Current category: eBusiness Articles
Page redirects are an everyday part of surfing the web, and apart from the odd 404 page-not-found destination, the average internet user takes little notice of them. This is largely as it should be, as the common page redirect is basically designed to work behind the scenes to facilitate the online user experience.
But for SEOs and webmasters, understanding the nature of page redirects can be vital. Knowing when, and how, to employ a redirect can mean the difference between preserving a page’s hard earned page ranking and link juice or losing it to the ether. 301 and 302 redirects are perhaps the most common page redirects a webmaster will need to come to grips with, besides the 404.
The differences between a 301 and 302 redirect can be quite subtle, and it is important to understand what each one does, and how they can affect your website’s performance and SEO efforts.
HTTP Status Codes – In Brief
When a web server services a web page, a status code is generated and written into the servers log. There are five basic classes of HTTP status codes, and they all indicate a general type of response from the server.
- 1xx – Informational. Indicating a provisional response.
- 2xx – Indicates the request has been received, accepted, and processed successfully
- 3xx – Indicates a redirection
- 4xx – Indicates client error, i.e. page-not-found, bad request, etc.
- 5xx – Indicates server error, i.e. service unavailable, gateway timeout
The most common status code is 2xx, meaning the page or resource was found. This is good and means your website is operating normally. The second most common status code is 4xx, meaning the requested service could not be found on the server. When a request is redirected, a 3xx status code is reported. The two most common redirect status codes are 301 and 302, and for SEO purposes the choice between the two can be critical.
The 301 Redirect and When to Use It
The 301 redirect indicates that a web page has been moved from point A to point B, and tells the search engines that this page “moved permanently”. It also tells the search engines that all of the attendant qualities of the original page should be assigned to the new page. This includes pagerank, page authority, traffic values, and active link information.
Webmasters should use the 301 redirect if they have changed domains, or have launched their site on a new content management system with a new URL structure. A 301 redirect will tell the search engines to direct all ranking and value signals to the new URL, and that the new URL is now permanent.
Another important note and use of a 301 is in the canonicalization of your domain. I know, big word. But, all it means is that you pick either the www or non-www version of your site and make sure to 301 to the other. This avoids duplicate content issues/penalties with Google’s Panda algorithm. Also, if your site is using a SSL certificate, it’s important to use page sculpting of the HTTPS and HTTP versions of your site’s pages.
The 302 Redirect and How to Use It
Like the 301 redirect, the 302 redirect tells the search engines that a web page has been moved, temporarily. A 302 redirect does not pass any pagerank or link value to the new location. It merely acts as a diversion to an appropriate location, protecting users from broken links and 404 page-not-found errors. 302 redirects are typically used by e-commerce sites who may have products that are seasonal in nature or temporarily out of stock or for putting your site into maintenance mode.
By using a 302 redirect the site can direct customers to similar products of interest, as opposed to sending them to a product page from which they can not place an order. The value of the 302 redirect is that it tells search engines that the requested content is temporarily offline, but that they should keep the pagerank and link value of the page intact and not pass it on to the new URL. When the product, or page, again becomes available the 302 redirect can be rescinded and the original page’s value will remain intact.
The difference between a 301 and a 302 redirect is subtle, but they are not interchangeable. Mistakenly using a 302 redirect instead of a 301 can strip a content page of its value, and can result in the loss of your hard earned SEO juice. Likewise, using a permanent 301 redirect for a temporary move wastes your pagerank and link value on content that will ultimately be discarded. By understanding the difference between 301 and 302 redirects, and knowing when and where to use them, you can protect the value of your content and save it from disappearing into thin air.
Author: Dario Zadro
Mention content marketing nowadays and you can safely assume that people are thinking of articles and blog posts. That is because these are the tactics most often used by businesses as a part of their content marketing strategy.
According to The Content Marketing Institute’s 2014 B2C Content Marketing Benchmarks report these are the five most commonly used tactics:
- Social media, other than blogs – used by 87 percent of all respondents
- Articles on the company website – used by 81 percent of all respondents
- eNewsletters – used by 80 percent of all respondents
- Blogs – used by 76 percent of all respondents
- In-person events – used by 76 percent of all respondents
Unfortunately, with the exception of infographics, images and pictures did not make the list. Could it be that most people don’t think images work as content marketing? It’s quite possible, but when you consider the fact that videos, infographics and games all made the list it is hard to make a case for images to be left out in the cold. It’s easier to assume that people just forget about images because they are just a part of written content.
The worth of a picture
We all know that a picture is supposed to be worth a thousand words, but let’s take a look at some more quantifiable statistics to prove the point.
In a blog post on his site Jeff Bullas provides six reasons why images should be incorporated as part of the marketing strategy:
- Articles with images get 94 percent more total views
- Including a Photo and a video in a press release increases views by over 45 percent
- 60 percent of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a business when an image shows up in local search results
- On an ecommerce site, 67 percent of consumers say the quality of a product image is “very important” in selecting and purchasing a product
- Customers shopping in an online store think that the quality of a products image is more important than product-specific information (63 percent), a long description (54 percent) and ratings and reviews (53 percent)
- The engagement rate on Facebook for photos averages 0.37 percent where text only is 0.27 percent (this translates to a 37 percent higher level of engagement for photos over text)
So if you are still not using images as part of your content marketing strategy, then quite frankly you’re doing it wrong.
Doin’ it well
It’s relatively easy to slap a picture into the middle of a blog post’s text, but is that really more effective?
Images should be used to compliment, and break up, long form content. If the piece of written content exceeds 700 words two or more images can really help keep the reader engaged; if the images are relevant that is. Longer content would obviously benefit from more images; and if a chart or graph can be used to represent the data mentioned in the content all the better.
But what about images as a stand-alone marketing tactic, can that work? Take a look at this page on the smokeymountains.com site and see how effective their collection of nighttime images is.
So the next time you are preparing a piece of content for publication, remember these simple words from Jeff Shjarback, an Internet Marketing Consultant/Manager, “By placing one well taken, well conceived, and well thought out picture, a piece of content marketing can draw in many more viewers and potential customers than a simple article or word laden ad may.”
Author: Jeff Orloff
In order to succeed at content marketing, you have to have high quality content. Rather than promoting your products, services, or even your business, content marketing means pushing the actual content. In turn, it is the content that will convert readers to buyers.
It may seem like a long and convoluted process to market various stages of the buying process; one that will inevitably mean that you lose a few leads along the way, but, the modern prospect is a complex, emotional, and savvy animal – one that devours content of all types on a regular basis, and this means that publishing a keyword laced content page will not prove enough. Not only does your marketing need to be highly effective, but your content needs to be a level above everything else in your industry.
If you have an established online presence, then you already have access to powerful data, and if you don’t already collect data from your blog, your website, and your social media profiles, it isn’t difficult to start doing so.
So, where can you find inspiration for your content?
Your Own Content
1. Site Analytics – Use your analytics software to determine which of your pages are most popular. You should be able to quickly determine which pages attract the most search traffic and the most click throughs from other destinations. You can also see which content your visitors are most likely to consume once they are on your site. Look for trends, popular topics, and the most popular types of content in order to determine what your visitors want to see more of.
2. Social Analytics – If you have a Facebook account, Twitter feed, or a social media profile with any other site, and you have a reasonable following, take a look at the content that you have shared. If you use Klout, then this is even easier, because it will measure the success of the content that you share for you.
3. Social Engagement – Social engagement is any action that means a person has engaged with your content, so likes, comments, shares, and essentially anything else that can be measured. The content that enjoys the most interactions with your readers is the content that has proven most socially successful, and you can aim to replicate this.
4. Comments And Conversation – If you have a blog on your own website then you should already be following and joining in with the conversation. As well as being an active participant, sit back and consider which of your posts cause the greatest reaction.
5. Surveys, Polls, And Questions – Once you have a reasonable social following, you can put your followers to work. Encourage visitors to ask you questions. Not only does this give you the appearance of being an authority in your industry, but it will encourage engagement. Post polls and surveys, and even consider getting permission to email and ask questions directly.
6. Google Search – You will probably already be following a number of your competitors, and blogs and websites that are prominent within your industry. Conduct Google searches to find other sites that you can follow. Run a number of searches with slightly different keywords and for each of your niches.
7. RSS Feeds – Simply knowing the address of your competitor blogs is obviously not enough, you need to do something with that information. Find the RSS feeds for those blogs, and follow them. Consider using an aggregator of some sort, because if you follow a lot of sites, you will soon become swamped with information.
8. Answer Sites – Yahoo Answers is one of our favourite places to dig for content inspiration. It gives you genuine insight into exactly what people want to know when they are looking for information regarding your industry. One problem with Yahoo is the amount of spam, and for this reason you may want to consider Quora instead, or as well as Yahoo Answers.
9. Social Media Groups – The likes of Facebook and LinkedIn offer similar services to the Answer sites that you can benefit from. Trawl through the Groups and Topics pages to find inspiration, and join the community forums in order to find out what people are talking about within your industry.
Google News And Alerts
10. Google News – Google News is another favourite source for content, although it is obviously more beneficial when looking for newsworthy topics. While there are still some irrelevant pages, and getting the best results requires some search query tweaking, you will find a lot of relevant content in any industry and for virtually any keyword.
11. Alerts And RSS – Rather than keep submitting the same searches every morning, you can set up alerts so that you receive an email whenever relevant content is published on Google News. You can choose to receive an alert each time something new is added, or receive a daily digest. Alternatively, you can conduct your modified news search and then set up an RSS feed and include this in your feed aggregator. You will always have a stream of relevant, newsworthy, and up-to-date content sources.
Search And Social Trends
12. Google Trends – Google Trends enables you to select a topic and see exactly what people have been searching for in that industry. The list you receive will be pretty basic, but you can then click through the search terms and determine whether anything is worth your attention or not. This does require some manual effort, but you could uncover some of the hottest trends for your industry.
13. Topsy – Social media is more current than search, and trends can change quickly. Topsy enables you to add a keyword or search term, and it will display the most popular tweets, trending topics, and more social information in a single location. Check back often and try not to get too lost in the world of content.
14. Alltop – Alltop is essentially an aggregator of sorts. It displays the latest posts from leading and authoritative figures within different industries. It is will categorised and enables you to view the very latest updates from your industry. Another very useful resource for your content strategy.
Don’t Be Afraid To Take It Offline
15. Magazines And Newspapers – Just because you’re looking for content to publish online doesn’t mean that all of your inspiration has to come from Internet sources. Look at trade and industry magazines and scour the newspapers. Some of the content you see may not yet have enjoyed extensive coverage online.
16. TV And Radio – In the same way that you can use magazines and newspapers, you can also use the TV and Radio. Watch and listen to the shows that are relevant, whether they are documentaries or sitcoms. This can give you a unique source of content and one that will connect with other similarly minded individuals.
17. Exhibitions, Seminars, Trade Shows, And Events – Most industries have multiple events that occur throughout the year and across the world. You don’t necessarily have to book your own booth to take advantage. Turn up, note what’s important, live Tweet the event, and even interview some of the attendees to find inspiration and to create content.
These are just some examples of sources of inspiration for your content strategy. Be bold, be creative, and don’t be afraid to cover topics and content that your competitors haven’t thought about yet. Some of it may prove unpopular, but you may uncover a sticky topic that continues to attract visitors for years to come.
Author: Matt Jackson