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The Abc’s Of SEO

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Keyword content articles, boy oh boy are they the latest rage on the Internet! Have keywords got you spinning? Stop flailing around for a minute and pay attention, keywords are really not the big idea and as soon as you learn that, you’ll be on your way to the top of the search engine. If you’re ready to leave your competition to eat dust, read on.

While we’re on the subject of SEO, it’s really kind of hard not to elaborate on domain names first. Let’s say that the name of your site is Cow Doodle, just an example. Should your site be cowdoodle.com or cow-doodle.com? There’s really a lot of debate about which would be best to use. Consider the hyphen because it may be easier for the bots to read, there’s really no evidence that supports this and you should use your own discretion but that’s my personal preference.

Having said that, let’s move on to the important topic and that’s keywords. Keywords are what people use to find you, when they type in a phrase like “western boots”, if you sell western boots or have any type of business relating to western boots then that means you want that person to find you. If it’s western boots potential clients are typing in to find you, then that should be your keywords to begin with. If your business has fifty different pages, that feature fifty different items then doesn’t it makes sense to dedicate your efforts unique to each page? Each page should be keyword rich keeping your products and searched terms in mind.

Beware.

If your products are made by G.E., it’s best not to let the term “G.E.” overcast your pages and put a damper on your products. The best way to find out what the best keywords would be for your site would be to put yourself in the shoes of your potential clients. Ask yourself a question.

If you were a potential client looking for a product you have, what kind of phrase would you look for to find it? Answer that question and get other people to answer it too. It doesn’t have to be a product; it can be services that you provide or anything for that matter.

After you settle the keyword debate, think about keyword density.

Keyword density is really a percentage. Let’s say you have 100 words, and your keywords are mentioned 5 times throughout your content article, then you have 5% keyword density in that content article. That’s seems simple enough right?

It really is but the mistake that most people make is going overboard with keywords. I think you know what I mean, just take a look below at this example to see what happens when someone goes overboard.

The norm would be:

Mary had a little lamb, his fleece was white as snow and everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go.

Makes sense right?

Mary had a little lamb, Mary had a little lamb his fleece was white as snow and everywhere that Mary had a little lamb, Mary had a little lamb was sure to go.

That’s gone overboard and it’s everywhere!

That’s gone overboard, not going and it’s ridiculous to try to do that to draw in potential clients. Would you rather have quality or quantity? Most of us want quality and it’s no different for the potential clients you want to target. Not only should your content be keyword rich, it should be rich in context and that’s where a little skill comes in.

Don’t waste your money on those supposed keyword generators because you’ll end up editing the content and if you’re not a writer, you’ll be lost!

Hire a writer.

It may set you back a few bucks but in today’s Internet politics, there’s really no way around it. Top sites are paying freelance writers to develop keyword rich content everyday and why shouldn’t you? There are oodles of places on the Internet at this very moment with content writers waiting to write killer content for your site, most of them are experienced with SEO requests and you’ll notice a turn around by just viewing the stats of your website. The overall goal is to keep your clients coming back, grab their attention with useful information so that they can browse through your site to see what else you have to offer and that’s priceless.

Especially once you consider the money you are already losing.

Meta tags were once the rave and everyone jumbled every keyword possible into them, guess what…sites still have them stuffed into page titles-it’s useless. Meta tag days are over.

Links are in though! You can gain some rankings by linking to other top sites that hold them and if you can negotiate some reciprocal links back, it’s even better. This makes your site look important, if all of these sites want to link to you then that means your site should be easier to find. The search engines will reward you generously.

If you want to gain better rankings, these are the ABC’s of SEO and they should be followed with respect. A little patience and some hard targeted work we will put you closer to the top, where everyone wants to be.

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.

Ready To Grow Your Business? Try Using The Social Media Sites

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Ready To Grow Your Business? Try Using The Social Media Sites

Social media for personal use and social media for your business are two different worlds. If you are used to using these sites for your own personal satisfaction then you are ahead of the game in understanding, but you will still need the advice of this article to show you how you can best market your business through them.

To successfully market your business on social media, opening a twitter account can help attract new customers. Word on twitter travels fast, and many successful businesses have used twitter to spread the word on discounts or special events occurring at their businesses. You can gain followers by doing this, and news about your business will also be spread by word of mouth.

Use lots of great content when you are setting up your Facebook page. There is nothing worse for a consumer than going to a business page you are interested in and finding almost no useful information. Take the time to answer any questions they may have ahead of time with the content you put on your page.

A certain video does not need to go viral for your company to succeed. On the other side, going viral does not mean your company will have a standing success. The more important thing to focus on is creating a steady, returning customer base that recommends your services on experience. Going viral may seem nice at first, but such things can die out just as quickly and leave you in over your head.

Use lists as much as possible. People love lists because they are easy to read and easy to pass on to their friends. When you produce blogs or articles with lists, those who find the information you provide useful are more likely to pass the link onto others via Facebook, Twitter, or another social networking site.

Take advantage of the holiday season to post content related to these new challenges. Depending on the kind of product you are selling, you could post recipes, advice on shopping or tips on familial relationships. People will be more likely to read this type of content simply because it mentions the upcoming holidays.

Be prepared to make mistakes in your social media marketing. Mistakes happen, and you need to view the mistakes you make as learning experiences. There could be a post that offends some niche group, or a typo that sheds a negative light on your company. Handle the mistakes professionally and quickly and learn from them.

When you begin a social media marketing campaign leave room for trial and error. Depending on you target audience, some things that are effective for other businesses may not work for you. Watch for what is and is not working and make changes as necessary. This will show your customers that you are connected with their needs as well.

As you can see, there is a lot of information regarding how to set up your business on social media sites. Hopefully the questions you had were all answered here. If not, then use this as a starting point to research many other ways in which you can use these platforms to increase your business.