Wednesday, March 05, 2014

What You Need To Do In 2014 and Beyond For SEO

A business should not underestimate the power of its website to increase its reputation online, bring in new customers and make sales. Using search engine optimization is the best way for a business to maximize the potential of its website. This article has tips on some quick and easy ways to do that.

When dealing with SEO, it is important to remember to take your time. You can't expect to see results over night, it will take a while to build your reputation in the eyes of the search engines. Also, Google can tell if you try to artificially create links or rapidly increase your traffic and will penalize your site.

If you're new to SEO, consider using a pre-made template for a blogging system like WordPress. These templates add professionalism to your site, which, with good content, can attract human-created backlinks. WordPress in particular also has plug-ins that do useful SEO-related things like auto-generate a sitemap for your site on demand. 

When you are first starting a website, avoid using sub-domains. Google treats sub-domains as their own site for purposes of assigning them PageRank. Directories from the main site, however, have the same PageRank as the parent site. This means, for instance, that mysite.com/store will have the same PageRank as mysite.com, but store.mysite.com won't.

Have a non-profit or education site link to you. If you are linked to a valid business, search engines will take this into consideration when ranking your site. In order to get reliable websites to feature your website, make sure to always provide accurate information. Provide the kind of articles and information that reputable organizations find trustworthy.

Do not spread yourself too thin. Use a limited amount of keywords throughout your entire website. Some search engines recommend no more than twenty. If you do more than this, you may end up not getting the searches you want, because the search engine recognizes you are overdoing it. Keep it simple!

Practice SEO style in your written content to enhance your keyword density and repetition. Reference keywords in their full form several times within your page content, but refrain from using the full keywords every time. Search engines still factor in the frequency of keywords within your content, though not as much as in the past. This affects where you land in search engine results pages.

 One of the best ways to get good search engine optimization is to make unique domain names. This is very important because this will elevate the search ranking associated with your website. The more unique the domain name is, the easier it is for consumers to find your website.

For search engine optimization, it is recommended that you use a dash in your web site URLs, instead of the underscore. The reason for this is that Google is particular in the results it returns. You will have more varied results when using the dash over the underscore and will, in turn, get more traffic to your site.

When striving to increase search engine optimization it is a good idea to sign up for a PPC account with an adcenter. Having a PPC account is a surefire way to get actual search volume for your keywords. A PPC account will give you instant visibility.

Don't use a host that blocks domain ownership info. Search engines are likely to view sites with blocked domain info as spammy, and this can have repercussions.

If your site design includes text that is repeated frequently throughout the entire site, you can optimize the site's code by transforming that key phrase, logo, or slogan into an image object. Allow the key phrase to remain in text form only on the most important page of the website; this is the site that search engine spiders will use when determining your site's rank based on content. This page will show up on search results.

If you're going to have content, it better be GOOD content, right? Ask yourself if what you're writing is actually something you'd like to read. Unique content that offers something new, informative, and useful to the reader will not only make them happy, but bring them back to your website time and time again. You must remember that with SEO there is no easy input solution to getting better rankings. It is a ton of work. Generally, that work requires an entire internal makeover for your website, and it's content. So, by implementing these when you first start designing a site - first have your site professionally designed - you can avoid future overhauls and start ranking better much sooner.

While including the common misspellings of words on your website as a Search Engine Optimization strategy can be a good strategy to pulling in more visitors, don't overdo it. A website that is full of misspelled words won't likely make the impression you need to make to secure a new client!

Strive to design each page of your website in a way that makes it stand out from every other. Place special emphasis on your title selection. Your headings can make or break your search engine optimization efforts. If your ranking is important to you, make sure your chosen keyword is in the titles of your articles.

Be aware of the density of the keywords on every page of your website, especially your home page. Many people make the mistake of keyword jamming, trying to fit as many keywords onto a page as possible. It can actually lower your page rankings. Instead focus on getting three to five percent of the total amount of your copy on any given page as keywords. This will help your rankings, make your pages more readable and get more of your site's individual pages ranked by the search engines.

As stated at the beginning of this article, search engine optimization is very important for a business to be successful online. A business can meet its goals by using search engine optimization to enhance its website and its rank in the search engines. Applying the tips in this article will help to do that. SEO: Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing a website to achieve the best results for targeted keyphrases on chosen search engines.




Monday, July 13, 2009

Oh Nelly. Meg has broken her rules again.

I have this rule. It is that if you are going to blog, you need to update your blog regularly. It seems that I not only have broken this "Meg's Cardinal Rule of Blogging", but tend to blog about breaking the rule often. (It is an embarrassing fact, but true). However, in my defense, I HAVE been blogging....just not about SEO....

Blogging for Search Engine Optimization is a wonderful tool to promote you, your business site, your business... blogging is a way to connect with your clients, fans, family and friends. It is comfortable, creative, casual.... a place to spew alliteration and enthral your readers with your aptitude and adeptness in your comfort with the English language---and unabashedly admit that punctuation was never a strong-point!

Several years ago I met a woman who was starting a business blogging business. (Yes, I know that sounds funny... but that is what she had... and ironically what I now have).

Now, this lady was VERY excited about this venture. And I thought she was NUTS! All I knew about blogging is that it is what the kids were doing it to share silly stories about their day at school, to vent about youthful romances gone bad and share morbid hormonally charged poems. How could a business think of having something so "unprofessional."

The evolution of blogs from then to now is interesting. They are still a venue for high school heart-break stories, and pictures of family and friends shared, but blogging does have a business purpose.... and a powerful one! Blogs have evolved into THE most cost-effective, powerful marketing tool!

Blogging is a way to get content online- quick, easily, and often in a fun way. People want to know that they are dealing with REAL people and blogging gives a consumer a face and a voice with which to work.

Whether you are selling conveyor belts or real estate, having a blog gives you credibility. It is an introduction to you and your business, how you do business and what sets you apart.

And blog often.

ANd don't let me forget it.

Meghan Wier



SEO: Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing a website to achieve the best results for targeted keyphrases on chosen search engines.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Writing for the Web

Writing for the Web

There are plenty of obvious reason you need good text on your website—you need to let your customers and potential customers know who you are and what you do. And those web visitors are going to visit your site and read what your content—well actually, the majority of them are going to just scan your content! So how do you give them the content they need, in a way that they will read it, or at least get the point while they scan it?

Here are some tips to consider when writing for the web visitor:

Use links on keywords: Make the important keywords link to the inside pages of your site, (for example: on your home page when you list your services, make each service a link to the page that gives more information about that service).

Use clear headings: Make your headings simple, and obvious. These will be one of the few things read by almost every visitor to that page.

Use bulleted lists: Quick and too the point is best—keep the visitor’s attention!

Start with the conclusion: Remember that your website visitor will read the content at the top first. If they are really interested they will click a link to another page or keep reading.

Be trustworthy: Write honestly and with personality. This is your chance to get the respect and interest of your potential clients, patients or customers. The website visitor wants to get to know you, and trust that what you are saying is true.

As you research how to write good content on the web, you will find plenty of information, some of it good and much of it bad. In addition to writing well, and clearly for the human-being visitor, it is also equally important to consider how a search engine reads the content. Content is an important factor in how and where your website is ranked, so knowing what the search engines are looking for will get you the much-sought-after qualified traffic.

Here are some tips to consider when writing for the search engines:
Use keywords: Think carefully, even research the best keywords for your site. Then make sure that they are included in your text frequently and appropriately. (A good rule of thumb is to use a 4-7% keyword density)

Do not “Spam”: As much as including your website keywords in your site frequently is important; not listing those keywords in a long string, or over and over again is also important. Should you choose to employ this tactic, you may found that the search engines lower your rankings, or ban you entirely. I usually limit my lists to three or four keywords in a row if I must, (for example: keywords, keyphrases, and targeted key words).

Use H1 tags: When writing a clear and simple heading for the page, put it in H1 tags. This will tell the search engines that it needs special attention and in important to the site.

Link from your keywords: Linking from your keywords is a way to tell the search engines that the keyword is important, and lead them to a new page with more important information.

Stay of topic: The search engine will look for content that has similar phrases and theme. So stay on topic use each page to give as targeted an explanation as possible.

You will find a lot of advice on writing for the web, and a lot of the time the information you get for writing for the human being will be at odds with what you will read about writing for the search engines, but if you follow the tips above, you should be able to produce well-written, search engine –and visitor friendly content.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Choosing a Domain Name

Choosing a domain name is easy. Getting that domain name is another issue! With so many websites out there, and so many domains already bought, you may find it difficult to get your first choice.

----Whenever possible I recommend buying a ".com" These are harder to come by now unless you get a little creative, however, we have all been trained to type ".com" at the end of an address. If you need to settle for the ".net" (which is generally my second choice), Make sure that the .com version isn't a competetor and that their site doesn't contain anything distasteful. When possible, work out an agreement for that site owner to forward any email they may get that is meant for you, and perhaps even add links to both sites directing people who landed on the wrong one.

----For search engine purposes, I like to see domains that have the main keywords of the business in them. For example www.mybluewidgets.com, it is easy to remember and the domain tells you what the website is all about. The domain is easy to remember, and helps their rankings by containing keywords. If you are able to do this remember to add the same keyphrases in the H1 and titles for good SEO.

----I am not a fan of dashes. However, it does sometimes help get the words in the domain you are looking for. Remember to keep it as simple as possible. There is credibility in having a shorter, easier domain.

---Buying multiple domains is a popular way to cover a lot of issues, such as a difficult to spell company name, or multiple product offerings or locations. That said, dozens of domains pointing to the same site (and same page), can cause a problem with some of the search engines. There are legitimate reasons for owning and using more than one domain, but make sure yours is one of them. And unless you are a big corporation, keep it to about 6 or less.

---Do not go around buying the domains names of your competetors or celebrities and pointing them to your site. That is called cyber-squating, and you can be sued for it. Unless you have a right to the name (if you have been doing business under that name for some time) or if it is you (I am Meghan Wier -- I own www.meghanwier.com), you should stick to describing what you do, and where you are - (i.e. seo rochester), or a combination of who, what, and where.

Domain choosing can be a tough -- but oh-so-important aspect of business. Think carefully about what people would search on, if your company name is recognized and memorable, and what your competition is doing in order to make the best decisions.

If you have any questions on choosing a domain, I would be happy to assist you.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Spelling Errors - Bad for SEO

Have you ever had that "Duh!" moment when working on your site... I just did. And I hate when this happens. I was editing a client's site today when I came across a slew of spelling errors that either they or their developer left in the site. My edits were about 85 pages long, so this was a huge site. And almost every other page had a spelling error on it. Some times they were biggies, sometimes not. But in the cases where a keyphrase was misspelled, it was obviously having negative effects on the rankings.

Now I am a fast typist as I am sure many of you are too - - it is the world in which we live... spelling and typos are common, (as is bad grammar--this entry as evidence...) In fact we purposely abbreviate and misspell words all the time as we type - (UR soooooo right MW!) But search engines are fickle and if someone wrote "Team Building NY," they will so you a site about team building... not "Team Builing."

So how does this relate to me... well I just realized for a month now I left the typo "Charltte" on my SEO blog, instead of "Charlotte"!

DUH!

-- NOTE: spelling errors CAN work on your side if the searcher mis-types... but do you want to take that chance and look like you made a mistake or are sloppy? Think of ways to include spelling variations on keyphrases, but be careful to be consistant and correct in your spelling.

- MW

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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Why Aren't I Ranking?? Explaination

I heard today from a long-time customer who is suddendly very concerned that she is not ranking well for a particular keyphase. And it made me think of all the other people who wonder why they aren't #1 for "Widget".

So here is a brief explaination - although each site is of course different. This should give you some idea as to why your site is on page 5 instead of #1 on Google (or Yahoo, MSN, AOL, etc.)

1) Your site does not say a particular phrase enough. If your site is about Blue frogs and you refer to the "Blue Frogs" once... and your competition says "blue frogs" on the site 6 times -- that is likely the reason they out-rank you.

2) Your Domain does not include the Keyphrase. (Such as "Home Inspection Rochester") Now this is a tricky one -- but if your domain is "homeinspectionrochester.com" then you will come up higher (on average - all else being equal) than someone who does not have home - inspection - rochester in their phrases.

3) Your Page Rank is low. If your PR is less than that of your competitors -- this may cause your site to be lower than that of your competition. Get more links to your site - and your PR will go up - and then so will your site.

--Now there are other reason - but these are the biggies. Let me know if you have a specific question and I would be happy to do a quick site analysis for you.

Take Care - Meg

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

What is SEO?

I was asked in the previous post what SEO is and I thought that it was a great question that I should answer here, intead of the answer getting lost in the comment section.



So thanks for the question!



SEO - or Search Engine Optimization is the process by which a site is "tuned" so that it appears at the top of the search engines. Since there are so many sites on the Web now, it is easy for your site to be lost--never to appear when someone is looking for your product or service.



There are several basic ways to tune your website - and one is to increase its page rank. Page Rank is a 1-10 ranking that Google employes determing what sites are of the highest "quality." Quality in this case is based on how many sites link to it, and what their Page Rank is. I like to think of this like the high school cafeteria... the "cool" kids all sit together. If these kids invite a "regular" kid to sit with them, that kid's "coolness" increases. Same with the Web. You are judged by the company you keep.



So - you can go around and ask all your friends to link to you, and you can even pay for links, but the most qualified links will be the similar ones. Now there is a long and complicated algorithm that explains this -- but essentially if you sell Blue Widgets, you want sites about widgets, especially blue widgets to link to you.



--and sometimes this is difficult. Perhaps there aren't too many "history of the blue widget" sites around.



This is where blogging comes in. Blogging is cheap or free as long as you have the time to do it. You can create a blog on Blogger for example (Google's blog creator) in a matter of minutes and start posting. You can post every scrap of information about blue widgets that there is. You can post things that you might not include in a corporate site (generally people want you to get to the point as quickly as possible on a corporate/retail site), and eventually this blog will become a resource - people will link to it, and through that you can link to your corporate blog. This whole process takes 6 months to see decent results - so it isn't for the over-extended, or the easily distracted. But even then, there are people who will manage these blogs for you. This is a very effective method for increasing web traffic. I have found that most companies have the information already - it is just a matter or re-purposing it in a FAQ format, or an Ask the Expert format... or even a "day in the life of the blue widget manager" format. Be creative and link to the corporate site when appropriate. And just a tip... link to the inside pages too!

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