What types of backlinks are used for SEO?

BacklinksIf you’ve been researching SEO or actively been working on your website you’ll know that backlinks play a huge role in promoting your website. Google analyzes and uses backlinks to evaluate the authority of a site and also which keywords the site is relevant for. To do so Google is constantly crawling the web to find and analyze all kind of backlinks. The idea behind that is this:

If you have a lot of articles about “dog training” on your website and people find your website and post a link with the anchor text “dog training” then the Google algorithm will come to the conclusion that your website is relevant for “dog training” and therefore rank it high for that term. (more…)

Important things about keyword research.

Keyword ResearchWhen it comes to SEO, keyword research is without a doubt one of the most important things to get right. If you don’t pay close attention to your keyword research you could end up in one of the following situation.

Keywords are too competitive: Improper keyword research can be the reason why many website owners target keywords that are way too competitive. It is important to carefully analyze your competition for each of the keywords you intend to target and make sure that you will be able to beat them. If the keywords you target are too difficult it will either take a very long time before you see any kind of results or you never reach page one at all. (more…)

Doing SEO For Boring E-Commerce Websites

I get a lot of questions here from people wondering how to write SEO articles about boring products for their or their clients websites. I give the same two part answer every time: tell a story and give the product a personality. Let’s look in depth what I mean by that and look at an example of a recent project I completed that took advantage of this tip.

Telling a Story in Your SEO Articles

Stories are memorable and create imagery within the readers brains. Even if the story is about weird old women that ride broomsticks (witches) the story that creates images stick in the reader’s brain. So when you have a boring product like a sump pump that prevents your basement from flooding during a storm you can tell a story about how a man’s basement once flooded and because of that he lost all the treasure he kept hidden under the floorboards in his basement. As long as the reader can imagine and visualize the story it will be interesting and they will read on.

Give the Product a Personality

Humans tend to humanize things. Think about it. People treat their dogs like humans. People go to the zoo and look at an alligator as if it was supposed to act like a human. And so give your boring product human traits. Compare it to other similar products like you would a human. Call it the Michael Jordan of backup sump pumps, if we’re using the sump pump example still. Another way to do it would be to call different styles of your product by human traits. So if the sump pump is the first line of defense call it the customer service pump or the lineman pump. If it’s the pump that always breaks down call it the clumsy kid or the accident prone little one. People find it easy to identify if you do this type of writing for your SEO clients.

Case Study Example Sump Pump Website

The best way to measure if this method of SEO writing works is to look at the analytics of your site. Specifically look at the average time on site and pages viewed per visit. The more time and more pages each visitor spends on the more effective your articles are. For the sump pump client we wrote a total of 10 SEO articles based on the keyword research we performed. One month later and the average time on site went from 1 minute 36 seconds to 2 minutes 24 seconds. And the average number of pages visited went from 1.61 to 2.85. There was a clear effect. We didn’t change anything else on the website accept adding these 10 articles written as described above.

I think we can conclude that telling a story and giving your boring products human features and personalities allows people to identify with them and they enjoy your website more. So next time you’re writing about a boring product for a client ensure you think of a compelling story for the product to shine and try to describe as if it was a human. You’ll see a huge improvement!

Local Optimization in the Home Technology Space

Local Optimization in the Home Technology Space

The home theater and automation business revolves around installing the latest and greatest hardware and software into client’s homes. Everything from lights, shades, music, and even the pool and spa can be controlled from a tablet or phone. But often times these technology guru’s websites are completely lacking when it comes to efficient design and search engine optimization.

One of the biggest draws of the home audio video business is a big screen and big sound. Homeowners want a theater system that looks and sounds like the equivalent of a true movie theater. And while showcasing these sorts of systems is important when trying to generate leads, on-site optimization and an efficient website with high conversion rates is much more important than a ton of pictures.

The owners of home automation and theater companies tend to fall into the trap that more is better where their website is concerned. But when it comes to ranking well within the search engines, you need good content, good speed, and good visitor metrics. Sites that are bogged down with large pictures and flash programming do little to attract the attention of Google, Bing, and Yahoo!.

This is a lesson that many integrators have already learned within their own businesses. For many years the trend in home controls was to have flashy graphics and bulky user interfaces. They were often beautiful to look at, but many of them were lacking in intuitive design.

Over the past 5 years, many of these integrators have been taking cues from one of the best in the world at intuitive design. Apple has spent thousands of man hours and millions of dollars designing their GUI (graphical user interface). It has gone through several versions. And the most recent trend is for a more basic look. Less graphics requires less CPU power, and increases the speed of the interface.

And while integrators have taken these changes to heart in their touch panel and remote control designs, they have yet to update the look and functionality of their websites. Of course this is only a small part of the battle when it comes to SEO.

Content on many of these sites is lacking as well. As previously mentioned, many of these sites continue to use flash. And while it looks cool, it provides search engines with almost zero information in terms of ranking the site.

This is one of the biggest adjustments these sorts of businesses need to make in terms of their websites. Finding creative ways to incorporate all of the information they need to give potential clients an idea of what they do, as well as helping their rankings in the search engines. Things such as having address information, brands, services should all be completed in standard HTML format so that it is easily recognizable and ranks accordingly.

This is often a more difficult battle than one would expect. Many of these integrators have invested thousands of dollars into their website, not realizing that it is what it says and not what it looks like that attracts the most visitors.

One home theater and home automation integrator that is taking these ideas to heart is Innovative Sight & Sound. They have offices in Destin and Clearwater Florida. They have embraced the changing world of SEO in order to leverage the leads it can bring in.

 

SEO can make a difference in your wallet

I’m a very motivated person as it comes to money. When I see a chance to make some money I take it. That is why in the early days of the internet I already followed the newest trends. However in the beginning the internet was slow and working behind a lagging internet connection was not that fun.

I have sold a Facebook page about travelling to a travelling agency that was interested because it had a high amount of likes. So I felt there were possibilities to make some good money online. This motivated me to continue.

So I’ve begun to make a wallet site. I don’t sell directly, but through an affiliate. However I do earn a commission when someone buys a wallet or other item.

In the beginning I had no clue on how to optimize my site for search engines. This is something I learned during the process. Making good content was 1 thing, but it will only get you so far. SEO is important to make sure your website attracts organic visitors. Without doing proper SEO it will be difficult to reach an audience.

After reading some of the top 10 SEO tips I started to review my site about wallets. I noticed that I didn’t use my main keyword in my title. This is that blue link that you will find in Google when searching. Adapting this also made sure that the content of my page is more relevant with my page title. Users will click away less when the page they land on corresponds with what they were looking for.

The second thing I did was adding a metadescription. This is important because in Google it’s below the blue link. It convinces users to click through to your site. It’s like having an ad saying “click me because of these reasons”.

I also looked at the heading for my posts. It’s important that my main keywords are in those headings. These were some basic SEO things I implemented on my site. As a result the amount of traffic I received on my website doubled. So this was great.
So for now I only spoke about on page SEO. There’s also off page SEO. But currently I’m not working on it, but it could be the next step.

Another one of the sites I made is this leather briefcase site.. Why? Because I have a leather briefcase myself and it’s really a handy thing to have. Lots of space and easy to carry around are 2 reasons to go buy it.

On this site I also earn by commission and I did the same things as above. The only other thing I did was changing the look and feel to Amazon. I also added some call to action buttons. This is not SEO, but more UX design. The experience a user has on your site is another important factor which can contribute to the amount of goods you will sell. For this reason this last site is converting really well for me. On page SEO has been done and some off page SEO.

The thing I learned from this all is that you should stay motivated and continue to learn. Eventually you will reach your goal!

The Music of SEO – Turning A Trade Into An Art

I’ve never told you all about the other major passion in my life. As well as being a long time SEO enthusiast I’ve also been a musician since I first picked up a guitar at age 15.

In fact, search engine optimization was something that I did to allow me to express myself through music. The simple fact is that it’s not very easy to make money as a singer songwriter. Working hard in an office job and still finding the time to make music is a very difficult thing to do. So it was because of my love of music that I first turned to SEO to try to make websites that would earn me money while I was kicking back with my instrument.

Because of the income from SEO I’ve been able to find the time to learn home recording from guys like Arnold Clavell and Steve Burns. What I wasn’t prepared for what the similarities between these two seemingly different disciplines. While I went looking for a simple way to earn a living I found within SEO not just a job but another art form.

Let me explain, when you first pick up an instrument you can’t do anything. This is when most buddy SEO’s simply give up. They can’t even get the fundamentals of the art form. Every SEO campaign they create is a noisy, messy, cacophony of techniques without form or structure. Like a child banging on the guitar strings without really understanding what they are supposed to do.

This is the 1st stage of learning SEO. Suck like only a totally novice can suck.

Then a budding guitarist starts to take things a little bit more seriously. They learn the fundamentals and start to copy other players. The novice SEO does the same. They find someone that they can learn from. They get some moves and start to copy them.

Many SEO’s never get past this stage; it’s the equivalent of being a guitarist that can only play cover songs. At this stage you are making music, and the SEO is running successful campaigns and ranking sites but they are not doing anything revolutionary. There is no shame is this, if this is your level then I congratulate you, most don’t make it so far. In the music world these guys are the jobbing session musicians or music teachers. Highly valued and respected but it’s not the pinnacle of the art. There is a place beyond.

The next stage is where you move from being a mimic to a real artist. The most amazing SEO’s lead the line with innovative techniques nobody else is doing. They don’t copy, they invent. When there is a google algorithm change it’s the SEO artists that start to get creative to find new ways to play the game and win. And like a musician these guys are not just respected they are revered.

What stage are you at in your SEO journey? Do you play like Eric Clapton or are you more like my old gran? I’d love to hear how you are getting on!

5 Ways to Build Backlinks to Your Website

In the world of SEO, back links are gold. If you’re just starting a website and want to make quick money, try building a couple of back links. It would hasten your ability to make money.

Back links can be built with money, time and energy. If you can afford it, you can outsource this task but it pays to learn the rudiments by initially committing to this task. Here are 5 ways to build back links to your website:

* Leave comments on relevant blogs.

Just search Google for ‘your niche + leave a comment’, a couple of blogs related to your niche would come up and you can leave valuable comments on them with a link back to your website. Avoid comments that do not add value. For you to leave a valuable comment, you have to read the entire article. For instance, if you are running a website on hair clippers, you would look for relevant websites and leave sensible comments on individual grooming and beard trimmer articles.

* Submit Press Releases.

Press releases announce the launch of your blog. If done well, press releases can land you interview opportunities with some media organizations whose websites can give you a link or two. There are free and paid press releases. If you can afford it, you’re better off with a paid release submitted to Webwire.com or PRweb.com. Make sure the release is well-written before submission.

* Submit Your Website to Directories

There are paid and free directories (depending on your budget and preference). Submitting your website to both general and niche directories will get your website a couple of backlinks. And these backlinks are useful for diversifying your backlink profile. It is usually helpful to get backlinks from a variety of sources. Gaining backlinks from one source can land your website in trouble with the big ‘G’. I suggest you use DirectoryMaximiser.com if you want to outsource your directory submissions.

* Submit Infographics

Infographics break a complex subject into a simple message. It costs above $150 to outsource (depending on your taste and preference). You can get a willing provider on Odesk.com. When done, you can submit this infographic to infographic sharing websites and allow other website owners to use on their website. If it is very well done, infographics can land you natural links from other webmasters for a long time to come.

* Submit Slides to Slide-sharing Websites

Aside long articles, you can repurpose your content into slides and submit to slide-sharing sites like slideboom.com and slideshare.net. They not only give you quality backlinks, they also give your content more eyeballs.

Before I go, let me quickly say there are forced and voluntary back linking methods. Forced back links come about when you submit an article, a slide or piece of music to make another webmaster link to you (forcibly).

Voluntary links, on the other hand, occur when a webmaster genuinely likes your content and willingly links to it. These kinds of links carry a lot more weight in the eyes of Google as the Search Giant believes it’s a vote of confidence.

When building links watch how fast you build. Building too many links for a new website could be counterproductive. With backlinks, you can build a highly profitable website and live the kind of life you desire.

Case Study: Lawn Mowers Niche Website

I recently finished up some work on a lawn mowers niche website. The website owners rang me up to perform some keyword research, get them some backlinks and work out a social media strategy. I worked on it part time and it took me a few weeks but, here’s little case study of what I did and the results we are having so far. Enjoy.

Goals

Like I mentioned above the goals of the project for me were to do some keyword research to identify content that the website could optimize around. Get some backlinks from related websites to help grow the traffic and authority (and side benefit of referral traffic from these related sites). And then to devise a social media strategy for the website.

Those were my specific goals but I also needed to get an idea what the website goals were. After a 1 hour Skype call with the owners we decided that the goal of the website was to help users find their lawn mower quickly. Every article had to help do that or it was useless.

Okay, so let’s look at what I did.

Work Completed

It wasn’t my job to complete any content creation but I knew that would be key in getting these guys more traffic and authority. The first task I completed was to send them a list of the 15 best keywords to create articles around. They immediately got to work and completed a page listing the best electric for around the home mowers and a page focusing on a great rear engine riding mower option for large residential lawns. Those are just examples of pages we worked on together and as you can see there are a lot more pages on the website now – as it has been a few weeks.

Next up I went to work contacting fellow lawn mower sites and tried to start a relationship with them so that my clients could begin a mutually beneficial relationship with these website. It took a lot of “massaging” of these website owners but we managed some quality links from related sites. Huge win!

As far as the social media strategy that is more of a work still in progress. We are looking at creating some ‘How-To’ videos with good sound and video and then paying to promote the page on Facebook. We’ll see how that goes as time goes on.

Results So Far

Going from a nothing website to a 20 page website with 20 quality links in 2 months is a great result. The website owners, if nothing else, were more motivated to put in hours while I was being paid to put in hours… They created all the content I simply provided the framework for them to do so.

The website traffic has steadily increased from 0 visits per month to about 25 per day. Obviously, the key to continue increasing that traffic is to continue adding more traffic and to continue to build relationships with other websites in the lawn mower niche and with the users of the website. All in all it was another enjoyable project and a great success so far!

Getting The Best Search Results

In order to get the best search results, one should know how to utilize their keywords. Using proper keywords can help you get valuable and important returns for your search engine queries. In the search marketing business, choosing the “right” or best keyword can be as important as establishing your website and or letting it linger into obscurity like a gazillion other unknown websites. In order to find the best keywords for your website and to generate maximum traffic, there are a few things that should be kept in mind in order to make your website a successful venture.

Using keywords to your advantage:

Firstly, you should have an idea of what kind of keyword is best suited for your website. For this, you might have to first check keywords that your competitors may be using. That might give you a better idea regarding what sort keywords would benefit your website and as a result, you might be able to shortlist a number of keywords that would be ranked most effectively against your website. For example, if you run a vacuum service for pet hair, instead of looking at general keywords such as “vacuum” or “pet services”, however, something specific might be needed in order to return the best possible search results such as “best vacuum for pet hair. ”

Another idea that should be kept in mind is that there are no specific keywords that are unique for any website. You might need to search very randomly and see which keywords are best suited for your website. Although you might want to avoid very long keywords and try to keep them short and concise. For example, if your website advertises a business for vacuum sealers and their reviews, you might want to avoid a keyword such as “good quality vacuum sealer and their reviews”, however, you might get a better result by using “vacuum sealer reviews“.

Furthermore, you should always try to keep collecting data in order to get an idea about the number of clicks your website is receiving. This includes using services such as Adword by Google that let you control traffic or redirect it towards a specific page of the website to generate maximum traffic. This would help you realize which keywords are the most effective and which keywords should be used again or changed depending on the data that you would have amassed till then.

Take home message:

All in all, search engine optimization is a process that is quickly gaining a lot of attention and with more and more people using search engines to search really well, In lieu of that, keywords can play an important factor in deciding whether your website can play an active role in the market or not. With one or few proper keywords, you can drastically change the amount of traffic that can be sent towards your website and generate active revenue for you. As a result, it becomes really important that you spend some time exploring what keyword will support your business in the most conducive manner – it can really change the fortunes of your website.

Website Optimization: Making the Most of SEO

As an IT professional, I have seen many wrong and right ways to go about website optimization. SEO can help you create a website in a way that entices visitors and customers, and helps major search engines including Bing, Google and other find you faster and better. Thus, as a business you will become more profitable.

I recently came on a website for breast augmentation in Newport Beach for Dr. Rob Kessler. The website had a solid focus on site optimization. I could clearly see that the owner had done his homework, focusing on KW research and other primary tools related to SEO. This was one of the first websites that popped up when I typed in keywords related to breast augmentation; but this is not always the case.

Many web owners fail to do their homework, neglecting important concepts like backlinks and the use of social media to promote their websites. Here are some important tips for establishing a solid website presence using SEO.
1. Create a clean website. Many owners stuff their websites with far too much content. For your website to work it has to be clean. This means first building an infrastructure, next laying your web platform and CMS (like WordPress), then building your content on top of this.
2. Avoid keyword stuffing. Keywords are helpful, but not when your website is stuffed with them.
3. Ease of navigation. Make it easy for users to find what they are looking for on your websites. This will increase the number of people visiting and staying on your websites.

It is also important that you optimize your website for use with many social media platforms. If you are not already, you should be setup to work with Twitter, Facebook and email platforms. An email campaign will allow you to reach out to your clients and prospects quickly and easily.

If you plan on having a website for breast augmentation for example, then information about cosmetic surgery should be readily accessible. You may need before and after photographs of breast enhancement surgery, or other cosmetic surgery procedures. Be sure to incorporate information that is relevant to your patients or target audience.

Social Media and IT
These days most people have either a FB or Twitter account, although most have both. Reach out to your clients on a weekly/daily basis. Let them know what is new with your business, what discounts and specials you are offering, and who is new to you practice.

In this way, you build solid relationships with your clients and customers, establishing not only a solid web presence, but also improving the communication between you and your primary presence.

SEO is not rocket science. It is a process of getting to know your clients, and working to help your website operate in the most efficient manner possible. Work to establish rapport while understand what your goals and mission are. Keeping this in mind, you can establish a website and articles online that work for you and for your clients.

3 Simple On-Site Optimization Tips To Increase Search Engine Rankings

I often help friends out who own small businesses and want more traffic to their websites. They pay me and they are a joy to work with so it is a win win situation. I find it very common that new webmasters want to know all about how to get better rankings in Google but only focus on things to do off-site. They know that links are key, but have no idea that what they’re linking to matters as well. In other words: get your website 100% optimized because you are 100% in control of it. Let’s look at 3 simple and effective on-site things to do right now to increase your pages position in the search engines. (Note: I helped my friend with his portable generator side business).

The first thing to ensure is that for every page you have the correct ‘Title’ tags. Title tags tell search engines what your page is about and is the single most important place to ensure your keywords are. So for my buddy, and his page about the Generac brand of portable and standby generators, we ensure that the ‘title’ tags for that page described it properly. Originally, it said simply: portable generators… We switched it to: “Generac Portable and Standby Generator Reviews”. Now the search engines have a more accurate description what that page is about. And since the content has those words throughout he’ll begin to rank for more searches.

The second thing to ensure is that you use h2 and h3 tags within your content, and ensure you use relevant keywords in those headline tags. The ‘Title’ tag words are not only letting Google know what you name that page but it is what people searching in the search engines will see (most of the time). Once they get to your page, they’ll most likely quickly skim the ‘h2′ and ‘h3′ headline tags to get the gist of your article. So it is very important to tell two stories with your content: one with the small text and one with the big text. For my buddy’s generator site we modified his best 9 generators for use around the home page to include two stories – one with the body text and one with the headline text. This improves skimming ability for the reader and also helps with search rankings.

The third thing to ensure your site is optimized for search engines is to build your own sitemap with a sitemap plugin like this one. Every time you make a new post the sitemap plugin lets the search engines know so that that content get placed in their results fast. In addition, with a sitemap plugin you are helping Google, so they, in turn, prefer your site. We simply installed that plugin on my friends website and now he has the top 3 easiest and most effective on-site optimizations complete.

So there you have it the 3 most effective on-site techniques to boost your search engine rankings. Once you have your site optimized you’ll want to go and email other websites to link to yours. Combine those two things and you’ll be getting quality traffic in no time.

How To Drive Traffic To Your Men’s Cologne Website

Men typically have a desire to use cologne. Using cologne is one thing, but finding the best cologne for men is typically the ultimate goal. Thanks to the Internet, men can find virtually any type of cologne that they want with a simple click of a mouse. However, things can be slightly more difficult for the people that are operating the websites that make it so easy to purchase these products. The biggest question when it comes to driving traffic to a website in order for men to find the best cologne is basically the same as it is for most small business owners who operate websites.

Fortunately, there are many effective ways to drive traffic to a website. It takes some time and a great deal of effort to do it successfully unless you want to pay a website design company to do all the work for you. The trade off between paying more money each month to have traffic driven to the website on your behalf or doing it yourself is one of time versus money. It costs more money to let someone else do the work for you, but it frees you up to focus on the business itself. Conversely, if you trying to save money by doing it yourself you can succeed at that goal, but it will cost you quite a bit of time.

How do you actually drive traffic to a website? The first thing you need to do is have a solid website that is easy to navigate and that is appealing to the eye. In addition, you have to be able to convey the necessary information to potential consumers without overwhelming them with a website that has too much text or too many graphics. Websites that provide an overload of information to potential consumers typically result in the consumer going somewhere else to make their purchases. Of course, having a website with a solid foundation does not in itself mean that traffic will automatically gravitate toward it. There are other things that you need to do.

One of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your website is to learn how to work social media to your advantage. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are ideal sources for keeping your website fresh in the minds of thousands of potential customers. Simply posting on these social media websites and providing a short synopsis about your business while providing a link to your website can result in a tremendous increase in traffic. In addition, you would do well to create a blog about your business and then provide a link to your website. Simply writing a new blog post two to three times a week and using the appropriate keywords will keep information about your website at the top of many search engines. This means customers will see your business before they see anyone else’s.

By following these techniques, you can increase the traffic to your website exponentially. As previously stated, it does require some work. You have the option of paying a professional company to do all of these things for you or you can learn the economical version and do it yourself. It may take you a little longer, but once you get the hang of it, it is really not that difficult. In turn, you will be able to reap the benefits of having more traffic visiting your cologne for men website and the increased sales that will undoubtedly result from that increase in traffic.

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