Six “Secrets” to SEO Success

 I recently spoke with a potential client interested acquiring our SEO services and when I said that SEO really isn’t that complicated he raised an eyebrow. I followed by saying that search engine optimization doesn’t have any big secrets or tricks that only we SEO consultants know. It common sense applied with industry knowledge – knowledge that can be with due diligence and research. So with that in mind, I am revealing the “Six Secrets of SEO Success” and I’m doing it all for free. Research Your Keyword Phrases. Invest the time and do your research. What do users type in the search engines when looking for services or products on your site. We use a few tools such as WordTracker, Keyword Discovery and Google’s Keyword Planner tool among others to find out what keyword phrases are best to target. Never assume you know which keywords to target until you do the research. I guarantee you will learn something about your business and your target audience when you do. Finding a keyword you didn’t realize was being searched on can add visitors and increase conversions. Design an SEO-Friendly Website. I cringe every time I see an all Flash site and I’m asked to achieve high rankings for said site. As much as Flash can hurt a site for rankings there are other things to be aware of, such as: sparse text, poorly written code, javascript on your pages, 404 errors, using graphics instead of text, javascript navigation, deeply nested pages and pages that can’t be found by clicking a link are just a few. Make sure a someone with...

Link to Your Home Page Correctly

The last few tips have been a little longer than I planned when I originally came up with the idea to post one SEO tip per week. On the other hand I wanted the SEO tips to have some meat to them so I’m okay with making the posts more than a few sentences. But I thought I’d give everyone a break and do a tip that was short and sweet, but very important, of course. Be sure to provide a link to your home page. Pure genius, right? Of course we all know we should do this, but how you do it is just as important. I think examples work best so here are some ways not to link to your home page. Let’s assume your page filename is index.html. <a href=”/index.html”>Home</a> <a href=”http://www.mysite.com/index.html”>Home</a> What is wrong with this you say? The problem is linking to the filename. Always link to the root address. Your links on your site and any external links pointing to your site’s home page should look something like this. <a href=”/”>Home</a> <a href=”http://www.mysite.com/”>Home</a> The reason we do this is so the search engines don’t split our PageRank to multiple web addresses of our home page. If all the links are pointing to the root address (http://www.mysite.com) then all the PageRank will be gathered in the root address and not split between the root address and the filename (http://www.mysite.com/index.html). Get on the Same Page Be sure all the links on your site point to the root and check them to be sure; even images on your site should follow this advice. It doesn’t matter...

Duplicate Content & URL Canonicalization

Before we get into this week’s tip, let me provide a definition for the term Canonicalization. “It is the process of converting data that has more than one possible representation into a “standard” canonical representation.” For SEO purposes this means it creates a definitive and unique page to represent more than one possible page on your site. You want to avoid duplicate pages on your site. Sometimes duplicate content is a result of two pages sharing the same information in two different files. Sometimes you have duplicate content because of the technology causing two different urls point to the same page. Both of these problems have simple solutions. It is important to correct this because search engines want to show only unique web pages and text. If your site has multiple pages with the same content possibly through a Content Management System (CMS) or through duplicate navigation, or because it actually exists in multiple versions, you are could be hurting your search engine ranking results. We all know how important linking is to any SEO campaign and if links pointing to different urls of the same information your link value will be diluted because 2 incoming links may point to one version and 3 links to another. It would be much better for all 5 links to point to one url. 301 Re-Direct to the Rescue The solution is to take any current duplicate pages and use a 301 re-direct to point all versions to a single, “canonical” version of the content or web page. Most often this problem can be found on a site’s homepage. For example: Search...

Create Content Rich Web Pages

Content rich means different things for different individuals, because what one person finds useful, another may not. Content rich is all about providing information that is considered valuable to your target audience. Information that visitors might find useful could consist of product or industry facts, statistics, reviews, tutorials, or educational information related to a specific industry. When creating a content rich website, do not be afraid to think outside of the box. Unique ideas will generally garner more attention than the mundane and more common content concepts. Over the years the unique content that has garnered the most attention, the Subservient Chicken and JibJab, may not be appropriate for a business website, there are still lots of “out of the box” things that you can do. Here are some ideas on how you can build content for your website that will attract website visitors. Calendar of Events If you website appeals to a specific audience manage and maintain a calendar of events. The events should relate to a specific region or topic. Ex. Librarian Events – http://www.infotoday.com/calendar.shtml (topic specific events) Sponsorships and Contests Conducting a contest is a great way to generate interest and incoming links, everyone wants to win and in order to garner votes many competitors will tell their audience about contests and voting options. Example: Software Marketing Resource targets software developers and software marketers. They recently held ‘Software Vendor Awards’. Software developers and marketers were invited to nominate the companies they felt were worthy. The same audience was then given the opportunity to vote on the top nominees, and finally, winners were announced. Each stage of...

Six Strategies for RSS Feed Promotion

With so many strategies in the SEO world, using RSS Feeds can often be overlooked. This article on RSS Feeds can help you understand how effective RSS can be towards the SEO and Internet Marketing of your site. Top 6 Strategies To Put Your RSS Feed Promotion On Steroids As I wrote in one of my previous articles, the orange revolution has begun. RSS is here and it has taken the internet by storm. The number of webmasters becoming a part of this online revolution is growing on a fast pace. The reason is, RSS feeds have proved to increase traffic in a big way. And creating your own RSS feed would surely be a step towards tapping in a new source of traffic. However, just publishing your own RSS feed and waiting for miracles to happen won’t work. In order to get those most wanted subscribers, RSS feeds need to be promoted and marketed in the right way. With a good dose of quality traffic directed towards your feed, long term subscriptions will definitely start pouring in. The following 6 ways will not only help you get the word out about your RSS feed but also help you retain a fresh flow of targeted visitors to your website. Strategy #1: Create an individual webpage for your RSS feed The most important part of your promotion should be creating a webpage dedicated to your RSS feed. Since RSS is still new to most of the online users, you can give your readers an introduction and explain how beneficial it is to subscribe to your RSS feed. You can also...