Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ten SEO Tips

1. Research your keyword phrases extensively. The phrases that people are typing in the search engines may be different from those that you think they are searching for. To find the optimal phrases to optimize for, use research tools such as Keyword Discovery, Wordtracker, Google AdWords, and Yahoo Search Marketing data.

2. Integrate your keyword phrases into each page’s unique Title tag. Title tags are critical because every search engine gives them a lot of importance. Remember that the information you place in this tag is what will show up as the clickable link to your site on the search engines.

3. Get relevant incoming links from pages and directories as soon as possible. Relevant links are links from sites within your neighborhood of topics. Of most importance are theme relevance, age, quality, and spread of links you get.

4. Do not participate in link exchanges with sites that have non-related content. It is recommended to not participate in link exchanges at all. Search engines assign higher relevancy if the incoming links are from relevant directories, vendors, clients, business partners, business directories such as Yahoo and City Search, and local sites such as the CVB sites.

5. Update the content on your site regularly. This will encourage more search engine spider activity and faster updates of your site.

6. Use Google Sitemap and Yahoo Site Explorer to monitor your site to see how often the spiders are coming to your site, how many pages are indexed, and to analyze the links to your site. Knowing how many pages are indexed is another important stat you can retrieve from Google Sitemap and Yahoo Site Explorer. This data indicates how good your site’s internal structure is and whether your site is crawled extensively.

7. Work towards building incoming links to your site and submitting your site to local, regional, national and niche directories in a gradual and continuous manner. You can find out relevant links to your competitors by imputing competitors URL at

8. Make sure your site has a site map, which is linked to from every page on the site. This will help the search engine robots find every page with just two clicks.

9. Program your site to be “crawler-friendly.” This is important because search engines cannot search your site, read JavaScript links and menus, fill out forms, and interpret graphics and Flash. You can use all of these things on your site; however, you need to provide alternate means of navigation on your site, such as via HTML links in the main navigation on every page which link to the top-level pages of your site.

10. Avoid buying multiple domains for one site. Multiple domains do not help you at all.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Top 5 Common SEO Mistakes

So you built your website, with hopes and dreams of internet riches, and the site looks great. But no one's coming to it! Then you start learning SEO, and you're feeling a little bit more confident about it. Here are a few easy mistakes that people make when learning SEO, to look out for as you start doing more SEO work for your site:

Mistake 1: Keyword Stuffing

Before explaining why it's a bad idea, let's first define keyword stuffing as overfilling your content with your targeted keywords/keyphrases. By way of example, if you're targeting the phrase "navigation system," then keyword stuffing your content might read something like "Buying a new navigation system is something most customers do regularly as their old navigation system often fails to function in the proper way that a navigation system should..." and so on. It reads like a fourth grader's essay, and the search engine spiders pick up on the unnaturally high incidence of the same phrase repeated over and over.

While every SEO expert has a different opinion about keyword density, a safe but effective range might be considered 4-9% density. This makes sure the search engines correctly categorize your site for the services you offer, without them penalizing you for blatantly stuffing it with keywords.

Mistake 2: Link Farms vs. Directories

What is the difference between a link farm and a directory? It sounds like an easy question, but it's deceptively difficult. The reason is that directories and link farms share almost everything in common, so instead of a black and white difference between the two, they basically fall on a spectrum, and usually somewhere in the grey middle area.

That said, a working definition of link farm might go something like "a page of links with no other purpose or benefit to the visitor other than to provide backlinks to other pages." And why are they a problem? Search engines will not only disregard them as useless, they will often penalize the linked sites as well, by de-indexing them or demoting them in the rankings.

So how do you tell the difference between a link farm and a directory? Here are a few things to look for: 1) What's the Google Page Rank? 2) How well organized is it? 3) Does it have useful content other than links? 4) Is it visually attractive or otherwise made to be appealing to visitors? Be sure to ask these questions before submitting your site to an online directory.

Mistake 3: Duplicate Content

There's a lot of buzz going around the internet about duplicate content; quite simply, it's the same content appearing on more than one page on the internet. The search engines have been known to devalue pages that they see as duplicates, since the implication is that a site is simply spamming by putting automated content out on the web.

However, unlike link farm penalties, duplicate content isn't actively penalized, but merely disregarded sometimes by the search engines. If you're worried about it, well, write new content!

Mistake 4: Overbidding for PPC Advertising

Pay per click advertising (PPC) and SEO are NOT the same, but they're related enough to warrant a mention here. Amateurs often overbid for their PPC advertising, which not only costs them unnecessary money but drives up PPC prices elsewhere artificially. As with so many concepts in business, start low and go slow, which in this case means opening the bidding around 5-10 cents per click, and raising your bids as necessary to achieve your desired results.

Mistake 5: Investing Too Much Time in SEO Education

Serious webmasters devoted to online businesses and internet marketing would be wise to learn as much as possible about SEO. That said, the overwhelming majority of online business owners would probably be better off using their time to expanding their client base, or developing new products or websites, rather than spending tedious hour after tedious hour learning the minutiae of SEO and internet marketing. If you're capable of earning $45/hour while aggressively working your business, and can hire someone to handle SEO for you for $20/hour, then it's a no-brainer: hire an internet marketing company and get back to running your business.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

8 Quick Steps to SEO Success

To many, Search Engine Optimization can be a confusing and frightening process. If you’re a newbie, it can be difficult to understand the do’s and don’ts of SEO and effectively applying them.
Here are 8 steps that can get you started on the right track, but know this: SEO must always be applied to a site, it’s not a process that you do only once and then forget about. It requires constant attention.

Step1. Do proper keyword research. Find keywords related to your site, which receive good traffic but have little competition. Use those keywords in your site’s title, description, links, and H1 tags.

Step2. Write content on a regular basis. The search engines, especially Google, love sites that publish fresh quality content on a regular basis. It is crucial for that content to be original!

Step3. Send news stories about your site to social networks like Digg. Social bookmark the articles you write for more traffic and incoming links.

Step4. Work on one way link building. Make helpful comments on related blogs/sites and live a link back to your site, using your main keywords as the link title.

Step5. Send articles to article directories. These can be the posts you publish on your site, or totally new and original articles created especially for distribution. Make sure you write good resource boxes and use the main keyphrase for the link title.

Step6. Submit a press release. Write a good press release regarding your site, or pay someone to write it for you. Include a link to the site, and see all the search engines publishing your link above the search results - in the news section.

Step7. Do link exchanges with similar sites. Although not as powerful as one way links, reciprocal links can still help your site a lot so don’t ignore them.

Step8. Create a sitemap. It is very important that every site has its sitemap as search engines use them to easily rank all your pages.

There you have it. 8 simple steps than can go a long way for your online business. Just remember to apply them on a regular basis, and the traffic will come - in large amounts.