A. Blum Localization Services | About Us
Since June of 2016, our Palo Alto SEO company – A. Blum Localization Services specializes in on–site/in–house corporate SEO training with coverage across California including Sacramento, San Francisco, the San Francisco Bay Area, Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and San Diego.
Our Palo Alto SEO company provides online training (currently during the lockdown this is the only form of workshop which we are offering) and in–house/on-site Search Engine Optimization training workshops.
Classes are offered to small and large firms. Our aim is to give staff total confidence in their new ability to rank their world and work online with free (organic) traffic from search engines. All Search Engine Optimization training classes are given by Ardan Michael Blum. (Our CEO).
Our online and in-house SEO training is customized to your needs:
- Project Managers – We teach you and we tweak your content at the same time. By doing both teaching and real-time optimization we provide a solution that is perfect for project managers. Most importantly we are giving the power to keep on going back to the client!
- Marketing Team Members – As many marketing team members already have a good understanding of online reputation management, social media optimization and basic SEO our training will focus on creating an office-wide list of tasks in a checklist format. Our objective is to give wings to staff; no more "the SEO person will do the last edits"!
- Consultants, Developers, Designers, and others – Our workshop (both online and in-house) goes from A-Z in SEO with slides.
Basic SEO Questions and Answers
"Is it easy to self-manage SEO?"
60% of success in ranking high on Google comes by sharing ORIGINAL, EXPANDING, and AUTHORITY content. 20% comes from link building and the remaining 20% from the implementation of on-page tweaks (with some management of server files and outside resources).
Your ranking will be subject to your domain’s age and trust by search engines. Your ranking will be also changed as you show devotion to your work. Google somehow feels love!
"What is Off-Page SEO?"
In general, this is link building and content sharing. The usual term for this sort of work is "content marketing". The key (as it is for on-page Search Engine Optimization work) is quality. You do not want "any incoming link" to your web pages.
Here are a few tips:
- You should never purchase a link from anyone.
- Avoid any "deals" where you link to someone's page and they link back.
- Make a point to learn how to report bad links to Google (see lower down in the sample SEO Checklist).
- Work with a routine! This is the one thing your competition, at least in my experience, hopes you do not do! The idea of, for example, rotating your tasks in a 4 hour work period (with say 15 to 30 minutes per task) is something to try. The point is to work very hard. Nothing replaces this! Your focus could be (when it comes to off-page SEO) per example: 15 minutes to make a Twitter post and a different version of the same post on your firm's/brand's other social media pages. It could be 40 minutes to write a blog on a local newspaper's domain (ie: your blog on a newspaper's site) and doing some link building.
- Get the press interested in your website. Spend time researching and reading articles by journalists in your niche market. Then CALL the journalist. (Forget about getting someone interested in your desire for them to write about your for-profit firm - so tweak whatever it is your widget does to a social project).
- To manage well your off-page Search Engine Optimization focus on the "marketing" aspect. You want traffic as well as links. Find ways to get people to visit your pages! The average visitor time for first 100 daily visitors is a key metric to watch. You will want these visits to be at least 40 seconds per page and 5 minutes for your site as a whole.
- Be aware that your best tools for link building, marketing, and traffic generation will be connected to ranking your content on google.com. You need to start with what I term "the Google mothership" and then allow local data centers (like google.fr, google.ch, google.co.uk to update at a different rate of speed the dot com results). When you have gotten a good amount of social media content and traffic then you will need (if you are aiming for regional ranking) for localization purposes to start all over with the tasks listed above. This time instead of looking for a journalist or blogger of repute who handles your niche theme/topic (and writes in English), you will want to have a local - to your target market - language article linking to your in local translated site version or translated page.
"Is keyword research something I can learn to do?"
The purpose of doing this research is to optimize your site pages to rank well for the keywords which are high in demand and will bring you traffic. To make your task easy there are several highly effective online tools to help you. This is something that takes a few hours to master.
SEO Training | Know The Myths
There are several misconceptions and myths regarding ranking high in search results. These are often shared by the “expert” who (after reading 3 books and viewing 10 videos on the topic of SEO) will suggest that there is a need to increase your link building to at least 500 inbound links by posting blog comments and that work is needed to place near-white text with keywords on your white page in the footer of all your site pages, as he exclaims: “I am trained to do both!”
Worse: He or she may even open a Search Engine Optimization agency and charm clients into hourly billed talks about how “complex” SEO has become. Making the naive and trusting client think that without this expert nothing is possible.
Often, this type of “expert” will make people believe that the “one size fits all” Search Engine Optimization process they are proposing is a sure bet! This, of course, is pure highway robbery! Yet, people fall for this. And the prospective client will even, at times, be asked to come over for a coffee to plan new meeting dates – all billed!
Then, when finally some results appear it is time for “maintenance contracts” – by which is meant doing virtually nothing or deceptive analysis such as “Your ranking dropped because your competition seems to have copied what we did for you and they added more pages to their site”. Off you go again! Time for more coffee meetings to plan the future!
Even when the SEO agency is an honest enterprise, they generally are working with one-size-fits-all techniques.
Further: Some SEO firms will get clients into a state of maintenance and bill you monthly for “updates”, so that the client is often hooked over years – akin to the low price of a printer and the high price of the ink.
They may make their work appear to be something ever so complicated which you may never fully understand and which, without their expertise, you will simply vanish! Only … What they are not saying, is that what matters above and beyond anything else is content expansion, not link building or on-page tweaks.
- A good place to start is learning the basics is a Search Engine Optimization starter guide by Google
- Learn how to rank in local data centers (in different languages - Example: Google(.)ch in French, Italian or German).
- Rework your web pages constantly. Do not let a niche topic page climb the mountain to the authority peak and sit there without feeding it.
- Evaluate your current backlinks and your traffic monthly (or more often) to update and block IP ranges and disavow links (with care). See how to submit to Google Search Console bad links in a plain text file.
- Set up tracking tools to analyze your search performance and user behavior. See: Search Console tools. You should use these stats (in part) to improve the content on pages that have rapid average visit times.
- See Yoast.com for a great article about XML sitemaps. Make your sitemap available to bots by adding it to your robots.txt file (how to do this).
- Adapt your image ALT attribute and image TITLE to ADA / Americans with Disabilities Act rules.
- Use the Color Contrast Analyser for WCAG 2.1 compliance (See article: Text elements must have sufficient color contrast against the background). Note: A large number of accessibility tweaks will boost your ranking online.
- Use the amazing "LIGHTHOUSE" chrome plugin or directly in any browser.
- Use tools from Powermapper (very helpful for cross-browser issues).
- Check your site for file errors. And then check your SQL for errors (use the native checker provided usually by your hosting firm).
- Validate markup with the outstanding htmlvalidator.com and/or free tools from the W3C Markup Validation Service.
- Set Alerts: Monitor your keywords and/or theme.
- Check browser compatibility.
- Watch for changes in search patterns and start monitoring data obtained by Google Trends. Example: Here is search interest over time for “search engine optimization training” vs “SEO training” – from 2004 till the present with results set to worldwide, all categories, and all operating systems. And then there are several other functions worth looking at via “Search tips for Trends“.
- Geo-target international content.
- Check your file errors, redirects, and permalinks.
- Monitor your site worldwide with uptrends.com.
- Great resources: Bing Webmaster Guidelines | 106 lessons across 26 digital marketing topics | Analytics Academy | Search tips for Trends | Google’s Keyword Planner | Wordstream | KW Finder | Keyword Difficulty Tool | Ubersuggest | Keyword Tool | On-Page SEO Checker | Bing SEO Analyzer | Google's Webmaster Help Forum | SEO Mythbusting and more training.
- Enable search result features | HTML Microdata – Microformats: RDFa | Schema.org | Add structured data
- Use outbound links to quality/authority docs to validate what you are saying on your site.
- Ensure a connection between the words in the URL and the meta description tag and meta title tag.
- Examine which pages (if any) are appearing as sitelinks.
- Re-check your title tags. See: Create good titles and snippets.
- Provide a publication date.
- Serve images in next-gen formats (such as WebP).
- Serve static assets with an efficient cache policy.
- First impressions count for robots! Do not put online pages that are "under construction".
- Speed up your page loading time by replacing Youtube videos with thumbnails!
- Reduce server response times: TTFB (time to first byte).
- See: How to Reduce TTFB to Improve WordPress Page Load Times and Network Analysis on for Chrome.
- Check the DNS Speed Comparison, tools.pingdom.com/, webpagetest.org/, and gtmetrix.com.
- There are a LOT of high-value tips offered in the truly well made Primer App.
- Run a link checker tool such as drlinkcheck.com/ from time to check for no longer valid links.
- Do not assume that Yoast is the only good plugin for WP. RankMath is amazing.
- Use similar words in the URL and your H1-H5 tags.
- Match the anchor tags with header tags.
- Take a few hours every few weeks to think about how you rank – off Google – on smaller search engines. [Good ranking, per example, on DuckDuckGo can give you lots of traffic].
- I would suggest following on Twitter: @JohnMu | @searchliaison | @rustybrick and @googlewmc.
SEO Basics | Make A Work Plan
Make a plan (a timeline) for the following items:
Day to make a full backup of your SQL and FTP files to an external drive (suggest weekly).
Day to run a link checker on your site.
Time to add new content to your home page (I suggest that you do this every single day).
Take time to work on cross-linking to deep pages on your site. Do this with great care (make links useful to visitors - such as taking them to more information).
Take time (monthly for at least 5 hours) to visit what people are doing in your niche market area. Search pages in various parts of the world.
Make a time to look at plugins for your content management system. Hopefully, for you, the choice was made to use WordPress - which (backup your SQL and database first) has some fun and totally cool plugins. Note that a lot of these if placed at the footer of your site and given the instruction to load after your site's main content has loaded (Hummingbird does this sort of thing well) will generally not slow down the loading.
- Updated: 07/03/20 Ardan Michael Blum
SEO Work (Example)
|Morning||Take down notes with the ideas for the day. Start with a check of ranking results. Update plugins. Look at security issues in the CMS. Clear the system cache on all the sites.|
|Afternoon||Real work starts now! The objective is to put horse blinders on and zoom in to a single task. The way this goes is ROTATION: 15 to 30 minutes over 4 hours allotted to different things.|
|Evening||Start with testing new plugins for your CMS or learning markup. Then go back to a rotation of projects.|
Always take a break for 5 minutes every hour (at least) to walk about and stretch. This is good for the mind as it is essential for the body.
There is no one-size-fits-all model in Search Engine Optimization.