Social Signals & SEO – Interview with Andrew Dennis

There is a reason why Twitter is my FAVORITE place to hangout. I always find incredibly smart and interesting people there, like Andrew Dennis at Page One Power. Andrew had been pinging back and forth with our @AuthorityLabs account and providing some really great thoughts about the state of the search marketing industry. As the conversation progressed, I knew I had to share some of his insights with you.

andrew-150x150First a little bit more about Andrew. He is a Content Marketing Specialist at Page One Power in Boise, ID. Andrew is an alumnus of the University of Idaho and consequently a lifelong Vandals fan.

When he’s not writing about link building and SEO, you’ll find him attending and/or watching live sports and despite the pain and misery they have caused him, he remains a devout Detroit Lions fan. Unfortunate football loyalties aside, he has some great thinking to share about the convergence of search and social.

The Interview

Michelle Stinson Ross: What exactly is a “social signal” as it relates to search?

Andrew Dennis: A “social signal” could be a social share/link (Tweet, +1, Like, etc.), number of social followers, click-through on social media, etc. Basically, any sort of signal from social media that a search engine could potentially track and integrate into their algorithms.

MSR: If social signals don’t directly impact search ranking, what do they impact?

AD: While social signals don’t directly impact search rankings, they can have a meaningful impact on your business and marketing as a whole. Ignoring social signals would be a mistake.

Social signals can have a major impact on branding and visibility. Larger following means increased brand awareness and exposure; with more people following your social accounts you can amplify and extend the reach of your brand and the content you share.

Also, a large social following can provide social proof for your company and cultivate a reputation of trust and authority.

MSR: How do you see SEOs leveraging the new Tweets in search results to improve brand authority?

tweetAD: I’m sure this will lead to a number of SEOs investing more effort into their Twitter presences. But the reality is Twitter has always been valuable in terms of increasing exposure and reach, as well as building important relationships for SEO and link building.

The recent Google-Twitter deal only makes platform even more useful because tweets are starting to show up in search, meaning Twitter offers a platform for increased search visibility. Also, studies have indicated that tweets can lead to faster indexation for new pages.

Of course, I have no doubt there will be some attempts at manipulation, which Google will have to combat.

MSR: What SEO benefits do brands still get from Google+ activity?

AD: There are two main search benefits brands can attain from Google+.

One benefit is that if a person is following your brand on G+ then you can receive a slight rankings boost in their personal results. This means if that person is logged into their Google account (the one that follows your company) there is a better chance they will see your content/site in the search results.

The other potential SEO benefit applies to local search. If you’re a local company, you should absolutely claim and optimize your Google Local page. These pages are what show up in Google’s “local pack”, so you need to make sure your brand’s Local page is accurate.

To be clear, a Google+ Local page is different from a Google+ Brand page, so make sure you at least fill out your Local page. (Note: If you have a Google+ Brand page and would like to transfer your verified local data, you can do so by following this process)

Also, reviews are a factor in local pack rankings, so you need to work to solicit positive reviews on these pages as well.

MSR: How should social media be used to cultivate link building relationships?

AD: In my opinion there is no better platform for engaging and connecting with your audience (and others in your industry) than social media. This is precisely why social needs to be part of your link building strategy – social media can facilitate the types of meaningful relationships that make link acquisition easier and more effective.

Not only can you use social to connect with influencers in your niche, but once you build a positive connection with these people they will be more likely to help promote your assets, resulting in increased exposure, and of course more links. You can even use social media as an alternative (and more personal) platform for link building outreach.

MSR: How does social media listening guide optimized content production?

AD: Social signals provide insight into how your company, brand, and content are regarded by your audience. This type of insight can be invaluable in terms of marketing, because social signals will help guide your content creation as well as measure the success of existing content.

strategyFor example, you might create something that you think is awesome and useful, but then you find nobody is sharing it on social media. These signals (or lack thereof) indicate that maybe your content missed the mark and wasn’t actually what your audience was looking for, and you can take this into account the next time you produce something. On the flip side, if your content garners a large number of social shares and buzz, you know your message is resonating.

Also, don’t restrict social listening to your own brand. Leverage tools like BuzzSumo to discover what types of content the influencers in your vertical are sharing and what they’re interested in. This too can guide your content/promotion strategies.

MSR: How does social media impact mobile visibility?

AD: The impact of social on mobile is largely the same as it is on desktop search. The indexation of tweets put an increased emphasis on Twitter, but as far as influence on search rankings, social signals still do not impact mobile rankings.

However, as mentioned before social still offers branding value and increased exposure. Specific to mobile, social apps offer great opportunities for improved mobile visibility, and further amplification.

MSR: What do you do to get your search and social teams working together?

AD: Collaboration is vital to the success of our marketing department as a whole. One policy we’ve implemented that has really fostered communication and teamwork is to have a morning huddle twice a week. During this huddle we talk about current projects and strategies, and discuss situations where collaboration is needed.

Not only do these meetings help our search and social teams work together, but they ensure the whole department is on the same page. Furthermore, it allows each team to see where further collaboration might be warranted, leading to even more collaboration beyond these initial meetings.

MSR: How do you keep track of how effectively all these moving parts are working together?

AD: The aforementioned huddles certainly help keep track of everything that is happening in our marketing department. But beyond that we also utilize project management/organizational tools such as Asana, Google Docs, Skype, Google Hangouts, and email to monitor progress on our various projects.

We also use analytic tools to measure the efficacy of various initiatives, including Google Analytics, Hubspot, and custom reports.

Time for you to weigh in on the debate. How do you feel about the questions we put to Andrew? How are you using social media campaigns to impact the complicated world of search?

Google Launches Alphabet and Takes Over All of the Letters

Alphabet GoogleIn case you haven’t heard, there’s a new kid on the block. Although the name may take you back to your childhood playing with blocks labeled, “A, B, C”, Google’s newest announcement is one to be excited about. Google made the announcement in their usual way, a blog post, with a little defense and a lot of giddiness. Claiming that like many of the things people thought were crazy to do in the past, which have resulted in billions of users: YouTube, Android, Chrome, etc., their new company Alphabet is sure to be a positive move for Google.

With words like “stoked” and “crazy”, CEO and post author Larry Page explained their main excitement about the new company as the following:

  • “Getting more ambitious things done.
  • Taking the long-term view.
  • Empowering great entrepreneurs and companies to flourish.
  • Investing at the scale of the opportunities and resources we see.
  • Improving the transparency and oversight of what we’re doing.
  • Making Google even better through greater focus.
  • And hopefully…as a result of all this, improving the lives of as many people as we can.”

One of the strangest parts of this transition is when you visit As you attempt to visit you’re stuck staring at a spiraling loading bar for minutes. This is most likely due to the high volume of traffic the domain is receiving with all of the press regarding Alphabet. But, why all the press? What’s so big about this announcement and why so much excitement? Let’s dive head first.

What Is It?

Alphabet is now home to several different companies, the biggest being Google. With Alphabet they are able to have several different CEO’s who independently manage each business. This is important because of the range of industries covered in Alphabet. Businesses range from the well known internet products to health and science businesses like Calico.

Having independent CEO’s for each business will help management better allocate each individual business need. Alphabet CEO Larry Page and President Sergey will monitor the overall well being of each business and the corporation as a whole, but leaving the bulk of the management for each individual business to the CEO’s who offer the greatest expertise. In a sense, this is what teamwork is all about. Allowing those who know what they’re doing to operate on their own, while having a strong management team overseeing the foundation. Go team!

What Can We Expect?

With a company as huge and talented as Google, it only makes sense to start segmenting sections of the company to better allocate efforts. Alphabet is designed to do this, as well as allot time for geniuses to do what they do best, like develop new product ideas and better technology as a whole.

Speaking of bettering technology, Alphabet will also home X lab, a semi-secret facility in charge of designing major technological advancement, and produce products like Wing, a drone delivery system. To make sure they cover as many industries as possible, Alphabet will also be home to Google’s investment companies, Ventures and Capital. Both Ventures and Capital offer investment and funding opportunities for new businesses, especially technology companies.

With a move as large as this, it’s expected for leaders in the industry to stand up and make claims about whether or not this is a good move. Though most are o-kay with the move, there are some clear pros and cons with Alphabet.


  • prosBy allowing people to do what they do best, and have a strong management team above them, we can expect even bigger technology advancements to happen over the next few years.
  • Having CEO’s for different industries within Alphabet will better hold people accountable when oops moments happen. It will also help clarify certain data and information about each individual aspect of Alphabet’s companies. Let’s see those numbers!
  • Segmenting out each business as it’s own company inside of Alphabet opens up several job opportunities. New CEO’s will need to be hired, as well as people with very specific skills. Instead of going to Google and requesting a career, job seekers will now have unique industries and areas to apply for that best suit their expertise inside of Alphabet.


  • consSome of the industry is speculating this change may be a sign for a permanent domain change. Since Alphabet’s domain ends in .xyz it wouldn’t be incredibly shocking if Google slowly moved us all over to .xyz and away from .com. Founder of .xyz, Daniel Negari, told WIRED Magazine the reason for the domain is simply that the alphabet ends in ‘xyz’, so why wouldn’t domain names?
  • Many people aren’t entirely comfortable with the idea of technology advancement. They like smart phones and smart televisions, but flying drones are a little intimidating. Allowing further technology advancement means self-driving cars to hit dealerships sooner and technology in the healthcare industry to start showing up in a hospital near you

What is your opinion about Alphabet? Do you see any clear pros and cons? Comment below with your thoughts!

Tips for New Pubcon Speakers

Speaking at PubconPubcon is a big venue and a great place to make a name for yourself. Speaking at Pubcon is a fantastic experience and one you will remember for a lifetime. I have created a collection of tips I think will be helpful for those speaking at Pubcon for the first time. If you have any questions please reach out anytime :)

If you have spoken at Pubcon in the past, please leave your own tips in the comments below.

Presentation Prep

The #1 recommendation we have is to make sure your presentation is actionable, tip driven and educational. You want attendees to walk away from your session and be able to put your tips into immediate practice. You want them to remember you as someone that offers information they need and as someone they want to hear speak in the future.

The best way to make that happen is to put your all into your presentation. Research and see what others have put into their presentations. Make sure yours is unique, updated and as helpful as possible. Aim to be the best and offer the best.

Practice Matters More for Vegas

I have had many speakers explain a variety of things that impact how well they speak in Vegas. Here are a few:

  • Time zone changes
  • Dry environment
  • The air quality in certain hotels/casinos
  • Lack of sleep
  • Dehydration
  • The high elevation
  • Late flights / lost luggage
  • Alcohol / hangovers / partying

If you land in Vegas knowing your presentation like the back of your hand you will be able to offer a better presentation. Don’t want until you get to Vegas to practice, because it is way too hard to focus and there are always other factors in play.

I recommend you have your timing down pat before you get on the plane. Going over in a session is a big no-no and not speaking enough can also make you look unprepared. Every person in your audience is a potential client or employer; you want to do the best job possible.

Get Rest the Night Before You Speak

I can’t stress this one enough. There are going to be people you want to talk to and be with every single night and they will stay out very late (or early, depending on how you look at it). If you are speaking you have to take into account time zone changes, all the walking, and for some the emotional drain from all the networking. You need to be fresh when you walk into Pubcon to speak, so force yourself to rest the night before.

This rest will give you a boost you will be glad you had.

Get to the Convention Center Early: Find Your Session Room

Pubcon-hallwayThe convention center is very large and you want to get there early and find the room you will be speaking in. I suggest you also look inside and get to know the room a bit so you feel a bit more comfortable.

It is important for you to know exactly where you are going to get to your session on-time; being late for a session isn’t cool.

Also, find out where the closest restroom is so you can freshen up before you speak. Market yourself and tweet out what your session is and what room you will be speaking in ahead of time.

Find the Speaker’s Room!

There is a speaker’s room which offers a quite environment to prepare for your presentation. There are refreshments, outlets and many tables to work from. This can be a great place to meet other speakers. However, they are often there preparing for their presentations so the room always tends to be on the quiet side.

I have seen many speakers try to review their slides out in the main halls and they can barely focus. Utilize the speaker’s room for preparation, work emergencies and to rehydrate.

Bring a Jacket

The convention center is cold (this is an understatement). Even if you think you like a cold environment I suggest you bring a nice jacket you feel comfortable speaking in. You may be fine the first hour or so, but you will get cold and the air hits the speaker’s table pretty hard. There is nothing worse than speaking when you are shivering. Have a jacket as an option just in case.

You Want Comfortable Shoes

mattsshoesIf you really want to shock yourself wear a Fitbit to Pubcon and look at how many steps you take just to get to Pubcon. Then you will be walking around the conference center. You will feel it and you don’t want to be standing there speaking with feet that hurt so bad you can’t focus.

You will be behind a table with a drape and then a podium; no one in your session will see your shoes unless they speak to you afterwards. Being comfortable helps you speak better, so I suggest focusing on comfort over fashion.

Drink Water – All Day, Everyday

I found out the hard way that leaving Florida and going to Vegas results in severe dehydration. My skin was dry, my legs swelled and I felt awful by the time I spoke on Thursday. Vegas is a super dry environment and you need the water. If you will be drinking alcohol you will need even more water.

Loren Baker gave the Pubcon Community Group a great tip; go to Walgreens, buy a case of water and stick them in your fridge at the hotel. This will save you a lot of money and also help you easily carry water with you every time you leave the hotel room. .

Cover the Levels of Expertise

Attendees range from beginners to advanced, so when you are preparing your presentation you need to keep this in mind.  You don’t need to speak at a beginner’s level, but you can help them by clarifying terms or having shortened links to resources throughout the presentation.

Make sure what you say is 100% accurate. Triple check facts before you use them in a presentation and make sure those facts are still accurate they day you speak. Folks will go to Twitter with inaccuracies.

Come Say “Hi” to AuthorityLabs!

AuthorityLabs will be at Pubcon everyday and at the networking events. We would love to meet you, so come say hello :)

Blog Writing Tips: How to Craft the Perfect Blog Post

Most people assume content marketing begins and ends with blogging. Allow me to burst your bubble right in the beginning of this post: It doesn’t. Blogging is an essential part of content marketing, as well as SEO, but is so much more for businesses. Blogging is a way to connect with customers and partners, introduce new products and promotions, and increase rankings and links. Without great content from blog posts, there wouldn’t be much for businesses to share on social, and even less regularly updated websites and shared links.

Clearly I’m not the only one who understands the importance of blogging. As of 3:30pm PST, over 2.5 million blog posts were written today. Now that’s a lot of content to read! Let your blog stand out from the millions and actually be read, ranked, and reported on with these tips.

Bring it Back to Basics

Blog posts are primarily used for SEO, to help drive traffic, and create engagement. When crafting the perfect blog post it’s important to remember why you’re writing the post in the first place. Yes, in a dream world writers can create content for the fun of it, and have time to do so. In the meantime, create thought-provoking blog posts that users want to engage with and search engines want to rank.

Use sites like Quora to discover questions people are searching for, as well as hashtags for trending topics. Answer those questions and become a part of a trending topic using high quality writing your demographic can appreciate.

Create a Content Calendar

A content calendar will save your life, sorta. It may not pull you out of the ocean during shark week, but it will help you organize all of your blog posts into one calendar. Using something as simple as Google Excel, create an excel doc labeling topics, writers, schedule date, post date, and who published it/when. This acts a central database to manage writers, topics, and posting schedules. Using an online document like Google Excel also makes sharing the calendar with a team simple.

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 5.18.33 PM

Choose Topics That Matter to You

It’s much easier to write about topics you’re actually interested. Readers can tell when a writer is writing about something they’re passionate about by the way the post is written. Although it’s not always an option, try to choose topics you’re not only knowledgeable about, but have a connection with. The post will read much easier, as well as be more enjoyable to create.

Grab Attention With a Catchy Title

An attractive, to the point, keyword-rich title is the difference between a clicked on post and an idle one. People want 5 easy steps to better organic reach, as well as learn how to create the perfect Facebook Ad.  Including numbers, steps, and how-to’s in titles is an effective way to catch a readers eye.


Play around with variations of titles and keywords, promoting each variation with a link on social media. This will help you analyze which titles work better for your audience by seeing which ones receive the most clicks and engagement: How To’s vs Top 5.

Use Quotes and/or Statistics From Well Known Sources

Like they say, “99% of all statistics are made up“. To avoid becoming a part of a statistic, do research on the company providing the stat you’re trying to source. Choose from well respected leaders and businesses to share stats you can actually trust the accuracy of.

5652.strip.printImage Source: Dilbert

Cite people and businesses that will make sense to your demographic. It doesn’t make sense for me to include a quote from Petco’s CEO in this blog post, unless he was an avid blogger or contributor. Statistics and quotes are given more respect from readers when they come from people who have already earned respect from consumers.

Play With Post Length

Write different post lengths to see which posts get a better response. Some topics may need more of an explanation and understanding, whereas others are best short, sweet, and to the point. With 43% people opening emails and email newsletters on mobile devices, blog posts kept shorter are more likely to be read in their entirety on smaller devices.

It’s much easier for mobile and tablet users to scan through the blog posts in an email newsletter when they are shorter, yet a captivating post will make a user wait until they’ve reached a desktop so they can comfortably read the whole post. Play with different post lengths and use Google Analytics to see how much time is actually spent on each post by which deveice, analyzing which post length is more attractive to readers and on what device.

Edit, Edit, and Edit Again

Is the blog post too texty and not sexy? Add images, interactive gifs and infographics to break up bulk sections of text. Re-read your post several times. Look to see if you can simplify any sections of the post by rearranging paragraphs and/or deleting sentences. The simpler the post, the easier it is to read and more likely to be shared.

Borrow an Extra Set of Eyes

Have a second, or third, pair of eyes read over the blog post to point out any grammatical errors and poor sentence structure. It’s easy for our eyes to automatically insert words we are missing, as well as skip over typos. An extra pair of eyes will quickly notice any run-on sentences and misplaced apostrophes.

Image Source: Tangle Media

SEO & Keywords

Every blog post should have well-thought out and researched keywords placed conveniently throughout. Without having too many or too little, search engines need to understand that the keywords in your title are actually being discussed throughout the post. Meaning, you write about what you say you’re going to write.

In order to have a blog post populate in search results it needs to be well written, shared often, and SEO-friendly. This includes adding title tags and meta descriptions. If the blog or website lives on WordPress, you can easily add keywords, title tags, and meta descriptions at the bottom section of each post page inside WordPress. Honor the length of each, keeping titles between 50-60 characters, or 512 pixels wide, and meta descriptions around 156 characters so nothing is cutoff.

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 5.22.49 PM

Without affecting how a post reads, the same keywords and related keywords must be in the body of the blog post. If you’re a great content marketer you can do this naturally, without right-clicking to paste keywords in each paragraph. The post should have a fluid movement from paragraph to paragraph, making sense and not ruining the reader’s journey with overstuffed keywords. Google will notice if you try and force keywords upon us. Respect the readers and the engines and create naturally SEO-friendly blog posts.

Tools For Writing Blogs

Like any other market, tools make our lives easier. Bloggers have several different tools at their disposal to help create content ideas, track topics, and find guest bloggers. Here’s a few of my favorite tools:

Have blog writing tools or tips you can’t live without? Comment below with your favorites!

Email Marketing 101: How to Use Email Marketing to Drive Traffic

Featuring different products, news, updates, and event info, email newsletters are a quick and easy way to get info you need to all of your subscribers at once, while encouraging them to take action. Twenty percent of marketers say their business’ primary revenue source is from email operations. Luckily for us, there are several different ways marketers can help guarantee actions taken from email campaigns, as well as to help drive traffic.

Since m​ore than half of marketers plan to increase their email marketing budgets this year, now is the time to revamp email marketing campaigns and take actions into our own hands. Pay attention to the tips below to help increase traffic using email marketing.

W​hat’s the Perfect Size Subscriber List?

There isn’t one! Everyone’s subscriber list should be unique to their demographic, products, and services. For example, having a subscriber list of only 100 people, all of whom voluntarily submitted their email address at an event, can produce more opens and traffic than a list of 10,000 subscribers from a purchased list.

T​his doesn’t mean having a large subscriber list is a bad thing. It means the email newsletters you produce for a large list size requires more captivation with the design and content of the email, as well as quality subscribers. Since the purchased list of subscribers haven’t engaged with your business before, or perhaps just briefly heard of you, the email newsletter has to captivate and encourage all 10,000 subscribers to open, click, and forward. Whereas, the smaller list of subscribers who met your business at an event and created a personal relationship is more likely to not only open the email, but engage and drive traffic to your website.

Why Won’t Anyone Open My Emails?

Every morning as I sip my tea I organize my inbox, deleting “Spam”, prioritizing emails and filtering the rest. The quickest way for me to declare something as spam is when I notice who it’s from. Another promo from Chili’s is going straight to the spam folder, unless I was craving a Cadillac Margarita that day. The subject line of an email is another way I define what is spam, trash, or saved for later.

dilbert-problems-with-emailImage Source: Ving

When crafting the perfect email, use your personal name associated with the business name as the “From”. Real names like John Smith are less likely to be categorized as spam than Chili’s and also more likely to be opened if they make it to the inbox.

Regarding the subject line, include something catchy without saying too much. The whole point of the email is for it to be opened, read, and digested. M​ailchimp​ suggests these tips when crafting the perfect subject line:

  • Add a local aspect in the subject line, including a local hot spot or location.
  • Never repeat the same subject line. Always try to create a more captivating subject line than the last.
  • Promotional emails can come across as spammy. Avoid any promotional or sales-­like phrases in subject lines.
  • A lengthy subject line gets cut off and is distracting. Keep the subject line around 50 characters so it is short, sweet, and easy to read.

How Can I Personalize Each Email For Traffic?

We all know the emails coming from Geico aren’t created​ just for me.​ T​hey are generalized emails that touch on a trending topic, new service provided, or some general update. To help filter this type of corporate feel for subscribers, it’s important to personalize the email as much as possible. Taking the time to do this will help ultimately drive traffic from your email to your website. Some items will take additional time, like adding specific paragraphs directed to specific subscribers, whereas things like form fields can be automated.

Beginning an email with “​Hi, Person’s Name” ​is one of the many tactics you can setup to help increase traffic and engagement from an email. Email marketing programs like Mailchimp and Constant Contact have codes that automatically insert the subscriber’s name to help personalize the body of the email. Seeing their name at the beginning of an email from a big business gives a subscriber a personal feel, one that can lead to action.

Why Won’t My Subscribers Take Action?

Sure, your email layout is designed beautifully, it’s personalized and the content is impressive, but have you included any links? Are there any call-to-actions? There’s an initial reason to send out a mass email to subscribers, whether it’s to increase sales, generate traffic, new followers, or email virality. Depending on the goal there’s multiple ways to include interactive features in the body of an email to help increase results and drive traffic.

1. Insert links everywhere.​ I type this with an equal amount of caution and emphasis. All of the images, buttons, and call-to-actions need to link to a specific page on your website. Every other word in each paragraph does not. Place links where it makes the most sense: buttons, product images, product descriptions, etc. Make it easy for the subscriber to “get more information” and act on the action you’re requesting them to by inserting links.

2. Encourage social sharing.​ Include social media buttons to each of your social pages at the bottom and top of an email. Give the subscriber an opportunity to follow you on a profile they didn’t realize you had while increasing engagement and driving traffic to social pages.

3. Use buttons appropriately. B​uttons are an appealing way to place a call to action. The design of a button help break up sections of text and flags for action. Experiment using different colors for the button background, as well as different size shapes. Some subscribers may react better to large, loud buttons, whereas others prefer simpler designed buttons.

bebe_mobile1Image Source: Newsletter Monitor Blog

4. Share blog posts. B​log posts are a great way to encourage traffic from an email to your website. Include a short snippet with a teaser image to your new blog posts. Keep track of which blog posts receive the most clicks to analyze what kind of posts your subscribers interact with best.

5. Create a sign­up form on your website. T​his is the same idea as having an exclusive landing page for your email subscribers. When they click on a button or link in the body of the email they are redirected to a sign­up form, ultimately bringing them back to your website. Don’t forget to include a call to action aside from the form so subscribers are encouraged to surf around your site while they’re there. This is a great tactic for event RSVPs, as well as product purchases.

6. Send at the right time.​ There’s a right time and a wrong time to press that “Send” button and instantly mail out your newsletter to subscribers. The best time for your subscribers will be determined based on analytics. Try sending out an email at different times of the day to see when it is being opened and engaged with the most. If you’re too afraid to risk a good email with the wrong time, A​merican Express​ recommends sending it between 9am and 12pm.

Don’t Forget About Mobile!

About 7​2 percent o​f US online adults send or receive personal emails via smartphone weekly. That percentage is so high due to the simplicity of checking emails on mobile devices. Whether your subscribers are on the go or looking for something to entertain them, mobile email marketing is where it’s at.

Image Source: Mineful

Make sure whichever program you’re using to design email newsletters offers mobile responsive layouts. You want your email to be just as captivating when opened on an iPhone as it is on a Mac. Adjust images, content boxes, and forms to fit perfectly inside both devices for ultimate engagement and traffic.

Have you had success with mobile marketing campaigns? How are you using emails to drive traffic? Share your success in the comments below!

Why Keyword Rankings Drop & What You Can Do About It

If you analyze your keyword rankings for long enough, you will notice that sometimes, they fluctuate just slightly from day to day. Over the course of a year, you may even notice them possibly slip on and off of the first page of search results. Why do these changes occur? Here are some possibilities:

You changed your landing page URL.

This is usually not an issue that will affect your homepage’s keyword rankings, unless you change your domain name. But when you update a page or post URL, you must redirect it. This will ensure that you keep the link value that you have built towards the old URL.

Redirecting an old URL to a new one will not save or transfer the number of social shares that you have received in the past. If social sharing counts are important to you, either because you like the social proof or because you believe that social sharing counts can have some impact on rankings in search, you will want to strongly reconsider changing any of your popular URLs.

You changed your page’s keyword optimization.

Did you recently update your page’s SEO title, images, or text? Did you change something major, such as switching from one WordPress SEO plugin to another, or changing from WordPress to HubSpot? All of these things can affect your page’s keyword optimization, which could ultimately affect your rankings for specific keywords.

The biggest offender is removing a keyword you are ranking for from the SEO title. If you changed the technology running your website, it could have erased the crucial SEO settings for each of your pages. If that’s the case, go through and check the keyword optimization of the pages that were previously attracting the most organic search traffic.

You lost some good links.

There are hundreds of reasons why you will lose links to your website throughout the years. You might lose some of your best quality links because a website linking to you shuts down, gets penalized and removes many of their outgoing links (or nofollows them), or removes the page linking to you and redirects it to a new page that doesn’t.

This is why link building – quality link building, that is – should be an on-going process. You can’t guarantee that you will keep every link you build, so you will need to continue building great links to your website. If you are gaining a few new high-quality links every month, you won’t have to worry about the ones that you lose.

Monitor Backlinks is a great tool to use to get notified when you gain or lose any backlinks to your website.


If you get alerted to a lost backlink, you can take that as a reminder to go out and build a new one.

An algorithm change affected your rankings.

Each year, there are several significant updates to the Google search algorithm. In this infographic by HubSpot, you can get a quick snapshot of the changes that have happened in the last decade, plus the reasons behind the updates.

history of google algorithm changes

If you think an algorithm change may have affected your website’s keyword rankings, you can find out in one of two ways. First, you can look at the time your keyword rankings dropped and see if it coincides with a specific Google algorithm change. The free Website Penalty Indicator by FEInternational can give you a quick glance at a major drop in organic search traffic versus the time a Google algorithm update took place.


Beneath the chart, you can click the link for more details to learn about the algorithm update and how it might have affected your website in terms of whether it was aimed at content, backlinks, or other elements.

For a more precise indicator, you can try paid tools like the Google Penalty Checker by Fruition, which will connect to your Google Analytics to match organic search traffic dips and Google algorithm changes and across the board penalties.


This tool is free to use for up to two domains and analysis of algorithm changes that happened over three months ago (based on your current Google Analytics data). For more domains or up-to-date penalty checking, you will need to upgrade for a paid subscription.

Once you determine which algorithm change possibly affected your website, it will be your job to fix the issue. For example:

  • If you discover your drop in rankings is related to a Panda update, you will need to focus on creating more quality content for your website.
  • If you discover your drop in rankings is related to a Penguin update, you will need to focus on over-optimized anchor text, a bad link profile, or removing other black-hat SEO strategies from your tool belt.
  • If you discover your drop in rankings is related to a Hummingbird update, you will need to check the context of your page’s content in relation to the keywords the page previously ranked well for.
  • If you discover your drop in rankings is related to the Mobile Friendly update, you will need to ensure that your website is using a responsive or otherwise mobile-friendly design.

While the above covers general areas of focus for each major update, you will want to read specific details about the update that affected you, as some can be industry specific or

Google penalized you.

Algorithm changes are not the only thing that can affect your keyword rankings. In some cases, Google applies a manual action to websites that break certain Webmaster Guidelines.

There are currently 11 official manual action types listed. Here are a few of the common ones, and what you’ll have to do to fix them.

  • You have unnatural links pointing to your website. These can include links you paid for, link exchanges, and others. This manual action requires that you request to have as many unnatural links pointing to your website removed or nofollowed as possible as well. For those that you cannot get removed or nofollowed, you will need to be able to show Google your efforts in attempting to contact webmasters.
  • You have unnatural links pointing to other websites from your own. These can include people paying you for links, link exchanges, and others. This manual action requires that you remove these links from your website or nofollow them.
  • You have participated in spamming to inflate your rankings by creating profiles, forum posts, blog comments, and other social media in order to get links. This manual action requires that you remove as many of these spammy elements from the web as possible.
  • Your website has been hacked and is serving malware and viruses to visitors. This manual action requires that you clean up the hack or malicious code from your website. To prevent it from happening again, you will also want to increase your website’s security.

In order to find out if you have a manual action against your website, you will need to have a free Google Webmaster Tools account. You can create one and connect your website using your website’s Google Analytics code or by logging in to your domain registrar’s website to verify it is owned by you. Then, you will need to keep an eye out for any messages about manual actions. If you do receive one, you can contact Google through Google Webmaster Tools to resolve the issue.

Your competitor outranked you.

Sometimes, a drop in keyword rankings doesn’t signal anything that you have done wrong. It just means that one of your competitors has outranked you in search. When you notice you’ve experienced a rankings drop, head over to Google, turn off personalization, and see where you stand. Peruse the competitors that are outranking you for a specific keyword, then do a little competitive research to discover how they are doing it.

To keep an eye on your competitors to ensure that you’re on top of the latest SEO strategies that are helping them boost their rankings in search, use tools like Monitor Backlinks (as mentioned earlier). It will allow you to keep track of your own links as well as monitor your competitor’s latest links by date.


This will help you easily identify new strategies your competitors are using that you can take advantage of, like guest blogging, local directories, and other tactics.

In Conclusion

As you can see, there are many reasons that your keyword rankings can drop in search. If you haven’t already, sign up for an AuthorityLabs account and start tracking all of your top keywords so that you can take appropriate action to maintain your keyword rankings.