Archive for the ‘SEO Strategies’ Category

Video SEO: 7 Quick Tips on How to Optimize Your Video for Search Engines

Friday, March 5th, 2010 |

Google has been more proactive in displaying videos, images, news, tweets, and other real time news items in search results.  Among all these pieces, video content is considered to be the one of the most valuable components because it can result in increased traffic and higher conversions for your business if it is done correctly.

Here are the 7 quick tips on how to perform Video SEO:

  1. As far as on-page factors are concerned, the video SEO is similar to webpage SEO.  Title of your video is the most important aspect of on-page video SEO.  If possible, it is best to have your main keyword as the early in your title as possible.
  2. Description of your video should have the relevant keywords as well.  If you are planning on hosting your video on third-party video platforms, write up your video description so that it has relevant keywords as well as a link to your website.
  3. For third party platforms like YouTube, it is important to choose as many relevant tags as possible.  Google will rank the videos both for your target keywords and your tags.
  4. Google’s algorithm is not sophisticated enough to analyze the content of your video, however, if your video does not offer any real value, it will result in higher bounce rate and fewer views and subscriptions, which in turn will negatively affect your rankings.  So don’t just create a video to get links, instead, think of it as a dynamic content.   Add engaging and relevant background music tracks to your video to keep your viewers attention.  Visit TheMusicBakery.com to browse cost-effective and engaging background music tracks.
  5. Distribute your video to mainstream video platforms.  One of the best video distribution services is offered by TubeMogul.  It encodes and distributes your video to dozens of video platforms and saves you a lot of time.   The best part is that it is free of charge!
  6. Fire backlinks to your videos.  If your video is related to any of the vertical directories, social bookmarking would help too.  It is best to start off with your YouTube video when you are building links and doing social bookmarking activities.  If you are uploading your video on your site along with the third-party video sites, make sure that your site has unique content (description, transcript etc.) compared to the third-party video platforms.  Offering a transcript of your video is helpful too.
  7. If uploading the video on your site, make sure to offer the “embed video” code to your viewers.   A well done video can serve as an effective link-bait and help you in increasing your authority and presence in your marketplace.

Video marketing is going to be one of the most effective marketing techniques in 2010 and beyond.  Best of all, it allows you to engage with your customers in a way that was never possible before.  Applying the 7 techniques mentioned above would definitely get you started with solid Video SEO.

About the author:
Amy Chokshi offers her consulting services to Phoenix Internet Marketing firm, Niche Solutions, LLC.  She also owns an e-commerce store where she offers beautiful collection of indoor fountains.

SEO as Part of Your Brand Strategy

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009 |

2512148775_61fa58b4b3A new LinkedIn Research Network/Harris Poll had some interesting insights into the minds of advertisers. When asked how they used Internet advertising, 79% said as a branding device. This number was higher than the 65% who said they use Internet advertising to drive information-gathering for an offline transaction or the 58% who use it to drive online transactions. Simply stated, advertisers in this survey are using Internet advertising more for brand recognition than to get people to buy. Interesting.

Internet advertising does offer the opportunity to target an audience based on the content on a page or website. Say a user is on About.com getting information on how to find a part-time job; it would make sense for them to see a banner ad for a site like SnagAJob or CareerBuilder. But not all ad networks can be so granular or have corresponding advertisers thus, while reading about part-time jobs, a user might also get banner ads for toothpaste, gift cards, or paint.

And what if the user hasn’t gotten to About.com yet? What if they’re using Google or Bing to find information? Or, let’s say, they read the About.com article and now want more information so then they go to a search engine. Wouldn’t it make sense for SnagAJob or CareerBuilder to be present in the search engine results thus giving that user another chance to see the brand and click to the website?

Search engine optimization (SEO) gives brands the ability to be found at that crucial point at which someone is actively looking for information (not just passively reading an article). And your site’s content is always a good match with what the user searched on because Google wants to provide relevant search results.

So let’s say, going back to the part-time job example, the user was actually reading an article about part-time jobs for stay-at-home moms. A narrowly focused banner ad talking about part-time jobs and written for a stay-at-home mom audience would be a great match. But would a banner ad be that specific? Not likely. However, if the user went to a search engine and did a search on “part-time jobs for stay at home moms” (very specific and long-tail, no doubt), the pages in the results would be tailored for that search. And hopefully SnagAJob and CareerBuilder would have a page about that topic for the user to read along with the About.com article.

One of the benefits of SEO is targeting by geographic location which can be harder for Internet advertising – even though some networks will target ads based on IP address (which can be spotty). Sure, SnagAJob could put a banner ad on the website of a local TV station or internet portal – but that is a lot of stations to contact and rate cards to evaluate. However, if a user searches on “Wichita part-time jobs” it’s simple for SnagAJob to have a page about that topic with a listing of part-time jobs in the Wichita area that then is found in Bing’s search results.

If you’re an advertiser thinking about how to get more brand exposure online, consider SEO for your website. The search engines are another place for users to find your brand.

Photo by Danard Vincente

When going the extra mile pays off

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009 |

Big Oak’s Client Success

Search Engine Optimization, known as SEO, is the ability to rank a website in the top search results. That’s what we do here as an SEO Company. However there are times that clients need more than SEO, they need marketing, website functionality, and a plan to increase their ROI.

Clients either are well versed in Search Engine Optimization and need someone to do the heavy lifting, or they come with no knowledge of the subject, but know they need exposure to their websites and heard SEO is the way to go. The bottom line for most clients is an increase in profits. That’s what is measurable to their business. Increased web site visitors or traffic normally increases the bottom line or profit.

Big Oak SEO Company took on a new client in February 2009. The client had a successful brick and mortar store and ventured into the online arena. The client operates a Yahoo Store with over 300 products in a niche market. As their SEO Specialist along with our Keyword Researching Specialist we optimized their Yahoo Store for their keywords and started a link building campaign.

The net results in just over 1 month was an increase in $2,000 of sales, and a doubling of orders from the prior month. Under normal circumstances we would consider this a huge success. However the client was lacking a fundamental marketing tool for their website, namely a presence in Google Shopping.

This was beyond the scope of our SEO contract, but Google Shopping presence for this clients products would positively effect the clients ROI. After all ROI, Return on Investment is what the client is really after. Being ranked #1 for a term that doesn’t bring in sales will not benefit the client nor keep a happy customer.

It took a several hours over the course of a few days and several tweaks to establish, create and optimize a Google Base Feed for Google Shopping. (BTW this extra effort was free of charge – no extra billing.) In just 3 days after the first Google Feed went live, the Client reported their first sale from Google Shopping. I am still tweaking the feeds for Higher Google Shopping Results and the client is adding more products to the feed, but this is definitely a case where going the extra mile pays off.

In SEO it not only what you know, but who you know at times as well. Having a SEO Company that is well versed in Google Shopping, Google Adwords, Google Maps, Web Design and Web Functionality can mean the difference between Ranking and Rankings along with Increased ROI.

Clients should help their own SEO cause

Monday, February 16th, 2009 |

It occurs to me that as you get into more tactics that involve the social web, you should start leveraging the client’s staff (and possibly their customers) for assistance.

For example, what if you created a series of assignments to roll out over the life of your work with the client starting with each staff member tagging the company on delicious, then digging some page(s) on the site that they like, then creating their own lens on Squidoo.com, etc.

Providing instructions for your clients on how to do this would be part of the SEO consulting work you should be doing for your clients.

SEO is hard work and many hands make light work as my Mom used to say. Get your client’s involved and they will appreciate you efforts all the more and feel like they are part of the process and the success.

Youtube surpasses Yahoo Search Engine

Friday, December 19th, 2008 |

Youtube.com has more searches than Yahoo!

Video search on YouTube accounts for a quarter of all Google search queries in the U.S., according to the latest search engine numbers from comScore. Its monthly qSearch report, which was released on Thursday night, breaks out the number of searches conducted on YouTube. If it were a standalone site, YouTube would be the second largest search engine after Google. More searches are done through YouTube than through Yahoo, which has been the case for the past few months. – From TechCrunch

Wow, Yahoo! has certainly fallen from those halcyon days when they ruled the Internet. But this news is really more important because it tells the SEO community that you should not be overlooking the video world of YouTube.com. Big Oak SEO has been stepping up its efforts into the video marketing world and this is a sure sign that it was a good move on our behalf. Are you using the power of video for your product or service? It would be a mistake not to and it is a lot more affordable than you think.

And lest you think your videos would only show up if someone is searching on Youtube.com, take a look at the screen shot below. I did a search for cheap wine (don’t ask) and the screen shot shows the last results on page 1 of Google’s search results. Yes, you see two videos from Youtube.com. Wouldn’t it be nice to have your video there if you are a wine seller.

Results for Cheap Wine. Notice the last results are videos from Youtube.com

Results for Cheap Wine. Notice the last results are videos from Youtube.com

I have also seen video results in the #4 position on Google’s search results and I’m sure this will only continue to happen more in the future. Don’t sell your service or product short, anything that can be marketed on the web can have video marketing to support it. Make sure it is part of your Internet marketing plan.

Bunk Beds & Dinosaurs: Great Linkbait

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008 |

While site stumbling today I came across a web page that offered fun 30 second diversion, that is what StumbleUpon is for, by the way.

The page was titled: How Long Could You Survive Chained to a Bunk Bed with a Velociraptor? Silly? Yes. Smart? Even more so. After I took the test (I could survive 60 seconds, btw), and I looked at the URL, I could see it was a site promoting bunk beds and is selling advertising for kids’ furniture.

To my point, I was very impressed with the creativity of the page and applaud BunkBeds.net for a great linkbait idea. Imaginative, fun, viral and themed well for the target audience of children. So, take a visit and see how you would do against a Raptor and even more important let this be a good example in creative link building.

Get Your Name on Google – It Only Takes 5 Minutes

Thursday, September 11th, 2008 |

Ever Googled your name and wished you where in the top search results? Ever wondered what people see when they Google you? Considering the fact that the second most popular search criterion on the web is searching for a person’s professional background (Pew Internet American Life Project) – it may get some people thinking that it’s time to create a web presence for themselves.

It doesn’t take long to conclude that creating a web presence for yourself is something of necessity to ensure your professional growth, your business success, and taking action to represent yourself accurately on the web. The challenge is to find something unique and innovative the tackles all of the following issues:

• You want people to find you when they search your name on the web
• You want to manage the information people see about you
• You want to create a strong and professional online presence for your name

The people at LookupPage came out with the idea of developing an easy-to-use tool for people to create, enhance and manage their online presence. LookupPage is not a social network like LinkedIn, and focuses on getting your name on Google. Using the following simple rules, they are usually able to present better results than others for your name search:

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Top 5 Reasons to Comment on Blogs

Monday, September 8th, 2008 |

By now, I’m sure you know the importance of creating fresh, quality content on your site. One of the ways you probably do this is through a blog. These days everyone has a blog, and why not? It’s an easy way to get articles syndicated and ensures you have fresh content on your site, along with many other benefits.

However, in this world of Web 2.0, just having a blog isn’t enough. You need to get out there and take part in your online community. You need to comment on other people’s blogs.

Don’t know why? Well, you’re in luck, because here are the top five reasons to comment on other people’s blogs.

Top 5 Reasons to Comment on Blogs: Get Known in the Community

The goal of SEO is getting your site to rank, which happens when the search engines view you as an authority on a subject. Before the search engines can view you as an authority, people need to view you as such. One of the easiest ways to make this happen is by leaving good, meaningful comments on other people’s blogs.

Think about it like this: No matter how good your content is, if the search engines don’t know about it and people don’t know about it, then you’re just writing for yourself. You need to go to the people. Go to a blog that has a large readership and start leaving good comments. This will introduce you to a large readership.

I promise, when you give beneficial comments, people will respond. The owners of the site will get to know you because of your comments, and users will come to enjoy how useful they are. This successfully accomplishes your first task — having the people regard you as an authority on a subject.

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Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Link to Other Sites

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008 |

We’ve all met that person (or, maybe, we’re secretly guilty of being this person). You know the person — the one who won’t share.

Yup, there, I said it, I’m on to all of you people. Didn’t you learn anything in kindergarten? Seriously, share and share alike. How do you expect to make friends when you never share anything?

By this point, you’re probably wondering, “That’s fine and all, but what does this have to do with linking out to other people’s websites?”

Let me put it very simply — do it. Don’t be afraid to share, put that link out there.

Linking Out Excuse 1: If I Link Out, People Won’t Stay on My Site

Here’s the thing about the Internet, it’s designed (on purpose, mind you) as a way of sharing knowledge. If you’re writing about something and happen to know a reputable resource on the subject, link to it!

This will have various added benefits for you. Your users will think, “Wow, this person is providing a great resource, I’ll come back to them in the future because they’ve really helped me out.” Honestly, do you remember the Boston Tea Party because of the book you read it in, or do you remember it because of your 7th grade teacher who pointed you to the book?

Linking out also tells Google the neighborhood where your site lives. When you’re connected to a bunch of authority sites on fishing through outbound links, and you’re a fishing site, it’ll make sense for Google to rank you higher for fishing. Why? Easy, you’re all in the same neighborhood of fishing authority sites! When you link to other authority sites, it makes Google and the other search engines perceive you as an authority site.

And, seriously now, if you never put an outbound link on your site because you think it’ll keep people on your site, do you really think they don’t know how to work the back button? Or, know how to look for a more authoritative site than yours?

Linking Out Excuse 2: Linking Out Will Lose Link Juice

Alright, let’s ignore the whole neighborhood and authority site status (really, that should be enough to stop you from being scared to link out). Now you’re worried about your link juice. Rightly so, I mean, if PageRank flows from page to page via links, when you link out, it’ll spill onto someone else’s page right?

Here’s the deal: yeah, some of your link juice will flow over there, but that’s not the whole story. When a website gets a link to it, the webmaster will notice. This person will then come over to your site and check you out. If you get a link from a site, you check out the site linking to you, right?

This is the point of SEO, getting people to your site because you have great information. By linking out you have successfully had one more person check out your site! However, the story doesn’t stop there. The webmaster comes to your site, sees that you have a lot of great information and then they might just link over to you themselves, from a post they wrote about a great site they found! Now you’re an authority for them!

Link Out and Reap the Rewards

Remember this when you’re linking out — who you link out to matters! Link out to high quality sites that are relevant to yours. Since you control the outbound links, if you link to trash, your users won’t like it and the search engines won’t like it. Though, when you know of a great site, and have found a great resource, link to it and get ready for the benefits!

Don’t want to take my word for it? Well then, check out what the experts are saying on linking out for yourself!

Google Launches Trends for Websites

Friday, June 20th, 2008 |

Google launched Google Trends for Websites today and I’m excited.

Not a lot of time today, but if you are a linkbuilder this is great news for you.

Barry Schwartz from Search Engine Land, makes a good point that I agree with:

Now, if you think like a link builder – you can use this tool to find sites that are within your “neighborhood” or industry. So if I want to find link partners for the Search Engine Roundtable, I enter in seroundtable.com, look at the related sites and ask all of them for links. Then I go to all of those sites and see who is related to them. You can, theoretically, keep expanding that list, as far is it makes sense.

Our best tool so far has been Alexa and Compete with Yahoo Site Explorer thrown in. This could change things drastically. And I personally like the price: FREE. If it is half as good as Google Analytics it will be a very helpful tool for SEO companies. Competitive reporting for the masses, so to speak. Give it a look and start thinking of the awesome power of knowledge.

Wikipedia is Still Useful for SEO

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008 |

Even though Wikipedia added nofollow tags in early 2007, backlinks you manage to snag there will still help you from an SEO standpoint. Why? One simple reason: content scrapers. Wikipedia is believed to be the most heavily scraped site in the history of the Internet.

Wikipedia SEOLet’s take this example. Say you were able to secure an external link on the Wikipedia page about cats, here. Congratulations. You just snagged a dofollow link on a PR 4 page, here. Answers.com is one of the many legitimate sites that scrapes content from Wikipedia, and it’s an authority one at that. They were nice enough to keep the content they scrape from Wikipedia dofollow. So how many backlinks will you pick up in the future from that one Wikipedia link? Too many to list, provided your link stays on Wikipedia for any length of time.

If you’re paranoid that having your link appear on a black hat scraper site will hurt you from an SEO standpoint, don’t be. The odds are against that happening in this situation. Google should be able to figure out that the only reason your link was involved with a bad neighborhood was because it appeared in content scraped from Wikipedia.

The other common opinion is that if you manage to pickup an external link on a popular or semi-popular Wikipedia page, many people will see your link and naturally create backlinks to it. Wikipedia pages do tend to get loads of Google traffic. This isn’t April 2007, so Wikipedia doesn’t rank number 1 for everything anymore, but I’m sure you’ve noticed it’s still fairly popular in the Google SERPS. And by “fairly” I mean “extraordinarily.” I’m digressing, but Wikipedia is the classic example of a site who’s success was truly driven off the back of Google. In fact, I would venture to say that if it wasn’t for Google, Wikipedia never would have entered into the mainstream.

Back on topic, finding sites that scrape Wikipedia is easy. Infinitely harder is getting external links to stick on Wikipedia. Here are two methods:

  1. Fill in missing citation gaps. Wikipedia will occasionally have sentences with a “citation needed” link after them. Create content on your site that revolves around that missing citation. If its quality is high enough, Wikipedia may let that pass as the citation.
  2. Manufacture a Wikipedia page that has high relevancy to an existing page. Link to that new page from an existing Wikipedia page. Add an external link to the new page as a reference. This has a higher probability of sticking since the page is fresh and needs sources.

Don’t let the fact that Wikipedia added nofollow tags stop you from using it in your link building endeavors.

Big Oak SEO Blog

This SEO blog is provided by Big Oak SEO, a SEO Company. Most blog posts are related to search engine optimization, short reviews, SEO tips and increasing site conversions. Email us at contact@bigoakinc.com or give us a call 804-741-6776 to see how we can help your company. More

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