May 302011
 

by Elad Domb


Google uses hundreds of different signals and criteria to rank your website. There are many overlooked SEO considerations that people often miss when designing a website. Work with an SEO expert to develop a cohesive optimization strategy before you begin any work on your site.

Keyword research

Good keyword research is essential to the success of a successful of any website marketing campaign. A descriptive, yet keyword rich domain name is imperative to your success. Choose keywords for your content that are relevant to your business or industry. You want to have terms that have a good search volume but are not too initially competitive.

It takes time and effort to go after high competition phrases. A good strategy is to have more immediate, attainable keyword goals and get ranking for those first. Continue to revisit your targeted keywords as markets and search patterns fluctuate often.

Take the time to work with your SEO specialist to ensure a proper selection of terms to target. Your targeted keywords will need to be included in the page title, the meta description tag and in the heading elements and content of your site and will be the primary factor in determining your rankings in search engines.

An analysis needs to be performed of the competitiveness of your keywords against who is currently in the top ranked positions for those same terms in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). This will provide an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of your current and potential competitors which you may be able to exploit to your own success.

Meta Tags

Once you have developed a list of keywords to target, implement these in to your website HTML code. This is one of the most crucial areas of SEO that often get overlooked.

Page Title: (while technically not a meta tag) is the first thing that search engine bots look at when attempting to classify and index your site. It carries the most weight for SEO and must be relevant to the content of your page and site as well. A title tag should be no more than 165 characters, otherwise the extra text will be truncated and show as 3 dots (“…”).

Meta Description: This is the description that shows in the search results. Have a clearly worded tag line that states exactly who or what you are and what you are providing. The description must be less than 155 characters and should include your most important keywords that you are targeting.

Meta Keywords: While this tag is not considered crucial to SEO anymore, it is included for best practices. Do not use more than 8-10 keywords (300 characters) and make sure that the same words appear in the content of the page they are being used on.

Content

Google has always stated that content is paramount for rankings. The content of your site not only lets your viewers know what your site is about, but it is what the search engine bots use to classify your site. The newest algorithm update from Google means now more than ever, well written, original textual content is mandatory for all onsite and offsite web content. Failure to provide relevant content carries the risk of incurring ranking penalties from Google.

Create approximately 500 words of well written, concise content for your homepage that clearly defines your product or services. The homepage is usually the first one that visitors will come to and is your first, best chance to turn them from a visitor in to a customer.

Use clearly defined heading tags (h1, h2, h3, etc) to separate content in to clearly defined sections. Not only will this help with visual clarity for your readers, but it will help Google to know how to index your site.

Develop clear, relevant content on your landing pages as well. A landing page is any page that a visitor is brought to through an external source (from a link in an article, a twitter link, forum post, etc). These internal pages are just as important as the main page and cannot be neglected.

Link Building

Work with an SEO company to determine an effective link building strategy to build back links to your website. While Google uses hundreds of factors in determining the ranking of your site, Page Rank is the primary source of information that they use for positioning.

For the most part, PR is based upon the number of sites that link back to your website. This builds up the relative authority of your domain, which builds up “trust”; which is the primary factor in determining your Page Rank. Next to the effective use of keywords in the page title, meta tags, page headings and content, PR is the most important factor that Google will use for determining your search engine ranking position.

Solid site keyword research, competition analysis, superior site content, along with a focused SEO campaign will help to ensure the success of your new website. Create your site with the user in mind. Create a positive. Memorable experience for your viewers and the rankings will follow.

 

About the Author

Web Hosting at ReviewItOnline.net is a large team of experienced webmasters, web users, site owners and company leaders here to help you – webmasters of the future with all of your cheap web hosting needs. We review companies such as Bluehost and Fatcow

 

by Cedric Welsch

If you are doing business on the internet, then it is most likely that you have a website setup for that business. In order for your business to grow and produce more profits, you need to be able to market your website well. The most effective method of marketing a website on the internet is by getting it listed on top of the search engine results pages. The entire process of ranking websites on the search engines is called Search Engine Optimization.

Search engine optimization or SEO as a whole involves a lot of stages, and one of the most important processes included during the initial stages of SEO is called keyword research. This is the process where you determine the right set of terms, words, phrases, or keywords that your website should and needs to be ranked for. Keyword research is extremely important simply because your entire SEO campaign will be mainly revolving around the set of keywords that you will come up with. Meaning, if you happen to come up with the wrong set of keywords, then your entire SEO campaign can lead to being nothing but futile. On the other hand, if you are able to come up with the best set of keywords to rank for, then that could only result to substantial profits for your business.

Here are some very important steps you need to consider when conducting keyword research for your website:

Step 1: Before you even think of doing keyword research, you first need to make sure that you are very well familiar and inclined with the niche that your business is specifically categorized under. See how huge the niche of your business is, examine the behavior of its market, and do a slight analysis on how tough the competition is, around it.

Step 2: Research all the possible root terms that are related around the niche of your business. Then from the collection of all the root terms you have gathered, select the terms that you think are most relevant to your exact business.

Step 3: Once you have successfully created a short list of the best qualified root terms that you think are most relevant to your business, be ready to perform a keyword research on each individual term on that list.

Step 4: Now that you have a long list of keywords, you can fine tune your keyword research activity even further by determining the most specific keywords directly related to the products or services that your business offers.

Step 5: To fine tune your keyword research at an even higher level, you can now combine your list of keywords that are directly related with your business products or services to those group of much broader keywords that are relevant to your business in a general point of view.

By this stage, be prepared to uncover the best set of ultra targeted keywords that will be most qualified for you to target when ranking your business website on top of the search engine results pages. These 5 steps on performing keyword research can further be expanded if you are just willing to be more creative in coming up with the best set of keywords to rank for with your business website.

About the Author

Seek the assistance of a freelance seo to rank your site on the search engines. A freelance seo writer will provide the needed content you need.

Small Business SEO

 SEO  Comments Off
Mar 262010
 

by John Balthazar

Search engine optimisation is something that all business owners with a website need to be aware of. If you’ve got a site and want to drive relevant traffic to that site, you need to know what to do to help the search engines get a good understanding of your business, so they can rank it for the terms you feel are most suitable for visitors. It’s not about tricking the search engines, or trying to boost traffic numbers in general. You need to see an increase in relevant traffic to you site (10 relevant visitors are far better than 1000 non relevant visitors, who leave your site straight away), and Google wants to provide searchers with a list of high quality sites, relevant to their search query.


1. Research your keywords: Make sure that you know what people type into Google and the other search engines when looking for your products or services. Research into how competitive these phrases are – are there any phrases that are relevant, but aren’t quite so competitive? These are more likely to give you the results you want. Also think about plurals and synonyms.

2. Make sure each single page on your site has a unique title tag. If you’ve done your keyword research, you should also aim to use keyword/phrases in the title tag too.

3. Additionally, make sure that all the meta descriptions for each page are unique too. Since the search engines mostly show the title and description of a page in the search results, make sure your descriptions correlates to your title, includes keywords, and has some kind of call to action that persuades the searcher to click on your link rather than the result above or below you.

4. Using your keywords and phrases, look at the headers within your pages. Headers tags are like the headlines of a newspaper – your H1 header should contain your primary key phrases, with any H2 headers containing your secondary phrases.

5. Look at your copy- does this contain key phrases? Make sure you don’t keyword stuff your copy though – aim for about a 3% ratio of keywords to copy. The content of your site should be written with your visitors in mind first, SEO second, so make sure it still makes sense and adds value.

6. Analyse your website structure. Do you have a lot of deep pages, hidden within subfolder after subfolder? Aim to keep the architecture of your site nice and flat – you don’t want to make it difficult for search engines or visitors to find content. Try and keep everything within two clicks of the homepage.

7. Going back to content – how fresh is the content on your site? Google and the other search engines love new and unique content. So try and update your website on a regular basis. This could be through a blog, press releases, or new product pages. Just keep it fresh – no one likes anything stale!

8. Linking…. oh linking, everyone is always going on about the number links to your site…why? Because it’s important! Each link is like a vote of confidence in your site, so the more you have (from reputable, high quality sites), the better. Building the number of quality links to your site takes time. Register with industry directories, local directories, become active in social media, make the most of social bookmarking, create amazing relevant content that people will want to link to, create articles and post them out to article sites, comment in forums… there’s so many activities you can do to increase the number of links to your site. It’s an investment – in time and sometimes money, but it’s worth it.

9. Register with Google Webmaster and submit your XML sitemap. This is an XML file includes all the pages of your website in a way that makes it easy for Google to reference and index. Google Webmaster will also tell you if there are any errors with your site, what some popular keywords are surrounding your site, some of the links pointing to your site and more.

10. Register with Google Analytics and start using it on a regular basis to monitor your site. Google Analytics is a free piece of software that enables you to track all the activity on your site. It’s actually a bit scary the amount of information it can give you. But for a small business owner, or marketing professional, it’s an invaluable tool that can help you improve your website performance and growth.

This is just the tip of the SEO iceberg – there’s so much to SEO and it’s constantly changing and evolving. At the end of the day though, it’s all about creating a quality website, adding regular quality content and being active in the world wide web. It’s not rocket science, but it does take time.

About the Author

John Balthazar is an SEO expert. he currently lives in Johore Bahru and gives away SEO tips at his website.

 

by Adam Bauthues

When people think of SEO, PPC or anything having to do with “search marketing” it is assumed Google is what is being discussed. Ask any online marketer, whether they are affiliate or network marketers, and they can readily explain to you how powerful being #1 in the Google listings can be for their business. Being able to rank #1 on Google, for your chosen keywords (if they are keywords that attract buyers) is like a blank check you get to fill in. And of course, the best part is you can rank high with some work, and your cost to receive this advertising is zero dollars. Your ROI is thus very high since you are not paying for traffic. Everything is profit.

The only problem with traditional SEO methods is the amount of time you will spend trying to outrank the competition. And time is also money. You have to factor that in as well.

Since Google is the “Big Daddy” of the search engine marketing field, it is also the most difficult search engine to break into, and maintain top rankings in. Of course, the traffic you will receive is definitely worth it. No pain no gain they say!

Is there a way to get the best of both worlds? Everyone is searching for that short-cut to riches and high Google rankings but these shortcuts do not exist. What does exist though are alternatives. Yahoo and MSN (now Bing) are search engine networks you will want to think about targeting with your SEO campaigns.

To help you start to think about the possible alternatives and to help you think “outside the box”, here are 5 tips to help you out with any alternative SEO campaigns you may work on.

#1 – The Rules Still Apply – Or Do they?

Running an alternative SEO campaign is not an open invitation to start slacking off or to start breaking the rules. And when I say “Alternative SEO” I do not mean black hat strategies either. Each of the major search engines have different algorithms in place that contribute to how your site will be ranked in the search results, but good SEO practice still wins, every time. So stick with the whitehat strategies. Forget about the supposed latest and greatest new black hat tactic. These things do not last and end up hurting your campaigns.

#2 – Engine Value Factor

We all know Google is the Giant in the search engine game. This means it is always mentioned first and foremost when SEO comes up. Get on the front page of Google for your chosen keywords and you will get instant and targeted traffic.

This is also what makes it so difficult. Everyone is gunning for that top spot, and the competition can be fierce for even the low-traffic keywords.

Getting ranked for your chosen keywords is not always difficult just because of competition either. You have to keep in mind that Google does not work for you. Google works for their users…the searcher. People use Google primarily to find INFORMATION on a given subject, not to buy things. Google wants to make sure that when their users type in a phrase that the results will best match the intent of the searcher.

MSN (Bing) on the other hand, seems to cater more towards shoppers and buyers. This is why in many cases, you will not get the gobs of traffic from MSN that you will get from Google, but your sales conversions will generally be higher there. This has always been the case for me and this trend is only growing as far as I can tell.

Each of the 3 major search engines cater to completely different demographics. You have to keep this in mind as you prepare your SEO campaigns.

#3 – Innovate and Stay Sharp

So very few people choose to take advantage of the other search engines online. This is to your advantage, BUT you are going to have to be sharp, stick to your guns, and remain consistent. You are going to have to innovate from the beginning. Don’t leave any loose ends and follow through with your work. New strategies always require diligence when they are being implemented. Consistency wins every time because unfortunately, most people are lazy and cannot remain vigilant. Unfortunate for them, fortunate for you, IF you don’t go the lazy route too!

#4 – Study The Search Engines – Get To Know What They Want

Marketing itself is pretty much simply an act of finding out what people want and then giving it to them exactly how they want it. It is important you carry this thinking over into your alternative SEO campaigns and make sure you give each search engine EXACTLY what they want. As mentioned before, good SEO still applies across the board, and many of the same good SEO practices will have a positive effect on all engines, but each has their differences.

For instance, I have noticed that when it comes to organic rankings, Yahoo does not seem to give as much authority to.org sites. This could just be my experience, or a weird fluke, but some of my sites with the.org extension, which do very well on Google for their chosen keywords, cannot seem to climb on Yahoo.

If you pay close attention to these little nuances, and adjust your marketing message to take advantage of them, you will rise above the competition.

#5 – Look To Future Sustainability

Too often I see marketers, newbies and veterans alike, create their SEO campaigns as if there is no future in it.They appear to enjoy playing the “give it to me now” game. Long-term strategies, which would allow them to remain competitive now AND far into the future, are not their focus. Bad move…

If you want to build a successful business you need to build it on a solid foundation, taking into account the future profit of a well-built campaign. This means that although you use alternative search engines you make sure that what you are building is being built to last, not just to take advantage of some loop-hole that is really no loop-hole at all. This also means that you must continue to pay attention to your campaigns. For each individual alternative SEO campaign you build, one engine will generally come out the clear winner for THAT specific campaign.

When this happens look for the answer as to WHY it happened. You want to be able to duplicate the same process across several different niches over time. If there ever was a secret it is this: Find what works, with each of the major search engines, build engine-specific campaigns according to those working models, then rinse and repeat across as many different niches as you wish.

About the Author

And now I’d like to invite you to get Free Instant Access to my SEO Loopholes Strategy Report. Learn the secrets to ranking higher, faster and cheaper for competitive keywords. You can also visit my blog at: http://kadmon.cbpirateblog.com for daily SEO marketing tips and tricks.

Oct 082009
 

by Chris Gill

Search engine optimization (SEO) contains dozens of techniques and no small amount of controversy when it comes to which of these techniques are the most effective. The legitimate SEO community agrees that quality content, back links to the target site and optimization for well-researched keywords (phrases used in search engines) are critical components. Meta Data (information that is not visible on the web page itself, but within its coding) is the subject of some debate from SEO professionals. Some Meta Data is known to improve SEO, but in other cases, the evidence is weak – and the wrong technique may actually damage a site’s rank on Google, Yahoo! or Bing. So when and how does Meta Data matter? The development team at SEO firm GILL Media had the following to say about Meta Data in SEO:

Page Title: Strong

Page titles are the most visible Meta information fields in a web page. Search engines usually harvest a page’s title for its link in a search engine results page (SERP). The consensus remains that this is one of the strongest on-page SEO factors. That means webmasters should always include related keywords in their page titles, but need to remember that the title is visible in SERPs. A title that looks awkward due to keyword stuffing may not garner as many organic (human-decided) clicks as one with fewer keywords that conveys information to the user. Furthermore, remember that Google displays roughly 70 characters from a page title, making longer examples look awkward.

Image Alt Tags: Medium

One of the cardinal sins of SEO friendly web design is to forget that images are not machine-readable. In other words, your big banner naming your site and what it’s all about looks great to humans, but all a search engine spider sees is the image reference tag. Alt tags are designed to deal with this issue by adding a Meta tag telling spiders (and users who hover over the picture) what the image is all about. Designers should always fill in image tags with topical, SEO friendly titles, but avoid stuffing keywords in alt tags or using them in a deceptive fashion. For example, if alt tags are inconsistent with the site’s content, that may serve as a red flag to search engines. This is critical for image heavy sites, but less so for text-dominant sites. When it doubt, it’s always a better idea to provide information in visible text than Meta Data.

Meta Descriptions: Medium

A Meta Description is a short sentence that describes the page, but isn’t visible on the page itself. This is weaker than it used to be because too many SEO firms “gamed the system” by stuffing the Meta description with keywords. It may still have some weight with search engine spiders but nowadays the Meta Description is important to human readers. Many search engines import the description to the SERP, so searchers will have a chance to read it as a summary of the page’s content. Therefore, it’s your goal to not only include keywords in a natural fashion, but make the description appealing to a typical reader to increase organic clicks.

Meta Keyword Tags: Weak

Google representatives have publicly said that the separate Meta Keywords field now has little to no weight on SERPs, and it’s likely that other search engines have largely followed suit. Nevertheless, you should still fill these out in the interest of completeness. Meta keywords may still be used by certain small scale search engines, and might serve as “tie breakers” when it’s time to rank two sites with an otherwise very close claim to the same position. Avoid using too many keywords here.

About the Author

GILL Media is a leading provider of economical search engine optimization and affordable web design for small, medium and large businesses.

Sep 232009
 

by Chris Gill

As more and more companies are discovering, even locally-oriented brick and mortar businesses need search engine optimization (SEO) services to attract customers. People head to the internet before they go to the Yellow Pages now (and the Yellow Pages are online anyway!). Even if your store’s just blocks away from customers you need to make your presence known in their homes, through their broadband connections. To get there, you can’t just rank for general keywords. You need search engine to respect your location to cater to people who’ve entered their town or neighborhood in as part of the search.

Professionals can optimize for local searches using a powerful arsenal of tools but virtually anyone can make basic inroads into local search success if they’re willing to put in the time. The development staff at GILL Media has outlined a simple five-step procedure for local SEO.

Step 1: Localize Your Keywords

Keyword (search term) research is essential for any SEO campaign. Beginners should simply find phrases related to their business, but to localize they need to take things a step further by adding the name of their region, municipality or neighborhood to each term. Make full use of your local knowledge. Is there a common slang term for an area? A prominent local landmark? Create variants of your keyword phrases that include these phrases. Your list shouldn’t just include “blue widgets,” or whatever your business sells, when “Bay Area blue widgets, Yourtown” drills down to the region you serve. Remember that some slang terms are common across several regions and specify as much as possible.

Step 2: Localize Your Content

Now that you have a list of localized keywords it’s time to apply them to your on-page content. Write about your experience selling blue widgets in your area. Like any page content, don’t force the keywords in. Your product descriptions, blogging and other writing should integrate these phrases naturally, so that the sentences make sense and are still a pleasure to read. While you’re at it, make sure your street address and store hours are placed prominently on the site. Many SEO experts instruct search engines to ignore the contact page, but you should not do that! You want search engines to index your location!

Step 3: Get on the Map(s)

Major search engines have services that allow you to submit your business to a local directory, where it will show up in services like Google Maps. Take the time to do this for every major search engine, including Google, (www.google.com/local/add) Yahoo (local.yahoo.com) and Bing. In addition, submit your business to directories such as DMOZ.org and the Yahoo Directory (dir.yahoo.com). In some cases you may have to take extra steps (and in DMOZ’s case you may have to wait for a long time, as volunteer section editors have spotty records when it comes to performing updates) so if you must set priorities, take care of local search engine listings first. Step 4: Link Build in Your Local Network

Do you know other local businesses with websites? Is there a local business directory on the Web? Approach these organizations first to ask for links back to your site. The most valuable links will come from people and groups you have sincere connections to, because you may be able to get additional supporting content, such as a description of your business. Don’t be shy about mentioning your target keywords and when you can ask your contacts to use them as anchor text. Try crafting your own example link entries – more often than not, your associates will be happy to add them as is.

Step 5: Socialize Locally

Social media tools like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are becoming more and more important for SEO. Kijiji is also worth noting for businesses. Don’t let its “want ad” orientation fool you; it gets plenty of traffic from established businesses as well. Search engines are striving to include more “social” results, but the best value you get out of these services is by meeting people through local networks, starting conversations with them and building positive buzz through reviews. Make contact with other local businesses and individuals whenever possible and present yourself sincerely – not as somebody just out for cheap promotion.

About the Author

GILL Media is a leading provider of economical search engine optimization and affordable web design for small, medium and large businesses.

Sep 162009
 

by Divya

I have read so many SEO articles to find my answers, but I have never come across any articles which will give me exact details. So here is an article on SEO techniques which will help build websites according to Google techniques. You will never need to buy any books for doing Search Engine Optimization for your site. I hope this SEO advice help you a lot.

When we first look at site, our first step will be to do analysis on that sites & note down all points which we think is not good or if it needs to revised.

For new site:

1. If you want to start new website do keyword analysis first by using words for which you want to build your site. You can use these keyword extractor tool Google Keyword Tool , Word Tracker or Keyword Discovery

2. Looking for main keywords which as decent hits book domain according to that. Example as: if you intend to do health site related to beauty so pick a domain which has www.beauty-tips.com or www.beauty-care.com. Where beauty tips & beauty care are good keywords.

Steps can be followed from below.

Analysis first step. Sites which are already live

1. Check your site each page if they have there unique Title, description & set of keywords. If not make new set for each page. 2. Title should not exceed 60 to 70 characters & specified in

3. Write unique content for every page & highlight all relevant & main keywords by bolding, italic or underlining them. Content should have keywords not more than 8-12 times.

4. Write unique content by using relevant keyword for each page. If people visit your site they should be able to read the site what exactly you they want. Don’t repeat content for any pages.

5. All URLs of site should start with www or with http://. You can check it by using this tricks- site: www.xyz.com.

Solution: If any pages have both ask your developer to change these canonical issues & keep all URLs the same by giving them 301 redirect which is known as Permanent redirect. This will help search engine spiders & web browsers that a page is moved to other URL.

1. Use Alt Image tags to describe image which will help crawler to understand images.

2. Use header tags as H1, H2, and H3, to highlight main topics which will mark them as main & important.

3. Do internal Linking structure. Means links should be visible on each other pages.

4. If you want some of your pages that crawlers shouldn’t crawl, set them a rule by giving them a Meta Robot Tag.

5. Validate HTML & CSS to ensure they are compliance across every browsers. You can use site analysis tool also to get some examples & show them to your web developer. Websiteoptimization Site Analyzer & Site Report Card.

6. Should have Meta Tags. Tools which will help you is Seobook Meta Tag Tool and Mmcanerin Metatag Generator Tool.

7. Meta keywords tags are very very important. Tools which help you: Widexl Meta Keyword Analyzer Tool.

8. Make good & healthy content & check if code is proper in your site: Tool which can help you is W3 Code Validation.

9. Check site compatible with multiple browsers. Tools: AnyBrowser Validation and Anybrowser ScreenSizeTest.

10. Always link your home page with main categories & look for broken links or error messages. Broken links if present can be checked using this tool: 1-hit Broken Link Finder Tool.

11. It’s always good for a site to have sitemaps. This helps crawlers to check all pages at one place itself. XML sitemaps are best. Tools: XML Sitemap Tool and Xmlsitemap Tool.

12. Company should have there own information page & privacy policy which helps crawlers show that site is legitimate. Tools which help you to make privacy policy: The DMA Privacy Policy Tool.

13. Robot text tool tell search engine and other robots which areas of your site they are allowed to visit and index. This code is only used once for a site & is only in main root directory. Tool: Mcanerin Robots-txt Tool.

14. No follow attributes should be used as this code helps the search engine not to dilute the page rank as it passes through your site.

15. If you need that you want to restrict unwanted bot traffic or traffic from certain IP address use htaccesstools. Check your web statics regularly to check for excessive traffic from random bots. This also helps your site images from getting stolen.

16. If you are using CMS URL or its dynamic sites you will get URL which has unwanted attributes. Solution for this is to activate mod rewrite rule. You can check this with our hosting admin if it’s installed or ask for some alternative. By using this rule your site URL will have static feel & crawlers feel them to index in SERP’s. Tools that will help you is Mod-rewrite Tool or Webmaster-Toolkit Mod_rewrite Tool

17. Write content related to your keywords & write in simple words which visitors can understand nicely & visit & recommend to others. Content on each page should be unique. Update your content regularly so that from time to time fresh content is displayed & crawlers like them. It should provide information of your products or your services, there benefits & what is exceptional about your products or services. Keywords should be repeated not more than 4 to 6 times per 350 words.

18. You can check your keywords density to ensure that your site is not stuffed with keywords & opts for spamming. Tools to check is: Webuildpages Keyword Density Tool

19. If there are non HTML Docs as PDF files these can also be optimized. Try to learn here: Easysw HTML Doc

20. Navigation Analysis: Navigation on site should be proper & breadcrumbs should be displayed.

21. Monitor your hits & traffic by using Google analytics. This will help you to analyze the reports & will help you to implement, understand, react & optimize the results.

Good SEO tools are 1-hit SEO Tools , Webmaster Toolkit and Webconfs Web Tools , Mcanerin Tools

All these points are not placed orderly but these the best tips & I bet this will help you.

About the Author

Divya Mhatre is a veteran in Internet marketing. www.ninthpixel.com

 

by Keith Garrow

Search engine optimization is probably the most important aspect of website development. No matter how much you pay for a fantastic looking site, you can still have no visitors for it if you do not address the basic requirements of search engines. You can, of course, get visitors by paying to advertise on other websites, but this is an ongoing cost and as soon as you stop paying, the visitors stop coming.


There are many different aspects to search engine optimization, but the following three rules will get you off to a good start and save you a lot of time and money.

Rule 1 – Get it right from the start

If you create a website first and then try to deal with search engine optimization, you will face an uphill struggle. This happens to lots of people because they often have not even heard of SEO until after they have built a site and found that no-one is visiting it. The most important thing you can do when developing a new site is to build in your SEO right from the start.

To succeed online, your website should be designed right from the start with search engines in mind. This will govern the whole structure of your site, the names and keywords you use for pages, the file names and alt text you select for images, the subjects you choose to cover on your site and even the whole theme of your website. Putting these things right afterwards is sometimes impossible, particularly if your site is not small.

There is one option open to you if you find that you have a site which you are happy with, apart from the fact that you have no visitors. In this situation it can be best to set up a new well optimized site which attracts lots of visitors and funnels them direct to your old site to deal with sales, etc.

Rule 2 – Learn From Your Competition

When you know what key phrases are most important for your website, check out which other sites are in the top ten positions for these phrases now. You need to analyse these sites carefully, because whatever they are doing is what you need to be doing too.

A good SEO tool will help you analyse your competing websites quickly and easily, covering all the different aspects of your competitors, such as who is linking to them, what keywords they use on each page, keyword density, etc. A large part of why the other sites are at the top of the search engine results pages will be the sites who have added links to them. You need to be able to quickly assess all of these links and pick out the ones that are doing the most good in terms of adding PageRank, and target those to get links for your own site.

Rule 3 – Automate as Much As You Can

The problem with SEO is that so much of it is a time consuming business. There are lots of separate jobs that each require careful research and then many repeated actions on your part. I am thinking of keyword research and analysis, submission to directories, seeking link exchange partners, article submission, etc.

If you were to do all of these things manually, it would take you forever just to deal with one website. The only way to make SEO tasks practical is to automate as many of them as you can, using shortcuts wherever possible. This is what SEO tools are designed to do. You can get specialist packages and services to deal with link building, or directory submission, but a good SEO software package will deal with all of these together, making your SEO efforts much easier to manage and co-ordinate.

About the Author

Read SEO Tools Reviews on the author’s website now. Keith Garrow is an artist whose website also offers free advice and guidance on web host reviews and how to create a website.

 

by Jon Sparks

There’s a lot of talk in the SEO community around the duplicate content issue, mainly because of the Google’s filter that applies to webpages that have overly similar or identical content. When content gets replicated in several places on the web Google will only display the pages it considers to be the original source, which is not always the case. The algorithm is not perfect and will often give the credit to the site that has more authority and trust even though it didn’t author the work. Getting your website dropped out of the main search engine index means a critical decrease in search traffic. That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re not having any duplicate content issues.

There are two types of duplicate content external (on different domains) and internal (on different pages of the same domain). Let’s see what causes each type and how you can protect yourself from it.

External Duplicate Content

While some of us will work hard writing articles and creating content that offers value, others will just go and steal someone’s work without dropping a sweat and with no remorse whatsoever. There are a lot of scrapper sites out there living entirely off other people’s content. The worst thing is that sometimes it’s your site, not the stealing one that gets penalized.

Cure: If you see that your content was reprinted without your permission elsewhere on the web the first thing you can do is contact the webmaster of the offending website and request that they remove your content or put a link to you as the source. If you don’t get a positive response you can report the website to Google under DMCA regulations.

Internal Duplicate Content

Often webmasters will accidentally create duplicate content on their websites. This is typical of big e-commerce sites with hundreds of same product descriptions on multiple pages as well as different session-specific URLs with the same content. Blog structure is also prone to create duplicate content: you can have the recent post on the home page and on the direct post URL. Duplicate content a big stick in your search engine optimization wheel but some simple SEO methods will do the trick.

Cure:

1. Rather then letting Google decide which of the pages to include in the index use robots.txt file to tell the search engine spiders not to crawl the duplicate pages. 2. Check your internal linking structure to make sure you always link to one and the same URL. 3. Specify the preferred domain in Google webmaster tools to let the spider know which way you want your site to be indexed.

Following these guidelines will help you minimize the duplicate content on your website and avoid penalties from the search engines.

About the Author

Jon Sparks is an SEO and marketing expert, author of many articles on Search Engine Optimization, link building, website promotion, SEO Software and search engine trends.

 

by Anna Agnew

Want to improve your search engine ranking? Follow these simple SEO tips that will keep you from making some common mistakes.

Importance of text
The first important rule that one must know about search engines is SEARCH ENGINES ONLY INDEX TEXT. When designing your website, you must always keep this important rule in mind. Search engines do not index images or flash very well so it’s a good idea not to overuse them – use images and flash only when necessary and vital to your website. Search engines are becoming smarter in their ability to index files like PDFs and captions on graphics but the general rule of thumb is to remember that search engines only index text. To ignore this rule would seriously hurt your search engine ranking.

All images should be using the required ALT tags
Because search engines only index text, it is very important to label every single picture on your website with a text description. This text description is call an “ALT tag” – ALT being short for alternate. Most browsers will display the ALT tag for a picture when you pass your mouse over the picture and hold for a few seconds. Wherever it is possible and wherever it makes sense to do so, make ALT tags contain your main key word phrase.

Original Text
All site copy (text) should be original. When creating your website you should never duplicate text on more than one page and never copy your text from other websites. Search engines will lower your ranking if it spiders duplicated text. Search engines rank your website based on how relevant your content is. Therefore, it is extremely important to put content that is not only original but changed, adapted and updated every few months. If you keep content fresh then the search engines will be more inclined to spider through your site content more frequently. Putting original content is a “Must” if you want to be placed in the top search results.

Avoid html errors
A good tip that will make the search engines more inclined to spider your content is to ensure that all your html code is correct. For example, make sure all tags open and close properly and that you never have empty html tags – e.g. An example of a unclosed html tag would be complicated nested tables – search engines find these extremely frustrating to index and may just give up trying to read your content.

Fix all broken links
It is important to review your website links on a regular basis to make sure that none of them are broken. Search engines do not like links that go nowhere. If a dead end link comes back as a 404 error, the search engines qualify this page as one that does not exist, cataloging all the pages that link to it. If the broken link to the 404 error is not fixed for a long period of time, then the ‘Quality Score’ of that page that links to the 404 error will be negatively affected.

Minimize the use of JavaScript
Search engines are unable to read the parts of a website that is created with Java or Flash elements. A Flash introduction is certainly impressive to view on the home page of a website, but a website that greets its visitors with plain old html will most likely get all the traffic 100% of the time. So keep your JavaScript to an absolute minimum and make sure that you call them from an external .js file.

Use Standard HTML Code
Websites that use valid html code – proper coding practices – are viewed with more favor by the search engines. Search engines must sort through your html code to read the content on the page. The search engine crawler programs follow the html standards and they can only index your website if it also follows these html standards. If your code contains errors, the search engines will be unable to “crawl” your site and may even lose what they’ve gathered so far because of the code error.

Another important tip would be to try not to use links that are not standard html (js links, image maps, dynamic links, etc.).

Keep away from popup windows
From the visitors standpoint, pop up windows are extremely annoying, distracting and a interference to whatever they are trying to do on your website. To many they are seen as “Junk Mail” and discourage visitors from continuing to view, or from coming back to your website. Google has gone as far as to block sites that annoy visitors with pop up windows and the newer versions of AOL have a program that kill pop ups as a service to their customers. For this reason it is advisable to not put important information in pop up windows and avoid their use in general.

Link back to full URL
When creating links on your website that need to link back to your home page, always link to your home page using the full Website URL. Do not link to your home page with a link to index.html. Link to http://www.YourDomainName.com/

ALWAYS use the www in absolute links
When using absolute links, ALWAYS use the www. in the URL. You do not want the spiders thinking that you have two websites instead of one. For example; if you use the link: yourdomainname.com and the link: www.yourdomainname.com, the search engines will view these as two separate pages within your website therefore penalizing you for what it views as duplicate content.

Use Absolute URL’s
Without affecting the security of the site and whenever possible use absolute URLs for links and images.

Always use external CSS style sheets
It is important to reduce the code clutter of your documents so as not to confuse the search engines. A tip to improve your ranking is to move your page content up to as close to the start of your html code as possible. When search engines find words near the start of your html code, they consider these words to be more important than words that are lower and buried deep within the file. In keeping content up close to the start of your html code, it is important not to clutter your HEAD section of your document with big sections of JavaScript code or embedded Cascading Style Sheets as this cluttering of code just serves to push your content/keywords further down the html file.

Use an external CSS Style sheet for all fonts, colours and layout formats including tables. Using external CSS and JavaScript files will make your site faster and the search robots will only see your content, which is all they really care about.

Keep images sizes low
Keeping the size of your images low is a key consideration when populating your web pages. Large graphics are a big factor in slowing down your page load time. Not only are search engines deterred by a slow loading website, but visitors keen to view your site are no longer willing to waste their time waiting for a page to load as they are a click away from viewing a faster-loading competitor’s site.

Remove old files
Remove old files off your server that are No longer in use. Improve the speed of your computer and free valuable space taken by your computer’s history files. Sometimes as much as gigabytes of disk space can be freed up.

Avoid using tables for formatting
Avoid using tables for formatting and never using embedded tables. Drawbacks to the nested tables is that they push down relevant content, wasting space in the top part of the code which may be all the search engine spiders are interested in. Nested tables add more code to your document, slowing down load times and forcing the spiders to work harder to find the relevant content. Another drawback is that these nested tables may also break the semantic connections in the text which would affect word proximity – what looks like a properly set up text on your monitor may be widely separated when viewed in code.

Make Two websites into One
It’s quite clear that search engine spiders do not like content that is duplicated on web sites, but you could be serving them duplicate content unknowingly, and it happens quite frequently. Problems occur when the search engines index your site as Two websites: 1) http://www.YourDomainName.com/ and 2) http://YourDomainName.com/. The difference is in the www. Also, search engine spiders find your site through various different URLs that go to the same page. Some examples of this idea is:

  • yourdomainname.com
  • www.yourdomainname.com
  • yourdomainname.com/index.html
  • www.yourdomainname.com/index.html

The search engines all view these different URLs as a different page in your web site with content that is duplicated. This can cause your website to be penalized with resulting lower search engine rankings until the search engines figure out eventually that these are the same page.

You can fix this problem with a htaccess rewrite 301 rule that tells the search engines that they are the same page.

In thr htaccess file use the following code:
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^yourdomainname.com
RewriteRule (.*) http://www.yourdomainname.com/$1
[R=301,L]

Redirect Gone Command
The htaccess file is also good for telling the search engines that a page is no more. You can use the redirect gone command for that.

Put Keywords in heading tags
Headings are weighted heavily in the search engines. Many of the search engines are set up to search for the key words in headings more than anywhere else in your web site. When you use Head Tags, your browser shows your text bigger and makes it stand out from the rest of the text. So when you create your web site, use Head Tags and make sure your headings contain the main key word phrases for your site.

Get High Quality links Back to your Site
An important tip that will assist the search engines in finding your site is to increase your inbound links. The search engine robots go from page to page on the web through hyperlinks, so the more number of websites that you have linking to your website pages, the higher the likelihood of the search engine robots finding your site.

After your website is created and put up on a server and registered with the search engines, go out and find as many other websites as possible, with relevant content, that might have an interest in linking from their site to yours. You would then send a personal email requesting a link and perhaps explain why this link would be beneficial for both web sites. You may have to offer reciprocal links back to their sites in order to convince them. That’s not a problem as you WANT lots of links from your site to other sites–that’s one easily-provided free service you can give away.

Google provides a tool that is useful in checking how many web sites are linked to yours. In the search, type link: www.yourdomain.com and see the number of links to the site. Keep in mind that link: yourdomain.com and link: http://www.yourdomain.com will all give different results. You can do this search for any domain.

Don’t Use Frames
Although many search engine spiders today are able to read the content inside frames, the perspective of an SEO is that it is still a very bad idea for a couple of reasons. To refresh your memory, frames are pages that consist of individual html pages that are put together in such a way that it appears to be one page. Frames were used by web designers to maintain a consistent and standard look among all the other pages on the website and for the purpose of navigation. The confusion for the search engines occur because they don’t reconcile the content in the frame with the page that the frame sits on – while the viewer may see the information as being together, the search engines may view it as a completely separate page.

Another reason it is a bad idea to use frames is that some of the older browsers find it difficult or just plain impossible to read. Don’t take the chance of alienating visitors who don’t happen to have the latest software/hardware combinations. Say it with me, “Frames are Bad”!

About the Author

Anna Agnew is an author for The Computer Geek Custom Web Page Design. The Computer Geek is a web design company that prides itself in professional service at a fraction of the cost. The Computer Geek specializes in Custom Web Design, PHP & MySql and Ecommerce.

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