3 SEO Podcasts for Your Listening Pleasure

In addition to using blogs to learn more about SEO, podcasts are full of useful information. Podcasts provide news, tips and pointers on different topics and can help make a commute or other downtime more productive. Listening to an SEO podcast could make your SEO more successful, without cutting into your already busy schedule. Here are three great SEO podcast recommendations from the Searchable to get you started.


SEO 101

SEO 101 is, as the intro goes, your introductory course on search engine optimization. This podcast eases listeners into the basics of Search Engine Optimization without a lot of the more technical jargon. With over 200 podcasts, SEO 101 has covered a lot of different topics and their backlog probably contains some sort of information on the question you have.

Their recent episode on how to improve local search results gives a good feel for the podcast’s style and feel. Ross Dunn and John Carcutt, the hosts  of the show, discuss Google’s method for determining quality content by taking information from all around the web, finding the best answer, and then breaking it down for listeners.

SEO Rockstars

If you feel you have graduated from 101, you can also check out their sister podcast SEO Rockstars. SEO Rockstars covers topics in a bit more detail and bring in a variety of experts to participate in the conversation. Although this podcast is a bit newer, their backlog still covers quite the variety of topics, including covering many topics more in-depth than SEO 101.

A recommended podcast to listen to, especially for small business owners, is the Small Business SEO value. Here, hosts  Chris Boggs and Frank Watson discuss the importance of owning websites and how to avoid “#SEO lies” in order to get the most value from your SEO efforts..

Edge of the Web

Both Edge of the Web’s podcast and the website in general are an absolute treasure trove of great SEO content. The podcast, a product of Indianapolis based Site Strategics, breaks down different SEO topics with interviews of industry professionals and an open, funny personality.

Site Strategies CEO Erin Sparks, leads a rotating cast of other Site Strategies employees and other experts in a discussion of SEO tactics and other digital content. In a recent podcast, they brought Barry Schwartz onto the show to talk about his experience as an expert in the search engine field.

If you don’t have time to listen to the whole episode, Edge of the Web will post highlights of the podcast on their YouTube page. Another major tool from the website is their Score Your Site tool where the people at Site Strategics will take a look at your website and give you feedback for free!


Podcasts can be a valuable tool not only for improving your SEO, but also for all aspects of your business. With over 60,000 podcasts out there, one is bound to help answer some of your questions.

For a quick glossary of terms you may hear on these podcasts, check out our Go-To Glossary for SEO. For current trends in SEO check out our Evaluation of 3 SEO Trends of 2016.

Head Towards Better SEO With Headers

Headers are more than just an exciting soccer move, but actually play a very important role in Search Engine Optimization. Incorporating headers into your website can help improve web traffic and SERP rankings.

The Basics

Headers are a part of a webpage’s architecture that help separate titles from the main text of the page. There are six levels of headers  that start with header 1, or h1, and go all the way down to header 6, h6.  H1s are the most important, usually the title on the page, and are a very broad description of the topic at hand. As the header numbers increase, their text gets more specific, but they also become less important. For example, let us look at the headings for a hypothetical ice cream shop.


<h1>Scoops Ice Cream Shop Menu</h1>

<h2>Soft Serve</h2>











As you can see, as the header numbers increase, the topic gets more specific, from the menu, to the title of the page, to the type of ice cream, to the ice cream flavors, to the toppings before taking a step back to move onto a different type.  It is important to note that you cannot skip levels in your headings. Jumping from a h1 to an h3 will break the HTML coding. Additionally, every page should have one h1 heading, but only one h1 heading. H1s are the most important heading, but having more than one creates confusion both for customers and search engines.


Headers and SEO

So how exactly do headers help optimize your webpage?


Headers help denote important title text from the rest of the information on the page.  Google’s Hummingbird algorithm uses headers, especially the h1 and h2s, to determine pertinent information on the page and help put relevant sites on their result page. Looking back at our example from earlier, the ice cream shop would rank well for “local soft serve”, a h2, but be ignored for “local sprinkles”, a h5.


Organization, both for you and the visitors of your web page, is another benefit of headers. Headers help to provide structure for the pages, as well as keep them organized. Pages look better and can make content easier for users to find.


Search engine algorithms compare headers against the body text of a page when determining what to put on a results page. Headers that match the body text get ranked higher, while mismatched headers and text will fall in the rankings.


Pitfalls of Headers

While headers are an easy thing to start with when optimizing your website, there are a few things to avoid.

Too Many or Too Few h1s

Each page should have one h1 heading, but only one h1 header. The h1 header is a vital part of the page layout and SEO, but multiple h1s usually confuse both readers and algorithms.

Spamming Text into Headers

Headers are important in identifying keywords and other important information on a page. However, tons of headers or headers with paragraphs of text are viewed as spam by some algorithms and hurt your search engine standings.

Hiding Text

One older method of getting higher rankings on search engines was to put keywords unrelated to your product in headers on your page, but coloring them the same as your background. This prevented everyone but the search engine algorithms from seeing the text and would cause irrelevant pages to pop up on SERPs. Now this practice is considered unethical and your page will be penalized.


Although they do not have the biggest impact on your SEO,  headers are an important part of your optimization process and an easy way to score some goals early on.
For more basic SEO, check out our Basics of the Basics article. For more pitfalls to look out for as you begin your journey, check out our 5 Pitfalls to Avoid When Beginning Your SEO Journey.

Rock the Moz Bar

Here at Searchable, we have already talked about Moz a number of times, including their blog and their On-Page Grader. Today we are going to take a look at the Moz SEO Toolbar, an in-browser extension for Chrome and Firefox that lets you track SEO while browsing the web. While there are some upgraded features available with Moz Pro, we will be focusing on getting the most out of the free tools in the Moz SEO Toolbar.

The Basics

Being an in-browser tool, the Moz SEO Toolbar is always there to provide background information on your webpage or what makes a competitor’s website rank so high. The toolbar has two main features, the SERP overlay and the web page analysis.

SERP Overlay

The SERP overlay is a feature that helps explain why different web pages rank so highly on Google, Bing or Yahoo search. In this overlay, each result is shown with their page and domain authority scores. Page authority serves as an indicator of how strong the individual page is, while domain authority shows the strength of the website as a whole. For example, let us say you want to start a boutique cat clothing store. The Google SERP if you search the term “cats” looks like this:

Cats Search Engine Result Page
Each of the top 3 posts have mid-range page authority ranking and 100 domain authority. It would be very hard to break into this SERP.

On the other hand, if you search cat boutique, this is what the SERP looks like:

Cat Boutique Results Page
These pages have a much lower page and domain authority score on average. As a result, ranking high on the cat boutique SERP would be a much more attainable goal and something that would take a lot less time and effort.

Web Page Analysis

In addition to the SERP overlay, the MOZ toolbar also lets you gain insight into the what ranks certain pages so highly. Keeping with the cat boutique example, we can look at the top ranking result when you search for cat boutique.

Hemmingway Web Analysis

Hemingway’s has low page and domain authority, but a low spam score and decent Facebook activity. The low authority rankings mean the page does not have that much clout and is susceptible to being passed on the SERP. However, the low spam score means search engines are not penalizing the page for Black Hat SEO, and the Facebook activity shows the company is active on social media.

The two tools on the left of the toolbar help dig a little bit deeper into the page. The Magnifying glass over the web page is the page analysis tool. This tool pulls up information about a website that is important for SEO, such as headers and meta descriptions.

Page Analysis Tool

The other tool is the highlighter tool, which highlights links on the page.

Link Highlighter

In addition to looking into competitors, the web page analysis feature can also be used on your own web page. When used on your site, this tool can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses or point out holes in your website’s SEO.

As pointed out earlier in this article, and as can be seen throughout the images, there is a full version of this toolbar. The full version will give you access to more metrics and analytics and can be tried out for 30 days free of charge. The free version of the Moz toolbar should be more than enough to get you started on your SEO journey.

For the Chrome version of the Moz Toolbar click here. For the Firefox version, click here. For more posts about free SEO analytics tools, read Ana’s article on 4 Free SEO Tools You Didn’t Know You Needed.

Instagram Algorithm Apocalypse: What it means for your SEO

A couple weeks ago, the internet went crazy with fear over the rumored Instagram update. The new algorithm was rendered apocalyptic. Many brands and celebrities were posting pictures with an arrow recommending to follow their accounts for updates. Hopefully you know by now that this is not the best way to optimize your accounts, but it proves the misconceptions of algorithms shape the way customers perceive brands.

Algorithms don’t exist just for fun. Over time, as the internet and social media platforms become more heavily populated, there are more users and many more posts. Feeds are becoming more expansive, and most people are unable to stay fully updated with their feeds. As a result, social media platforms have begun to adopt algorithms to improve the user experience. Facebook has already integrated this, and while some businesses may claim it has raised the cost of promotion, I think this is an expected trait of any mobile marketing. As the market becomes more saturated, costs will increase.

Twitter has begun to implement a similar algorithm, but Instagram admits there will not be an update for several more months. When there is an update, users, especially businesses, will need to rely heavily upon an engaged audience. If this worries businesses, then it proves that their content might not be engaging users as much as they think.

The Instagram algorithm update will simply curate content so that if a user likes a particularly account often, they will see more of those posts as to not miss any of their favorite posts. Likes are becoming dollar votes, which is why businesses should focus on engaging their customers as opposed to throwing content at them. If their followers like their posts regularly, they shouldn’t lose any of their influence. If followers aren’t liking any of their posts, then they will not show up on their feeds as often. Furthermore, if followers aren’t liking any of their posts, then they may not have the right followers. Quality is far more important than quantity regarding followers and engagement. This means businesses should focus on providing quality content that will keep users engaged.

This seems relatively obvious to someone who knows anything about SEO, but most consumers are unaware of these practices. They dislike the idea of something controlling their perspective. Consumers don’t want any higher authorities distorting their social media experience and don’t like the idea that social media platforms understand their habits, even if it is liking and commenting. Clearly, Google and Instagram are not trying to violate the privacy of any users, but are simply trying to improve the user experience in order to retain users and prevent information overload.

This fear proves that authenticity rules when utilizing SEO. While there may be temporary ways to game the system, whether it’s in search engines or social media, it is not in best practice to do so. The best practice is to create quality relationships with visitors that keep them engaged with your business. Customers enjoy genuine feelings toward brands, and it is easy for them to detect anything forced or artificial. Consumers are becoming more informed, and this makes brand transparency far more important than ever before.

If you were a new customer, would you want to visit your website? Would you want to like your Instagram post? If not, then there is a larger issue at hand. Quality content and posts will maintain and generate an audience, and there is no need to worry about algorithms regarding social media outreach.

Additionally, this proves the growing importance of mobile marketing. Your website needs to be available on a mobile platform that is easily accessible. More customers are viewing websites from a mobile device, such as from a link in an Instagram bio. By making your website easier to use, you’re improving your overall brand engagement.

As always, focus on improving your website for the simple reason of making the most out of visitors’ experiences. This is the most sustainable approach to embrace any and all algorithms, in the present and the future.

Twenty Four Interaction

According to Business Insider, did you know that you will soon be able to shop on Snapchat?

Yes, that above fact is currently in the works, which will enhance Discover by allowing consumers to purchase products from selected brands. This will not be an entire shock to the company, as they have already released Snapcash in 2014, which is a partnership with Square for users to exchange money in personal Chats. Interesting topic, especially since it can increase engagement and traffic to the application. Keep an eye out for a possible future post regarding the economics of Snapchat!

In the meantime, this post is about how you, as a small business owner, can optimize the 24-hour interaction function of Snapchat. Think about how when TV and radio were the most popular forms of media, they were “one-time-only” things. Once it aired, it was gone forever. The same is seen with Snapchat, once the 24 hours are over, the content disappears forever.

With its’ immediacy as its major marketing benefit and flaw, having a social media platform where your content self-destructs after 24 hours constantly keeps marketers on their creative toes in posting new, fresh, and engaging content. They can rely on a slight backbone of content that has already recently been posted, but each day should be treated as a fresh start. Also, Snapchat leaves a sense of refreshing independency without having to worry about how many likes/comments you get. It is all about impression.

Here are some ideas of strategically utilizing the basic time frame of Snapchat to accommodate your brand.

Guest Owners

This tactic is extremely similar to influencer marketing, where your company will basically “hand over the reigns” of your Snapchat to someone else to gain more exposure to the account and reach a new audience. Occasionally, Snapchat accounts will hand over the password to someone not directly hired by the company as a guest to “take over” the account for the day. This is typically seen with celebrities or other businesses on a B2B standpoint. Promoted through other social media accounts, this guest-owner-for-a-day should be engaging, relevant, connected to your brand, and offer a new insight that you have not already shown on your account thus far. The end goal is to drive new users to befriend your account, and stay connected after the guest owner’s timeshare has completed.

Taken from Pittsburgh Steeler player Le'Veon Bell's Twitter page promoting his guest ownership of the NFL Snapchat.
Taken from Pittsburgh Steeler player Le’Veon Bell’s Twitter page promoting his guest ownership of the NFL Snapchat.

Curated Content

As talked about in the post about how to look and sound on Snapchat, curating content was briefly discussed. Discover is already a model of curated content, as topics are brought together for each specific edition including National Geographic, Cosmopolitan, CNN and Comedy Central. So, why not make that more respective towards your account? Some examples can be through reposting something more high-quality of a photo, sharing news of your brand in Snapchat-form, and reposting natural reviews of your brand from your customers.

This post by The Content Strategist outlines the type of content seen on Discover, which can be made into an outline for your brand’s Snapchat. It includes limited, short and varied content with celebrities, and an easy swipe navigation.

Limit the posts!

Because the posts will disappear after 24 hours should actually give you an excuse in not posting a lot on Snapchat. Here’s why: your Snap Stories will stay on your friends’ news feeds throughout the day, and as long as you time your postings strategically, you will have a better chance in being viewed. Just as Hootsuite can schedule posts and tweets on sites such as Facebook and Twitter, make sure to time your posts based on higher traffic times in the day. There is no apparent time that drives the most views on Snapchat, but that is because it is still brand new to marketers!

TIP: Create a schedule to keep users engaged and expecting what is coming up that week. For example “Sale Saturday” which incorporates coupons or “Motivation Mondays.”

New Update

During the last week of March 2016, Snapchat released a new update that changed the algorithm in how people viewed their friends’ Snap Stories. Instead of users picking between which Stories they want loaded to be watched, Snapchat automatically does that for them. Once a user clicks on a Story, they will automatically be sent to the following Story in chronological order. On the top right corner, the account owner’s name change, showing the viewer when they are watching a new Story. This new update definitely increases the chances of being seen per day. Now is a great time to start planning out Stories and optimizing the 24-hour framework.

An example of the new look of Snapchat is seen in the figure below. You can see the time left in the Story at the top left and the name of the account and when they posted it in the top right.

Screenshot from my personal Snapchat.
Screenshot from my personal Snapchat.

Never forget that most users on Snapchat are aged 30 and younger, so the point of Snapchat is to be fun and creative. Once users understand a sense of the types of Stories they will expect from you, they will most likely view your content, which increases the amounts of impressions for your brand.

Source: http://www.deathandtaxesmag.com/263319/snapchat-lenses-teens-terrifying/

Do you have any ideas for better 24-hour engagement? Share in the comments below!

Snap you later.

5 Tips for Small Businesses on YouTube

With over 1 billion unique visitors each month, it is no surprise that YouTube is the second most-used search engine. As a small business, it is important to realize that YouTube is a great network to reach audiences. Today’s blog will offer several tips to help small businesses stand out from the endless amount of content on YouTube.

Similar to Google, YouTube has its own algorithm that determines the order of how videos are displayed in response to each search query. Some of these key factors include average visitor watch time, keyword relevance, number of subscribers, customer engagement and video length. By focusing on these criteria, brands will be more easily discovered and will stand out among other channels on YouTube.

  1. Share Relevant Content

YouTube’s algorithm for video search results and suggestion prioritizes videos that have a longer “watch time” over videos that receive more clicks. For this reason, the best way to optimize for this metric is by creating and sharing content that is relevant to viewers and will keep their attention. Videos that are too promotional or do not make sense to people who are unfamiliar with your brand will most likely cause viewers to move on to the next video.

YouTube users search for video content based on their needs. As a small business it is important to create content that addresses these needs. Many viewers on this platform are searching for educational information. Whether they are looking for a tutorial on applying a “Smokey Eye Shadow” or on how to bake “The Best Apple Pie”, viewers want a video that will give them clear step-by-step instructions. A great example of a company that does this is Birchbox. This monthly subscription service offers their consumers value by sharing useful content such as makeup and hair tutorials. By positioning themselves as a source for beauty and lifestyle tips, Birchbox is ready to be there for customers during their Zero Moment of Truth as discussed in last week’s post.

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 7.38.00 PM

Quick fact: Most top videos on YouTube are about three minutes long so make sure your videos are not too long.

  1. Optimize Your YouTube Homepage

Treat your YouTube channel as if it were your own website. Take advantage of every opportunity available to brand your page. Here are a few key opportunities:

  • YouTube allows for channel icon and cover photo customization. Make sure to select quality visuals that are a good representation of your brand.
  • At the top of every YouTube channel there is space highlight a video. This is a great opportunity to introduce a new audience to your channel. YouTube offers great tips on effective trailers here.
  • Complete the “about” section of your channel and include a strong call to action. A good CTA could ask views to subscribe to your channel or to visit you company website by offering a link.
  • Offer visitors links to your other social media channels.

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 8.17.10 PM

  1. Use Keywords

YouTube’s algorithm for video search result prioritization relies on the information you provide. This means that the titles, tags and descriptions you write are crucial. Video titles should be concise and include major keywords. Make sure to use as many relevant tags as possible. Similarly, video descriptions should use plenty of relevant keywords, convey key points from your video and highlight the value this video offers viewers.

Uploading a transcript will also help make your videos more search friendly because it lets YouTube know what your video is about. A transcript appears on your video similarly to closed captioning on TV. Therefore it adds convenience to viewers who are hard of hearing or those who are in a noisy situation. Uploading a transcript to YouTube is very simple, find instructions here.

  1. Make a Call To Action

When someone is viewing your video, ads and suggested videos can be very distracting and cause your viewer to click away from your content. Once you have a visitors attention, you should make a call to action encouraging them to visit your website, blog, subscribe to your channel etc. YouTube annotations offer a great opportunity for a CTA. Annotations should be carefully placed so they are relevant to viewers as they watch your video. Find instructions on how to add annotations here.

Video descriptions are also a great place to add a CTA. Below is a an example of how Birchbox uses their video descriptions to invite viewers to their website and other content streams.
Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 8.26.54 PM

  1. Create Playlists

Use playlists to keep related videos organized. Once you have shared several videos, your content will appear messy and will become hard to find. Organizing related videos into specific categories will allow visitor to find exactly what they are looking for. The best thing about playlists is that they appear in search results and will keep visitors watching your content.

Every day, people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube. By practicing these tips your YouTube channel will be sure to stand out from your competition.

SEO Good Example: Nike Golf


A Case Study on what we can Learn from Nike Golf and their SEO.  

Nike, Inc. was founded in 1964. Since then it has dominated the sports equipment and activewear industry. Nike Golf is a sub-brand of Nike that, as the name suggests, is specific to the sport of Golf. Swellpath, now a part of 6D Analytics, is a digital marketing company that conducted a case study on Nike Golf in which the objective was to boost product awareness and drive website traffic.

Nike Golf: Before

According to Swellpath, Nike Golf’s biggest hindrance was the lack of a focused keyword strategy combined with a website that was hard for search engines to crawl for data. As we know, search engines crawl through content in order to ascertain what is relevant, thereby boosting certain websites’ content to the top of search results. 

Take a look at this great graphic from Swellpath’s case study:

What users were seeing (left) and what search engines were seeing (right)

Nike Golf Before

[Image courtesy of Swellpath]

The Game Plan

Taking into account the many options that Nike Golf had to optimize their website, Swellpath settled on using SWFObject2, which is an open-source Javascript library. A Javascript library is a set of pre-written Javascript that essentially makes it easier to develop other Javascript-based applications. Think of it  like a toolkit that gives you all the instruments you need to run a Javascript program. This library was appealing to Swellpath because it could more effectively provide content for search engine spiders. The library does this by storing a HTML-based version of the website behind the scenes that can be presented whenever a user visits the site. This also makes the mobile website much more user friendly. Additionally, SWFObject2 allows administrators to embed flash content that doesn’t rely on a specific scripting language. This makes the content accessible to a larger audience because any users that have Javascript disabled on their browsers, will still be able to see the Flash content.  Read more on the benefits of SWFObject2 here.

Results of the case study

According to 6D Analytics in conjunction with Swellpath, organic search traffic on the Nike Golf website increased by a staggering 348% in 2 years. This is important because organic search traffic includes both branded (“Nike”) and non-branded searches. In other words, in the time between the 2010 PGA golf season and the 2012 PGA Golf season, website traffic increased a total of 348%. Non-branded website traffic alone increased by 250%.

Going back to the previous infographic from Swellpath, on the left is what users see now. On the right is what search engines see now. As you can see, search engines like Google are now picking up on keywords fro, ultimately driving more traffic to the Nike Golf website.  

Nike Golf After

[Image Courtesy of Swellpath]

What we can learn from this

The main objective of any Search Engine Optimization is to put your brand ahead of others in search results. What we can learn from Nike Golf is that organic search matters. Small businesses (as well as large corporations) cannot sacrifice accessibility in the name of a memorable visual experience. Therefore, when building a website and optimizing it for search engines, make sure to factor in a good keyword strategy that will both drive traffic and boost product awareness.

What is SEO? The Basics of the Basics

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is important to companies to bring more people to your website. Search engines lead visitors to your website from relevant searches, and SEO helps maximize these connections.

An SEO Timeline

How did SEO even begin? It first originated in the early 1990s with the world’s first website and continued its birth for the next decade. Excite was the first search platform, followed by Yahoo and later Google. Each engine continued to simplify the big bad world of data. It was easy to manipulate search engines at this time, but Google began to see opportunities for the future.

In 2003, Google began optimizing search engines by improving the value and relevancy of results. Local SEO began in practice to provide users accurate information regarding maps, locations, and more. Ethical practices were encouraged by Google even in the early days.

After a few years, Google began to encourage real-time search results promoting content media with Universal Search. In 2008, Google Suggest made SEO even more targeted for users. In 2010, Google continued to become stricter as the clear leader in search engines. Social media began to alter search results, prompting the creation of Google+.

Currently, privacy and personalization are coming into conflict around SEO. While digital marketers want to create the most customized experience for visitors, users want to maintain their privacy and not have search engines read their minds completely. Still, content must be personalized with quality content to be competitive.

While Google is not the only search engine, it dominates the industry. 65% of searches are Googled, followed by 20% done with Microsoft and 13% with Yahoo. Google likes to keep it clean, though, so they constantly change the algorithm to keep searching as authentic as possible. This ensures ethical practices within digital marketing and keeps it fair between sites that actual deserve the highest rankings.

Basic Optimization

In addition to high-quality content, search engines also rank sites by how visitors engage with your site, loading speed and mobile ease, and the amount of unique content. Sites with higher retention rates are ranked higher than sites that lead users to return right back to their search query.

Keywords are crucial in optimizing your site. What will your targeted visitors be searching to find you? It is also important to research your selected keywords and ensure they are deriving the desired results. More than just comparing to competitors, you want to check on search volume and relevance regarding your target keywords. Keywords reside in more than just tags, too. On-page optimization includes title tags, meta descriptions, body content, alt attributes, url structure, schema, as well as markup.

Information architecture is also crucial in SEO. It is best to avoid flat information architecture; you want to provide the most linked-to pages. By having your most important search pages ranked high in your personal information architecture, search engines will rank your own information higher. Make sure you also avoid header responses, such as 404 errors. If your pages have been relocated, do not hold on to them. You want to help your visitors find desired content, not frustrate them. It is easy to overlook issues like this, redirects, and duplicate content, but you want to prevent any difficulty in accessibility. Even just a few unnecessary clicks can prod users to return to their original search, losing your audience. After all, your website is for others.

Once you begin to figure out your own SEO, how do you measure your results? Rank your keywords and record your organic traffic and leads. Analytics from the web are never perfect, so there can be flaws in your tracking. Lifetime value metrics can be tricky, so consider your organic users.

Past traditional SEO, there is also international and local cases as well as search engines within  app stores. These all provide important insights, depending on your particular industry and target audience. Be open-minded and think outside the box. Reverse engineering can help improve your users’ experiences and continue to improve your rankings.

SEO is constantly evolving, and this is an only an overview. Continue to follow our blog for the basics, the latest, and more.