Craig Bradford's Posts



What is SEO split testing?

Last week I tweeted an explanation of how we know that an increase or decrease in SEO performance was caused by a change that we made or by an external factor like seasonality, competitors, Google updates etc. People found it helpful and it generated a lot of questions so I thought it would be useful to post a more detailed explanation on what exactly SEO split-testing is as there seems to be a lot of confusion/misunderstanding.

One quick thing: This is deliberately a simple example with a basic explanation of the maths that we use. In reality, the maths is a lot more complicated and based on this research by Google: Inferring causal impact using Bayesian structural time series.

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Panic Time or False Alarm? A Beginner’s Guide to Traffic Drop Analysis

Have you ever been in a situation when your or your client’s traffic has dropped and you’re not sure what to do? How do you know if it’s a real problem or just seasonality?

Being able to recognise those true traffic drops, as opposed to red herrings like broken tracking or the aforementioned seasonality, is a critical skill for marketing consultants and in-house marketers. You’ve got to know when to reassure your boss/client, and when to suggest action.

This post will walk you through the process of confirming what actually happened and understanding why it happened in the first place.

The “what” - Was there really a drop at all?

Analysing historical traffic data

The image below is a real Google Analytics account. The client was worried that there was a traffic drop around October to December.

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More Than Just Read and Write | Emailing in the Near Future

A couple of months ago I was on my way to work; it was 8am on a Monday and I was on a busy train heading to Waterloo station. I received an email that read something along the lines of:

“Hi Craig,

Blah blah blah, legal legal legal, please reply to confirm you are ok to go ahead with the searches and approve the payment of £X.”

My response was:

“Please go ahead.”

Although a simple enough email, writing it annoyed me. I had to open the Gmail app, click ‘reply’, type the response and hit ‘send’.

I realise this sounds petty, but we live in a world of speed, and that process isn’t fast. Typing on a mobile device isn’t fast. Fast would be clicking a button that says ‘approve’ or ‘confirm’ and not having to type at all. Fast would be an interface like Tinder that lets me answer ‘yes’ and ‘no’ by swiping left and right or a Google Now style card:

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The Latest 5 Tools I’ve Added to my SEO Toolbox

I’ve written a few posts now on tools: There was the one on Doing a Site Audit Using Google Webmaster Tools, the 8 Alternative Ways To Use Screaming Frog for SEO and most recently one on Simple Tools to Get More Done. But recently I’ve been using  some tools that don’t really fit into the topics I’ve covered previously so I thought I’d write this post.

Chart Intelligence Plugin

Credit for finding this tool goes to  Bridget Randolph who found this while checking if a client had been hit by any of the Panda updates. Normally, I just refer to the SEOmoz Google Algorithm Change History page but there’s been so many updates that I find it annoying to jump back and forth between windows to check the dates.

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How to Check if your Hard Earned Links are Still Live

Today I’ll show you 4 ways you can bulk check if a set of backlinks are still linking to your website; in addition to that, you’ll learn if they use the rel=“nofollow” tag and how to be updated automatically should either of those things ever change.

Checking if backlinks are live is one of those things that as SEOs we find ourselves doing a lot. If you’re still doing this manually, you’re doing it wrong. There’s lot’s of tools out there, that can automate this. Some are paid and some are free. BuzzStream is my tool of choice when it comes to monitoring links, so that’s the one I’ll go into more detail on how to use.

1 – BuzzStream (Paid)

BuzzStream is a paid tool but it’s well worth it. Even if you don’t use BuzzStream for the outreach part, you should still use it as a database for any links you build.

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