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Posts Tagged ‘optimization’

When one thinks of building links to their website to increase Google PageRank and visibility in the search engines a lot of ideas come to mind, such as blogging, submitting links to directory sites, social bookmarking, etc. However, one of the oldest and easiest ways to build links to your website is through online press releases. Yes, press releases may not sound as cool as many of the social media marketing opportunities available on the internet today, but they work.

After you have decided upon the topic for your press release, you will need to define what the primary keyword phase is that you want your press release to target. Take the time to research to find a popular two-word keyword phase to optimize for with a keyword tool such as Google’s Keyword Tool. Also, make sure the keyword phrase you choose is both the primary focus of your press release and relevant to your site.

Once you have settled on a topic for your press release, and you have done your keyword research, it’s time to write. When writing your press release, make sure to use your primary two-word keyword phrase in the title of your press release and a few times within the body content.

Keep in mind that no matter how well your press release is optimized from a keyword perspective, it is of no use in your SEO efforts without links pointing to your site. When using press release services that allow you to place links within the copy, make sure you are using optimized keyword text links related to your product or service offerings, opposed to generic words such as “click here”. If a press release service doesn’t allow you to link within the content of the release, make sure that you link back to your site in the “contact box” or “about section” of the release.

After you have written your press release submit it to a variety of press release services. Although, there are some very good paid press release services such as PRWeb.com, there are also a lot of free services that you should consider. Ultimately, the more services you submit your press release to, the more links you will build to your website to increase your Google PageRank and link popularity.

If you’re serious about improving your search engine rankings, online press releases are one of the fastest and easiest ways go gain quality inbound links to increase the visibility to your site.

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Depending upon who you talk to, Google has anywhere from 100 to well over 200 factors that they use to rank pages in their search results. To add to the fun and excitement, the days of Google updating their algorithms on a monthly basis or so no longer exists.

In today’s world of search, Google now updates their index and rankings constantly (24 hours a day – AKA Everflux). This being the case, you have to really understand SEO in order to be successful in achieving high organic search results.

The days of simply adding some Meta tags to your website and getting found is history. Not only are those days gone – such practices can even be dangerous if you do not have a solid understanding of what you’re doing.

So here are some examples of positive and negative on-page and off-page factors that affect Google rankings. Keep in mind the details are much more complex than bulleted below. However, this will give you some idea of what expert SEO professionals are up against every day. Without further ado, here’s the basics.

Positive On-Page Google Ranking Factors
(Keep in mind that when the following factors are used incorrectly they can become negative factors.)

  • Keyword in URL file name
  • Keyword in domain name
  • Keyword in Title tag
  • Keyword in Meta Description tag
  • Keyword in Keyword Meta tag
  • Keyword density in page body text
  • Keyword font size (strong, bold, italic)
  • Keyword proximity (how close keywords are placed together)
  • Keyword phrase order
  • Keyword prominence (how early used in tags/page content)
  • Keyword in alt text
  • Keyword in links to other pages of site
  • Keyword in links to external pages
  • Internal and external links not broken
  • Efficient tree-like navigation structure
  • Intra-site linking
  • Less than 100 links out per page total
  • Top level URL extension, i.e., “.com” vs. “.tv”
  • Page file size
  • Freshness of new pages and content updates
  • Frequency of updates
  • Page theming
  • Keyword stemming, i.e., drove, drive, driven, driver
  • Use of synonyms
  • Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)
  • URL length
  • Site size
  • Site age
  • Age of page vs. age of site

Negative On-Page Google Ranking Factors

  • Text in graphic form only
  • Over optimization
  • Linking to Free For All (FFA) sites and bad neighborhoods
  • Redirects via Meta refresh tags
  • Copyright violations
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Keyword dilution
  • Inappropriate use of Flash
  • Use of frames
  • Misuse of robots.txt tag
  • Single pixel links
  • Invisible text, i.e., white text on white background
  • Duplicate content

Positive Off-Page Google Ranking Factors

  • PageRank (based on the number and quality of links to your site)
  • Total incoming links
  • Anchor text (keywords in text links) of inbound links to your site
  • Age of inbound links
  • Relevant keywords on referring pages
  • Page titles of referring pages
  • Inbound links from pages of same theme
  • Categorization of links from other sites
  • Age of site linking to yours (older better)

Negative Off-Page Google Ranking Factors

  • Buying links
  • Traffic buying
  • No incoming links to your site
  • Cloaking (presenting one page to search spiders and a different one to your visitors)
  • Links from bad neighborhoods/link farms
  • Google Terms of Service violations

Remember, the above are just some basic examples of ranking factors that affect how well your site ranks in Google (and other search engines). This being the case, it is recommended that you seriously study SEO before trying to implement it on your own, or you hire a professional. If you think it’s time you hired a professional to do your SEO work give us a call toll free at 877-276-2402. We can help turn the world of search in your favor.

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Often when reading about SEO online, it’s common to come across suggestions that you shouldn’t spend much time on your page title tags or keyword and description Meta tags. Many SEO articles even say that you shouldn’t even bother with keyword and description Meta tags. So what is a good webmaster or site manager to believe?

Well here’s the truth. The page title tag is among the most important parts of any web page since it is what people see as the link to your site in the search engine results, which can play a major role in whether or not they choose to click on the link and visit your site. Also, the page title tag is the most important place to put your primary keywords (in addition to your page content), since the search engines use the title tag to help in determining what a page is about.

Now this is where things get controversial. A lot of people still think keyword and description Meta tags are either silver bullets or completely useless. Actually they’re neither. As for keyword tags, Google largely ignores them. However, Yahoo! and MSN/Live still refer to them and often use them to some degree in their rankings. Description Meta tags are still used by many search engines to provide a description of your web site in their search results, which again may influence click-through rates from search results. Also, Google does analyze description Meta tags as part of their algorithm, even though they do not display them in their search results.

So here’s what we suggest:

1. Write a good strong title tag that uses your most important keywords and keep the tag down to about 60 characters.

2. Use the keyword tag for your most important keywords and keep the tag down to about 5 or 10 keywords.

3. Write a description tag for your site that’s reasonably informative and includes your most important keywords and keep this tag down to about 150 characters.

If you already have good title tags and keyword and description tags for all of your web pages you’re on the right track. If not, you’ve got some work to do. Sometimes it’s the smallest detail that separates a page that shows up in the search results for a particular query. Therefore, put your best foot forward and put your web page titles and SEO Meta tags to work for your site.

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OK, let’s go over this again. 

Everyone wants to come up on the first page of results when prospective customers are searching. With millions of businesses competing for billions of keyword phrases, there are thousands of sneaky little tricks that can help you out.

Before you can get sneaky, you have to cover the basics.

Here are five steps you must take before applying any tips & tricks that you read on the interwebs.

First, include your primary keyword phrases in your Meta tag titles, descriptions and keyword fields. You should also do this with your page headlines and subheads.

Second, add your keyword phrases to content. Roughly once or twice per paragraph is great. Keep it reasonable so the phrases are woven into your content and not redundantly repeated. Remember, if content is king, then keyword phrases are like the king’s valet – unnoticed, but always there.

Third, write in natural language. You need to incorporate your keywords, but not to the point that you ruin your page copy.
Remember, these are keywords because they are the terms that your customers are using. If it is difficult to work them into your content, something needs to be reworked.  Or perhaps overhauled completely.

Fourth, try to incorporate keyword phrases in bold, italic or bulleted lists where it makes sense. This won’t have a major effect on rankings, but it will have an effect on your visitor count. Remember, everyone on the internet has the attention span of a gnat. Make your relevance obvious at first glance, and web visitors are more likely to stick around.

Fifth, take the time to read your copy out loud. If it sounds redundant and off balance to you, it will sound the same your site visitors. If you can, ask someone outside your company to read it as well, to get their unbiased opinion.

Keep in mind that these basic tips are just that, basic. By no means are they the end-all be-all for SEO. However, they are important fundamentals that should be implemented for better on-page search engine optimization. 

In addition to implementing these five steps when you start out, go back periodically and check for them again. It’s so easy to get caught up in the social networking/link building/pagerank/twittering/digging/sphinning fun part of SEO that sometimes these priorities get shelved. 

Blow the dust off of them today, for better organic search ranking tomorrow.

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Sometimes it’s hard to look at your website’s home page with a fresh set of eyes, especially if you’ve been looking at it for years. However, it has to be done. The home page is the most important page of your site, and it has the biggest influence on whether your visitors stick around and buy or say good bye. It is vital that you see it the way they do.

So, what should you do to improve your home page? Start with following the steps below, and you’ll be on your way to increased sales and higher visitor retention before you know it.

  1. Take a hard and honest look at your home page. Actually step back from the computer, close your eyes, and open them with a fresh point of view. Does the page clearly show products or services you sell? Does it have a clear call to action to get your visitors deeper into your site? Is the call to action above the fold? If not, make this your first fix.
  2. Is your home page clearly presenting your business as trustworthy? Are you making it clear that your products are for sale online? If not, you’re losing sales right now!
  3. Does your home page feature any animation that doesn’t directly connect with selling your product or service? If so, get rid of it. It’s a distraction to your visitors and it’s costing you money.
  4. Are your images fuzzy, or hard to see? Optimize your images so they are sharp and clear, but keep the file size small enough that they load quickly. No one wants to look at poor quality photos, and no one is willing to sit and wait for your home page to load.
  5. Is your contact info big and bold at the top of your home page? Can your visitors immediately see your toll free number to call you on impulse and buy? If not, you’re losing more sales…

Your home page’s effectiveness is limited only by your creativity and marketing skills. Regardless of your ecommerce skill level, applying the above basics will definitely move you in the right direction.

After implementing the above guidelines into your home page, come back and leave a comment to share your results. We’re sure you’ll be pleased!


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Surprisingly a lot of people involved in ecommerce have heard of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising, but they aren’t really sure how they work or which is the best for promoting their website.

SEO refers to the natural search engine results which are free, opposed to PPC ads (sponsored results) which are charged on a per click basis. In other words, every time someone clicks on your PPC ad it costs you money, whereas natural search results cost nothing other than hiring an SEO professional to develop.

What are the benefits of SEO, other than being free?

It’s a proven fact that SEO provides a higher return on investment than PPC ads. Also, many studies confirm that 70% of all search engine traffic is generated by natural search and only 30% by pay-per-click (see InternetRetailer for more details). Although natural search engine rankings are free, you still have to hire a proven SEO professional to significantly improve your website’s visibility in the search engines. However, once this is achieved, traffic volumes to your website are far greater and much less expensive than PPC marketing alone.

What are the benefits of PPC if it isn’t as good as SEO?

The major benefit of PPC is that it produces immediate traffic to your website. Even with the best SEO strategy, it can take as long as 3 to 12 months to obtain a position on the first page of the natural search results, depending upon the competitiveness of your industry. Whereas PPC produces immediate traffic to your website.

How should SEO and PPC be used?

PPC should be used in the beginning of any online business to generate immediate traffic until they become established in the natural search results. However, it isn’t recommended to stop your PPC marketing campaigns once you’re successful in the natural search engine results since you would be eliminating 30% of your potential customers that still click on the PPC ads.

As for maximizing your overall traffic and growing your business online, you need to apply SEO and PPC together as your primary marketing mix, with the goal of driving more traffic to your website through your SEO efforts than your PPC campaigns. As a general rule the most successful businesses online use a combination of SEO and PPC together. For example, if you do a search on Google for “books” you’ll usually find Amazon.com listed in both the natural search results and the sponsored (PPC) results. You may want to think of this as the 70/30 rule. Again, 70% of search traffic is generated by natural search and 30% by pay-per-click, both of which are too large not to take advantage of.


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Choosing a search partner can be a very difficult decision. There are a lot of search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) companies out there to choose from, and you want to find someone who deserves your trust. Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind when looking to invest in professional SEO and SEM services.

First of all, what are they promising? If they promise number one organic search results for all key words in all search engines; look for someone else. This is almost impossible without paid listings, or worse, unethical practices that could actually get your site banned from the search engines. Look for a company that is up front with these limitations, offering ‘top’ results, or ‘first page listings’ on top search engines.  

It is very important to find a company with a proven history of achieving results ethically. Make sure you select a company that understands the dynamics of the major search engines, and how to apply proper search engine optimization and search engine marketing techniques to your specific website. Expert experience and ethical practices will lead to excellent results.

You should also ask how long the company has been in business. It is often difficult to decipher how long an SEO or SEM company has been in business. As a general rule, the longer they’ve been in business, the more likely they understand search engines and website development well enough to produce significant results.

4 Reasons You Should Work with a Search Engine Optimization and Marketing Professional

1.    Constant Search Engine Updates. Major search engines are constantly updating their algorithms and search results placements, which make the process very time consuming to keep up. It is definitely a full time job.

 

2.    Commitment Required for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC) Campaigns. SEO and PPC programs require consistent monitoring and adjusting in order to provide a significant return on investment. There is no one size-fits-all, or automated process, that can be applied from one site to another. An SEO professional will have a system in place for constant review and revision.

 

3.   Competition in Organic Search and PPC Results. With millions of web pages competing for top-ten placements in organic search results and Pay Per Click positioning, guesswork just isn’t enough. A seasoned SEO and SEM professional will is able to make comparisons, see competition coming, and make adjustments accordingly.

 

4.    Fresh Eyes Help to Increase Conversion Rates. It is common for anyone within an industry to see their own web content and offerings much differently than a potential customer. Therefore, it’s a great benefit to have a professional set of eyes making adjustments to your efforts to better turn your visitors into buyers.

 

Although there are a lot of resources available online to provide a general understanding of SEO and SEM practices, there is no substitute for proven experience. Results that could take you years to achieve on your own can be attained by an experienced SEO and SEM professional within a matter of days or weeks. Not only can you save yourself a lot of time, money, and stress by having a professional do the work for you, but you can also see a quicker return on your investment.


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