How to Find Relevant Links

SEO companies have two major functions when working with their clients: optimize the site content and finding quality, relevant links. So please forgive me if you already know this simple yet effective SEO tip, I’m sure those new to the SEO game will find it helpful. This tip on link building will help you find link opportunities but it will be up to you to acquire link placement. I am posting this tip in response to a question I receive on a continuing basis from perspective clients. How do you find links? We have many methods but the simplest way to find links, that aren’t paid links, is to search for them. Searching with the right terms will increase your efficiency and success in securing the maximum number of links in the shortest time. What are these terms? I’ve listed some of the search terms we use to find good linking sources. Of course there are many others to try but this list should get you started. Search Terms to be used with your keyword or phrase: Add URL Links Resources Related sites Related urls Submit a link Submit a site Submit URL Suggest a link Suggest a site Suggest URL Suggest an URL Directory Recommended Sites Add Profile Add Site Article For example, if you are trying to find quality links to help market your website which is selling pet turtles (We bought two, Bear and Grylls, while on vacation last week.) you would type into the Google search box something like this: “add url” + pet turtles. It would give you these results Links for Pet Turtles....

SEO Titles, Using the Title Tag

Page titles are one of the most important parts of any web page, especially when performing search engine optimization. A page title is located at the very top of your browser’s window. It can bring traffic in abundance or completely isolate your site. Knowing how to properly word a page title is critical to your site’s SEO success. Let’s look at how page titles can be used to increase your site’s traffic. Snowflakes and Titles It is said no two snowflakes look exactly the same. Well, the same should be said for page titles on your site. Every page on your site should have a different focus from the other pages on your site, or you are repeating yourself and duplicating content. So if all your pages are telling a different story, shouldn’t they all have a different title? And that title should effectively reflect the content of the page. Missing an Opportunity In my daily web searches, I see many missed opportunities with poorly titled web pages. Pages simply named “Untitled” or “Untitled Document” can be found in the millions (79 million were found in a Google search). Search engines depend on titles to gather information about your web pages. And a page title without a unique description does not help the search engines – in fact, a generic page title makes the page nearly impossible to find… Putting Your Company Name in the Title Tag I’m not against putting your company name in your page title – after all, it will help build brand awareness. But, I am against putting only your company name in the title...

Underscores vs. Dashes

Update 6/10/09 – Video from Matt Cutts about the underscore vs. Dashes issue. Spaces should never be used in a URL or file names because the space character gets translated to “%20” by the browser, and this can wreak havoc with both readability and statistics or analytics programs. The question then remains, which is better to use instead of spaces, underscores “_” or dashes “-“. As far as Google is concerned Big_Oak consists of one word, “Big_Oak”, and Big-Oak consists of two words, “Big” and “Oak”. The reason Google does not treat the underscore as a word separator is because Google was created by programmers who knew that programmers often wanted to search about programming. Many computer programming languages use the underscore character in such ways that CLASS is different from _CLASS. Because of this, I always recommend using dashes instead of underscores in your filenames and URLs. Be careful not to use too many dashes in your domain name, as that could get your site flagged for other reasons. I prefer to have a domain name with no dashes, and to use dashes where appropriate in the directory and file structure. Example URL: http://www.bigoakinc.com/blog/category/52-seo-strategies/ Other things about Google to keep in mind when choosing filenames and URL structure. There is no difference between lower-case and upper-case: big oak, Big Oak, BIG OAK, and biG Oak are all the same. The ampersand “&” is a word seperator: Big&Oak is treated as two words. Singular words are not the same as plural words: oak and oaks are treated as different words. Google cannot read words that are within other words:...

Keep Fresh Content on Your Homepage

Adding fresh content to your site and your homepage is an often heard bit of advice from SEO consultants and advice columns. Yes, It is a good idea to keep your content up-to-date and fresh, but using information that isn’t pertinent to your site such as a weather feed or generalized information you can find on a host of other sites, it isn’t likely to draw much attention from the search engines. You need something more substantial and more on topic with your site. Look for content that speaks to your audience. For example, maybe you own an SEO company and adding new content to your home page looks like a good idea. Well, if you write a blog on a consistent basis then your own blog posts can become homepage content through an RSS feed. As a matter of fact we have implemented this very tactic today on our own home page. If you look at the Big Oak homepage you will see an area that is displaying an RSS feed of this blog (SEO Blog) with a snippet from the two most recent blog posts. Now we have content that will change whenever this SEO blog is updated and most of the time the posts will be on topic. The search engines will notice my home page changes frequently and visit more often and give our site a higher value because of this. If you aren’t an avid blogger, you can add content from other blogs or from search result and news feeds, but this can draw traffic from your site if your visitors follow links included...

SEO and Flash

Flash-based sites have problems with SEO or “Skip This Intro” Update: I laughed out loud after reading this post theGoogleCache.com. View the Should I Make a Flash Site Flowchart? Using Flash is a slippery slope, even Adobe’s Flash page is light on the Flash. I hesitate to bring up this topic as it can be very heated. Why, I myself used to be an avid Flash developer about 8 years ago. But back then not many people understood the concept of SEO or Internet Marketing and Google was just a twinkle in the Internet’s watchful eye. Well, now SEO has become one of the fasting growing industries on the Internet and Flash has lost some of it’s…well, Flash. In other words, more often than not, we search frantically for the “Skip This Intro” button when we see animation start flying around the screen. If not the first time then definitely the second time. We don’t have time for Flash intros and tedious downloads in today’s world. We want information and we want it fast. Flash is contrary to this in many cases. Don’t get me wrong, I like Flash, and think it can be helpful and entertaining of sites for entertainment, gaming and site’s that have inherit brand popularity such as Coca-Cola. Most of us running a business on the web need visitors, customers, users and clients coming to our sites. Truth is though, it is hard to find a Flash website vs. a non-Flash website. Yes, I know that Flash can be indexed, I also know that an HTML site will beat a Flash site every time when...