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Tips & Tricks For Improved Search Engine Rankings

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Normal wisdom says that if you use Flash in a web site it will hurt your search engine placement. This is due primarily to search engines having a hard time to index Flash content. But with a little ingenuity we can use that very problem to our advantage.

Let’s first take a look at how search engine indexing can cause you problems on your web site.

Most web sites are built up of menus and context areas. The menus are frequently text based, making them easy to update or change. The content is dependent on our writing creativity. Both of these can lead to search engine indexing trouble.

Search Engines look through the text on your pages, menus as well as content and they create their index on what they find. So far so good. But just how do the search engines do this? They can’t look at your page and decide which is the main content area visually, so they simply start at the top of the code and work down.

If your site follows the standard pattern of a navigation bar on either the top or down the left side of the page and uses a table structure to achieve this, then your whole nav bar will be read and indexed before your main content area. If your site has a lot of variation then this shouldn’t be a problem. But what if your site is focused on one subject and your navigation bar tends to repeat words? As an example you may have a site that sells watches and your nav bar may read like this: Men’s Watches, Ladies Watches, Sport Watches, etc. You can see how easy it is to repeat that word Watches.

Search engines like to give points to sites that contain valuable content that is easily categorized and recognizable to visitors, but they also take away points for keyword spamming. In the above Watch example, the nav bar could easily cause your page to be listed as a keyword spammer.

Here is the first Flash Trick to improve your ranking. Create the navigation bar in Flash. This way all those repeating words are now hidden from the search engine spiders. As an added benefit the code taken up by the Flash will probably be less than the code used in the text based nav bar. This will help the search engine spiders to focus on the main content area of your page.

Let’s now look at another common problem with search engine indexing. In this example consider a shopping site selling the same watches as in our previous example. Each watch page will have a description of the individual watch, and that is fine. But each page may also have “boiler plate” text as well. There may possibly be a standard description for a particular watch brand, or possibly warranty or shipping information included on the page.

Another red flag that goes up for the search engine spiders is text repeating from page to page. The more distinct each page is the more likely the search engines will consider the text as relevant. If there is too much repeated text, the search engines may even drop all the pages that they believe have duplicated text. Not a good situation, especially if you don’t want to be forced into creating completely original text for every page on your site.

Here is Flash Trick number two. Keep all the distinct content on your pages as html text and convert any repeating text areas into Flash files that are placed into the pages. This way, only the distinct text is visible to the search engines and your repeating text is hidden in the Flash file. Any text that you tend to repeat from page to page is a prime candidate for the Flash treatment.

So take a look through your web site. Do you have text menus that use repetitive words? Do you use boiler plate text, or have repeated text areas on several pages? If so you should let Flash’s disadvantage of being search engine unfriendly become your advantage on making a search engine friendly site.

Feed Your Users With Quality Content

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In order to create quality content for your visitors the general principles that you must follow are:

– it has to be relevant to the main topic of the site (about product/products/services,etc)
– the content can fit in the general industry of the website (about related products/services)
– it has to provide value to the visitors (potential customers)

If you do create a website with quality content you will benefit from:

– increased customer-to-client conversions (because they understand why but also how to use your product/service)
– increased search engine traffic ( because more pages with content mean more visibility, along with the long tail of search)
– more natural, quality and relevant links ( because they will be pointing from established sites in the same industry as yours, from within the context and with the relevant keywords)

If you are wondering where to get quality content, it is quite simple and hard at the same time because the best way to obtain quality content is to write it yourself thus the chances of having a duplicate content will be null. If you don’t have any writing experience, you should start writing because you and only you knows what your product is about, you know how to promote it the best. We offer you a small list of how to do it:

– start writing (any amount of text, on a regular basis)
– you must focus on the benefits of your product
– format the text for the WWW
– provide value and numerous points of view on your product
– keyword research is imperative
– write natural titles and content

By writing quality content for your site you will get more targeted traffic and will most likely help you to increase conversions. These are the reasons:
Getting more traffic onto your website:

– people will link to valuable content, which will increase your website search engine rankings
– valuable content will also generate word-of-mouth advertising (the most appreciated type of advertising available)
– by adding quality (unique) content, you make your site findable by a much wider array of words (search queries)

Increasing conversions:

– by getting more and more traffic the amount of potential customers will increase (at least theoretically), thus increasing conversions

– while reading your unique & valuable material, the visitors of your website will have not only more time but also ideas of purchasing your product/service

– when providing value to your visitors (potential customers), they will be more likely to remember you when they are in need of the product/service you provide

Don’t know what to write about? Although there are many ways of writing content that appeal to the visitors, there is only one important principle: the content written is targeted to provide value. We offer you a small list of types of content that you might use on your website:

– about how your product or the service you provide is important (on a regular basis or once in a while,etc.)
– about the different types of the product or service you provide
– advantages of using the product, benefiting from the service you have to offer
– basic information regarding the product and basic usage information

In order to attract more and more visitors, quality content shouldn’t be text only as many people will get bored reading page after page. In order to provide value you must insert one of the following:

– audio information in mp3 format or similar
– quality images (high resolution)
– videos (tutorials as well as interesting and catching ads)
– reviews, testimonials and comments regarding your product

All things considered, by providing quality content you will attract more and more visitors thus increasing your chances for more sales because these visitors are potential clients. It is a known fact that a stolen content won’t be taken into consideration by search engines which will most likely ignore your website).

The 7 Points Of Do-it-yourself SEO

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Ever felt intimidated at the convoluted, jargon-ridden information about Internet marketing for small businesses available on the Net? Ever been horrified by the huge fees the experts charge, putting search engine optimization beyond your own means? Ever thought: What exactly is search engine optimization anyway, and can I do it myself?

The answer is: Yes, you can! The basics of search engine optimization in applied web marketing are simple. It’s all to do with the keyword content of your text copy, and can be summarized in seven points.

1. Register a good domain name which reflects what your site is about. Even if you are an established business, don’t register www.FredJones.com if you make widgets. Rather, you want to register something like www.BestWidgets.com because that would inspire confidence in people looking for quality widgets who would not necessarily have heard of Fred Jones the widget-maker.

2. Name your page URLs based on reasons similar to the above for your web promotion, except now you can be more specific. Search engines like to know what your page is about. Name a page after a product (BigYellowWidgets.htm) or a service or action (Buy-Widgets-by-Post.htm) on one of the sales pages.

3. The text in the title tag is crucial in letting search engines know what each page is about. Put your important keywords in your title tags, using both the singular and plural versions (people will search for both) and make these tags different and specific for each page. For example, “Widgets and After Sales Widget Services”. Whatever you do, don’t call the home page “Index”, but treat it almost as a mini-description.

4. The other tags (at the top of the html page) between the two “HEAD” tags are not as important as the title tag, but the description tag is still used by some search engines in displaying what you would like web users to see when they scroll down a page of search results. Some search engines don’t use the description tag at all; others, like Google, sometimes use part of it together with part of the main body text surrounding prominent keywords on your page. So you may as well treat the description tag seriously; make it brief (about 25 to 30 words) and as comprehensive as possible in the short space allowed. Make sure you have your popular keywords included within your description tag. The ALT tag is used for a very short description of an image or graphic file, and is what is displayed if you allow your mouse pointer to hover above a graphic. These days it is not considered important for search engines. The COMMENT tag is never displayed on the body page, and is used by coders and designers as an instruction or reminder to themselves about what that section of html coding should be doing; in the past, some webmasters in their quest for website promotion and search engine ranking used to stuff keywords in the comments tags, but now it is generally acknowledged that the main search engines pay little or no attention to these.

5. Keyword density. Each search engine has its own preference as to how many times a keyword phrase appears on the page in order to signify the relevance of that keyword phrase (in other words, in order to help the search engine understand what the page is about). Around 5 to 8 per cent is a rough guide as to the optimal level. Don’t overdo it, otherwise it will be seen as spam or keyword-stuffing. Also use your keywords in the headings tags H1 and H2. There is an H3 tag as well, but it is doubtful whether search engines bother with that, as it is perceived as less prominent on the page, therefore less relevant to what the page is about.

6. Don’t forget good linking in your website marketing. Search engines will judge the importance of your web pages to some extent on the number and quality of incoming links from other sites. Ask other webmasters with sites on similar themes to yours for a link, in exchange for a link back. These sites should not be in competition with yours, but should be similarly themed. You may occasionally be asked by other webmasters if they can link to your site. If this is so then have a look at their site; make sure that their site is relevant, that it has at least some Page Rank, and that it just “feels” good, and has no nasty surprises like redirects or unexpected popups. You don’t want to be associated with a “bad neighborhood”!

7. Make sure that important keywords are included in the anchor text within inbound links from other sites. This is crucial to search engines when they try to figure out the relevance and importance of your pages. The inbound link from the other site should take the form of something like this (I’m using normal brackets instead of angle brackets so as not to use compromising html): (A HREF=”http://www.Yoursite.com”) your important keywords included here(/A). You should definitely avoid something like (A HREF=”http://www.Yoursite.com”)click here(/A), which tells search engines nothing except that your site is about “click here”. Be careful!

Ten Search Engine Optimisation Mistakes

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not something performed as a blanket approach to website development, it is an individual set of actions performed page by page to suit that page’s particular goals and SEO needs. I like to break up a clients website into specific and important pages based on the keyword terms we have identified through research and then write the first few pages to suit those terms. We associate page titles, page file names (buy-blue-widgets.html), H1 tags, description and keyword Meta tags and in page content to tell the story that match those identified keywords. It is also important to ensure your pages are W3 compliant and have no errors.

I have compiled a list of some of some common Search Engine Optimization (SEO) mistakes.

1. Bad Titles. Titles are the most important thing about a webpage. Search engines spiders see the title on your page first and they make a general assessment about it based upon this. They scan the page and make sure the content of the page matches the title and then assign rankings based upon these matches and how they best fit. The title tag is the best way to inform the search engine what your page is about, and they play an important part in ranking if used properly. Placing your main identified keywords in the title and ensuring to obey the rule of leftward and stemming is vital – leftward rule, the closer the word to the left of the sentence the more important it is, stemming is where words can be associated but with words in-between i.e.: Great Blue Widgets when stemmed would allow Great Widgets. It is important to ensure your title matches your page content, description and Meta keywords and in unique for your website. Every page title and content should be unique otherwise is will be ranked supplemental.

2. Filename of the page. It is important if you are using dynamic websites like Joomla or other content management systems that a search engine friendly URL translator is installed. Because I use Joomla every day I will describe what I mean relating to Joomla. In Joomla (and most other dynamic websites) URL’s like the normal Joomla URL “index.php?option=com_mtree&task=listcats&cat_id=1766&Itemid=35” drive the website. The problem with these URL’s is that they are unintelligible by humans and also by search engines. Installing a search engine friendly URL component will change these pages to something more meaningful and also including your keywords in these page names can help with SEO. The newly transformed search engine friendly URL would look like this “buy-blue-widgets.html”. If you do not have a dynamic website then ensuring your page name is short, to the point and contains your main keywords for that page maybe with a call to action like “buy” and “blue widgets”.

3. Duplicate or Bad Content. Ensuring your content is unique and relevant is vital in SEO success. Often websites just duplicate content or bring in plagiarized content from other websites. It is my experience that these websites fail dismally in search engine rankings. Write some decent and unique content or maybe search online and find someone who can actually write you decent unique content for a fee. Make it good, friendly and unique content that people will want to link to. If you are listed in the supplemental index of Google then making sure you titles, descriptions, Meta keywords and on page content is unique is the only way to drag them out of the supplemental index.

4. No Links. Having covered off a few of the on page most important SEO tips we now look at links, which are an off page SEO concept. For each person or website that links to your website it is a vote for your site. If the website that links to yours has a high pagerank itself then it carries more weight. Simply having good keywords, titles and text on your page is only part of SEO. Just because you created a unique and perfectly optimized webpage does not mean you will automatically gain a decent pagerank for that page. In order to ensure SEO success you have to create incoming links – this is probably the hardest part of search engine optimization because you are effectively selling your pages all over the Internet. One way to gain instant (within a few weeks) links is to pay for text advertising – A search on Google will uncover some of the best text linking services. Link exchanges are bad because for every vote you get you are giving one away and if you happen to link to a “black listed” site then Google will penalize you significantly. One way links are the ultimate in SEO link campaigns so seek out directories (either paid or free, you need to evaluate), post in forums, write articles and submit them and ask other friendly webmasters if they can help you out with a link. The best way to gain links is to have unique content that other people actually want to link to.

5. Incoming link anchor text. Having pointed out how important it is to gain incoming links it is now important to also point out that the text those links are anchored to is important also. The text should be targeted at your main keywords and the page they point to should have those keywords as relevant and prominent also. The website you link from should be relevant to your website. So, as an example I own a web design company in Melbourne, Australia so I gain links from web hosting providers and/or open source Joomla sites in or around my region. Getting 1000 links from a casino related website will serve no benefit to my website and will not make it rank higher for “web design” keyword search terms. Use professional common sense when gaining links.

6. Bad Internal Page Links. We return to on page factors that you can work on within your website. It is important to make sure that the anchor text linking to pages within your own website is relevant to the target page. Make sure the title tag is filled in also for each link. You have the greatest control over links from within your own web site so make sure they are relevant and that link title and the on page copy match the main keywords of the target page.

7. Live links. Using some external tools like the link checker that W3 Org offer is good. I suggest harnessing as many tools as you can to ensure all of the links on your website are live, working and not sending people to 404 error pages. It is also important to check and make sure your page markup, or html, xhtml, is valid so W3 also offer a tool to check this. Make use of both of these freely available tools.

8. Impatience. Search Engine Optimization is not a short term task. It is one of an ongoing refinement after refinement and hour after hour of working on your website. Producing unique content, checking it, validating, listing and checking the search engines and making sure they have it listed correctly. Do not think for one second that you can optimize your site thoroughly ever and do not ever think that just because you are number one for a search term that it will indefinitely stay that way. Search Engine Companies are always changing their ranking and rating systems and coupled with this there are always other people out there gunning for your top spot. Keep looking to improve and learn more and don’t sit back and wait for others to take your top spot, be proactive, seek out new content, links and keep ahead of the curve.

9. Keyword selection. This is proving to be a very common mistake among beginners to SEO. Often people base their own keyword selection on what they *think* is right but is this what people actually search for when they are looking for your product or service? Often the answer to this questions is no. It is an important step to do the correct keyword research and ensure you have the right keyword list before you optimize any pages with them. Using Overture, Google Adwords and some other paid keyword tools like WordTracker (the default standard in Keyword Finding) are vital to success in finding good keywords. It is important to localize your target market and figure out what they are actually searching on when they are looking for products or services that you offer. Do the research and be as specific as possible while still being broad enough to capture some high keyword traffic.

10. Keyword Spamming and Stuffing. If you sell “Blue Widgets” then every page of your site does not need to have “Blue Widgets” in the title, description and Meta tags. Try and be objective and analyze you website. Focus pages on a specific group of keywords you have identified from the keyword list. Sometimes finding niche markets locally first can be best. So, as an example, “Buy Blue Widgets Australia” or “Buy Blue Widgets Melbourne”. These would be examples of good second or even third tier search keyword phrases but you can make some good sales with these niche terms because the searcher is targeting buying these items.

These are not the be-all and end-all of Search Engine Optimization mistakes but I have found these to be the main mistakes made by my clients prior to being involved. Good luck and I wish you all the best with your SEO efforts.

What You Need To Know About Social Media Marketing

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What You Need To Know About Social Media Marketing

Social media sites allow for global communication that is innovative, fun, and instant. If you want to take advantage of this global marketplace, and use it to increase business, then you need an effective marketing campaign. In this article we will discuss some of the do’s and don’ts of social media marketing.

Keep in mind that Facebook fan pages are for businesses and personal pages are for individuals. If you mix up the two then you are putting yourself at risk of being deleted. While it is a good idea to be a bit personal on your fan page it is important to separate the two.

Keeping track of comments, reviews, and blogs related to your business is an important part of social media marketing. There are many tools that you can take advantage of to alert you when new content about your business is posted. Keeping track of what others, particularly past customers, are saying about you is a great way to identify areas where your business could use improvement. It is also a good way to see which parts of your business have been effective.

Try adding pictures to your social media site. People get a better understanding of a product when they can literally see it. And, when people understand your product, they are more likely to purchase it. You do not need to have too many pictures, just a few should do the job.

Monitor your competitors on social media sites. Spend a little time looking at what your top five competitors are doing out there in the social media world. Look at which social sites they are most active on, what kind of content they are publish, how many fans they have and how they promote their site and what they have to offer.

If your blog has grown popular, put up some stats showing your visitors how many others follow your content. Demonstrating your growth through showing the number of Facebook “likes” you’ve received, Twitter followers you’ve accumulated or any awards your site or blog has received is a great way to prove your “social worth.”

During the holiday season, present your products as gifts. This might not be a good approach for your website, but it is relevant on social networks. Post updates about your products as Christmas presents and wait for your readers to accept this as a possibility rather than pushing this idea on your website.

Provide unique content by setting your landing page up as a reveal tab in Facebook. You can include content that is a special video your followers may find interesting, or you can do something like provide a special coupon or voucher that is redeemable on your website. Unique and engaging content keeps followers interested in what you post, and it keeps them coming back to both your Facebook page and your website.

The world of social media has increased global marketing opportunities for many businesses. In this article, we have discussed some effective business marketing strategies, and some things to avoid too, when considering a social media campaign. Use these tips wisely and your business will soon see the benefits.

What is a Press Release? What are Press Release Submissions? and Why do you NEED them?

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What is a Press Release?

Press Releases A press release, news release, media release, press statement or video release (as defined by Wikipedia) is a written or recorded communication directed at members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something ostensibly newsworthy. Typically, they are mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to assignment editors at newspapers, magazines, radio stations, television stations, or television networks.

Tom Kelleher states in his book, Public Relations Online: Lasting Concepts for Changing Media, that “given that your news-driven public includes bonafide journalists as well as others who read and report news online, the term news release seems to work better online than press release”. Fraser Seitel also refers to press releases as being, “the granddaddy of public relations writing vehicles.”

What are Press Release Submissions?

Press releases have been around for years, but have only begun to be successfully adapted for use by those in the internet marketing world in the past couple of years. Today, submitting a press release over the internet is one of the quickest most innovative ways in which a webmaster can increase their search engine rankings, gain increased online visibility for websites, products, or artists, and drive unique visitors that will hopefully convert into more sales.

Let our SEO & Marketing Experts write you professional Press Releases for your Business, Music, Products, or Services and Let them distribute it to News & Media Organizations for Syndication!

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Why do you NEED them?

Proper press release distribution is the key to getting your release in front of the right audience. Our service deliberately chooses from the top online outlets available to make sure your release is submitted to only the best venues. We will submit your release to a variety of media contacts that we hand pick as being relevant to your product or service. Such places may include online and offline resources such as newspapers, radio and TV stations, trade magazines, wikis, ezines, blogs and internet publications.

Press Releases usually discuss recent news, updates,
or developments on a specific topic, product, or
something potential readers may find captivating.

Submit Your Press ReleasesOur press release optimization and submission services are designed to maximize the visibility of your press release in the news, search engines, and media databases. Making sure your press release is keyword searchable for the best search terms in your niche or industry is critical to its success. We analyze your release and optimize it around key search terms that increase your chances of being noticed. By boosting your visibility online, and providing network distribution and optimized enhancements we ensures that your press release is both high quality and high profile.

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Knowing the Advantages of SEO

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SEO can be very beneficial for your online company and web site, provided that you follow the rules and guidelines. There are several experts online who can give you quick tips on how to achieve long term business success. SEO is very affordable and you do not have to spend so much time trying to grab the customers you’ve always wanted. Here are some advantages on how to acquire hundreds of thousands of customers in a short time.

Boosting Income

The use of SEO can greatly enhance your ability to earn money. Your web site becomes more visible and available to several visitors all over the globe, thereby helping you get your ROI or return of investment back quickly. You get to stabilize your finances quickly too. Long term positioning is another benefit where you get to stay on top of search engine rankings as soon as your properly arrange and optimize the web site, compared to PPC wherein the outlay and costs are unpredictable and constant.

You get to boost your capability of earning more income by staying visible and ranking high on search engines. Search engine users may only view the first or second pages at most so you should aim to drive them immediately to your site by using the right tools and approaches.

Getting the Right Visitors

Compared to random advertising wherein you just target several thousands of individuals online with the hope that some of them will eventually purchase or be interested in your company, SEO helps you get targeted traffic. This means that you actually get visitors who are truly interested in your product, service or topic. You can boost your reputation by writing sound articles and content and putting these in related sites and online forums.

Promotional campaigns last 24 hours a day and 7 days a week nonstop once you start any SEO approach. You stay visible to your target market any time of the day. People can visit your site regardless of their location. You do not to pay people for working overtime or stay up late just to check on your buyers. SEO continually works for you even when you are off the internet.

Saving Costs

SEO is one of the cheapest ways to market your product or service. You do not have to spend so much on advertisements and affiliates. You can just update the content of your site, use the right title and meta tags and make sure that your content is unique and easy to read for visitors. Loading pages are also faster, since optimized files are generally smaller. There will be fewer server overheads and requests, as well as faster download times. Using SEO means that you get increased accessibility. Users get to connect regardless of their current situation.

Staying Visible

When you use SEOs, you can expect your brand visibility to improve significantly. Search engines also get to navigate and crawl to your pages easily. All pages must be accessible to search engines, so your site becomes very easy for engines to appropriately arrange and index. You also enhance usability, so users can enjoy their stay and experience more. You can get more repeat sales and visits if you continue to enhance your onsite navigation tools and give vital information that will appeal to your customers.

Free Facebook Social Marketing eBook

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Free Facebook Social Marketing

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The most effective SEO Campaigns

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The most effective SEO Campaigns

The most effective SEO Campaigns have a healthy combination of: effective keyword selection, correct web page structure, optimal keyword placement within this structure, and solid backlink building.

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