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Archive for the 'Seo' Category

10 Effective Strategies To get To The Top Of Search Engines indirectory

Sunday, July 16th, 2006

How do you do this? Look up the top 20 web sites on the major search engines under the keywords and phrases people would find your web site. The key would be to then advertise on those web sites.

The most expensive way would be to buy ad space on those web sites. If you don’t want to spend any money, you could use the ten strategies below. These strategies may not apply to every web site.

1. Participate on their discussion boards. You could post questions, answer other peoples questions, and join in on conversations. Just include your signature file and link at the end of your messages.

2. Ask the web site owner if they would like a free ebook to giveaway to their visitors. You could have them link to your web site or include your ad in the free ebook.

3. Submit content to their web site. You could write articles for their web site and include your resource box and link at the end of the article. If they publish it, you’ll indirectly be at the top of the search engines.

4. Write an excellent article review of their web site, products or services. Then publish the review on your web site. E-mail the web site owner and tell him or her about it. They may link to your web site so their visitors read it.

5. Ask the owner of the web site if they would want to trade advertising. If you don’t get as much traffic as they do, you could throw in some extra incentives.

6. Propose a cross promotion deal with the web site. You both could promote each others products or services together in one package deal. This means a mention and link back to your web site.

7. Give the web site a testimonial for their product or service. Include a little text link for your web site with the testimonial. You never know; it could end up on their ad copy.

8. Post your advertisement on their free classified ad section on their web site. You want to be sure you have an attractive headline so they will read your ad.

9. Post your text link on their free-for-all links page. You want to go back and post your link regularly so it stays towards the top.

10. Sign their guest books. You could leave a short compliment about their web site on their guest book.Just include your signature file and link at the end of your message.

Article Source: http://www.articleonlinedirectory.com

If you’ve picked some pointers about marketing and internet marketing, specially search engine marketing that you can put into action, then by all means, do so. You won’t really be able to gain any benefits from your new knowledge if you don’t use it.

There are many ways to to get listed in the top 20 spots of the major search engines indeirectory. Try our 10 top secret strategies and see how they work. I will post more articles about marketing and internet marketing.

A Message to Technology sites :: Digg Yourself to get Slashdotted!

Wednesday, May 17th, 2006

One way to do that is to ensure others know what you are doing but sometimes this can be difficult especially in today’s fiercely competitive online market.
There are areas of the web which are geared towards helping some of those sites and if your site is a technology or tech related site then this article is for you.

The web is all about Buzz. Those who can generate the most buzz about themselves through press releases, link baiting, blogging, social networking or whatever other tactic they use generally will reap the rewards.

But for some sites in some industries it can be extremely difficult to generate buzz about themselves that the rest of the web will notice.

After all, not many people even know what an ice worm is, or how scientists recently discovered a huge cave full of poisonous frogs. In fact, most people could care less even if it is a significant scientific breakthrough or discovery.

So just how does a science or technology site build buzz?
There is a way to generate buzz about your new scientific achievement or breakthrough. It is done through a site called Digg.

From Digg’s FAQ:

”Digg is a technology news website that combines social bookmarking, blogging, RSS, and non-hierarchical editorial control. With Digg, users submit stories for review, but rather than allow an editor to decide which stories go on the homepage, the users do.”

In other words, Digg is a place where technology stories go and get found by users who then vote on them. The more votes a story receives, the better it does on Digg.

For example, the two stories I referenced above came from Digg. They were voted on by readers and selected as two of the more important science stories.

The really great buzz comes from the stories which get promoted to the homepage of the site. So the obvious question becomes: How do I get my technology story on the front page of Digg?

Well, the first thing is to submit it to the Digg queue. From there it gets reviewed, or “digged” by Digg users. The more “diggs” it receives the higher it moves up. The sites with the most diggs move to the home page. And it is from this home page where most of the real traffic happens.

But wait, it gets better.

If you do happen to get your story on the front page it can even grow beyond Digg.

That’s right, Digg becomes the launching point to the next level of technology promotion: Slashdot.

Now, Slashdot isn’t just for technology stories, but having it first appear in Digg helps improve the chances of your story or article being slashdotted (as it’s called).

According to Wikipedia, the “Slashdot Effect” ”Is the term given to the phenomenon of a popular website linking to a smaller site, causing the smaller site to slow down or even temporarily close due to the increased traffic.”

That is correct: There have been documented cases where a website has slowed down or gone offline altogether because of the huge influx of traffic generated by being Slashdotted.
But, on the other hand, if you can keep your site running through the Digg phase and the slashdotting phase your site could come out smelling like roses.

This is because over the course of those couple days when everyone is reading about your site, they are also blogging about it and linking to it.

Consider this Digg/Slashdot tactic as the most extreme form of link baiting. Instead of getting a few dozen sites to link to you for something you wrote you could have a few hundred or thousand sites link to you over the course of a few days.
And you thought promoting your technology site would be difficult.

About Search Engine Optimization

Saturday, May 13th, 2006

Search Engine - Is a database of web sites which is ranked according to the computerized criteria that the programmers consider known as an algorithm. Different search engines determine ranking on their own different factors of importance or similarity. In the recent past the Google search engine has been the most popular search engine providing the search results for Yahoo and to a lesser extent MSN and AOL. This has changed recently after Yahoo’s purchase of different search engine companies and developed its search engine. The MSN has decided to enter this market with their personal search engine algorithm. Searchers keyword questions into search spaces. Keyword questions are supported by the outcomes from the databases of the search engines according to with the ranking algorithm from whatever search engine they are using. Algorithm is the procedure that establishes how a web page will position the search results pages of a search engine. A site is created particularly for search engine ranking reason which consists almost entirely of a long catalog of unrelated links. These types of pages are penalized by each kinds search engines. Another vital matter for search engines is the result of sand box for cataloged sites. Sandbox is allegedly used by one large search engine that is Google as a probation phase for new sites. Getting a high PR is reserved for the duration this time.

Assertivenet Spider is Gigablast Spider

Sunday, April 30th, 2006

Introduction and Purpose

The purpose of this article is to provide evidence and information to counteract the suggestion that Assertivenet is potentially used for malicious purposes.

Initial Research

On Saturday, March 11, 2006, I received a somewhat urgent telephone call from a client of mine, Hibiscus Florals. The owner, Mark Morkowski, was concerned because he had been reviewing his website traffic statistics and had noticed that at numerous points throughout the day, a user or spider from "ASSERTIVENET" (IP 66.154.103.125) had visited the Hibiscus website.

Since this was rather unusual, Mark elected to investigate further by searching for more information "Assertivenet" via the Google search engine. The first three results that he found appear below:

From this information, Mark and I gathered that the owner of the spider in question appears to be a company called Assertive Networks, and hosted through a company called "BC Hosting." More information wass not immediately available.

It is this lack of information that likely led some of the members of the PowerBASIC forums to block the IP range 66.154.* from accessing their various websites, and justifiably so. But this same lack of information led to additional questions:

  1. What files was the Assertivenet spider accessing/trying to access? Was the spider crawling pages or, like some bots, was it looking for specific files that could be used for malicious purposes (e.g. files and scripts that could be manipulated for website attacks?)
  2. Why is the apparent owner of the Assertivenet spider a web hosting company (BC Hosting)?
  3. What is the intended purpose of the Assertivenet spider?

Additional Research - All Is Not As It Appears

At this point, I decided to look beyond what the website traffic statistics revealed, as well as the information that Mark’s initial search revealed. I needed to start by answering the questions I posed earlier, and in order to do so, I needed to access the raw log files for the Hibiscus website.

I opened up the log files, searched for the particular IPs in question, and found a series of entries such as these:

2006-03-11 03:47:34 66.154.103.125 - 216.89.218.168 80 GET /robots.txt - 200 0 400 285 78 HTTP/1.0 www.hibiscusflorals.com Gigabot/2.0/gigablast.com/spider.html -
2006-03-11 03:47:34 66.154.103.119 - 216.89.218.168 80 GET /larger_image.asp PID=215 200 0 0 299 125 HTTP/1.0 www.hibiscusflorals.com Gigabot/2.0/gigablast.com/spider.html -
2006-03-11 03:50:37 66.154.103.119 - 216.89.218.168 80 GET /larger_image.asp PID=195 200 0 0 299 31 HTTP/1.0 www.hibiscusflorals.com Gigabot/2.0/gigablast.com/spider.html -
2006-03-11 07:47:05 66.154.103.125 - 216.89.218.168 80 GET /robots.txt - 200 0 400 285 78 HTTP/1.0 www.hibiscusflorals.com Gigabot/2.0/gigablast.com/spider.html -
2006-03-11 07:47:05 66.154.103.119 - 216.89.218.168 80 GET /larger_image.asp PID=219 200 0 0 299 109 HTTP/1.0 www.hibiscusflorals.com Gigabot/2.0/gigablast.com/spider.html -

The spider in this case actually belongs to a search engine called Gigablast, and is appropriately named the Gigabot. The Gigabot only crawled pages and files as other search engines have, and made no attempts whatsoever to access files and scripts of a known malicious nature.

Gigablast is a "Tier 2" search engine that has over 1,000,000,000 pages indexed as of the date of this article (March 13, 2006.) While it is not on the same level in terms of popularity as the Big 3 of Yahoo!, MSN, and Google, it has indexed a significantly large portion of the web, and can be useful for some searches. In particular, Gigablast has implemented a "Giga bits" feature whereby alternate searches are suggested based on the user’s original query in order to help narrow the query down and provide greater relevancy.

I conducted additional research and discovered that some IP addresses from the 66.154.* IP block do resolve to gigablast.com e.g.:

  • 66.154.102.46
  • 66.154.102.10
  • 66.154.103.50

Conclusion - The Gigabot is Safe

As you may well have gathered by now, the Gigabot is a perfectly safe spider that acts and operates in the same manner as other search engine spiders operate. There is no reason at this time to block the 66.154.* IP range that the bot uses; if anything, webmasters would gain from the potential free traffic that Gigablast would generate for their websites as the result of the Gigabot’s efforts.

At last! A Fast & Easy Way to Increase Traffic!

Saturday, April 29th, 2006

Now, five years later, this has all changed back into the advantage of content marketing. Especially since the arrival of Google Adsense, it’s become fashionable and most importantly profitable again to build content rich websites.
Okay, then the big question becomes: how do I get this content?
There are several options to do this. Writing material yourself is probably the best solution BUT …
“But wait a minute, I don’t have time to site back and write so much; this will take me weeks, no even months! And I’m already a very busy person right now!”
There are a few possibilities to overcome this problem. I believe the second best option is to join a membership site that offers content you can use and/or public domain material for a specified membership fee.
You can either publish the material right away ‘as is’, or alter and ‘personalize’ to your needs. Now, before you start complaining about the fee, still consider this:
There are indeed also some sites out there that offer content for free. “Wow , that’s great!” Yes indeed, at first sight, this seems like the perfect solution: Problem solved and not paid a dime! It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Well, unfortunately, that’s because it is: you can be sure that you will not be the only one who has downloaded this content. There will be about tens of thousands other ambitious website owners that want to make it online, who also enthusiastically accepted this ‘irresistible offer’. That’s quite a lot of competition. Furthermore, you can only use this material if you also put the author’s resource box, with a link to his website off course. In other words: instead of your own, you are in fact practically promoting this guy’s website… Or, as the old axiom goes, “You get what you pay for.” Not only are you competing against hordes of other people, but you’re also using a product that is certainly NOT unique or original. Don’t think that the search engines will rewards you for this. Furthermore, the author is practically stealing your traffic through the resource box link. Do I need to say that all this doesn’t add to the perceived value of the product that you are trying to sell?
Besides the fact that the content that you receive, clearly is of better quality, the sheer fact that you are working with a membership site also means that the chances of success are much higher (as opposed to trying to compete with an overrun market). The reason of this lies within the way most of these membership sites are set up. Only a select number of individuals are accepted to join and reap the benefits of the offers through the membership. That’s the best way they can secure a market edge for their members.
Since the number of subscribers to the membership is limited and because not all those subscribers will be using the material for the same objectives, you can rest assured that you don’t have to compete with the rest of the world.
Apart from that, it is amazing but true that only a few of these members actually really use the material that is offered to them. It always surprises me how many people never do anything at all with the content to which they have access.
The big advantage of such membership sites is that normally you have the guarantee that you can start using or publishing the material right away. It means that the producer has either purchased the rights to the material or has taken care of all the research to verify that the work indeed belongs to the public domain and that you can therefore use it without copyright restrictions or other problems. Don’t take this lightly, it means you don’t have to worry about:
- Researching the copyright
- Scanning the material
- Editing it to get it ready
- Writing a sales letter and other marketing materials
- Locating target markets and optimizing your site
Instead of doing all this hard work yourself, you can now concentrate on promoting your site.

Basic Techniques to Generate Traffic from Search Engines

Monday, April 24th, 2006

The first place most e-business start-ups go when they need a quick traffic fix is the search engines. And rightfully so! After all, a top ranking position in one of the major search engines is an effective way to increase the traffic to your web site without spending your hard-earned advertising dollars!

Statistics have repeatedly shown that anywhere from 20% to 80% of your visitors will find your web site via a search engine. However, you should also know that statistics show that most web surfers never search beyond the top 30 results they receive. With that in mind, it is clear that a top position a top position should be the goal of any savvy site owner.

But top spots are no longer achieved by crossing your fingers and blindly submitting your web site to 900+ search engines and directories using a free submission service. Competition for top spots is getting fierce, so it is important that you learn the “right” techniques if you want to ensure that your web site is well ranked… and it is very important that you do so while this great advertising medium is still FREE!

As I said before; for high traffic generation to your website, it is very important that your web site ranks in top spots in search engines. You may ask “What are the search engine looking for when they rank my web site?” Well, although each search engine uses different set of algorithms to rank web sites, but generally speaking, however, here are some of the main factors currently being considered by the search engines.

1. Link Popularity
Alta Vista, Excite, Lycos, and the web pages search promotion of Yahoo! use a ranking system that involves measuring and ranking the number of links that are directed towards a particular web site. This is an extremely powerful traffic generation tools because:

Reason # 1
Building a well thought-out linking strategy is a powerful way to attract large volumes of high targeted traffic! By putting your web site on every major web “intersection” where your target market meets, you will ensure that your web site receives a steady flow of qualified potential customers.

Reason # 2
Links are equivalent to recommendations! They established credibility even before the visitor reaches your web site, dramatically increasing the likelihood that they will buy.

Think about it… David arrives at his favorite web site and notices that they have posted a link to your web site. He knows and trusts his favorite web site and therefore assumes that, because they have a linked to you, your business must be credible too. He clicks through the link to your web site and is immediately open to offers you present him with. Why? Because your credibility was established before he even arrived at your homepage!

Reason # 3
Since many search engines now factor link popularity into their ranking decisions, your linking strategies are all that much more important! If you want to be ranked as high as possible in search engines, you now need a factor in your link popularity – and, as you already know, earnings a top spot in the major search engines is key to increasing your web site traffic.

Obviously, developing a linking strategy that generates a high volume of targeted traffic to your web site is not an overnight process. It will take you anywhere from two weeks to six months to secure quality links you need. However, I promise you that it is worth the effort! Once you have done the initial footwork, the links that are established will remain on these web sites for years to come. Your perseverance will pay big dividends in the form of a continuous flow of targeted traffic generation.

2. Your Domain Name
A domain name plays a vital role in traffic generation to any web site. Domain names rich in keywords will rank higher in search engines because search engines love URL’s that are saturated with keywords! Brainstorm keywords and key phrases for your web site and then use them to create a catchy URL… or load the domain name with your best keywords to get ranked higher in the search engines.

3. Key Word Density
Keywords definitely refer to the number of times your keyword appears throughout your site. Your keyword density is a factor that is heavily weighted by search engines, so it’s very important to make strategic use of your keywords.

So, these are the golden facts and tactics through which you can drive high traffic to your web site. I should also mention that you do not expect to enter a couple of your top keywords into the search engines and instantly start making money through your web site— that is very rare. But yes, you can really make high traffic through search engines without crossing the line into “keyword stuffing” and with a little time.

Building Solid Web Site Strategies Aside from SEO

Tuesday, April 4th, 2006

We often hear people griping and lamenting about how Google, Yahoo, or MSN reduced their site’s rankings, causing a huge loss of profits and business. These people surrender to the fact that their favorite search engine failed them and their business and are resigned to finding another search engine to advertise on, not realizing the real fact that they may just be committing another mistake waiting to happen.

Aside from pitfalls of the site itself, the most common mistake in this type of scenario is simply relying too much on a search engine to rake in the customers. This blatant fact of ignoring other avenues of online marketing is a common practice that leaves many companies and webmasters looking for other full-time employment at more established companies.

This type of “SEO is everything” perception is most prevalent in businesses that are new to Internet marketing. It should be avoided at the onset and throughout strategies and business plans to attract customers and leads, and Internet marketing and e-commerce should really be separated from other, more established ways of acquiring leads or sales.

Two simple reasons could be pointed out why over-reliance on SEO and search engines will kill your business:

First, search engines aren’t doing business for you. They’re doing business for themselves and for their owners. They would not care if your business took a sudden plummet because of your web site’s loss of rankings. It happens by the thousands each day and search engines really could care less.

Secondly, if a search engine vanished or completely changed direction you’d be left with nothing. At this point you would’ve lost valuable time and money in focusing all your advertising efforts in that one single search engine.

The bottom line is to diversify your business strategy. You should always have a fallback or contingency plan. If you keep and follow other business tactics aside from SEO, a negative hit on your SEO arsenal will hurt you, but not completely cripple your business. There are other techniques such as e-mail marketing, banner ads, affiliate programs and direct marketing that can play an integral role in your marketing success. These techniques can prove to be as useful or, depending on your exact industry, even more useful than search engine advertising alone.

Some techniques to help you diversify your marketing plans are:

1) Try an offline contact building or ad mailing campaign. Prominently display your website’s URL on printed materials. This would lead people to check out your site, and if they like what they see or find what they need, they may buy from you. Isn’t that what you’re after in the first place?

2) Don’t focus all your strategies on one single technique, such as SEO. As the old adage goes, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. The basket may fall and you’ll break all your eggs. Diversity, diversity, and diversify some more.

3) Never under estimate the power of well-written press releases. There are many excellent online news submission sites that are being monitored by the major search engines. If you have a good press release with a healthy density of those all-important keywords, your press release (and hence your website) will appear on all search engines’ news features.

4) Depending on your specific field of business, there may be online directories or vertical niche sites that cater to your industry. Seek them out and submit articles or press releases to them. Customers looking for information in your industry will find your site if the location is well targeted.

5) Keep your site updated. You may have regular news or features that search engines will quickly pick up. If you syndicate parts of your site, you’ll reach a wider audience. A blogging or comment-type area of your site is good because it allows customers and visitors to write about your services or products, thus increasing content for your site and improving your search results. There’s nothing better than free content, right?

6) Always keep an eye out on the competition. Learn from their tactics. See how their tactics are hurting you or giving you opportunities to offer something more. Then go back and revise your strategies based on what you find out from your opponents.

7) When all has been said and done, it would all boil down to having a website that has keyword-rich content and relevant incoming and outgoing links. Long-term ranking rely on this factor more and more with each passing day. Even if it means hiring a good writer to build your content, do it. The payoff is priceless.

E-commerce, Internet marketing, web business, whatever you may want to call it, might not necessarily be and easy or quick method. In fact, just like conventional avenues of business, it requires as much planning, thinking, and foresight to get the results you are after. The general rules we’ve discussed would go a long way to helping your online business prosper and profit.

Creatring XML, HTML and TXT sitemaps for webmasters

Thursday, March 16th, 2006

While that satisfaction largely depends on the contents of your website, how you get to be accessed by website users is the most critical factor of website development. For if your website can’t be reached universally, you defeat the very purpose of the internet: that is, to make information available to any website user from across the world.

How you get to be accessed is actually a matter of presentation style, organization, and most importantly, how fast and extensive search engines get to lead users to your website. Unless your pages are indexed in the search engines they can’t send you the free visitors you are all looking for.

Fortunately, the search engines want your content too and there are a number of ways you can help them, which they encourage you to do - by creating sitemaps of your website. Sitemaps created for the various search engines will enable these search engines’ spiders to crawl faster, more systematically, and more extensively into your website’s pages.

By doing so, you get the maximum exposure you can. Such exposure will boost your pride in having your pages viewed, read, and used by more and more visitors the way you intended them to. On the financial aspect, the more visitors your website gets, the higher your website’s potential advertising value.

Now with the vast expansion of websites on the internet, it has become necessary to create different types of sitemaps, each having its own complexity in setting up.

HTML Sitemaps

Creating an HTML sitemap linked to and from your home page is something savvy webmasters have been doing for years and perhaps is the simplest to create. This sitemap is simply a list of pages contained on your site and enables the search engines spiders to easily find your pages, especially the ones that are linked deep in your website that they may have trouble finding otherwise.

TEXT Sitemaps

A text sitemap is simply a list of the URLs of your site in the form of a text file. These can then be submitted to search engines such as Yahoo! to notify them that all the pages exist and by doing so invites their spider to visit.

XML Sitemaps

Google launched Google Sitemaps as a way for webmasters to give them information they could use to better crawl their sites. This involves creating an XML Sitemap for which they provided their Google Sitemap Generator. This can be the most complicated to set up using the tools provided by Google as you need to be running Python on your server. It’s perhaps the most important one too given the current dominance of the search engine.

Setting up all three types of sitemaps may seem a daunting task but luckily there are websites that take the strain out of this and you can create all three within a matter of minutes.

XML-Sitemaps.com is one such site. Originally developed to easily create Google sitemaps for webmasters without an understanding of Python, it has evolved through demand for new features.

It offers the Sitemap Generator that lets you build your sitemap online in four simple steps, for free! The Sitemap Generator is easy to use and user-friendly even for average computer literates. Just type in your URL and other parameters (e.g. frequency of change or update that your website will likely undergo, the priority of a specific URL relative to the other pages on the same website, etc.) and follow the ensuing instructions until you get to add your URL to the Google Webmaster account. You will then be given the options to download your websites sitemaps in XML, HTML and TXT format. If still you get stuck with a step, you may enquire and get assistance from its technical support.

Go check xml-sitemaps.com for more details or better yet, to get started!

The only limitation of the free sitemap Generator is that it allows only up to 500 pages per website. Still, this limit is high. Statistics show that out of the more than 64000 sitemaps generated using this service, the average website size was only 155 pages, way below the 500-page limit. This figure is represented by 78% of all webmasters who have used the Generator.

However, in case your website falls beyond this limit, you may check out the PHP Sitemap generator script. Offered at a very reasonable price, this stand-alone script is intended for unlimited-sized sitemaps, which is beyond the capacity of online services.

Whichever search engine or for whatever search purpose, sitemaps are clearly the fastest and most efficient way to navigate this digital highway. The best thing about it is, with these easy-to-use sitemap generators, you don’t have to be a computer geek to help keep this internet traffic moving.

Getting your hands dirty - Applying SEO tactics

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

In this article I explain why you need to keep focus on those details and how you can do it, especially if you are one of those SEO “consultants.”

In my day job I am one of the “consultants.” With most of my clients I define the long term strategy required to ensure their online success. I’ve taken sites with zero visibility and virtually no pages indexed to having over 4 million indexed pages and more than tripling their search engine referrals in an extremely competitive market space.

I’ve also worked with still other sites in other very competitive industries and been able to bring them the most qualified traffic, increasing their conversions by four fold and more.

And it did it all without once opening a web editor or FTPing a file.

Yet sometimes I miss the old days. The days when I used to build sitemaps and create meta tags. Nowadays most of my clients are database driven sites that have teams of tech’s in foreign countries that implement my recommendations.

And that’s why I keep a few clients that need the hands on experience (That and I have my own sites to play with). I do this because I don’t want to lose my edge – my ability to properly optimize a page.

Because while I can still draw satisfaction when I see a client crack the top 3 on a competitive phrase for the first time, and I can rejoice with them when their sales hit a new all time record, I sometimes wish I could have been more a part of that success then just a voice at the other end of the phone.

But I’ve also learned something else in my time in this industry. That is, you have to have sites you can touch and “get your hands dirty” so that you can more intimately understand what is really affecting the engines.

Let me give you an example.

I recently had a client who sold discount test vouchers for technical exams. It’s a pretty competitive market in that the you are always competing for Microsoft for “MCSE test” and Comp TIA for “A+ exam” but it was rewarding because this client said to me “do what you need to.” And that’s what I did (short of cloaking and other black hat tactics mind you – I kept it all above board).

So I had a bit of a routine. On one month I’d optimize, on the second month I’d do link building and on the third month I’d build/tweak content and re-optimize.

I kept this routine for over a year and in that time I saw his rankings and traffic steadily improve.

But the way I did it wasn’t merely consulting – extolling the virtues of best practices. It was in the doing – the looking at the currently ranking pages to see what they did, and then emulating it if I felt it was appropriate. Trying to find the little loopholes which could make a big difference to my client.

It was a time when I could put on my headphones, turn on my favorite music and tune out the world as I analyzed rankings, counted keywords, tweaked meta tags and bolded specific phrases.

To me this is search marketing. It’s not always the grand long term plans that make the difference, it’s the small changes that can have the most impact sometimes. Should I punctuate my title tag and throw off my character count? Should I use commas in my keywords tags? All these simple little questions that, while I do deal with on a daily basis, I was able to actually work on myself and see the results.

Sometimes I think it is the big consultants who miss out on this stuff.

You see, too often we in the industry have clients to which we say “go and write your content to target both your user and the engines” and generally they ask one of two questions: “How?” Which is relatively easy to answer and “Why?” Which is harder but not impossible.

Now, you can give them the canned response. You know the one I’m talking about – we all use a variation of it: “You write for your user by ensuring the text is compelling enough to encourage them to click. You write for engines by ensuring “x” number of keyword occurrences happen every “y”times within the body text” or something to that effect. It’s a pat answer. It’s a safe answer.

But sometimes you get caught when they ask why?

Now again, there is a pat answer to why, but when the client digs deeper because they aren’t satisfied with your response, you can get stumped.

It is the hands on experience that you need to maintain to help you really answer why. Without it, one day you will get caught by a client who asks why. I’ve seen it happen time and time again when a “consultant” who hasn’t got their hands dirty in quite a few months or years gets asked the most basic of questions, but they can’t answer because their knowledge isn’t up to date.

This is why I have a stable of hands on clients, and also why I have an assortment of my own sites. Because I can test on my sites and if successful I move it to my clients. Then if it’s still successful (which in most cases it is) I make it part of my consulting routine.

It is also because of this hands on routine that I can answer questions like “what is the sandbox.” Because I’ve seen the effects and I’ve experienced what could be considered a “sandbox” (it’s not really a sandbox by the way. You can read my opinion of it here) so I can explain it to my clients.

In fact most of my knowledge is hands on. I can explain why a blog is beneficial because I’ve seen my own blogs take off. I’ve set up search engine friendly discussion forums and designed search engine friendly web sites on my own, so I can properly walk clients through what they need to do.

You see, I’ve earned my SEO education differently than many others in the industry. I’ve learned it through doing, while many merely read through a few search engine forums and proclaim themselves “experts.” Granted, there are those that are more technically inclined than me, and some have more true marketing experience than me, but no too many can combine practical knowledge with a vision of the future to devise an all encompassing search marketing strategy to take them through the next year or two.

Now I know some will be saying “with the state of flux of the engines, you can’t plan a 2 year SEO campaign.” But I have to tell you that you can. I’ve done it. I have clients that we started doing targeted, relevant link building two years ago. Do you know what happened with them and Jagger? They improved.

I’ll agree that most of my campaigns are shorter – 6 months to a year – but I also like to shoot for the moon – plan what will be the next big tactic to employ. In fact, I’m going through such a process right now with some clients. Telling them what they need to plan for in the next 2 years and you know what? Based on what I’ve seen in the previous few years, I don’t think I’m that far off.

And it’s all because I can not only tell you what to do, I can show you. How many SEO consultants can say that?

Holistic Search Engine Optimization

Wednesday, January 18th, 2006

Search engine optimization (SEO) can help you achieve this. SEO is a crucial online marketing technique. It helps you to get your web site to appear in search engine result pages (SERPs) for keywords that that are relevant to your business. For example, if you are a business coach, and someone is searching for “business coach”, it would be great for your business if your web site appears in the first 10 results.

So what exactly is search engine optimization? SEO includes selecting the best keywords for the body of the page as well as other page elements (the title tag, keyword and description meta tags, etc.) Carefully chosen keywords provide “hints” that search engines use to classify your site and to determine whether your site should appear for certain search keywords. On-page keyword optimization by itself will help your rankings. However, holistic search engine optimization is required to achieve optimal results. For the best placement, focus on SEO as a whole, rather than concentrate on a particular technique.

Here are a few important elements of holistic search engine optimization:

- Have good content. After all, content is king (or queen, whichever the case may be). Without content there isn’t much of a site. The content must walk a fine line between providing useful content and including sufficient and relevant keywords for search engines.

Often it is difficult to optimize your product or service pages for search engines, since the main goal of these items is to showcase the benefits of your offer. On the other hand, it is easier to optimize blog posts and articles. In fact, you can create entire articles and blog posts around keywords that are popular with your target market.

- Have consistent navigation. Both your web site visitors and search engine spiders navigate your web site through links that connect different pages. Consistent navigation ensures that your visitors can reach every page on your web site from every other page. On top of that, you will you get the most out of your search engine optimization efforts.

- Get links to your site. Links to your web site play a very important role in holistic search engine optimization. Many popular search engines evaluate your web site’s popularity based on counting the number of links that point to your site. The more popular your web site is, the better rankings it gets on search engines. The best links are links from reputable, quality web site that have complimentary or related content.

You can get links to your web site by using a variety of techniques, such as writing articles, participating in link exchanges, and participating in online networking.

Take a holistic approach to web site optimization. Apply SEO to your web site as a whole, and always evaluate the overall impact of your marketing efforts.



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