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updates, tutorials, articles and reviews

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YouTube SEO: How to Increase YouTube Video Rankings


It’s hard to deny; YouTube is a major advantage to any brand that’s serious about growth.
8 Quick SEO Tweaks That Help Increase Search Visibility


Many new enterprise SEOs ask me for advice on improving keyword rankings quickly.
Better Site Speed: 4 Outside-the-Box Ideas
Posted by Tom-AnthonyMost of us have done site speed audits, or seen audits done by others. These can be really helpful for businesses, but I often find they're quite narrow in focus. Typically we use well-known tools that throw up a bunch of things to look at, and then we dive into things from there.
However, if we dig deeper, there are often other ideas on how site speed can be improved. I often see plenty of opportunities that are never covered in site speed audits. Most site speed improvements are the result of a bunch of small changes, and so in this post I’m going to cover a few ideas that I’ve never seen in any site speed audit, all of which can make a difference.
A different angle on image optimization
Consider optimized SVGs over PNGs
I was recently looking to book some tickets to see Frozen 2 (because of, erm, my kids...) and so landed on this page. It makes use of three SVG images for transport icons:

SVG images are vector images, so they're well-suited for things like icons; if you have images displayed as PNGs you may want to ask your designers for the original SVGs, as there can be considerable savings. Though not always better, using an SVG can save 60% of the filesize.
In this case, these icons come in at about 1.2k each, so they are quite small. They would probably fly under the radar of site speed audits (and neither Page Speed Insights or GTMetrix mention these images at all for this page).
So you may be thinking, “They're less than 5k combined — you should look for bigger issues!”, but let's take a look. Firstly, we can run them all through Jake Archibald’s SVG compression tool; this is a great free tool and on larger SVGs it can make a big difference.
In this case the files are small, so you may still be thinking "Why bother?" The tool compresses them without any loss in quality from ~1240 bytes to ~630 bytes — a good ratio but not much of an overall saving.
However… now that we've compressed them, we can think differently about delivering them…
Inline images
GTMetrix makes recommendations around inlining small bits of CSS or JS, but doesn’t mention inlining images. Images can also be inlined, and sometimes this can be the right approach.
If you consider that even a very small image file requires a complete round trip (which can have a very real impact on speed), even for small files this can take a long time. In the case of the...
The Not-So-Secret Value of Podcast Transcripts - Whiteboard Friday
Posted by NikiMosierWhat are the benefits of transcribing your podcasts and what's the best way to go about getting them on your site? Niki Mosier breaks it down into 8 easy steps in this week's episode of Whiteboard Friday.







Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription
Hey, Moz fans. Here's another edition of Whiteboard Friday. I'm Niki Mosier, a senior SEO account manager at Two Octobers, and I'm here today to talk to you about the not-so-secret value of podcast transcripts.
I got the idea to play around with podcast transcripts after hearing Moz's Britney Muller talk about machine learning and podcast transcripts at TechSEO Boost last fall. 
+15% increase in organic traffic, +50% keyword lift
I ended up getting the opportunity to play around with this a little bit with a pro bono client we had at a previous job, the Davis Phinney Foundation. They do Parkinson's research and Parkinson's education. They were already podcasting, and then they also had a pretty robust blog, but they weren't adding their podcast transcripts. After about three months of adding a couple of podcast transcripts, we saw some pretty good value for them. We saw a 15% increase in organic traffic to the website and a 50% increase to some keyword lift around the keywords that we were tracking.
Google is now indexing podcasts
Why we think this is relevant right now, as you may know, Google announced, at I/O 2019, that they are indexing podcasts. If you do a search for your favorite podcast, you'll see that come up in the Google search results now. So adding that podcast transcript or any audio transcript to your website, whether that's video, a webinar, or anything, just has some really good value.
How to transcribe & optimize your podcasts
I'm going to walk you through the process that I used for them. It's super easy and you can turn around and apply it to your own website. 
1. Download your audio file
So obviously, download the audio file, whether that's MP3 or MP4 or whatever you have, from your video, podcast, or your webinars if you're doing those. 
2. Transcribe it
You need to be able to get that text transcript, so running it through either Temi or Otter.ai, both two resources that I've used, both really good. Otter.ai seems to be a little cleaner out of the gate, but I would...
They're the Best Around: The Top 25 Moz Blog Posts of 2019
Posted by FeliciaCrawfordWell, folks, it's that time of year again. It's hard to believe we've already gone another turn around the ol' sun. But I've consulted my analytics data and made my SQL queries, and I'm here today to present to you the list of the top Moz Blog posts of 2019!
For a little perspective, we published 207 blog posts, averaging out to about 4 per week. Out of those 207, the twenty-five I'm sharing with you below were the most-read pieces of the year. If you're strapped for time (and who isn't in our industry?), survey says these are the articles that aren't to be missed. And bonus — a good chunk of them are videos, so bring out the chocolate popcorn and settle down to watch!
(If chocolate popcorn sounds new and unfamiliar to you, I implore you to check out the Cinerama in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood the next time you're in town for MozCon. It is life-changing. Get the mix of regular and chocolate and never, ever look back.)
I'll be sharing the top keywords each post ranks for according to Keyword Explorer, too, to give you some idea of why these posts have continued to be favorites throughout the year. Gotta love that "Explore by Site" feature — it makes my job way too easy sometimes! ;-)
(For the Keyword Explorer nerds in the audience, I'll be filtering the rankings to positions 1–3 and organizing them by highest monthly search volume. I want to see what we're ranking highly for that gets lots of eyeballs!)
Ready to get started? I sure am. Let's dive in.

The top 25 Moz Blog posts of 2019
1. On-Page SEO for 2019 - Whiteboard Friday
Britney Muller, January 4th
57,404 reads
Top keywords according to Keyword Explorer: seo 2019 (#3, 501–850), seo best practices 2019 (#3, 501–850), homepage seo 2019 (#1, 0–10)
On-page SEO has long been a favorite topic for y'all, and the top number-one winner, winner, chicken dinner post of 2019 reflects that loud and proud. In this expert checklist, Britney Muller shares her best tips for doing effective on-page SEO for 2019.
And if you want a hint on one reason this puppy has been so popular, check out #10 in this very list. ;-)
2. The 60 Best Free SEO Tools [100% Free]
Cyrus Shepard, June 10th
51,170 reads
Top keywords according to Keyword Explorer: seo tools (#1, 6.5k–9.3k), free seo tools (#1, 1.7k–2.9k), free seo (#1, 501–850)
This post is a testament to the power of...
Top Enterprise SEO Strategies to Prioritize in 2020


SEO strategies shift in importance all the time, it’s the nature of our industry. Some strategies gain importance while others that we’ve grown accustomed to over the years lose their ability to drive search visibility.
Actually Accurate Analytics - Whiteboard Friday
Posted by RuthBurrReedyClean, useful Google Analytics data is all-important — both for you, and for the clients and colleagues that will be working on the site in the future. Ruth Burr Reedy shares her absolute best tips for getting your Analytics data accurate, consistent, and future-proof in this week's Whiteboard Friday.






Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab!
Video Transcription
Hi, Moz fans. I'm Ruth Burr Reedy, and I am the Vice President of Strategy at UpBuild. We're a technical marketing agency specializing in technical SEO and advanced web analytics. One of the things I wanted to talk about today, Whiteboard Friday, is about analytics.
So when I talk to SEOs about analytics and ask them, "When it comes to analytics, what do you do? What do you do first? When you're taking on a new client, what do you do?" SEOs are often really eager to tell me, "I dive into the data. Here's what I look like.Here are the views that I set up. Here's how I filter things. Here's where I go to gain insights."
But what I often don't hear people talk about, that I think is a super important first step with a new client or a new Analytics account, or really any time if you haven't done it, is making sure your Analytics data is accurate and consistent. Taking the time to do some basic Analytics housekeeping is going to serve you so far into the future and even beyond your time at that given client or company.
The people who come after you will be so, so, so thankful that you did these things. So today we're going to talk about actually accurate analytics. 
Is your Analytics code on every page?
So the first question that you should ask yourself is: Is your Analytics code on every page? Is it?
Are you sure? There are a lot of different things that can contribute to your Analytics code not actually being on every single page of your website. One of them is if portions of your site have a different CMS from the main CMS that's driving your site. 
Forums, subdomains, landing pages
We see this a lot with things like subdomains, with things like forums. A really common culprit is if you're using a tool like Marketo or HubSpot or Unbounce to build landing pages, it's really easy to forget to put Analytics on those pages.
Over time those pages are out there in the world. Maybe it's just one or two pages. You're...
The Economics of Link Building
Posted by Alex-TLife has taught me that good things should be expensive — especially when it comes to any type of digital marketing services. If you’re not an expert, you can end up getting something far from what you’ve been expecting.
Here’s an example of “the best mascot image you can get for your event” that I paid for when organizing one of our first Digital Olympus events:

Just for reference, this is how our mascot looked originally:

My point is, just like working with freelance designers, hiring SEO consultants is only safe when you know exactly what you need and can control every step of the contract. This both relates to the scope or work and the price of contract.
I get really confused when I hear that the price of an average SEO agency contract starts at $1k USD. This number was first shared by Rand Fishkin in 2012 when he asked 600 agencies about their typical rates. Later, in 2018, that same number was published by Ahrefs when they did a similar survey.
As an SEO practitioner, I’m a bit disappointed with the stability of rates, but what bothers me the most is that this rate doesn’t really include link building. I can hardly imagine a successful SEO campaign for an SMB site without acquiring links. To back up my statement with some numbers, I’d like to mention Ross Hudgens' claim that acquiring a good link on a top-notch site should cost $1k USD. Ironically, that’s the whole budget of an average SEO contract.
But to be honest, I don’t quite agree with those rates even though I truly respect the opinion. It doesn’t seem that realistic at scale: if you want to build 10 links, it would cost you $10k, a hundred links, $100k etc. That’s just plain impossible for the majority of companies. Don’t get me wrong, I would LOVE to work with those rates, but I can hardly imagine a business willing to pay one hundred thousand dollars for one hundred links. And to be completely fair, in some niches even a hundred links won’t move the needle.
See for yourself. Here’s one of our clients who thought that 100 links would help them:

And here’s what’s been going on with their organic traffic coming back to their blog from the links that we built:

To give you some context for their SEO situation, this client also wanted to rank for keywords related to link building. Below you can see one of my favorite examples of how fierce the competition is in the...
The 5 Best SEO Books of 2020
If you've felt lost, frustrated, or overwhelmed while trying to build an SEO strategy for your business, you're not alone. There are thousands of SEO blogs, articles, webinars, and videos covering every aspect of SEO from initial keyword research to highly technical optimization, but they rarely do a good job of presenting information in an orderly, easy-to-follow format. Even experienced SEOs often feel like they're trying to 'boil the ocean' - that there are simply too many keywords to research, too many factors to consider, too much work to do.

By simplifying, summarizing, and presenting SEO knowledge in an orderly, self-contained format, an SEO book can guide you through the process of creating an SEO strategy in a way that articles and videos cannot.

This is where a good SEO book can be your lifeline. The biggest advantage of an SEO book is its structure - by simplifying, summarizing, and presenting SEO knowledge to you in an orderly, self-contained format, the best SEO books will walk you through the process of creating an organic growth strategy for your business. This structure and guidance will give you a much better chance of successfully creating and implementing an SEO strategy for your website, which is what really matters.
We’ve compiled a list of the best SEO books for 2020 by some of the most respected names in the industry. And we know what you’re going to say - "Search engines are constantly updating their algorithms, so aren’t these books outdated or soon going to be?" Yes and no. Many of these books come out with new editions yearly, so we usually recommend picking up the most recent edition. However, while some of the details may change, the core concepts and principles of SEO, such as identifying organic opportunities, keyword research, audience targeting, etc. have remained mostly unchanged, so the information contained within these books will help you rank higher in search engines for years to come.
Best SEO Books For Beginners
SEO 2020
Self-published by Adam Clarke, SEO 2020 is written in a more casual, conversational tone than some of the other books on this list, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Some particular strengths of this book include his focus on the importance of keyword research (and handy strategies on how to do it quickly and effectively at scale), as well as how to troubleshoot some of the more common...

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