They are also Canadian. That may or may not influence my decision.
But one of the things that STAT does really well is it doesn't just show you where you're ranking, but it breaks down what type of rankings and where you should be thinking about rankings. Typically I find, especially if you've been working in this field for a long time, you might think about rankings and you still have in your mind the 10 blue links that we used to have forever ago, and that's so long gone. One of the things that's useful about using STAT rankings is you can figure out stuff that you should be pursuing other than, say, the written word, and I think that that's something really important again for marketers because a lot of us really enjoy reading stuff.
Consider all the ways searchers like to consume contentMaybe you're watching this video. Maybe you're reading the transcript. You might refer to the transcript later. A lot of us are readers. Not a lot of us are necessarily visual people, so sometimes we can forget stuff like video is really popular, or people really do prefer those places packs or whatever it might be. Thinking outside of yourself and thinking about how Google has decided to set up the search results can help you drive better content to your clients' and...
Exploring Google's New Carousel Featured Snippet
Posted by TheMozTeamGoogle let it be known earlier this year that snippets were a-changin’. And true to their word, we’ve seen them make two major updates to the feature — all in an attempt to answer more of your questions.
We first took you on a deep dive of double featured snippets, and now we’re taking you for a ride on the carousel snippet. We’ll explore how it behaves in the wild and which of its snippets you can win.
For your safety, please remain seated and keep your hands, arms, feet, and legs inside the vehicle at all times!
What a carousel snippet is an how it worksThis particular snippet holds the answers to many different questions and, as the name suggests, employs carousel-like behaviour in order to surface them all.

When you click one of the “IQ-bubbles” that run along the bottom of the snippet, JavaScript takes over and replaces the initial “parent” snippet with one that answers a brand new query. This query is a combination of your original search term and the text of the IQ-bubble.
So, if you searched [savings account rates] and clicked the “capital one” IQ-bubble, you’d be looking at a snippet for “savings account rates capital one.” That said, 72.06 percent of the time, natural language processing will step in here and produce something more sensible, like “capital one savings account rates.”

On the new snippet, the IQ-bubbles sit at the top, making room for the “Search for” link at the bottom. The link is the bubble snippet’s query and, when clicked, becomes the search query of a whole new SERP — a bit of fun borrowed from the “People also ask” box.
You can blame the ludicrous “IQ-bubble” name on Google — it’s the class tag they gave on HTML SERP. We have heard them referred to as “refinement” bubbles or “related search” bubbles, but we don’t like either because we’ve seen them do both refine and relate. IQ-bubble it is.
There are now 6 times the number of snippets on a SERPBack in April, we sifted through every SERP in STAT to see just how large the initial carousel rollout was. Turns out, it made a decent-sized first impression.
Appearing only in America, we discovered 40,977 desktop and mobile SERPs with carousel snippets, which makes up a hair over 9 percent of the US-en market. When we peeked again at the beginning of August, carousel snippets had grown by half but still had yet to reach non-US markets.

Since one IQ-bubble...

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