Posts Tagged ‘SEO’
If you are just getting started with social media for attracting clients to your online business one of the methods you can add to your arsenal of strategies is bookmark sharing. If you are unsure of what bookmark sharing is just think of the websites that you bookmark in your personal browser. You bookmark them because you think they are useful and offer quality information that is of interest to you.
Well, bookmark sharing is the same principle except that it provides you with a way to share bookmarks you think are notable with others in the online community. The bookmarks that you share and that others share are viewable by the public community on the internet. One of the bookmark sharing sites is known as Del.icio.us pronounced “delicious.”
So why is bookmark sharing important and how can it help your online business?
New online business owners who are just getting started have the social media learning curve to embark upon to get an online business brand established. Although this may seem complicated, it really isn’t when you break everything down into bite sized pieces in your social media marketing strategy. When you channel social media marketing strategies you create goals and objectives for each social media tool you decide to use. One of the social media tools you should include is the social bookmarking site, Digg.
Online business owners use social bookmarking sites such as Digg for social sharing of high quality content. Instead of simply bookmarking sites in your browser you can share sites you find useful with others in the online community. If you are consistent with your efforts others will begin to see you as an expert on a specific topic and return for more great information. Here are a few tips on how to get started with social sharing with Digg.
StumbleUpon is just as the name implies, you use it to get people to stumble upon your website, blog, profile, and other information which is relevant to your online business. It is also used as a means for personal sharing of great content on the Internet and getting your brand associated with quality information.
Like the social bookmarking site Digg, StumbleUpon has millions of users and provides a way for you and other users to learn about a new website and discover how other StumbleUpon users feel about the site. You can also announce other sites to the StumbleUpon community by giving them the “thumbs up” which is a way of voting for a site similar to “Digg This” on the social bookmarking site, Digg. Here are a few pointers on how to get involved with StumbleUpon:
Reddit is a relatively established (2005) social news website. Visitors to the website can browse through article link submissions according to different categories (called “sub-reddits”), and by clicking on a link, they are taken to the original news story. In this sense, to a visitor, it is an aggregator site.
Members of Reddit are able to vote on the news stories, essentially helping move the stories up or down in the listing, making them more or less “popular”. Members can also submit links to news stories that they’d like to share with others and they can even submit “self-serving” links—original content that they have written. Submitting links on Reddit has shown to increase website traffic.
Reddit is just one of the many social media tools available to social networkers, but of all the tools available, Reddit is certainly one of the most powerful and therefore, one to pay attention to and take advantage of.
Everyone knows that the more linkbacks to a website, the higher the website will appear in search engine results. So, with regards to Reddit, the more “self-serving” links you can submit, and the higher they rank on Reddit’s list of results, the more traffic your website is likely getting, the higher it will land in search results!
If you are starting an online business one of the steps that should sequentially follow your business and marketing plan is keyword research. Keywords are the lifeline to your online business and will serve as the foundation on which you will build your business.
Choosing the right keywords means knowing your target audience and why they are searching for your product or service. For this reason it is important to have your market research accomplished before you delve into keyword research. The keywords you choose will be used in the entire content that you post online. Here are 7 great tips on how to boost your business using keywords:
In case you haven’t noticed, Google has been paying a lot of attention lately to the mobile user and has been launching experiments across multiple mobile platforms in an effort to reach the influx of mobile consumers. There are several new launches which have occurred since January of this year with the latest ones being launched as recently as August 2011 for both mobile and PC users. If you have not heard the buzz around Google Instant Previews here are a few of the initiatives that Google has revealed:
Instant Previews and iOS Safari
Google Instant Previews which you can currently use on Windows and Linux to preview web pages without having to leave the search engine results page is now being made available to Safari which is iOS’s browser. The interesting feature about this portable version is it provides you with the capability to swipe each preview from your search query similar to using the tab feature in the Safari browser.
Google Instant Previews Features
Regardless of the type of Web browser you are using Google has added some handy features to Instant Previews that allows you to get to where you are going in less time. Although you can still use Instant Previews to view a web page before clicking through when you click on the magnifying glass you can preview other results that are relevant to the website you are previewing.
For some of the website previews the relevant parts of the page you want your visitors to see first will appear as text over the image of the web page to highlight your search query and where it appears on that particular web page. If you come across a preview that is not relevant to what you are looking for Google provides a way for you to remove the page from your search query results.
Google Chrome 13 Instant Preview Update
PC Magazine recently featured an article about the release of Google Chrome 13 which implements more than 5000 updates one of which is Instant Pages and print preview. Although Instant Previews represents a significant breakthrough in terms of download time, Instant Pages will load the page faster when you click on the search results.
Additionally, Google added Print Preview to Chrome which it also plans to add to Mac in the not too distant future. This feature utilizes a PDF viewer which is built-in to the Google Chrome browser and offers an easy “Print to PDF” option.
The third notable update is the new Omnibox feature which combines the URL address window with the search box. All you have to do is start typing a portion of a website address URL into the address box and then search the dropdown menu for the website you are trying to access.
It still remains to be seen what will happen in terms of search engine optimization with regard to the latest developments in Google Instant Preview. Many of the modifications that Google is making to address the increase in mobile device usage may dictate what online marketers will be required to change in terms of the SEO strategies they use as mobile commerce progresses.
If you use Google on your mobile device to search the web “raise your hand” in the comments below.
The number one key to having a successful online business is putting into place a way for your potential customers to locate your website and be enticed to click on it. Your customers need to find you to get information, to find products or to locate your contact information, and most importantly, they must get the sense that your business can fill their needs. This article will give you the basics to put your business out there in front of your customers. We’re going to talk about the basics of search engine optimization which is also known as search engine marketing, or the abbreviated SEO. We are going to define how the basics of SEO come into play.
SEO is the fundamental practice of showing your business, its information, and its website to your customers when they are searching on a search engine. Search engines use computer robots or “bots” to read your website and store its contents so that your website is searchable by your customers. What all this means is that when one of your customers is on a search engine like Google, Yahoo, or Bing, they’re looking for information about you, your business, or your website. With properly formed SEO practices, when your customers type in a keyword, the search engines will know that particular keyword is associated with your business. Then your site (among others) will be displayed in the search engine results list – also known as natural search results.
Most of your customers don’t know exactly what keywords to type in to find your business on the web. They rely on the search engines to do all the hard work for them, and search engines are very good at it. Your primary SEO task is to make sure that your website is friendly and that your keywords are relevant to your site so the search engine results pages will rank your website well in relationship to your competition and other sites that may be using the same keywords or search terms.
As an online business your SEO strategy or SEO Marketing Plan will be comprised of many processes and tasks. There are many tools and techniques available online to help you work on your SEO plan. The trick is to not get overwhelmed with information and to prioritize your tasks.
SEO or search engine optimization should be viewed as a critical task for your online business. While you are going to all the trouble of creating a website to represent your company, it is imperative that you invest the time to make sure your customers can find it. Your keywords, page titles, and Meta descriptions should be valued as tools or assets that can grow your online business.
The three basic elements of SEO for your website are:
- Keywords/search terms
- Website page titles
- Website page Meta descriptions
Identifying keywords and search terms for your business is a critical process and you need to think like a customer. Ask yourself these three questions while building your keyword portfolio.
- What words or phrases would you use on a search engine to find your company?
- What words and phrases would you use on a search to find your competition?
- What words and phrases would you use to find relevant industry news?
You should also identify keywords with your location to enhance the abilities of the emerging local search market.
For example: If you are an exterminator company you may only want to service a specific locality. In this example you would type in “exterminators” and your city, state or your zip code. After you have written your seed list of keywords, you can also utilize keyword research tools like Google’s keyword tool, Wordtracker’s free keyword tool, or any of the 100 others out there to help you build an expanded list of keywords and search terms.
Another key basic SEO element is the page title on your web page. If you have a one page brochure website online then you only need one page title. If you have a seven page website then you need seven page titles, each of them unique to its corresponding page.
- contact us
- about us
For example: As an exterminator, the page title of your homepage may be “Residential exterminator and pest control specialists in city, state, zip code.” Many keywords strings can be compiled from our multifaceted example.
- Residential exterminator
- Exterminator city
- pest control city
- exterminator zip code
- residential pest control city
Simply by crafting that one page title line, you’re giving yourself a plethora of keywords that your customers can use to find your business on the search engines. Again, we recommend having a unique title for each one of your pages.
Customizing the Meta description in the HTML code for each page on your website is our third recommended basic SEO tactic. The Meta description tag is used by search engines when your page is displayed in a search result. Writing your own Meta descriptions helps you control your company message, branding, marketplace positioning, and the representation of your site on the search engines. Without a Meta description most search engines will take a clipping of your website content and display that, but with this type of result you lose the ability to control your brand. And, in our opinion, your brand is your most valuable asset.
For example: As an exterminator, the Meta description in the HTML code on your home page might be ABC Pest Services is a pest control and extermination services provider staffed with environmental specialists. We service City1 State, City2 State, City3 State, and City4 State. Our staff is trained and certified as environmental specialists in pest elimination, mold removal, and indoor air quality.
Simply by controlling your Meta description you will strengthen your brand position on the search engine results page.
SEO as a marketing practice is not a short-term fix. It will require a long-term investment of your time, but will be well worth it. Your search engine rankings should be reviewed on a monthly basis, and you should keep current on the newest SEO best practices. Leaders in online business understand the importance of SEO and how to use it to their advantage. Proper SEO management can mean the success or failure of your online business. With a little work and continued attention to SEO, you’ll be amazed how your online business will grow and flourish.
SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page which is where your potential visitors land after they type a specific search query into the search engine. Many small business owners refer to their ranking on the search engine results page as “getting SERP’d” which is an expression used to refer to specific strategies you must use to get your website listed among the top 25 or 30 listings for your specially chosen keywords.
In order to get your site listed high on the search engine results page there is specific protocol you must follow to meet the criteria that Google and other search engines set forth to ensure the highest quality sites take precedence over inferior quality sites.
SEO Keyword Research
Although keyword research can be tedious and time consuming it is important to bite the bullet and persevere with this portion of your business. Practically everything online revolves around keywords but not just any keywords. The primary part of your success will be finding the “right” keywords and keyword phrases that your target market uses to search. The keywords you choose are what will lay the groundwork for your website and will determine whether or not the right market will find you in organic searches.
Once you have found the keywords that your target audience is using in organic searches you will build your site around these keywords. The keywords serve as the foundation to your business and then your website is the structure that is placed on the foundation.
As you construct your website the
High Quality Content For SEO
The search engines also place a lot of emphasis on the quality of the content you offer on your website. The search engine bots read all of your content and examine keyword use and then compare it to the page title and your use of
Inbound Links Help SEO
To ensure positive rankings on the search engine results page you must organize a link building campaign that includes strategies for getting quality inbound links to your site. The links should come from sites that are considered trustworthy by the search engines and are relevant to the topic of your business. Inbound link quality earns points with the search engines when they see the number of quality websites that are pointing to your site.
Many online business owners are under the impression they can use the same keywords that they use for content marketing, pay per click advertising, or an SEO campaign in a social media marketing campaign. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Keyword strategies are much different for social media than they are for conventional search engine optimization campaigns.
Do Keyword Research For Each Marketing Tactic
One Size Does Not Fit All
When it comes to social media marketing all keyword research is not treated equally. Although it may appear that all keyword research is the same there are significant differences between the keywords you use for search engine marketing and optimization and social media marketing.
- Query Types and Visitor Behavior - User behavior and the types of queries they use are different for search engines and social media sites as well as platform to platform. For example, a user will search differently in Google than they would on a social bookmarking site such as StumbleUpon. They would also search differently on Twitter than they would on StumbleUpon. So not only is there a difference from search engine to social media there is also a different across various social media platforms.
- Query Popularity - The queries and keywords that are the most popular for Google may not be as common on social media sites. For example, if government and politics is a popular query for Google it is highly probable it will not be as popular on a video site such as YouTube where arts and entertainment is predominant.
- Conversation vs. Searches - Holding a conversation on a social media site is much different than using a search query. More often than not social media users are seeking an answer to a question or social interaction with other users. This means that their behavior will be different than on a search engine and they will use different terms to interact instead of a query string.
So What’s the Answer?
The answer to using the appropriate keywords in social media is to perform keyword research that is specific to social media sites in addition to the conventional keyword research you conduct for search engine optimization. Then you must refine your research for each social media site since user behavior will vary across different social media platforms.
Each social media site offers tools that you can use to aid your keyword research to find the top trending keywords, what is currently the buzz, how people are using the keyword terms, etc. For example YouTube offers tools such as YouTube Suggest and YouTube Keyword Tool, Twitter offers tools such as TweetVolume and TweetBeep, Facebook offers advanced keyword research, and photo website Flickr offers Flickr Trends.
Keyword research for social media involves a time investment if you are going to do it correctly however; doing it right the first time around on a site by site basis will ensure that you maintain the competitive edge over the marketers that use a one size fits all approach.
There are a lot of link building tools available that can lead you to paralysis by analysis. However, if you can choose a good set of link building tools your toolbox will help you build a strong link building strategy on an ongoing basis.
When we talk about link building tools it is important to clarify that we are not referring to software that claims to help you build links but in reality is useless and hurts your rankings with the search engines instead of helps it. Instead we are talking about the fundamental tools that help you to build and maintain the links that you acquire.
SEOmoz offers a low-keyed link tool that is appropriate for those intimidated by a lot of data. The product is called Linkscape which is a tool used for viewing and analyzing incoming links from websites that are relevant to yours. It has a user-friendly interface which provides information on incoming links, anchor text which is the actual text used on the link that users click on, and the most popular pages of these websites that receive high traffic.
If you are not afraid of viewing a lot of data for analysis you can upgrade to MajesticSEO which is a more advanced link tool that provides you with a host of detailed information that goes beyond the Linkscape tool. MajesticSEO will provide you with detailed information on incoming links to websites that are relevant to yours and are automatically sorted by geographical location. MajesticSEO also provides you with data on any links pointing to the domain that are low quality. The data is organized to one location so you can easily view it for comparison and analysis.
Majestic SEO has a comparison tool for comparing links among multiple websites. This is a convenient tool that helps you track your own link building strategies and also helps you keep an eye on the number of links being acquired by your competitor’s website. MajesticSEO will sort links according to their type such as no follow, redirects, and links that contain images.
This is another nifty link tool by SEOmoz that will help you to get a jump start on your link building campaign. Link finder is a link tool that helps you with the research that is necessary when you are planning your link strategy. You can enter information and keywords into Link Builder and the tool will create a list of searches and websites that are relevant to yours. Then you can research the website with other tools described above to determine if it is worth asking for a backlink to your website.
Hopefully this will provide you with an idea of where to begin to assemble a great link building toolbox. There are many more quality tools available that are worth your time to investigate.
As a word to the wise, you should avoid the link building tools that claim to build your links for you. These are often automated tools that will get your website penalized by the search engines. The tools do what they say, “they build the links for you” but they are inferior quality links and may not be related to the topic of your site. What’s more the search engines can smell an automated tool a mile away and will blacklist your site as a result.
Let’s break down the data you should be tracking in your link building strategy.
Some of the data we recommend tracking is self explanatory, and some is fairly innovative, so I wanted to give you a brief definition for each piece of data.
- Link Type: Tells future users of the link tracker the type of site your link was placed on, blog, forum, directory, editorial, article, resource list etc.
- Sourced Link Page: Is simply the url or the page your link was placed in.
- Keyword or Text: Plainly put it is the anchor text of the backlink.
- Landing Page: A Landing page is where you point an incoming backlink specifically to improve SEO results.
- Localize: Is the url, source page copy, or the linked anchor text Localized to boost local SEO results?
- Semantic Target: This innovative targeting method, helps us track the semantic coding elements we want to target, for example, getting a link placed in an ordered list is better than getting a link placed in a list made with the <br> tag. Other highly desirable semantic elements are: DFN, STRONG, CITE or H1/H2 tags.
- Audience Target: Track the audience profile features that the incoming source link captures. I pursue links into my site from content relevant source urls that are filling a want or are useful to my target audience. Try Targeting Demographics i.e. age, or income, Geographic factors, Behavioral markers in your link building strategy.
- Email/Phone: DOH! don’t lose the post-it with your key contacts ever again.
- Contacted: Make note of date, time, method, and any other relevant information
- Active: Another Face Palm piece of data, that is the first step in monitoring a successfully acquired backlink.