Special Shakespir Edition
All you need to know about SEO
[The Ultimate Guide for Small
© 2016 The Wordpress Genie
Special Shakespir Edition
All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except as permitted by UK copyright law.
Published by The Wordpress Genie at Shakespir
A special thank you to Lucia Koloziova for her excellent contributions to the book. She has provided excellent ideas, content and wisdom and has been a pleasure to work with from start to finish.
Check out our ever expanding list of guides and books at:
Cover by Kane Georgiou.
Chapter 1: What is Search Engine Optimization
How you interact with Search Engines
The importance of online presence for your business
How Search Engines Rank Websites
Chapter 2: Components of search engine optimization
Managing Your SEO
Page Image and Video
Chapter 3: The SEO Foundation
Chapter 4: Basics of search engine friendly website design
Chapter 5: Starting with keyword research
Starting with Keyword Research
Localizing your keywords
Use Local SEO to Help You Rank Higher
Free Keyword Tools
Optimized Content Structure
Long Tail Keywords
Understanding Searcher Intent
Chapter 6: On-page SEO: Optimizing your website for results
Chapter 7: Off page search engine optimization
Chapter 8: Optimizing your website for devices
Chapter 9: Leveraging social media to make your business shine
Google+/Google My Business
Bing AdCenter and Yahoo Gemini
The Popularity Factor
Chapter 10: Black Hat vs White Hat
Chapter 11: The Power of Content – Content is King
Chapter 12: Measuring your online performance through analytics
Sales Funnels or Conversion Funnels
Google URL Builder
Google Webmaster Tools
Analyzing Your Site
Chapter 13: 12-week SEO checklist for your business
Week 1 – Prioritize Core Keywords
Week 2 – Assign Core Keywords to Pages
Week 3 – Install Tools
Week 4 – Website Architecture
Week 5 – Basic Global On-page SEO
Week 6 – Directory Submission
Week 7 – Detailed On-Page Optimization
Week 8 – Create Content Strategy
Week 9 – Usability Issues
Week 10 – Build Links
Week 11 – Local SEO
Week 12 – Study Key Reports
Appendix: The Ultimate SEO Checklist
Let’s start off by going into what marketing was like before. Traditional mediums of marketing such as print ads, billboards, radio ads etc have been around since commerce existed around the early 1900s. Basically, ever since there has been something to sell, marketing has existed. For most of the time since existence, marketing has been offline and through mediums such as posters, billboards, print ads in newspapers or magazines, radio etc.
These mediums still prevail, but come the late 1990s, the internet came into existence and online became a whole new medium to market through. SEO, PPC, Content Marketing were all in the early phases of development at that time. Social media came into play a bit later in the early 2000s. Presently, various elements of digital marketing are in full play and it is more important than ever for your business to have a strong presence online. Considering the scope of the Internet, being found is now more important than ever. The Internet is accessible to almost anyone and you need to take advantage of that.
Thus it is very important to not only concentrate on traditional methods such as print ads, radio etc., but to explore the online world for your marketing efforts. There are over 3 billion Internet users worldwide and more than 70% of them use it daily! If your business is not online, think of all the possible customers you’re losing out on and all the money you’re not making!
Your business could make 10, 20, 30 who knows how many times more money with a digital presence.
Today, every business is dependent on the Internet for a share of their business. With so much competition online, SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the key for your web success. It includes various elements of Internet marketing, but starts with the basics that every business should be aware of.
SEO is critical for your business as it boosts your website ranking and places it in the top of the search engine results. Well-written content with a combination of the right keyword is essential for a successful SEO campaign. As an online business owner or simply if you have a website online, you want two things: traffic directed to your website, and the conversion rate of traffic to sales. SEO tactics were developed to solve both purposes. For a successful Web marketing campaign, you need to consider many points to achieve success over the Internet. Our web-marketing checklist will brief you through every pointer that is required for an effective web marketing campaign. You can take a print out of this checklist and tick the required steps that you have accomplished.
If you have a website online, it is necessary to analyze it. The course of this guide will help you to learn SEO strategies from scratch and achieve high ranking in all the prominent search engines. This book provides a simple yet practical approach to search engine optimization. If you are a new business owner or have just started your website, this guide will provide you with step-by-step instructions on ranking your website ahead of your competition. I have also added a 12 week crisp plan at the end of the book along with a checklist that will get you started in no time.
What is Search Engine Optimization
SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of managing the content of your website or blog so that it performs well on search engines and ranks highly on that coveted first page of Google, Yahoo or Bing. Yes, the latter two are still relevant.
Google’s job is to display the most relevant websites for a given search term, and if that is not your website, you should probably examine your SEO elements.
However, it is important to understand some of the questions that Google is asking about your website when they are deciding where you will rank in the list.
How you interact with Search Engines
How people use search engines has evolved over the years, but the primary principles of conducting a search remain largely unchanged. Most search processes go something like this:
1. Experience the need for an answer, solution, or piece of information.
2. Formulate that need in a string of words and phrases, also known as “the query.”
3. Enter the query into a search engine.
4. Browse through the results for a match.
5. Click on a result.
6. Scan for a solution, or a link to that solution.
7. If unsatisfied, return to the search results and browse for another link or …
8. Perform a new search with refinements to the query.
The importance of online presence for your business
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process of raising the visibility of a company’s website in a search engine. This process is also known as the natural or organic method of having your website appear in a search engine.
A websites rank on any given search engine will dramatically affect the number of visitors it receives. Take Google, for example. The difference in the number of visitors a website receives when they rank on Google’s first page of search results will always be significantly larger than if a website were to rank on Google’s second page of search results. Depending on the topic of the search, most people using search engines will be able to find the answers or material they are searching for somewhere within the first page of search results.
SEO also affects many different kinds of media, including images, videos, academic searches, local searches, and news related searches, each possessing unique characteristics and criteria for what makes a search rank higher on any given search engine.
It’s not nearly as confusing or technical as it might seem. Many professional internet marketing service providers will develop a strategy for ranking high in a search engine by first finding out how that search engine works and the formulas they use to rank different websites. Then, by finding out what keywords or terms people are actually searching for, those keywords can be targeted by a business in an industry related to that keyword in order to increase the businesses search engine rank.
Most basic strategies of SEO will revolve around the use of appropriate keywords, including editing the HTML of any given webpage, optimizing the webpage’s content in order to meet the search engine’s criteria for a higher search rank, increasing the number of backlinks, and many more SEO strategies which we will be discussing in this book.
Alright, now that we have the basics sorted, let us cover the burning question, “How do search engines help your business?” To answer that, let me throw some numbers first.
So what does these statistics tell us? Search is very, very popular growing at a fast pace of 20% a year, reaching every household, and billions of people around the globe. Higher search engine ranking is critical to visibility. Being listed in the top results not only provides laser-focused traffic for your business, but also instills trust in consumers. Therefore, it is imperative to learn the foundation of SEO in achieving these goals.
How Search Engines Rank Websites
Search engines decide rankings on what is called the results page. You will sometimes see me use the term SERP, which is the acronym for Search Engine Results Page. In a Google search, the search engine makes its decisions based on signals from websites and the person searching.
• Who is searching?
• What has this person searched for before?
• Where is the person located?
• What [_exactly _]is this person searching for currently?
• Which site offers the best information possible?
• Are people talking about any of those websites on social networks?
• Are people linking to or buying from any of these websites?
• Where is this business located with regard to the searcher?
• How current is the information on the website?
• Are there categories or pages on the website dedicated to the topic?
• Have other people come to this website for the same keyword search, then turned around and left without clicking anything else?
• Does the site have excessive spelling and grammatical errors?
• Does the site have coding issues?
• Do relevant popular or authority sites link to the site?
• How long has the website been online?
This is only a partial list of potentially hundreds of questions that it considers. When you understand the thought process of search engines, it will be easy to identify areas where your website is lacking.
We will put these questions under the microscope as we move forward.
Crawling and Indexing
Before we delve into this, I want to briefly discuss the terms crawling and indexing. Crawling is how the search engines access your website and document what is there. It’s how they discover how your website is set up, what sections are there, what is on each page, what links are there, how big the pages are, the verbiage and content on each page, and more.
That documentation process is referred to as indexing. It is just like a library except that it not only knows the book titles and authors, but the content of every page of every book.
The term crawling was born out of the phrase world wide web that creates a visual of a spider “web” and the search engine bots were given the name spiders since it’s their job to crawl the web.
Hence crawling. Original, right?
Google’s Search Quality Rating
Google hires many individuals to look over the millions of websites that exist and rate them using a search quality evaluation guide that explains what Google’s expectations are for websites.
The analysts they hire are given this guide to gauge what they refer to as a Page Quality (PQ) rating and Needs Met (NM) rating.
Let’s talk a little about the Page Quality rating first.
Page Quality (PQ) Rating
In Google’s guidelines, the goal of the Page Quality rating is “determine how well a page achieves its purpose.” The Google analyst reviews your website page by page and has to understand the purpose of your website.
Is it to sell products or services?
Is it to inform the user and provide news?
Does it perform a function such as offer a calculator or help the user compare items?
Is it just to entertain?
Essentially Google needs you to properly communicate what your website is offering to the user and the job of the analysts is to assess what your goal is for your website.
Google search analysts judge page quality from Lowest to Highest with stops in between such as Lowest+, Medium, Medium+, up to Highest. That means that there is a lot of room for interpretation.
One of the main things that they are instructed to view is the main content of your website to see how relevant it is for the topic. They are supposed to test your shopping cart (if you have one) to make sure that it is in working order or play any games that may be on your site to test the functionality and entertainment value.
However, the primary score is really based on your focus. If your website is filled with content that is difficult to read and scatter-brained, that will not send good signals to their search evaluators. They expect to see that your main content focus is “front and center” as soon as your home page opens.
That being said, a user should see what your website is about immediately without any need to dig around for it. They also will look for a good amount of contact information on your About Us page, Contact page regarding the people responsible for the site content.
The primary reasoning for this is that websites that are designed to scam people out of money will not normally provide ways for the visitor to contact them. They do not want to be reached.
So what type of website would get the highest quality ranking? According to Google, the highest quality websites have a super high-demonstrated expertise, talent, authoritativeness, or trustworthiness on the topic. Likewise, you should also have a good public [* *](which we’ll talk about later).
Your expertise on a topic will vary somewhat on topics such as music or humor-based websites, but you will be held to a higher formal standard when you specialize in medical, legal, or financial areas.
If your website “could potentially impact the future happiness, health, or wealth of users», they refer to your website as a Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) page. YMYL pages are websites where people can make financial transactions, transfer money, get financial information, obtain legal advice, medical information, etc.
Anything that can affect a person’s life is given the YMYL tag and receives intense scrutiny simply because it has the potential to ruin someone’s life.
It would benefit you to make sure that your credentials are easily found if you are specializing in these types of websites.
Low Quality Sites
You probably would like to know what websites Google views as a low quality website and it is exactly what you would expect.
• Poor quality content.
• A lot of grammatical and spelling errors.
• Not useful to the visitors.
• The sub-content (content other than your home page) is distracting and not helpful.
• The sub-content does not contribute to the overall content.
• It’s not trustworthy or authoritative.
• A lot of negative reputation (discussed later).
• There is not a lot of good content from a quantity standpoint.
• The site needs a lot of updates and maintenance (broken images, missing pages, etc.)
Google will be looking to see if you have put any time into the content or just put up some content with minimal work. They want to see that you have actually put some effort into putting together something useful to the visitor and that it is good quality content.
In regards to any type of website that is designed to trick the search engines or users, it will pretty much be given the lowest possible rating out of the gate without question.
Websites that are set up on misspellings of popular domains and pretend that they are the actual site (such as Ebay or a bank) are examples of the type of sites that fall into this “trickery” category.
Maybe the user mistyped a URL such as Evay, instead of Ebay, and someone has designed a site that looks similar to Ebay in order to trick them into providing confidential information.
This is the type of activity that will get you the title of Low Quality.
[* Needs Met (NM) Rating*]
The Needs Met (NM) rating is granted to websites based on whether a person’s needs are met on mobile devices.
If your website offers hotel reservations, can a person make that reservation on their phone?
If your website shows reviews of movies, can the user see the movie review on their mobile device?
Dependent on how your website meets that need will decide where your website falls on the Needs Met rating bar which starts at the lowest rating which is Fails To Meet and goes up to the highest rating which is Fully Meets.
To know whether your website meets the needs of mobile users, simply ask yourself, “What is my website designed to do?” and once you have your answer, then ask yourself, “Can a visitor do that task on their mobile phone?”
If they can but it is fairly difficult because the text is too small to read or the links that are too close together to click, you would probably fall somewhere near the lower end of the Needs Met rating scale. Test your website using Google’s mobile testing tool and better yet, view your website on your mobile phone.
Just because your website shows up on your mobile device does not mean that it is mobile friendly. Visit Google’s mobile tool to see if your website is what Google refers to as mobile compliant.
You Are What You E-A-T
Google also looks at what they refer to as an E-A-T rating, which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, or Trustworthiness (E-A-T).
This is exactly what it sounds like. Are you an expert in regards to your topic? Do other websites link to you as an authority on the topic? Is the information you offer trustworthy or filled with erroneous information that can mislead the visitor? All of this is considered when the analyst reviews your website to assess what your E-A-T rating is going to be.
It’s important to quickly address reputation management because as part of the evaluation process Google will analyze what [_other _]people say about your website. This includes Google Reviews, the Better Business Bureau, websites such as Yelp and other review sites that may be applicable to your industry like UrbanSpoon or Hotels.com.
There are many review websites out there so it is important to know exactly how Google’s search analysts are finding the reviews about your website. While there is a part of Google’s engine that analyzes external links, in this case, there is an actual person that is looking at the reviews that people have posted about you and your website.
There are , which will give you an idea of how crucial it is to keep things under control when people review your business.
If you want to find out what may be out there about your business, below is how Google instructs their analysts to locate your reviews, so this is a good practice to find those potentially damaging reviews.
We will use as an example to show you how they would find reviews. You should use these to locate any negative reviews and handle them in a professional manner.
Open Google.com and in the search window, put the following;
[* [funkatopia -site:funkatopia.com] *]
This search (with the brackets) does a search for any mentions of Funkatopia, but will not include anything it finds on Funkatopia.com.[* *]
[* [funkatopia.com -site:funkatopia.com] *]
Same as the example above, but this is looking for websites mentioning the Funkatopia website address specifically.
[* [funkatopia reviews -site: funkatopia.com] *]
This searches for reviews mentioning Funkatopia, but not on the Funkatopia site. And lastly, for reviews mentioning Funkatopia.com,
[* [funkatopia.com reviews -site:funkatopia.com] *]
Components of search engine optimization
There are many tips and techniques that small business owners can use to improve their website’s overall rankings in search engines. In this section, we will discuss some basic strategies every business owner can use to quickly and efficiently improve their search rankings.
It may take a little bit of practice, but once you understand the basic mechanisms behind SEO and how they work, you are essentially building up your arsenal of digital marketing firepower which will improve virtually every aspect of your business.
One of the best parts of optimizing your website for search engines in order to achieve a higher rank in search results is that anyone can do it. Use these simple strategies in order to boost your SEO as part of your digital marketing strategy.
Getting indexed, or ranked highly by a search engine, is a process which is unique to each search engine. Although the top search engines, including Google, Bing, and Yahoo, all use similar algorithms to index websites, the variation between how they go about ranking websites in their list of search results is only slightly different.
Two of the major directories for indexing websites, including the Yahoo directory and DMOZ, both require manual submission and real human editorial review in order to be indexed. Google, on the other hand, offers Google Webmaster Tools, including an XML sitemap which can be created and submitted for free to ensure that all pages on a particular website are discovered.
When submitting a website to be indexed, the search engine crawlers look at a number of factors on the website. Additionally, not every page on the website will be indexed by the search engine. The distance of a page from the homepage is one such factor considered by crawlers when indexing a website.
Webmasters can also instruct search engine spiders not to crawl through certain directories or files of a website. This is done through commands given in a robots.txt file in the root directory or homepage of the website. Additionally, a webpage and be explicitly excluded from a search engine’s database just by using the meta tags specific to robots. The robots.txt file is then parsed, and will instruct the robot as to which pages are not to be crawled. As a search engine crawler may keep a cached copy of this file, it may on occasion crawl pages a webmaster does not wish crawled. Pages typically prevented from being crawled include login specific pages such as shopping carts and user-specific content such as search results from internal searches. In March 2007, Google warned webmasters that they should prevent indexing of internal search results because those pages are considered search spam.
Managing Your SEO
There are many apps, plugins and widgets which can be seamlessly added to your website to help manage your SEO. While there are many SEO management plugins available on the internet, the free “SEO by Yoast” plugin is world renown for being the most user-friendly and the most effective at boosting the SEO for individual pages. This plugin is free for download at the Wordpress widget store or at their website here. By using the “SEO by Yoast” feature, you can quickly and easily input all of the following data for individual pages with absolutely no knowledge of coding or HTML.
All of the following information is a vital part of creating a webpage that is optimized for results according to search engines. While it is not just a single thing that is important while increasing the SEO and ranking of your webpage, but a combination of all of these things which will give your website as a whole a better rank of the top search engines used today. When building a new page or post on your website, consider all of the following in order to optimize it for search engine ranking.
Everything revolves around your focus keyword. This should be your mantra when working at improving your SEO. Not only should you have anywhere from 7 to 10 keywords in mind for your company’s website, but you need at least one focus keyword for every piece of new content you publish to your website. This is especially important for individual products or services. Ask yourself, “If I were a customer, what would I type into Google to find this page?”
For now, let’s just focus on the focus keywords of each individual post on your webpage. You should choose one keyword which will be consistently used throughout the entire post on your webpage. This could be a single word or a short phrase. The best focus keywords used when creating a new post are less than 40 characters and used multiple times in multiple places throughout your post, as we will soon see.
Let’s use the focus keyword “Buy Throwing Knives” as an example. This focus keyword would be great if you ran a website that talked about different tips and techniques on how to properly use throwing knives if you are adding a new page which offers readers some of the best deals on throwing knives. If this were a very specific page referring to the best throwing knives you could buy from our website, we would consider using the focus keyword “Buy Quality Throwing Knives”. Similarly, if we were talking about some of the best prices on throwing knives, we would talk about “Buy Cheap Throwing Knives”. Basically, the more focused your focus keyword, the better.
As always, it is also important to consider what search engine users will be looking for when you want your page to pop up on the first page of search results. This becomes much easier to do as your focus keywords become more narrowed.
So, for our example, let’s stick with “Buy Throwing Knives”.
Note that the author does not use nor sell throwing knives and all examples and photos are strictly for informational purposes.
You might not be surprised to learn that the titles of your pages can significantly affect that page’s ranking in a search engine. Page titles are the actual text displayed in search results. For this reason, you want to come up with a page title that is attractive for search engine users who are looking for your focus keyword.
A page’s title must be relevant to the keywords or search terms a person has entered into the search engine in order for your website to appear in the search results. Page titles which do not have the focus keyword used will not appear in the persons search results. In addition to including the focus keyword, it is important that the page title accurately describes the actual content within the page.
When creating a title or headline for your webpage, make sure that it is not too long but not too short. Around 35 characters is the sweet spot. Short page titles tend to be too vague to be picked up by a search engine’s top results, while long page titles will not fit on a search results page and end with an ellipsis…
We will discuss the text that appears under the headline in search engines in just a bit.
In our throwing knife website example, we would title the page simply “Buy Throwing Knives” or even “Buy Throwing Knives at discount prices” or “Buy Throwing Knives wholesale”. The important part to remember is that the focus keyword is included in our new post title. Search engines also prioritize pages where the focus keyword is used first instead of in the middle or toward the end. For example, “What are the best places to Buy Throwing Knives?” Would not rank as highly in search engines as the former webpage titles because the focus keyword is used last. Similarly, focus keywords cannot be broken up. If you were to use the title, “Buy the best Throwing Knives”, the search engine would not recognize this title as including your focus keyword and a webpage with this title would rank much lower than a page with the title “Buy Throwing Knives”.
By making your page title’s unique, original and specific, you greatly increase your chance of appearing on the first page of a search engine.
A page’s description meta tag gives search engines a summary of what the page is about. Where a page title might be about 50 characters, and meta tag description can be up to 150 characters long. If your webpage does not contain a meta description, some search engines will simply use the first few words of your webpage, where others will search the entire webpage in order to find relevant search terms. Both are not great for the SEO of your webpage and by adding a meta description which includes your focus keyword, your page will have more authority in search engines.
The meta description is located just under the page’s title or headline in search results. This is also true when inputting this information in a new page on your company’s website.
A meta description is a brief summary of the page’s content. As with page titles, it is vital that the meta description include the focus keyword. Meta descriptions are limited to around 150 characters, but they must be more than 120 characters in order to provide a good description which will rank well in search engines.
In our Throwing Knife website example, a good meta description would look like:
“Buy Throwing Knives Today! We have reviewed and compared all of the best throwing knives on the market, all of which are available here.”
This meta description has 136 characters – the perfect amount to rank high in a search engine. It also includes our focus keyword, which is vital to appear on a search engine’s first page of results.
Meta descriptions also appear when other people share your page’s link on social networks, such as if someone were to post this webpage to Facebook.
A page’s URL is just as important, if not more important, than the page’s title and headline. By default, the URL for your webpage will mirror that of your page’s title with several exceptions. As with some blog posts, the URL might contain the date or category under which the webpage is being posted on your website’s directory. If this is the case, be sure to edit your page’s URL before publishing your new webpage post. If your website uses Wordpress, this can also be changed in the Page Settings to automatically format all page URLs to resemble the same as the page’s title.
By creating descriptive categories and filenames for the documents on your website, you can not only keep it better organized, but it could also lead to better and more efficient crawling of your webpage by search engines. It is also easier and more friendly for people browsing your website if they were so inclined to share your webpage. Extremely long URLs which appear in search results are often intimidating to search engine users since the page URL is also displayed in search results for all search engines.
For best webpage URL generation, consider this: If you can’t immediately memorize and recite the URL to a friend, don’t use it. if you find that your page URL contains a jumble of letters and numbers, it will not rank as high in search engines as a clear and concise page URL.
Again, it is important that your focus keyword appear somewhere within your page’s URL in order to get the very best SEO out of your webpage.
In the case of our Throwing Knife website, a URL which simply uses the focus keyword, is a good choice for high SEO.
By choosing a URL for your webpage that is easy on the eyes, you effectively make your website easier to navigate by users while simultaneously ranking it higher in a search engine.
Obvious the content of your webpage also provides a very important magnet for quality SEO. In order to achieve the highest possible SEO, the content of your webpage not only has to provide real, tangible value to the reader, but there are a number of things you must remember to do during the course of writing your content.
In regards to the length, you definitely want each page on your website to have at least 300 words, but preferably 500 to 1,000 words per page. This tells search engines that there could be a wealth of content here. There is no maximum amount of words you can use and you will not be penalized for using a lot of text, but if you have a 10,000-word book in a post on your website, that might not be ideal for search engines. In any case, as your word count rises on one of your webpages, so should the frequency of your focus keyword. This is called keyword density. A good rule of thumb is to keep your keyword density around 1%, so be sure to use your focus keyword one for every 100 words.
Back on the subject of focus keywords, you should use the same focus keyword you chose at the start of your post frequently throughout the content of your post. Keep in mind that it needs to be spelt exactly as you have in the “focus keyword” field. The frequency of use also has an effect on your website’s value to search engines. you should aim to have your focus keyword appear anywhere from 5 to 10 times throughout your content. You will be penalized if it appears more than 13 times on one page. This is considered keyword stuffing to most search engines and will reduce the value of your content to search engines.
Another thing to remember to do while writing the content for your webpage is to include subheadings and have then appear in a heading font, as pictured above. These headings should also contain your focus keyword.
In order to add value and authority to your webpage content, you should include at least one outbound link and one internal link. This means that you have one hyperlink that exits your site, such as a reference to a research article. Also be sure to include a link to another part of your website, or an inbound link. Having both of these in one post can significantly improve the authority of your website.
When you have successfully saturated your post with all of the appropriate uses of SEO, you can use the “Page Analysis” tab if you are suing the handy “SEO by Yoast” plugin to see if everything matches up. In the Page Analysis tab, all of the little circles should be green.
Page Image and Video
Webpages which use a single featured image appearing in their post enjoy a slight boost in SEO. It’s easy to add at least one image to each section of your website in order to not only make the visitor’s experience better through use of appropriate images, but it will also make the search engine’s experience better in terms of the SEO on your webpage.
When it comes to adding a featured image to your webpages, you’ll want to make sure that the photo is as high of a resolution as possible without taking up too much bandwidth. Obviously, this all depends on the context of your webpage. If we had a gallery of 20 images, we would use thumbnails for all of them. If we are only using one featured image, we will make sure that the resolution is around 2000 by 1000. There is no penalty for using an image with an extremely high resolution, however, if your website is slow to load, visitors might grow impatient and back out of your website. The minimum requirement for any photo is at least 200 × 200 pixels.
When adding an image to your webpage you are allowed to enter a title, caption, and alt text for your featured image. Make sure that all of these include your focus keyword.
For our example, where our focus keyword is “Buy Throwing Knives”, we will add a picture of a throwing knife set we have listed for sale on our website. Under the Alt Text field in our image, we will type in our focus keyword, “Buy Throwing Knives”, in order to make sure that the image is picked up by search engines as well.
If we were to add a video, the same principles apply. In order to prevent slow loading times, the best way to present a video on websites is to upload it to a third party platform, such as YouTube, then simply embed the share link into our new post. Naturally, our video will include our focus keyword somewhere in the text as well.
Have you ever been lost while driving down the road, only to pull up Google Maps, type in your direction, and be fed a series of confusing, even more awkward direction than the actual route to your destination? That is what Google thinks of websites which are difficult for their crawlers to navigate. And if a search engine can’t navigate your website, how do you think your users feel?
The navigation of a webpage is as crucial for search engines as it is for the visitors to your webpage. Optimizing the navigation of your webpage also helps search engines understand the context of your website content and layout.
For the best website navigation organization, plan to build your website’s other pages around your homepage. The homepage of your website is the root from which all of the other sub-page grow. Think about what makes sense to visitors of your webpage in terms of the layout. You don’t want ten differed sub-directories for a single category on your menu bar at your homepage. If you have multiple pages containing similar content, consider condensing them into a single directory of sub-page on your website. The more organized and logical the flow of navigation on your website, the easier it is for both visitors to your website and search engines to navigate.
Avoid using images to access parts of your website. Instead, opt for a text only menu system. Try to avoid too many drop down menus, as some of the content, if placed too far into the menu system, will not be accessible by search engine crawlers.
In addition to creating a logical flow on your website, having a sitemap accessible at the footer or bottom of your website can be handy for both visitors and search engines, especially if you have a website which requires numerous menus and sub-directories.
As a reminder, this is what a search result will look like when someone searches for a keyword:
Webpage Title for Focus Keyword
Meta description including focus keyword.
Adding a Google security code to your website will tell search engine users that your website is secure for them to browse. This is also an important part of SEO, as many search engine users will skip over a search result that is not secure by Google or any other search engine.
Back to the subject of keywords – the most important part of improving your website’s SEO. For your website URL to appear in search engines, ask yourself, “What will our customers, readers, or audience search for in order to find us?”
Does your website sell women’s swimwear? Do you offer a unique music streaming service for artists? Do you provide your readers with information on how to improve the SEO of their websites? Think of relevant search keywords people will use when you want your website to pop-up as the first result in search engines.
These keywords are especially handy if you are considering launching a Pay Per Click ad campaign, but also nice to have targeted keywords you use on your homepage, website’s meta tag description, and in all content you post throughout your website in order to ensure that there is a conform sense of authority in the eyes of search engines.
Search engines, specifically Google, now give higher rankings to websites which are mobile friendly, even when they are being searched via a non-mobile device. This is why it is important that your website has a mobile friendly configuration which can be indexed by search engines.
Mobile versions of websites not only use different formatting than desktop websites accessed of either desktop computers, laptops, tablets, or other devices, but the management methods and expertise required are also very different on mobile sites. Even if your website is mobile device friendly, it might not be search engine friendly. This is where having applied all of the prior practices come in hand.
Mobile sites not indexed by search engines will not even show up in the search results for even the strongest keywords on search engines. For this reason, it is important to create a mobile site map for your website as well.
Building a mobile friendly website is an important consideration that you should have from the very start. If your site is not mobile friendly, you will be missing out on a ton of visitors who regularly search for websites from their smartphones, regardless of the market or industry.
Some important considerations in making your website easily adaptable into a mobile friendly version include making sure that you don’t use any fonts or text sizes which are too large to be read on a mobile phone. All of the content on your website should flow naturally in a vertical direction, where the visitor can easily scroll downward. Content which requires visitors to scrolls horizontally to see may end up removing your website from the mobile index of many search engines.
One of the most common problems that webmasters who run both mobile and desktop versions of their website have is that the mobile version of the site will appear for desktop users, or that the desktop version will appear for mobile users. Although search engines will automatically notice the difference between the two, you set up your mobile and desktop site maps so that the two automatically redirect visitors depending on which device they are currently using. This can easily be done through the configurations setting on the backend of your website. This mobile site configuration is a very easy, but very important, step to remember when setting up your website.
The SEO Foundation
The domain name that you select, being aware of what your competition is doing, the settings you choose when setting up your website, and even where your website is hosted can have a major impact on your search engine positioning. Let’s get started.
There are that go deep into the technical aspects involved in understanding who your competitors are and how you can duplicate their successes. In my honest opinion, that is more than you need to know. I will only offer a few bits of advice.
If you are building a website for only monetary purposes, you will have a rough go of it. Ahh, but if you have passion for something and want to interact with like-minded people online, by all means, put it out there.
Do you think Gary Clark Jr. put down the guitar because he thought that Stevie Ray Vaughn or Jimi Hendrix played better? If you have a passion, bring it to the table. People are always in search of the next big thing.
If you are obsessed with knowing the competition, use tools like , , , and others available to identify where you will need links and how your content compares, among other things. Just calm your anxieties because, in the end, it is only one piece of the puzzle.
If you are entering busy arenas like wedding directories, you will be going against players like The Knot and Wedding Wire, which means that you have your work cut out for you. Major providers like them have many years’ worth of online presence, incoming links, and hundreds (if not thousands) of pages of content with more pages and posts created every day.
That is not to say that you can’t win at the game, but you should definitely analyze what they’re doing to properly benchmark your expectations. Do not do it to the point that you derail your vision. If you still have a burning passion to create something, keep moving forward.
Head to Google and do a search for the major terms that you would like to rank for and make a note about who is ranking on the first couple of results. Visit each site and make notes about what they are doing well. Also use tools to discover what areas of their websites get the most traffic.
If they run a blog, scour through their blog entries and see what types of posts get the most interactivity from their audience. It doesn’t hurt to re-enact success.
Competitive analysis should primarily be used to benchmark what you have to accomplish to be competitive in the market, but in many cases, it’s not even as much quantity as it is quality.
Choosing a Domain Name
Choosing a domain name is a tricky proposition, and potentially one of the most vital to your success. Your domain is the store sign on the front of your building (in the digital/virtual world). There are some general rules of thumb to follow.
*Keywords in the domain *
You should always attempt to have your primary keyword in your domain name, as in www.ATLWeddingPlanner.com. If you have already purchased one that doesn’t meet this criteria, don’t freak out.
While search engines dedicate a portion of their algorithm to whether the searched keyword is in the domain name, the content of the site is more influential. If you have not purchased a domain name yet, here is your chance to do it right.
If you can include the primary keyword or phrase for your business in your domain name, it can pay off. Your domain name can have a huge positive influence, especially when the rest of your SEO is operating successfully.
Exact Match Domains
Some SEO consultants might disagree about its importance, but according to findings in multiple tests we’ve done with websites that followed the other proactive practices, Exact Match Domains perform better in the rankings even with other shortcomings.
Exact Match Domain means that the domain name exactly matches the word searched.
For instance, if a searcher on Google types in “Italian Dinnerware,” and your website is ItalianDinnerware.com, you can bet that the site will rank extremely well—as long as it follows the other recommendations I will be providing to you in this book.
As previously mentioned, if you already have a domain that doesn’t contain your keywords, don’t stress. There are work-arounds and other elements that are far more important. However, if you haven’t built your website yet or your website is relatively unknown, it may be worth considering changing your domain name.
Your domain name should communicate what you deliver, whether it is a product or a service. A domain like ItalianDinnerware.com clearly describes what is sold on your site both to the user and Google.
It is also incredibly easy for a customer to remember, which brings us to our next point.
Make It Memorable
If you have to spell out or explain your domain name, you are immediately at a disadvantage.
For instance, if your website is Wedding Planning 4 U and you obtain the domain name WeddingPlanning4u.net, you’ll find yourself explaining to people: “The word for is actually the number 4 and the word you is just the letter . Oh, and it’s .net, not .com.”
The probability that a person will remember those details one or two days removed from the discussion is slim.
Use the “say it once” test. Tell someone your website address and if at any point you have to spell something out or follow it up with some sort of explanation, you might want to consider a name change.
In some cases, it works to use a niche name you may have created like Punkapoo or Zulily, but keep in mind the potential challenges, particularly in your marketing efforts.
Do not include dashes or numbers in your domain name since some studies show that most search engines do not favor them.
Another hotly debated issue is domain name length. While you can buy domains up to 67 characters in length, the truth is— the shorter the better.
That said, short domain names have become hard to register in the common like .com and .net.
Domain names that contain popular words such as Toys.com or WeddingPlanner.com are typically acquired by resellers who purchase the domains when they become available and resell them to the “highest bidder” based on a value that they feel is appropriate, which is often exorbitant.
An easy-to-remember domain name can be key to your branding. Branding is the process of establishing a unique name and image for a product into the minds of consumers. You accomplish that through TV, radio, or , which we discuss later.
Ebay, Facebook and Zappos don’t have descriptive domain names because they built the name and branding through mass marketing.
Any hurdle can be overcome because, bottom line, it is about the overall website itself. A memorable website address helps your marketing dramatically.
TLD stands for Top-Level Domain. It is the part of the domain name that comes after the last dot. For instance, in www.DrRankwell.com, .com is the TLD.
There’s a lot of debate about which TLD carries more weight, and many say that .com has the edge because over the years, people have been conditioned to type .com for most websites.
, _all _TLD’s now have equal weight, so it won’t matter if you purchase .com, .net, .guru, or .ninja, (yes, those actually exist), they will be treated equally in the eyes of Google. Until people become accustomed to typing in different TLD’s, .com addresses will always have an edge though, but not from an SEO perspective.
TLD’s like .edu and .gov also carry more weight than lesser-used TLDs, since .edu is reserved for use by education sites and .gov is dedicated to government sites. Other more common TLD’s are .net (for networks) and .org (for organizations).
The .xyz TLD is gaining significant traction since Google moved a major part of its company to a website located at www.abc.xyz, which will direct users to the new TLD and begin to get them acclimated to the newer, less common TLD.
Additionally, the .xyz TLD has a large availability of in-demand domains for purchase that can’t be acquired on the top TLDs (like .com’s) or in the least would cost a fortune to gain otherwise.
For instance, you might be able to actually purchase the domain weddings.xyz, but weddings.com has been taken for many years.
My suggestion? You should always try to obtain a .com address if it’s available, but be sure to research what is available to find relevant domain names on the various TLD’s and pick the one you prefer.
While people have been trained to go to .com addresses first, that habit is slowly changing and for the sake of this book, Google says it doesn’t make a bit of difference in your SEO efforts.
Length of Domain Registration
Once you’ve locked in your domain name, you should consider purchasing that domain for at least 3 years. Some “fly by night” companies will typically only choose a 1-year option, since their goal is to set up a quick website to scam people and disappear.
Purchasing beyond 2 years sends Google a positive signal that you are investing time, boosting the confidence that Google has in your website. If you have a limited budget, however, there is nothing wrong with buying a year at a time. Just be aware of the positive signals Google notices so that you can take advantage of them.
Subdomains and Subdirectories
You may have visited websites that have areas placed in various subdomains. A subdomain is the section of the domain name appearing before the first period and, most of the time, it’s www.
However, you can craft your website to partition certain sections of your website into subdomains.
For instance, instead of www, you may see a website set up as;
The first part of that web address (rock, classical and pop) are examples of a subdomain. In most cases, they get treated by search engines as separate websites when they appear on the search engine results pages.
[*Sub-directories *]are essentially the same concept, but they are added to the same subdomain into folders:
As you can see, the subdomain is www and it stays the same, but the part that changes is the subdirectory (rock, classical, pop).
In the search engine listings, using subdirectories will typically [_not _]generate multiple listings on a single results page. While it does happen occasionally, the frequency is much higher with subdomains than subdirectories.
Which one is best for you and offers better SEO benefits? Without a doubt, subdomains dominate. In this example below from Google, Amazon uses a combination of subdomains and subdirectories (payments, fresh, aws, etc.) to keep their content separated into distinct areas.
If you have a music website like we used in the last example, a logical subdomain setup might be:
This lets you establish and optimize those subdomains for a particular music style. By optimize, I mean that you can build up the content, title tags, images and other elements to only focus on that specific style of music on the pages in the subdirectory or subdomain. All of which we will talk about later in the book.
This practice helps to build up relevancy in the eyes of the search engines. To make this a little clearer, let’s continue with the music example.
If you establish a subdirectory for funk music on your website (funk.MyMusicWebsite.com), you would want to keep all of the content inside of that directory specifically funk related. That keeps that area clearly relevant to funk music and gives it a better shot at ranking for funk related search terms on Google.
Mixing metal or opera music into that area will only muddy up that content and make it less relevant in the eyes of the search engines, which will slowly begin to diminish its relevancy to Google as it gets muddier over time. Hopefully that makes things clearer.
Remember that subdirectories don’t have the same multiple-listing potential as subdomains, though you can still optimize each area.
Preferred URL and WWW versus non-www
Search engines view www.YourWebsite.com and YourWebsite.com (without the “www”) as two different sites. There is no advantage either way, but you must choose one.
Most browsers (Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, Chrome, etc.) add the www if the user does not enter it as part of the URL in the browser window, but there are times when it will not redirect properly.
Redirecting means that when a person goes to a specific web address, they get redirected to a different address. This is done for a variety of reasons.
Sometimes a person may change their domain name from WebsiteA.com to WebsiteB.com, but many of their visitors aren’t aware of the domain change, so they type in WebsiteA.com. When they do, they get redirected to WebsiteB.com. This way, the customers arrive at the correct website.
For the sake of what we are discussing here (preferred URL’s), you just want to let Google know if you prefer www or the address without the www. This can be handled in a couple of different ways.
Again, from an SEO perspective, there is no difference between a www site and a non-www website. It is simply a personal preference. [*Which one will work best for you? *]
If your website has been online for a while, use a service like to analyze which version is linked to more often.
If you have 1,000 links from relevant websites and online partners pointing to your website all showing www.YourWebsite.com and only a dozen pointing to YourWebsite.com, your decision is clear.
If you have no links established yet, it is solely a matter of your own personal preference.
To implement your choice for Google specifically, use Google Webmaster Tools as follows:
• Visit [ *](you set this up earlier, right?), *click the gear icon in the upper right hand corner,
• Click Site Settings.
• In the Preferred Domain section, select which one you want to use.
That is literally all you have to do for Google to note your preference.
The more comprehensive approach is to alter a file called the .htaccess file. You may need your web designer’s help with this.
There is a file in the directory of your website titled .htaccess. Download this file, open it with a text editor like Notepad, and insert the following lines of code into an empty line at the very top of bottom of the document (replace example.com with your website obviously):
RewriteCond %\’7bHTTP_HOST\’7d ^example.com [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.example.com/$1 [L,R=301,NC]
The line of code above adds www to your domain name when someone types in your domain name without it.
If you prefer the [_non-www _]version of your domain, the code is
RewriteCond %\’7bHTTP_HOST\’7d ^www.example.com [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://example.com/$1 [L,R=301,NC]
After you input the code, BE SURE to rename the original .htaccess file something like .oldhtaccess, so that you can go back to it if you make any mistakes. Then upload the new one and you are done.
If that last sentence stressed you out somewhat, just check with your website developer and they can easily help you with that process.
I know that we have delved into some pretty techy arenas up to this point, so I’m going to reign it back some and talk about SEO in a little bit more detail so that I can keep the attention of our ADD friends.
Basics of search engine friendly website design
Let’s briefly discuss certain details that grab Google’s attention like the way that your website is set up and things that you should consider in regards to your plan for growth. We will talk about the fun stuff such as in the next chapter, but where your website actually resides can have some major SEO implications.
Even if your website has already been built, you should review this section because there may be something here that could cause your rankings to perform below your expectations.
Many of us choose our home based on the neighborhood, and it’s a smart idea. If someone lives in a notoriously bad neighborhood, sometimes we make assumptions about that person’s home without even seeing it.
Choosing your website host and the type of hosting account is equally important. That’s because search engines make the same kind of assessments about the neighborhood where your website resides.
There are hundreds (if not thousands) of hosting providers on the Internet. Some entice you with free website design programs so that you can build your own website, some offer drastically low-priced hosting and services, and some have other freebie hooks.
Servers are computers just like the one you have in your home except they’re not big and bulky. They are about the size of a large laptop and they’re normally stacked in cabinets with many others. Their sole purpose is to store your website and show it to people who visit.
There are shared servers and dedicated servers. Here are the differences in the two:
A dedicated server is where only your website resides and no other websites are on that server. It is [_dedicated _]to your website alone and can be fairly costly (around $200 or so per month).
The advantages are huge because all of that computer’s resources belong to you alone and you’re not vulnerable to the problems and security issues that happen with shared servers.
Each one of these computers have what is called an IP address which is a numerical ID. On a dedicated server, there is one IP address and that address belongs to you. We’ll talk about another option called a address in a moment.
With a[* shared server*], multiple websites share the same server, IP address and available resources. If another website on that IP address is having a super-busy day and is hogging resources like bandwidth and memory, it can slow down [_your _]website.
Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transferred at one time from the server and out to your visitors computer. If too many people use that server at the same time, tasks get slowed down.
To understand how it works, a similar example may be in your home—if you have a wireless router. When too many people in the house are using your wireless connection, the connection starts slowing down and your internet access becomes painfully sluggish. The same thing happens to your website on a shared server if too many websites are sharing the same resources.
That nuance, while troublesome, is minimal when you also consider security. If you plan to have an online storefront that is going to accept credit cards and obtain personal information from your customers, a shared server is not a good idea, because you risk your website being hacked since many people use that same server.
It’s similar to sharing a home. If one person in that home leaves the front door open, the whole house can be robbed.
If you’re planning to establish your business online, choose a dedicated server instead of shared servers. If you cannot afford the higher cost of a dedicated server, at the very least, get a dedicated IP address.
Obtaining your own dedicated Internet Protocol (IP) address is the next best thing and far less expensive at only a few dollars extra per month beyond your hosting cost.
Even if you have a dedicated IP address though, you are still sharing a server with other websites, which creates those same security issues.
If you’re already on a shared server because you simply didn’t realize the risks beforehand, you should use an online tool like You Get Signal at http://www.yougetsignal.com/tools/web-sites-on-web-server/. Type in your website address and you’ll see all of the other websites sharing your IP address.
What does this have to do with SEO? Google knows if you are on your own dedicated server, if you have a dedicated IP address, or if you’re sharing everything with other sites. A dedicated server sends a positive signal to Google because it indicates that protecting your customers’ information is a top priority for you.
Most “fly by night” businesses and websites won’t invest significant amounts of money to acquire a dedicated IP address or servers. Having a dedicated IP address or server not only helps protect your customers, but part of Google’s ranking algorithms pays attention to that element and especially for e-commerce sites (sites that sell merchandise or services).
Mass website servers like GoDaddy may place your website on the same IP address with well over 1,000 websites if you choose a shared server option. Some of those websites might be housing questionable content such as pornography, gambling or other shady businesses. Definitely not the neighbors you want unless you [_are _]that type of neighbor.
While most search engines like Google understand the nuances of a shared server, some search engines will block IP addresses on shared servers if even one website on that IP address has questionable content or has complaints logged by visitors. If you share an IP with one of those banned websites, you can be banned simply by association.
During the process of choosing a website server, you will see a lot of options and pricing that seems to be all over the map. Let’s talk about what you’ll be offered with regard to storage space and bandwidth.
Storage space is the amount of data storage allocated to your website. Adding storage and bandwidth typically increases the cost.
If you have an image-heavy website (think photography or video business,) storage and bandwidth is paramount. Large photos and videos take up significant space. An overflow of emails with large attachments like floorplans or documents eat away at your storage, too.
Determine the amount of information and imagery you expect to place on your website. Also, think about your busiest times and their effect on your website.
We touched on this earlier, but to recap, bandwidth is the data transfer rate—more specifically, the amount of data that can be carried from one point to another.
In this case, data from your server to the visitor’s computer screen. Hosting providers will typically set a limit to how much data you can transfer to all of your visitors each month.
If the bandwidth allocated for your account is exceeded for the month, your website can be shut down or suspended. When your website is down, your online business is down. Not optimized.
Again, what does it have to do with SEO? If your website gets shut down and Google visits, guess what happens? Your rankings can take a hit.
There are many programming languages that can be used to design a website, including HTML, Flash, ASP, PHP, and others. All are fine on the SEO side, with a few exceptions. Here are those exceptions.
The first issue is Flash. Google has shown no love for Flash-based websites because, in some cases, it cannot effectively access the website content to actually see what is on those pages.
This is not always the case if the site is appropriately structured in Flash, which is another discussion altogether, but so far, it hasn’t been a good idea to develop in Flash.
, and, according to those findings, you should avoid designing an entire site in Flash if at all possible. The exceptions being banner ads and small graphics.
While this can be circumvented using (we talk about that shortly), you want all your content readily available to Google without the need for “alternate” routes. Footer links can also cause other SEO issues, .
Additionally, a block of information that Google can’t reach might look suspicious to the search engine. To make sure your website is properly by search engines, they need to see everything on your website.
A platform is a system that can be programmed and customized by users and/or website developers. There are plenty of user-friendly website platforms available for designing your website. Some websites are designed using standard programming languages like HTML, PHP, etc.
Then there are other platforms that have made website development incredibly easy for beginners such as Squarespace, Wix, and many others that pop up regularly. They offer you the ability to drag and drop website elements (menus, pictures, text) onto a blank page and it constructs the website for you without the need for you to have any programming knowledge whatsoever.
One of the more simple-to-use platforms, but that is a tad more involved, is Wordpress. We make reference to Wordpress throughout this manual with a Wordpress logo and lightbulb (see logo below)
When you see this logo, it indicates that the particular tip is designed specifically for Wordpress users. The next book planned in the near future will be a book focusing specifically on SEO for Wordpress.
If your website has already been designed and you’re not sure if you are on Wordpress, one way to know for sure is to add /wp-admin after your website address (for example- ).
If you are on a Wordpress site, you will typically see a login screen at this address. If there’s not one there, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t because sometimes developers move the login screens for security reasons. A sure fire way is to check with your developer and ask if you’re on Wordpress.
Wordpress is a perfectly structured foundation that allows Google to perform detailed and has a backend content management system (CMS) that provides extensive tools for SEO.
Content Management Systems (CMS) are systems that allow you to manage your content. Essentially, it allows you to edit the content on each page of your website using some type of online interface where you can edit your web pages as easy as you would a Word document.
Normally, there’s a website address that you would visit to login (such as the wp-admin one we mentioned above) and once you are logged in, all of your website pages and settings would be there for you to edit.
Since there are such a vast variety of ways to accomplish this task, I won’t reference this much since it’s not the focus of our discussion here.
Frames and iFrames
If you haven’t designed your website and are considering a website that uses frames, redesign it. Frames can cause a number of problems from an SEO perspective.
A framed website is a website that is structured using two or more pages to construct one page.
For instance, you can create a page where the left-hand side of the website is a menu of your pages (Frame A), and the right-hand side (Frame B) features your content. They can be edited as individual pages.
When someone visits a framed website, they click a menu item on the left (Frame A), and the page thy clicked appears on the right (Frame B). The left-hand menu (Frame A) never changes because it’s a separate page. It stays visible the entire time. Only the right-hand side (Frame B) changes.
Here is an example of a framed website.
Technically, the pages on the right-hand side represent the only real “content”. It houses all of the actual written information for each item.
If visitors are somehow able to navigate to a page in Frame B without the menu (Frame A) present on the left-hand side, they won’t be able to navigate anywhere else since the menu in Frame A is absent.
It causes issues for humans, but even more for search engine spiders.
[Iframes *]are different. If you have ever embedded a *Youtube video in your website (or even in Facebook), you’ve used an iframe. An iframe is a block of code that shows a video on your website or blog. The video isn’t actually on your website. It’s on Youtube’s website. You have simply created a window on your site so people can watch the video on your site.
It seems innocuous enough and adds muscle to your message. Whoo Hoo! Free content! True, but there is an SEO element you need to consider. Any content in an iframe is [_not _]credited to your website. If you design an entire page of iframe videos, the page will be seen by the search engines as having [*, *]which doesn’t help your SEO.
Here’s a better example that may be easier to understand.
Imagine that you create a website to sell concert tickets, but you don’t have the time or resources to constantly update the lists of concerts and events. One day you find a website that [_does _]list concerts [_for _]you dynamically (via iframes,) and all you have to do is copy their block of code and insert it into your page. Now you have a concert page that’s automatically updated with the latest concerts with no effort from you!
Your problem now is that your website won’t rank on Google for concert tickets. Why? Because it’s not [_your _]content.
Your content is coming from [another _]ticket website. What you’ve essentially done is create a link to the other ticket website. Not only are you selling tickets for them through [_your _]website, you’ve also created a link to their website from your site. The only one who wins is the person who owns the website that is supplying the content. Think _before you link.
Iframes are a terrific way to add content to your website, but be mindful that they’re best used to enhance what’s already on the page—not to be used as the only content on that page.
For better SEO, create a page that talks in detail about cool upcoming concerts and review the concerts you have attended in your area. You can then include the iframe code that shows concerts in your area. In that type of example, you’ve used it to [_enhance _]your own content instead of making it the [_only _]content on the page.
The robots.txt file is a file on your web server that tells the search engines which pages or folders to ignore on your website. It’s a text document that you can open and edit just like any other text document. Why would you want that? Here is an example of why you’d want to use the robots.txt file:
Perhaps you happen to have an online folder that contains info you don’t want folks to see. Entering the following line of code into the robots.txt file tells Google to ignore that particular folder (if it was called PrivateFolder.
In an example more common, maybe you have a private “members only” area to discuss things that you don’t want the general public to see. Since search engines everything there, it is entirely possible for private discussions to show up on the search results pages. Entering the DISALLOW line of code below in the robots file prevents search engines from seeing that MembersOnly folder.
Read more about the robots.txt file on Google at https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6062608?hl=en.
One more important reason to understand the robots.txt file is the potential existence of a line of code that can prevent your website from appearing at [_all _]in the search engines.
Not kidding. That line of code is a command called NOINDEX.
If the line of code below is in your robots.txt file, your website is blocked from appearing in Google (or any search engines for that matter):
This line of code tells Google (and other search engines) to ignore your entire website. NO INDEXing. No activity whatsoever. The “noindex” line of code could have been placed there maliciously or sometimes a web developer wants to keep Google from seeing the website until they have completed designing the website and simply forgot to remove the code line.
Don’t freak out if you see the NOINDEX command that names specific folders such as NOINDEX: /PrivateFolder2. That command tells Google to not index the files in that specific folder.
Either way, open up the robots.txt file and become familiar with what is in there. To see it, place robots.txt after your website address, i.e. – www.yourwebsite.com/robots.txt.
Most of the time you will find the robots.txt in that location, but it could be placed elsewhere as well. Contact your website developer to provide you with the location if it’s not in that default location. Find it and check.
Starting with keyword research
Search Engine Optimization is not the same animal that it was back in 2000, or even 2005. Google and Facebook have revolutionized the way in which we interact with the web and it is no longer a simple case of building good Meta tags to achieve a flood of traffic.
It is important to understand that there are many factors which go to influence the search engine ranking/results of your website. Therefore there are many ways in which you can directly influence the search results yourself. It is important for you to understand the different ways you can influence your page rankings so you can take proactive steps to affect the outcome in your favor, and also avoid making common mistakes which can be to the detriment of your rankings.
Fundamentally, it is important to understand that there are things you can do to affect your rankings which are physically within your website, and there are things you can do to affect your rankings which take place external to your website.
In broad terms, 60% of what goes into determining the rankings of a webpage will take place external to the website. Therefore only 40% of what goes into determining the rankings of a webpage takes place within the page/website itself.
This simple concept is key in how you approach your SEO strategy, lets call it the 60:40 rule of SEO. So you can understand the point of on-page versus off-page impacts on SERP’s more clearly, here are some of the things which take place on the website which contribute to how your pages are ranked -
1. The amount of content and the way your content pages are structured
2. The quality of your content (subjective and vague, yet becoming more ascertainable as the Google algorithms develop).
3. Your Meta tags
4. The link structure of your website
5. Your domain name
6. They keyword themes established within your content
7. The ‘authority’ of your website and its Page Rank.
Starting with Keyword Research
Keywords are at the heart of SEO, and selecting the right ones can make or break your SEO strategy. Compile a list of keywords associated with your product or services. Go to a keyword research tool. Plug these keywords into ubersuggest.org or the Google Adwords Keyword Planner to find keyword variations and search volume.
Select the top 15 keywords that best represent your brand. Use your competition keywords as a good measure for determining what keywords to choose. Try to use a mix of high and low search volume keywords to add to your website’s front and back ends. The more relevant the keyword and business category, the better the user experience. It’s not enough to display high within search results for a given keyword; getting a high click-through rate from Google search and maintaining a good bounce rate on the home page/custom landing page is extremely important to acquiring new customers and leads.
Localizing your keywords
With as many as 7 billion monthly local searches in the U.S. alone and local searches becom more and more important for small businesses, it’s important for small business owners to understand local SEO and how it impacts customer acquisition and awareness.
Content users are searching for:
• business addresses (direct or non-direct)
• hours of operations
• driving directions with a map
• A clearly stated value proposition
• service area
• pricing information
Use Local SEO to Help You Rank Higher
On-site optimization for increasing chances of ranking higher in local search results:
• Localized keywords/Geo-modifiers (website content, meta data, etc).
• Hyper local keywords (adding neighborhood and zip-codes to your content).
• Localized content (create relevant content that is specific to your city and town).
• NAP (name address and phone on website footer and directories).
• Shema markup (help the search engine provide more informative results).
• Local reviews
• Social signals (shares, likes, social accounts, check-ins).
• Adding geo-targeted images, embedding a Map and geo-sitemap file
Free Keyword Tools
• General Keyword suggestion tools (ubersuggest.org, Google AdWords Planner, tools.seobook.com, keywordeye.com and adwords. google. com / KeywordPlanner, semrush.com /info)
• Find local keywords
• Find link opportunities (tools.buzzstream.com)
• Find keyword search trends and popularity (google.com/trends/explore)
• Discover your competitors’ best keywords (spyfu.com)
Optimized Content Structure
• Keyword in Title
• Location in Title
• Keyword in URL
• Location in URL
Your first essential step is recognizing exactly how people search Google to find your product or service. I always ask clients the same question: [_Which keywords do you think you should rank for on Google? _]
The honest answer? You are probably not going to rank for your most relevant keyword without first exploring long tail keywords and locally focused keywords. I will get to those definitions shortly. Meanwhile…
The best free tool for keyword research is Google Adwords Keyword Planner (https://adwords.google.com/Keyword Planner)*]. The tool is designed for use with [+Google Adwords+]*]. It’s the tool that Google wants you to use before creating ads through their Adwords paid advertising program, but you can use it for your general purpose keyword research.
Enter the word or words that you want to rank for, and you will see the volume of searches your keyword entries received for the previous month, along with dozens of variations of that keyword.
Keep in mind that the numbers they provide are very loose estimates, but they will give you some insight into keyword variations you may have missed as well as how much competition you have, how much you would have to bid to be competitive if you used paid advertising, and a host of other options and information they make available.
The tool can also display the how competitive a keyword may be. The more competition you have for a keyword or keyword phrase, the more costly it can be to rank for those keywords.
Two other keyword research tools to check out are and . Both supply useful insight into search volume outside of Google’s world.
There is one more helpful tool in keyword research specifically in regards to called . They will tell you exactly which keywords your competitors are spending money on, how much they are spending, when their ads are running, and more. This is extremely helpful when strategizing on taking advantage of search terms your competitors may have missed.
Long Tail Keywords
New online businesses are often obsessed with ranking on Google for the most-often-used keywords right out of the gate, totally ignoring the “low-hanging fruit”.
Long tail keywords are keywords that typically have more adjectives or are more descriptive than their short, broad-keyword counterparts.
[Toyota *]is a broad keyword. A long tail keyword is *2016 Black Toyota Sienna.
A broad keyword: wedding planner. Long tail keyword: North Atlanta Destination Wedding Planner.
When you are first establishing yourself online, it is imperative to focus on your long tail keywords first. Don’t set your sights so far out of reach that it makes it unrealistic to rank well in a reasonable amount of time.
If you’re not sure what your long tail keywords are, focus on attracting local customers first, and later adding your specialties.
I’ve helped wedding and event planners worldwide rank highly, and I’ve even worked with internationally recognized names. I am fully aware of all the standard keywords those businesses are chasing on Google.
That is why I always ask these questions;
• What is your specialty? Themed weddings? Outdoor weddings?
• What do you believe you do better than anyone in your industry? Pricing? Design? Can you name a specific knowledge you have that they lack?
Determine your unique selling propositions (USPs) to hone in on your long tail keywords. Starting with terms such as New York Outdoor Wedding Planner will allow you to rank for those relevant terms quickly. This approach helps you to better meet your visitors’ needs so that you can optimize your site more effectively.
This also feeds into what is referred to as , which we will discuss later in detail.
Understanding Searcher Intent
If you are a car dealer, don’t expect to rank for cars. Just like search engines, you have to understand what potential customers will type into Google’s search box when looking for your product or service.
When searching for a new vehicle, the typical Internet shopper will not type in the keyword cars. An experienced online shopper is going to be more specific, most likely including a year, make and model, and their location like 2016 Toyota Sienna Atlanta.
If the shopper searches for cars, cars.com will typically show up at the top of Google’s organic (unpaid) listings, (think: ), probably followed by links for the Disney movie, generic site links for cars, cars mentioned in the news, and listings totally irrelevant to the shopper.
People have learned that they need to be specific in searches to get the results they want. Likewise, Google must understand exactly what the searcher expects to see in order to show them the best results.
The first step in keyword research is to ask yourself, “What would a person type in Google’s search box to find my website?” In most cases, a person will type in a specific make and model followed by their location, such as Used Toyota Sienna Atlanta. This is where your focus should be in order to capture those customers in the beginning of your SEO journey.
Figure out what your top few focus keywords will be for each page of your website. A [focus keyword *]is the primary keyword that truly defines what you sell and that’s not too broad. Like our previous example, a broad keyword like *cars is not a focus keyword. Atlanta Toyota dealership would be a focus keyword for your home page only.
The reason for that is because the home page of your website probably doesn’t focus on one specific Toyota model. It showcases everything you sell giving the customer the option to dig further into specific models. So the home page should have the general focus business keywords.
Before I go any further, I want to make sure that we are still holding hands here. You are probably thinking, “[_Where do I do this? How do I make sure what the focus keyword is for each page?” _]
At this point, I just want you to think about the general layout of your website and also about what the appropriate keyword would be for each page. We are going to get into the application of these ideas later.
You don’t have to have just one focus keyword for each page. Each section of your website can have its own set of keywords.
If there are too many focus keywords on a page, you should consider breaking apart the copy into more-easily digestible pieces.
Here are some examples of four pages that might appear on a car dealership website and the keywords that would be the best focus keywords for each of those pages.
Home Page -
Toyota Car Dealer, Toyota Car Dealership, Atlanta Toyota Dealership
Used Camry Inventory Page -
Toyota Camry, Used Toyota Camry
Car Detail Page -
2015 Toyota Camry, Used 2015 Toyota Camry, Blue Toyota Camry
Financing Page -
Used Car financing
It may be tempting to use broad single keywords like Toyota or cars or dealership on all your pages, but that’s counter-productive. Your keywords need to be hyper-relevant to each specific page.
I discussed before, and what I’m referring to now are focus keywords, which are relevant keywords that you’ll want to, [_focus _]on for each page. Long tail keywords are more-detailed variations.
We’ll talk about the application of these focus keywords later, but in short, these focus keywords will be used in areas like , descriptions, the content of your page, and in the navigation when appropriate.
Again, excellent online tools are out there that can help you confirm that you are using the right keywords, and can also give you insight about the volume of people who use those words and phrases in their search.
Outside of Google’s Keyword Planner, a couple examples of those tools would be , , and Wordpress plugins like .
The most powerful strategy, without a doubt, is to focus on local keywords. If you are based in Atlanta and supply products or services only to customers in Atlanta and surrounding areas, that is where you need to put your attention when compiling your keyword list.
For an Atlanta wedding planner, focusing efforts on the keyword wedding planner is far too broad and faces overwhelming competition, which will only leads to frustration.
When someone searches for a broad term like wedding planner on Google, the search engine will often display local results since it’s location-oriented. The same applies to searches on mobile devices because phones and tablets often have their “location” component activated.
If your business offers products and services worldwide, local keywords probably don’t apply to you. Focus on some broader keywords, but be mindful of your competition and utilize , and efforts to get the word out to build a solid foundation. All of which we will discuss later on in the book.
Analyze your competitor’s strategy for ranking on the coveted first page of search results, and imagine how you can achieve the same level of saturation from both a content perspective and .
Your national or international competition might be structuring their website into distinct local areas using [* *]to optimize each area for local terms.
For instance, huge wedding directories like theknot.com divide their subdirectories by states and major cities, giving them massive saturation for both nationwide and local search terms. We discussed before, but you should be watching them frequently and make it part of your daily strategy.
On-page SEO: Optimizing your website for results
Before designing a website, or even if your site is already designed, you should analyze the site’s structure. Each topic or area should have its own distinct section and flow logically so users don’t get lost, disoriented and frustrated. You need to analyze how your website is being viewed.
Google Cache (View as Google)
Exactly how is your website seen by the search engines? What information are they are using, and are they seeing all of your website content? The best way to answer these questions is to view your website exactly as search engines view it.
Your CSS file, images, graphs, etc. are all just elements that enhance the way your page appears to the viewer. The search engines remove all of that formatting to explicitly look at the content and verbiage of your page and the message you want to convey.
In , you can choose to “Fetch As Googlebot,” which will show you exactly how the search engines view your web page.
There are other tools, like , that will allow you to accomplish this as well. It’s important for you to understand this view. If you are simply looking at the visuals and graphics on your website, you’re not seeing the big picture.
A website silo can help you structure your site easily and efficiently.
Imagine a pyramid where the top layer of the pyramid is the big picture, followed by more-detailed layers below.
Example: The main entry point (or top of the pyramid) for a clothing store would be clothing, followed by the second layer below that which might be men, women and children’s clothing, and then a layer under each of those selections possibly offering types of clothing (pants, shirts, dresses, etc.). That layer can then be followed by “sizes,” “colors,” etc.
A photographer may not have a clear-cut silo, so a good site silo for them may look like this;
The visitor’s ability to easily navigate from one area to the next or quickly return to a section without using the “back” button on the browser sends positive signals to Google. When a visitor clicks the “back” button, the user tells Google, “That wasn’t where I meant to go,” or worse, “I’m lost and have to go back.”
If they navigate to other sections of your site easily, it tells Google they are diving further into your website and becoming more engaged with the content. Usually, the use of a back button sends a negative message. It says, “This page doesn’t have what I want, and the website doesn’t give me the ability to navigate without using the browser back button.”
While we all use “back” buttons frequently, a self-contained website that customers can navigate easily and find what they need without hassle sends the search engines a strong positive signal.
In the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel, the children scattered breadcrumbs along the forest path so they could find their way home. Breadcrumbs are the web version of the same concept.
Breadcrumbs reside near the top of each page, often just below the menu or page title. They offer the user a simple path to where they were previously.
Here is an example of breadcrumbs on Amazon for headphones below. As I navigated through each section starting in Electronics, then to Headphones, and finally to On-Ear Headphones, the breadcrumbs appeared in the top left hand corner where I could easily navigate back a level if I get lost.
Each section is linked back to the prior page. When there are other sections beyond On-Ear Headphones such as brand names or maybe colors, the breadcrumb path simply expands to the right providing me a simple way to access those areas without using the browser back button.
What does this have to do with SEO? Plenty. If a customer becomes frustrated with a poorly structured site and leaves, the potential to convert their visit into a sale disappears. It’s called a bad “” or UX.
You’ve probably had a bad customer experience online yourself. Just like a restaurant or store, if a customer has a bad experience, it will be unlikely to expect a return visit.
In the true scheme of things, each individual page is treated separately by search engines. Each page has an opportunity to rank on Google for their respective terms.
A music website can have a specific page that ranks for rock music, another for blues, another for funk, etc. or they can use that I mentioned earlier.
Either way, each page needs to reflect one specific element of a topic. The main block of content on the “blues” page should only contain keywords and phrases related to blues music, like B.B. King, slide guitar, etc. We discussed this back in , but it deserved a brief revisit.
When you determine your for [_a specific _]page, it is your goal to pepper that pages’ content with semantically relevant words using what is referred to as latent semantics along with .
Latent semantics is defined as a group of words that Google recognizes as related to your . For instance, the word pants would be associated with clothes, wardrobe and, more specifically, dungarees, slacks, jeans, etc.
The same applies when you create your content. Your page content should be readable, easy to understand and should not _be constructed for SEO. You are selling services to _people, not Google. Read the following statement:
[_We provide wedding planning services in Atlanta and have been offering wedding planning since 1997. If you need a wedding planner in your area, we offer the best wedding planning services in the area. _]
Clearly, the primary focus keyword they have chosen is wedding planning, but using the same repeatedly sounds unnatural and is viewed by the search engines as , a no-no I’ll discuss later. This is why it’s time to discuss [*latent semantics *]deeper.
For our purposes,[* Latent ]is defined as “underlying” or “implied”.[ Semantics*] is the meaning, or an interpretation of the meaning, of a word, sentence, sign, etc. Latent semantics are semantically relevant words associated with a specific word or phrase.
Here is a list of words. Can you guess what I am talking about?
• flip flops
• high heels
Of course, I’m talking about shoes. Google does the same thing via latent semantics. Their algorithm is updated regularly to identify those relevant words and will know what you are referring to without the need to say the same obvious keyword repeatedly. Search engines know that loafers and flip flops are types of shoes.
When website copy contains a wider variety of terms and keywords all relative to the same topic, it appears more natural, resulting in higher rankings. The content flows naturally, more like a conversation you might have with someone.
For a wedding site, relevant words might be;
Google understands that all of those words relate to weddings. To make sure your content is natural, you should consciously use relevant words and phrases throughout the content your site and talk naturally.
Some believe that simply writing as you normally would can get good results. Because that’s not always true, you should have [_some _]conscious control over your writing and the words that you use.
It is literally effortless to write full paragraphs of text that say absolutely nothing. For instance, read the following short paragraph.
We offer the best services available in the area. We have also been awarded top honors from the State of Georgia and have over 100 years of combined experience in the industry.
While it seems impressive, it doesn’t really reveal anything to the search engines about your website. What’s the specialty of this business? What products or services do they sell? The reader has no idea what you do.
Even simple modifications can greatly improve the SEO of the paragraph.
We offer the best tax consulting services available in the area. We have also been awarded top bookkeeping honors from the State of Georgia and have over 100 years of combined experience in the accounting industry.
Note that the word accounting is not used repeatedly. Practicing latent semantics and carefully selecting words produces content that is easier to read, more informative and captures the attention of the search engines.
There’s not much information to cover in this section because I’ve discussed it in bits and pieces up to this point, but let’s revisit it anyway.
Your content must be informative and , which is easily achieved by separating your content into more concise categories. It should contain the practice of that we just discussed and avoid using bad SEO practices (some of which we discuss later).
A huge problem with website content is often the creation of an enormous amount of varied topics all combined on a single page instead of separating out certain topics onto their own pages.
For instance, a wedding planner who offers catering, photography, décor, invitations, and other wedding-related services may find it tempting to present as much information as possible on her home page, theoretically making sure visitors are aware of everything she offers before they leave.
I refer to this as “muddying up the water.” Giving each product or service its own page allows you to more effectively represent it to the user [_and _]search engines and also lets you add those throughout the page which will help you rank better for each individual service or product.
For instance, if you have an online clothing store, you wouldn’t feature [_all _]of your inventory on the home page because it would be too overwhelming to the user and appear disorganized.
The same applies for a service-related business. As tempting as it may seem, do not discuss in detail all of the services that you provide when creating your main home page. It’s okay to mention the services you provide, but don’t go into much detail.
You may present the user with a statement that says;
We offer wedding planning services, including consultations, wedding photography services, honeymoon coordination, invitations, and more. Visit our Wedding Services page to see all that we have to offer.
Each one of those bolded words could be linked to the individual services pages that go into more detail about them elsewhere. The wedding services page should go into basic detail without delving too far into each one of the services provided.
With this approach, your visitors would click to visit the wedding photography page and be presented with details about the photography service you provide, a description of the process, and a gallery of photos.
This also allows you to craft the title tags and content to be specifically focused on your wedding photography services which would give the page more ranking power.
There are certain things that search engines look for when they evaluate text on a page, including [* *](which we discuss later) and various forms of font formatting.
When you bold text, italicize text, , link text to another page, or put text into a , search engines notice that word or phrase because in their eyes, you’ve given it increased importance.
Sometimes text formatting with italics or underlining simply accents a word as you would if you were saying it. However, bolding and linking to another page has slightly more impact—especially when used together.
If you bold a word and hyperlink it to another page, it sends a pretty powerful signal to the search engines. You’ll learn more about later on, but here’s an important note: don’t let it get out of hand.
If you use the phrase wedding planning repeatedly throughout a paragraph, don’t bold it every time you use the phrase. It diminishes the importance of the phrase and would be viewed by search engines as (discussed later) rather than strategic usage.
While you want the search engines to understand what the page is about, you don’t want your efforts to appear suspicious or contrived.
The header is an HTML (HyperText Markup Language) tag used to denote thing like titles, chapters and more. HTML is the standard “language” used to create most web pages.[* Header tags *]are used in the code of your web page. In HTML, you can identify header tags by finding code like this;
H1 is the largest of the header tags, followed by [H2 *]through[ H6*]. As you might not expect, the higher the number, the smaller the size of the text. demonstrating how those tags are normally represented on your website.
There is a specific way to use the header tags in the hierarchy of a page. Here is what headers typically look like in regards to their size;
If you are writing HTML code effectively, headers will follow each other on the page in the order shown above if you utilize all of them.
For example, header tags have distinct purposes—they represent distinct sections of content to the search engines. Standard use of them might be:
In an example that may be easier to grasp, let’s use a book as an example. They typically have a title page (H1 tag), followed by a chapter title (H2 tag), and then maybe some bolded/highlighted areas within the chapter (H3 tag), etc. For header tags to be effective, you should use them in that same usage pattern on your site.
Wordpress tip: When writing content in “Visual” mode in Wordpress (not “Text” mode,) you can highlight the text you want to change and use the drop-down box that says “Paragraph” on the left side of the toolbar to quickly change paragraph text to header tags. Here’s a screenshot below.
It’s important to point out that you are not using header tags simply to change font size or separating paragraphs. Additionally, don’t use header tags within your paragraphs. Header tags are specifically for headings only.
Footer links are normally found at the bottom of a website page, and they link to other internal website pages. Internal links take visitors from one page of your website to another page on your website. External links on a page take visitors from your website to another website.
A general rule of thumb: If you have links in a menu at the top of the page, avoid duplicating those same links on the bottom of every page. Linking to the same page in the footer creates a hole for the link juice to seep out.
[*What’s link juice? *]Link juice is the power given to the website by internal or external links. Think of it as a thumbs-up recommendation toward your site. This is one of the more important factors in your site’s search ranking.
Other than those mentioned above, it’s [_not _]a good practice to add links in the footer to pages you’ve already linked to at the top of the page, because search engines sometimes view that activity negatively. It is worth mentioning, but not a deal breaker. There are more important elements.
When you create content, make sure to keep the information relevant and on topic with respect to each individual page.
Does your website give the user the information they wanted? Again, separating content into definitive areas on your page is essential.
You are not just doing it for your but the entire amount of content and verbiage on that page.
If a potential customer searches for wedding flower bouquets, and you have an entire page or section dedicated to wedding flower bouquets with proper optimization, you have an excellent shot at winning the ranking game for that term—and winning a customer by showcasing your expertise on that topic.
A wedding website that briefly talks about flowers, or has small tidbits of flower information scattered throughout the site content won’t be nearly as effective as having a section dedicated to wedding flower bouquets. The best types of flowers, different arrangements, styles of bouquets, etc.
Pay attention to . Don’t litter a page with disparate topics. Every page should be focused on a specific topic or theme to make it useful to the reader, and more importantly, well-defined to the search engines so that you can rank accordingly for that topic.
When writing your content for a blog, you should keep mental or written notes about content topics that you have written about previously.
The reason for this is because if you are writing a new blog post and happen to reference a topic or idea that you’ve written about before, you should link to it from the new blog post you are writing. Get into the practice of actively linking phrases and terms to other areas and past posts.
While I obviously can’t go into all of the ways of how you actually “link” content together, the typical process is to highlight the keyword or phrase that you want to link, and then click the hyperlink icon which is normally a small photo of earth or a little icon with a picture of a chain like so;
Once you click that icon, it will open up a small window where you would simply enter the page address that you want to link to or enter a website address (if you’re linking to an external website location) and then save it.
Example: Let’s say that you wrote a great article on the 10 Best Rose Bouquet Arrangements. A month or two passes before you write another article about flower bouquets, and in the article you happen to mention rose bouquets. That would be the perfect opportunity to link the term [*rose bouquets *]to the old post.
From an SEO perspective, these types of links accomplish two things.
The link entices the search engines to dig deeper into your website, which could potentially increase the number of your website pages . The keywords you use in the link can even send search engines signals as to what that page is about.
When you create a link in a sentence like this; “We posted about the previously, so be sure to check it out”, you’ve sent a signal to Google that the page it is linked to discusses best rose bouquet arrangements.
Making a habit of using precise wording when linking to other pages is important because it can benefit you in the long run.
Secondly, the link entices the [_reader _]to click through to another page, which increases their time on the website and reduces bounce rates.
I will talk in detail about later. Briefly, when a person visits any page of your website and leaves without clicking to go further into your site or performing any other activity (like scrolling down the page), Google sees it as a ”bounce”. That can potentially be a bad signal, and you should concentrate on activity that sends positive signals to the search engines.
Pieces of Flair
Photos, images, and graphs visual of your site. They liven up your pages with color, gives them good visual impact, but more importantly can help communicate your content visually to the user and, if done correctly, complement or enhance your content to the search engines.
Images and ALT Tags
Images are an interesting element with regard to search engines. People respond to visuals more than anything else, so they are vastly important. The strange thing is that Google can’t really see images. Well, they can, but not in the same way that we perceive images.
I want to expand on this for a moment so that you can wrap your head around this important concept.
Google relies on the pixels of images to determine what the picture actually is. A [*pixel *]is a small dot of color and when you see a photo on a computer or TV, what you are seeing is simply a bunch of those pixels put together side by side.
When someone talks about the “resolution” of their computer monitor and they say, “My monitor has a resolution of 1024 × 768.”, they mean that their computer monitor displays 1,024 pixels across and 768 pixels top to bottom. The higher the resolution, the clearer the picture is because there are more pixels crammed onto the screen.
If you were to take a photo of the Mona Lisa, the digital _]photo would show the series of dots (or [_pixels) that form the entirety of the picture and the more pixels there are, the clearer the photo becomes.
If 10 people took a photo of the Mona Lisa, all of the photos would mostly look like the painting itself. The painting doesn’t change from one photo to the next. The angle or framing might be different, but the painting itself is the same in all of those photos.
When those pictures are uploaded to the internet, the images are converted into a digital version made up of pixels. Each pixel is a certain color and is patterned in a certain way to create the data that makes up the full picture. Search engines look at the data and determine that this particular series of pixels in this particular pattern represent the Mona Lisa.
Google knows this only because someone, somewhere down the line told Google that this series of pixels is the Mona Lisa. As more people uploaded photos of the Mona Lisa, they solidified it as factual in the eyes of Google.
That was the whole concept behind Google products like Google Goggles, that is an app that lets you take a photo of something and Google is able to instantly identify it.
However, it’s not because you’ve taken a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge or the Mona Lisa. It’s because, after years of people uploading photos of objects to Google, the search engine now has a massive database of “pixel patterns” from various angles that helps them digitally identify millions of products, objects, places, and disconcertingly, even people.
When you take a photo with your camera, it not only saves the image, but also a lot of information about the photo like the aperture the camera was set at, the time, date and much more including the location if it can assess where you are. That is called metadata.
That metadata travels with that image file from your camera to wherever you post that image (your blog, Instagram, Facebook, etc.). While you may have no idea that it is even there, Google can see a wealth of info about that photo and most people aren’t aware it’s even there. Hello, big brother.
What many don’t realize is that you can actually edit the metadata before you upload your photos and here’s how you do just that.
Browse to the photo on your computer, and “right click” (use your right mouse button) and then select Properties. You will be presented with a box that will show you all of the metadata that is attached to that file.
As an extra cool tip, click on the Details tab and you can modify the title, add a subject, apply keywords into the Tags field, and much more. This gives you some amazing control over what Google sees in regards to that file.
If you modify these fields and [_then _]upload the file to your website or blog, Google will already have a good idea as to what is in that photo or video before you even optimize it online (which we are going to discuss next).
Now let us take what you just learned about images with regard to your website. If you are using original images taken by you of unfamiliar locations or objects, Google has no frame of reference as to what that image shows.
It has never seen that particular pixel pattern before and therefore has to rely on you to explain what it is in the photo.
I will also show you a great free product in a moment that will let you make modifications to multiple images at one time. Yes, it exists!
But first, outside of our metadata tip above, there is another tag that you can alter to give that information to Google and it’s called an ALT Tag.
ALT is short for Alternate, indicating that it is the text alternative to the image. There is an option in browsers where readers can turn off images in the settings so that they only see text in order to make the website load faster on devices that possibly have slower connections.
If a reader has a poor connection and an image doesn’t load properly, the reader can ALTernately see that text displayed to understand what’s in the photo. Don’t worry. I’m going to explain how you do this in a moment.
If your image ALT tags are optimized correctly, it adds value to your page content and can expand your visibility on the search engines.
The images below appeared in a search for “purple wedding dress” on Google. They come from a variety of different websites, including some that don’t even rank in the top 20 positions for “purple wedding dress”, but they all have one thing in common. They are all properly labeled for SEO.
Here’s what an ALT tag might look like in the HTML code:
alt=”bride wearing a purple wedding dress”>
I’m going to show you exactly how to alter this in a few moments, but also the best way to optimize your images so that they perform better on search engines, show you other optimizations that will improve your rankings, and some great tools that can help you do it much easier.
Image Title Tag
There is also a tag referred to as the Image Title Tag that is similar to the in many ways in that it serves as a photo identifier within the code. You can have [_both _]the ALT and Title tags for that photo and it would look like this in the code (Stay calm. I’m just showing you what it looks like.);
bride wearing a purple wedding dress” title=”Bride Wearing Purple Bridal Gown at Wedding”>
I’m going to show you how to easily do both within Wordpress in a moment, but we’re just getting geeky here for a second and I also have a neat tip to share regarding this that you may have already noticed.
When you utilize the Image Title tag, it will appear on a photo when someone hovers their mouse cursor over the image as shown in this example.
You may have also noticed that I used different wording in the Image Title tag than I did in the ALT tag. In the Image Title tag, I used “Bride Wearing Purple Bridal Gown at Wedding”, but in the ALT tag I used “bride wearing a purple wedding dress”.
I did this primarily to strategically place relevant keywords into the HTML code. This practice lets me get in the search terms of bridal gown, wedding dress, bride, bridal, and gown. This is a good type of practice to help build out using .
In most Do It Yourself site builders like Squarespace or Wix, you can double click on the image and you will be able to modify both the ALT and Image Title Tags for each image. I’m also going to show you how to do it on Wordpress along with other alterations.
*Further Image Modifications *
Now I’m going to show you how to optimize the images on your website using Wordpress since it’s one of the more popular website building tools out there.
These Wordpress strategies will be applicable to everyone, even though the steps in other website platforms may be a little different in accessing some of these settings.
After the images are uploaded to your page or blog post in Wordpress, you can click on the image, and then click the Edit icon in the upper left on the image.
The Edit icon looks like a pencil as seen on this image to the left.
This opens a dialog box that shows you a list of settings that you can change.
Let’s chat about the most important areas and how you should utilize them for SEO.
Caption – Caption is exactly what you think. Whatever you type in this field makes that text appear on the page directly under the photo. Some may put the product name here or in many cases, photo credit, if the photo was taken by someone else.
ALT Text – When you upload a photo, by default, this field will simply display the image name that comes out of your camera (DSC1234.jpg, etc.) that is inside of the .
You should alter this to be descriptive like to wording that would be easy to understand if the picture was not visible.
Image Title Attribute – In some versions of Wordpress, this field is hidden under a drop down box called Advanced Options. If that’s the case for you, click the arrow next to Advanced Options and you will be able to see this field displayed.
This field is similar to the ALT field, but the purpose is to display this text in a floating text box when the user hovers their mouse over the image.
You should alter this text for this field to be slightly different as discussed in the to take advantage of keyword variations.
For instance, if you put purple wedding dress in the ALT field, use purple bridal gown in the Image Title Attribute field to capture potential customers who search for either phrase.
[*Description – *]In some versions of Wordpress, there is a Description field. You can enter a short sentence here describing what is in the photo. Use the same strategy of utilizing different keyword variations.
Do NOT “copy and paste” or use the same phrase in all of the fields (ALT, Image Title, and Description) that are available to you. Mix it up and you’ll be able to take advantage of all of the ways people search.
The other settings on the page are self-explanatory such as the alignment (left, right or center page) and image size. Once you have made those changes, the text you have entered in the Caption field appears below the photo and the text from the Image Title field will show up when someone puts their mouse cursor over it.
All of these modifications help Google to identify the image, increasing the probability for it to show up in Google Images search results. It also builds up content in the code allowing you to incorporate more keyword variations to optimize your relevancy.
This may seem like a lot of work just to optimize an image. I noted earlier that there were hundreds of image searches in a single month for bride wearing purple wedding dress, and this is just one image.
If your website has hundreds of images that are all optimized correctly, it can generate a lot of extra traffic to your site as your images begin to start appearing on various search results for different terms.
It’s also important to remember that in the larger scheme of things, Google sees all of this data within your code and those image optimizations. All of which will add content to your overall website to accent and compliment your SEO.
It never fails—when doing private SEO consultations for websites, I [_always _]find multiple images that aren’t optimized at all.
Consider the fact that thousands of people click on images every day. Ignoring this incredibly important aspect of your SEO strategy would be a travesty. This practice alone can help generate significant traffic.
Resizing and Renaming Photos
First and foremost, do not upload photos in the full size directly from your camera. Current cameras take photos that can be 3 megabytes or more in size each, so it is essential to resize the photos [_before _]uploading them to your website so they don’t take up too much .
Photo sizes are measured in , and the ideal size for online use is around 1024 × 768 pixels maximum if you are showcasing the photo in a gallery page and want the user to see details. If the image does not need to be expanded for inspection and is there just to add color or accent a page by serving as decoration, it should be even smaller.
I also suggest that, before you upload a picture from your camera or computer, you should make it a habit to rename your images with something descriptive.
Camera photos are normally named something along the lines of DSC12345.jpg. If that’s the case, your first step is to rename the file with something descriptive to explain what is in the photo with identifying words and dashes (not underscores).
A good descriptive phrase for the photo at the right would be bride-in-purple-wedding-dress-in-aisle.jpg
This lets the search engines identify what is in the photo and allows them to see the keywords in the file name without [_actually _]seeing it. Even better, this along with the can potentially show up in searches for a variety of related terms that use those words or combinations of those words.
Earlier, I showed you a page of purple wedding dress images that were correctly optimized in both name and ALT descriptions. Since the person who posted it took those extra steps to make sure the correct items were properly labeled, they were able to show up in the search results for images that were indexed by Google. A competitor maybe?
Those two steps (renaming and resizing the image) might be a huge hassle for many of people, and many simply aren’t comfortable with intimidating programs like Photoshop. Even those who use Photoshop regularly think that it’s cumbersome to open and edit each and every picture individually.
To combat the tedium, there’s a free tool called to help you resize and rename your photos in bulk. By “in bulk”, I mean that it allows you to choose a folder that may contain 100 images and it will allow you to make modifications to all of them at one time!
You can additionally change the brightness, contrast, crop them, and even add watermarks and text to your photos to protect your work.
I mentioned that it’s free, right?
We are going to talk a little bit about video here, but without too much detail. The same optimization practices apply in video as in the . You should alter the and in the same manner as photos and you should make sure that you have a in the title and description.
However, there is one other item you should also consider if you are creating informational videos about your products and that is dialogue within the video itself.
If you are creating video that contains dialogue, be sure to use your and practice when speaking. While this is not a well known practice, it’s important to be poised for the future.
Over the years, the search engines have dabbled in documenting the text used in videos and have implemented the results into search. That being the case, you should make sure that you pay close attention to the dialogue you use for any videos that you may create moving forward.
Outside of that, apply the same strategies for and for Youtube which we will discuss now.
Youtube is the leader in video just as much as Google is the leader in search. The same rules apply to all of the other video services that are out there such as Vimeo, Daily Motion and an immense list of others that are vying for your eyeballs.
While I won’t go into too much depth, I [_do _]want to offer some general tips in regards to video. Youtube is owned by Google, therefore practicing the tip I mentioned above of being aware of [_what _]you say in any video you create is of utmost importance since the practice of analyzing spoken words in video will become standard practice in the near future (if it’s not already).
Voice activated products like Siri and Google Now are already in full swing, so you can expect further integration as time goes on.
The first tip is to ensure that you alter the metadata of the video [_before _]you upload it. There is typically no way to alter metadata once a video file (or image) is uploaded somewhere. We discussed this previously, .
The second tip is that Youtube (and the other services) provide you with many fields that you can optimize such as the title of the video, the description, keywords, categories, and much more.
Title – Title your video using your focus keywords.
Example: Atlanta Wedding Planning Services Video Brochure
Description: Provide your URL first and then a brief but good description. Youtube will hyperlink your web address when you use it in the description. This one practice alone can drive substantial traffic over to your website.
Example: – Video of George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic playing Atomic Dog at a funk music festival in Atlanta, GA.
[*Tags: *]Choose the appropriate tags for your video separated by commas. Tags is the same as keywords.
Example: Music, funk, George Clinton, funk music
During the upload of your video, there is also an Advanced Settings tab, to input even more other data about the video. Some pieces are pulled from the metadata, but the primary field to focus on there would be the Category selection to insure that your video is categorized correctly in the appropriate area.
The reason why I even dealt with Youtube or video at all in an SEO book, is because of a variety of reasons.
The video can generate traffic over to your website.
Google will count the videos as incoming links when using your URL in the description as described above.
You can a video into your website to reduce load times. Placing a video directly on your website can dramatically increase page load times for your website pages. Placing it on Youtube completely alleviates those load times.
To do this, once a video is uploaded to Youtube, click the Share icon, copy the “embed code” and put that in the HTML code of your website where you want the video to appear (see below).
Eyeballs. Your video will be indexed into Youtube’s database and can be searched directly from its millions of users daily.
Did you know that Youtube is the ?
Structured Data and Micro-formatting
I don’t want to put too much emphasis on structured data and micro-formatting for a variety of reasons. Primarily, explaining how structured data and micro-formatting works in an easy-to-understand way is extremely difficult. Beyond that, there are many other important elements you need in in your SEO arsenal and this is not applicable to most site owners.
That said, it’s worth discussing briefly, especially if your business handles an enormous number of products like an auto parts or department store.
When you search Google for a specific product and see a display like the one below, you are witnessing the result of microformatting;
To see how to accomplish the above result utilizing Google Merchant Center, visit their page at https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/188494?hl=en#contact=1.
In their guide, you will learn how to set up your products so that your products display correctly. They also have direct contact information to get assistance in implementation of setting up your own shopping feed.
You provide Google a spreadsheet that lists your products, the web address to each product page, the URL’s to the image of the products, the product prices, descriptions, UPC code, your item numbers and more.
This approach is definitely the best way for online shops with hundreds or even thousands of products that rotate regularly. You can arrange to submit that spreadsheet to them as often as your business requires.
The service [_used _]to be free via what they called the [Google Datafeed *]but, because the site was so resource-intensive, they migrated to the *Google Merchant Center and began charging for those services.
Keep in mind that all of the still apply here as well.
The second approach is more geared towards smaller vendors and that’s using structured data in which each element (price, photo, description, etc.) is represented in the coding of your website, along with details about your business like phone and address.
[ Phone: Open:
_content="+19123736736">(912)373-6736 or 9-123-SEO-SEM
This code tells Google the item labeled telephone is your phone number and the item labeled openingHours indicates the days and hours you do business.
With products, each item (price, picture location, etc.) would also be labeled, so that when Google crawls your website, they index all that information about your business and the products you offer so that it can display them in the search results, as in the example above.
Again, it would take dozens and dozens of pages to explain the entire process in detail. Thankfully, Google has set aside staffing and resources to help guide you through the micro-formatting jungle.
To read more, visit
If you already know how to code these types of elements and want to see all the tags available from Schema.org, visit: https://developers.google.com/webmasters/business-location-pages/schema.org-examples
It’s time to talk about [*title tags *]and their importance. When you view a website, the text that you see on top of the tab in the upper-left-hand corner of the page is the title tag and should represent what is on the page.
Your title tag for each page displays in two different places. The first is on the browser tab of the visitor’s browser.
The second and more important place it displays is bolded in blue and linked to your website in the search engine results page (SERP) listing.
In most “build your own website” programs like Wordpress and Squarespace, each page will have a field where you must enter this information referred to as the Title, and blog platforms like Wordpress will sometimes use the title that you gave the blog post entry as the title tag.
If you’re using straight HTML or programming, it will be HTML code as follows;
Each page has its own title tag in order to briefly explain what is on that page. If you do not modify the title tag, some website programs will take it upon themselves to name it [_for _]you by either pulling the title from the blog post, the , or whatever else. Do not leave it up to them.
For instance, if you set up an “About Us” page, the program that you’re using might take that “About Us” title and place it in your title tag field. It does this protect people who simply don’t put anything at all in that field.
However, since it doesn’t really explain what’s on the page, you should override what it places there with something more descriptive that may have more SEO benefit such as My Wedding Store Company History.
That’s why it’s important to locate the title tag area within the program that you’re using and write your own optimized text there, assuring the best SEO outcome by being more descriptive about what’s on the page.
You may be asking what [_should _]you put in the title tag field? There are some pages on your site such as your Contact page or About Us page that won’t really need anything groundbreaking, but specific product pages will.
A good title tag format for those types of specific product pages is normally;
Broad keyword | More Specific keyword | Even More specific keyword
For instance, a good title tag for the page about Men’s jeans in an online menswear clothing website might be;
Menswear | Men’s Pants | Jeans
When visitors see your listing on the search engines like the one above, they will know exactly what is on the page.
Additionally, when your title tags are structured in this type of format, they can also see that you sell other types of pants and menswear, which may further entice them to click through to your website.
While there is technically no limit to a title tag length, you should aim for 55 characters or less so that your title displays properly without getting cut off with an ellipses (…) in the search engine listings.
A title tag that doesn’t clearly communicate what’s on the page and/or gets cut off doesn’t look professional.
Title tags should be very concise, with just enough info to help visitors understand what they’ll see when they get there. If you get carried away— jamming a lot of keywords into the title tag, the search engines will most likely view it as keyword stuffing. Here’s an example of keyword stuffing.
Wedding Dresses | Vera Wang Wedding Dresses | White Wedding Dresses
Unlike the one above, your most important message should be professional and concise. When search engines recognize that you are cramming the same keyword or locations into the title tag, they view it as “keyword stuffing,” and will move on to your competitor.
The rule of thumb is to use the primary focus keyword for that page.
For instance, if you are building a violin page for a music instrument website, make sure that the title tag indicates that the page has information about violins on it, and that it simply doesn’t say “instruments.”
It wouldn’t hurt to take advantage of any alternate keywords that someone might search as well. A good title tag for your violin page might be:
Shop For String Instruments | Violins
By using the terms string instruments [_and _]violins, you expand your reach for potential customers, and search engines can see that this particular page is relevant to the user’s search.
Be sure that all pages actually have content that matches the title tag. If Google notices that the content on the page and title tags aren’t matching, you’ll begin to notice a drop in rankings for those terms you’ve placed in your title tags because your page obviously isn’t relevant for that term.
It’s similar to placing a 50% off sale sign in your store window and when people come into your store, there’s no sale at all. It’s deception designed to bring people into your store and Google views your title tags in the exact same way and doesn’t take kindly to false advertising.
Search Engine Listings Format (Slight Detour)
To delve a little deeper into how your title tag works for you on search engines, we need to do a little exploration into how your listing appears in the search results, because there are some elements (starting with the title tag) that are extracted from your website to create your listing.
These pieces literally serve as a representation of your website and, in most cases, will be the [_only _]impression a searcher will have about your website.
If a bride-to-be searches for “Fort Lauderdale Wedding Planner” and sees the listing below in the results, she probably [_won’t _]click through;
The above is an actual listing. If a user looking for a Fort Lauderdale wedding planner only sees a list of locations in the title tag, she has no idea what the business has to offer.
As mentioned earlier, if the title tag is over 55 characters, Google will truncate the title with ellipses (like above). In the above listing, this business owner felt it was more important to list all of the locations that they serve instead of communicating the services they provide.
A better title tag would have been:
Fort Lauderdale Wedding and Event Planner
Instead of wasting time on the unknown, the user is more likely to click on an ad with a specific and concise listing.
The following listing shows up for “Atlanta wedding planners” and is much more likely to get the user’s click;
As you can see in the above example, your listing on the search engines is broken up into multiple sections:
The first is the title tag, which we just discussed.
Beneath the title is the URL of the website.
The website description follows.
These three sections make up the complete listing, along with other elements that the search engines might add.
For instance, Google sometimes adds links over to a [+Google++] account that is associated with the business, reviews from customers, map links, [*sitelink extensions *]and other items that provide data for Google. We hear it coming. What are sitelink extensions?
Sitelink Extensions can be created from inside of and allow you to highlight certain areas of your website.
Here is an example of how sitelink extensions look in your search engine listing if they are implemented correctly and more importantly, if it is relevant to what the user searched.
Amazon has set up their sitelinks for Today’s Deals, Books, Your Account, etc. You don’t have to be a large site like Amazon. You too could link to specific products areas of your website like Clothing, About Us, Contact pages and whatever else you might offer.
It’s worth repeating how important it is for you to take advantage of any services Google offers to businesses, such as which is relatively simple to implement
Claim your address. Take the time to input your mailing address, store hours and other items for a huge benefit.
Sometimes Google includes a few of those elements in your search engine listing—a little gift to enhance your listing! Your Google-enhanced listing also displays additional details about your business right there on the SERP. You remember that stands for Search Engine Results Page, right?
The next item often neglected is the meta description. Most site builders (i.e. Wordpress, Wix, etc.) include this field on the search engine results page, and it may be referred to as Page Description or SEO Description.
If you have to access these fields in the actual HTML code of the page, you would locate the line of code that looks like this:
The part above that says “Your page description goes here” is where you would insert a brief description of what’s on that specific page. Remember that in the SERP, the description appears right below your website address. Along with giving information to Google, your goal with the meta description is to compel a person to click through to your website.
Keep the description below 160 characters or Google will cut it off with an ellipsis, just like it does with the title tag.
The description should effectively convey what that page is about. Like the title tag, you should never copy the description and paste it on every page. Each description should be unique and reflect what is on [_that specific _]page.
The home page should be the home base to your company’s general business description, since it’s the heart of the entire site. Each sub-page description should alter dependent on what’s there.
Here are some examples of optimized title tags and descriptions for pages that might appear on an Atlanta wedding planner website called Maggie’s.
[_[*Title Tag: *]Atlanta Wedding & Event Planning | Maggie’s _]
Maggie’s is a full-service wedding and event planning provider offering experienced wedding planners, catering, and even bridal boutique. View our site online now.
Maggie’s Atlanta Wedding Planning & Consultants
Maggie’s offers wedding planning and consulting services from ceremony to reception. Schedule a free consultation online now.
Maggie’s Atlanta Event Planning & Consultations
Maggie’s offers event planning and consulting services including catering, meeting rooms and facilities, and much more. Schedule a free consultation online.
Notice that each of the title tags vary slightly. It’s helpful to understand why we do this so that you can properly implement this effective strategy in your own website. Let’s walk through why the descriptions are set up this way.
If Maggie’s was your business, some of your might include wedding planning, event planning, wedding consultant, etc. Preliminary is imperative to this process, because you need to know what your most valuable keywords are and also monitor the keywords that your competitors are chasing.
This can be a huge problem for many people because they are often mistakenly confident about the keywords that are most important for their industry and don’t want to take the time to do the research.
The end result? They miss super-important and variants of highly searched words—tactical “wins” that would get their businesses ranked on the coveted first search engine results page quicker.
Grabbing that low-hanging fruit helps build the foundation for your site and creates more relevancy in the “eyes” of the search engines. This strategy transforms itself into big wins with more competitive terms that would have taken many months to accomplish.
Now back to the discussion about why I set up the title tags and descriptions the way that I did to see the method of my madness and how you can apply that same strategy.
[_[*Tite Tag: *]Atlanta Wedding & Event Planner | Maggie’s _]
Maggie’s is a full service wedding and event planning provider offering experienced wedding planners, catering, and even bridal boutique. View our site online now.
First, to avoid any confusion, the top line, Home Page, is [_not _]part of the listing. It just references which web page we are discussing.
The home page is typically the page most of your visitors will come to first. That’s why you have to be as broad, inclusive, and descriptive as possible in promoting the services you provide. This listing for Maggie’s includes keywords for [both _]her wedding planning _and event planning services.
In the title, I chose to use wedding and event planner, but in the description I wrote wedding and event planning (using planning instead of planners), as well as sneaking in “wedding planners” (plural). By adding those variants into the listing, several keyword terms are present for potential customers who search differently.
I also tapped into using in the description by adding in the words bridal, catering and boutique, to build up the text with descriptive and relevant words to make it appear more natural to Google.
The idea behind latent semantics emerged from Google’s indexing practices. Instead of sorting websites based on how often a website uses a single search term, Google picks up relevancy cues by looking at the other words you use that are relevant to the main search term.
If your company provides a variety of services that will be difficult to represent on a title tag in 55 characters or less, you should consider finding broader, more inclusive keyword terms and phrases, such as business services, consultation services, catering, etc.
In Maggie’s case, she just has the two.
The other titles and descriptions set up for Maggie follow the same strategies. Let’s revisit those-:
Maggie’s Atlanta Wedding Planning & Consultants
Maggie’s offers wedding planning and consulting services from ceremony to reception. Schedule a free consultation online now.
Maggie’s Atlanta Event Planning & Consultations
Maggie’s offers event planning and consulting services including catering, meeting rooms and facilities, and much more. Schedule a free consultation online.
On the [Weddings Page *]example above, I used the variants of *consultants, consulting, and consultation. The latent semantics are there with the use of [*planning, meeting rooms, services, *]and [*facilities. *]Those are words that are relevant to consulting, meaning that you will often hear them being used on consultant related websites.
For the Events Page, I used the same strategy but interchanged the words [wedding *]with[ event*].
You should use this strategy on your pages to sprinkle in keyword variants, and put some thought into including semantically related words in as well.
Some of you may have noticed that I used the titles Event Planning and Consultations, Wedding and Event Planner, and Wedding Planning and Consultants.
Why didn’t I specifically put in the words wedding consultants or wedding planner? Actually, I did— using the strategy of Keyword Proximity.
There is an SEO peculiarity referred to as keyword proximity. Sometimes during a search, Google looks for the most relevant sites for that term, but not just because the [_exact _]keyword was used. It actually looks for those words independently as well.
When you search on Google, the search engine highlights the [_actual _]individual words you searched, shown bolded in the site’s title tags and descriptions.
If you don’t want the search engine to search for them separately, put your search term in quotes and it will look for the search term you used in the exact word order you have indicated.
For this example, here is what the search for Atlanta dress shoes looks like without the quotes.
You’ll notice the words Atlanta, Dress, and Shoes aren’t always together. Sometimes they are bolded in the description, sometimes in the website address and sometimes in the title.
Wherever these words are in the listing, Google bolds them. When Google finds[_ both_] words fairly close to each other, their relevancy gets a big boost.
Here’s how keyword proximity gives your SEO a shot in the arm. Let’s revisit our title tag examples from before.
Atlanta Wedding & Event Planner | Maggie’s
Maggie’s is a full service wedding and event planning provider offering experienced wedding planners, catering, and even bridal boutique. View our site online now.
In the example above I’m focused on two terms — Atlanta wedding planner and Atlanta event planner. And I have my ever-important relevant terms like event planner, [wedding planner, wedding planning, event planning, *]and even the plural[ wedding planners*].
How do we get all that past those keyword-stuffing spotters? In the example above, I did just that.
I utilized keyword proximity to optimize the terms for the search engines. In the title tag, I used Atlanta Wedding & Event Planner instead of inverting the terms and saying Atlanta Event & Wedding Planner. Why?
Count the characters between the word wedding and planner, and you’ll see that there are only 9 spaces. If I put the word event first, the “& Wedding” that is in between the words [Event *]and *Planner would increase the character spaces to 11.
Here you can see the difference even just two spaces make in keyword proximity:
[_Atlanta Wedding & Event Planner = _]9 characters (including spaces) between the words Wedding and *Planner *
[Atlanta Event & Wedding Planner = *] 11 characters (including spaces) between [*Event *]and *Planner
In the example below, I am focusing on the term Atlanta Event Planner, and there are still 11 characters between the words Atlanta and Event.
11 characters (including spaces) between Atlanta and Event
I knew before I started that wedding planner scored a much higher volume of searches than event planner, so that term took precedence.
The essence of [*keyword proximity *]keeps the terms and phrases close to each other when multiple words need focus.
[_ [Description: *]Maggie’s is a full service *wedding and event planning provider offering experienced wedding planners, catering, and even bridal boutique. View our site online now._]
I used the same keyword proximity logic in the description for wedding planning and [event planning *]and got the term *wedding planners in the description.
For bonus points as you can see above, I again employed the strategy of by adding the words bridal, catering, and [*boutique. *]Those are words that are highly relevant to my primary and are synonymous with weddings and events.
Focusing on these types of details increase the company’s relevance in Google’s eyes.
Off page search engine optimization
Very common question I got: “What is more important ON or OFF PAGE SEO”? Well the answer is: both are important. You can’t get good ranking if only one method is used. Off page optimization is more time consuming process and it can’t be done in few hours or days. The process can take few months, and OFF page SEO is “never end” activity.
Off page optimization includes those techniques that can be done off the pages to increase traffic to your website such as link swaps, directory listings, blogging, and forum postings.
One if you stop with off page optimization, it is just meter of time when will competition websites take over your position. That is why payment for off page search engine optimization is periodically (annual or monthly).
Changes on “ON-PAGE SEO” you can see directly on your website. But “OFF-PAGE SEO” operation is a little more hidden - like iceberg - only 10% is easily visible above water. 90% is much bigger part, but hidden under surface.
Off-page SEO, as the name suggests, take place on external sites instead of on your site. This also means that it is not as easy as on-page SEO as it is not all in your control.
Off-page SEO mainly involves link building.
Link Building Process:
Link building is the process of having other sites point to your site. Google sees these links as a sort of ‘vote’ saying that your site content is good enough to be linked to. Link building involves manually building links to your site either by submission, which is at your discretion, or by requesting other sites to link to you.
Link earning on the other hand involves naturally gaining links i.e. having sites link to you without asking for them. You get these links naturally over time when your business makes a name for itself and people want to talk about you on their site and link to your site.
You can check your backlinks using backlink checker tools such as Ahrefs or SEMrush. These are both paid tools but very accurate and useful. You can also check your competitors’ backlinks by inserting their site into the tool. This is very powerful information because it gives you an entire list of all of the sites linking to your competitors and you can try to get links for yourself from those sites too. It shows you who’s talking about your competitors, what they’re saying, where your competitors have been interviewed, where they have been guest posting etc.
[* 100+ plus link building ideas: *]
• Guest Posting: Guest posting involves writing articles for other blogs in your industry with a link back to your site. This allows those other sites to get good content, and you for you to get a link to your site and incoming traffic from the site. So a win-win situation for both. Guest posting is a very common link building technique. Some say it’s dead, spammy and not safe. But if done right, it can add a lot of value. What you need to keep in mind while guest posting is to post on the highest quality possible sites that are not spammy and are relevant. Relevancy is the key factor here. You don’t want to guest post just for the sake of getting a link. Make value your top priority. Guest post on sites that are relevant to your industry i.e. sites that can send relevant traffic to your site that can possibly lead to sales.
The most common approach to guest posting is simply reaching out to influential blog owners in your niche. It’s a great idea but getting a guest post to go live on influential blogs is not always easy. These blogs are popular and so receive hundreds of outreach emails a day requesting to guest blog for them. Some of these blogs don’t even accept guest posts and clearly state that. However, to get a higher response rate, it is a better idea to reach out to sites that are actually accepting guest posts. You can find these sites quickly using search strings (which have been explained in detail later on). There are also various guest posting communities like Post Joint (postjoint.com), Guestr (guestr.com), Blogger Link Up (bloggerlinkup.com), My Blog Guest (myblogguest.com) that list out sites in need of guest posts, industry wise. Another way to find guest post opportunities is to trace your competitors guest posts and seeing which sites they’ve written on by checking their backlinks. You can also trace the guest post path of top bloggers in your industry.
• Reverse Guest Posting: Reverse guest posting involves inviting guest bloggers to blog on your site instead of you on theirs and having them share and link to what their article on your site from their site.
Get Students to Blog on University Blogs: University and college students have access to the institutions blog portal and can be hired to do an article on your business or drop an link to your site in an already written relevant article.
• Unlinked Brand Mentions: There are many times when site owners talk about your brand but they don’t link back. These are called unlinked brand mentions. The fact that they mentioned your business is great but not enough to send over traffic because there is no link. Not many people reading the article will put in the effort to copy your brand name and search it to find your site. A link back is required for traffic purposes and also for backlink purposes. Getting sites with unlinked brand mentions to you to link back is an easy link building method because since those sites are already talking about you, they don’t mind linking back since all the work is already done and they already know about you. You can find such mentions at a scale in just a few minutes using a few tools (tutorials are up on this and other topics in the Digiologist Marketing Course).
• URL Mentions: Along with finding brand name mentions, it’s also important to find URL mentions i.e. when sites use your site URL into their article instead of your brand name. Though this is less common, it’s still important to go after. The URLs being referred to here are the ones not resulting in hyperlinks due to a missing http:// and so, not resulting in an actual link.
• Misspelled Mentions: If there are more than a few ways to type your company name or even a few possible spelling mistakes, insert them into the tools to find unlinked mentions with the wrong company name as well. This should also be done for company name variations and short forms and also previous names incase you recently changed your name.
• Competitors Brand Mentions: You can’t exactly get a link for your competitors brand mention, but you can track your competitors brand mentions to see where they are being linked from. Check out the sites where they’re getting mentioned and try getting a link for your site from them too.
• Track Industry Term Mentions: Create an alert for popular industry term mentions so you know which sites are talking about specific topics in your industry. It would be a better idea to track very particular terms that are detailed so you’re not bombarded with alerts. Tracking such terms will bring up prospects of sites mentioning them and possible sites and pages you can get a link from by contributing in some way.
• Resources: Resources are basically pages that are lists of links. They’re all over the web and exist for practically every industry. You can find them by inserting your keywords into search strings.
• Competitor Backlink Analysis: You can use tools to get access to the entire backlink profile of your competitors. After getting a list of their backlinks, sort according to quality and see which of the sites you can possibly get a link from.
• Ranking Pages Backlink Analysis: From an SEO perspective, all sites ranking above you in the search engines for your preferred keywords are competitors. Most business think of their competitors as the ones getting more business and this is mostly in the offline sense. The competitors referred to in point #10 are the companies you feel are your competitors in whichever sense, be it in terms of more business, popularity etc. From an SEO perspective, any site that ranks above you for a preferred keyword is your competitor. Take the exact pages that rank above you and get the backlinks pointing to those pages (not the entire domain, but actual pages) and see which ones you can get a link on for yourself.
• Broken Link Building: There are many sites out there linking out to broken pages that are either to sites that were shut down or pages that just don’t exist anymore. You can find these pages at scale for sites in your industry and inform the webmasters and request your link to be replaced in place.
• Blog Badge: Create a blog badge and inform your readers. Your most loyal readers will share it on their sites and link back to you.
• Get Local Library Links: Libraries usually have a link page on their site to act as a resource for the general public as a compilation of professionals from different industries. Check out your local library’s website and see if you can get listed on it.
• Question and Answer site Answering: These links aren’t the highest quality for backlink purposes but they can be huge for increasing incoming traffic. Q and A sites like Yahoo Answers, Quora etc. get a large number of hits a month so build a presence there. Find questions related to your industry that have been asked and answer them. You answer the question and so help someone, end up being perceived as the expert and get a link back to your site. If you provide value to others through helpful answers, they will make their way to your site and your traffic (and hopefully leads) will increase. A sneaky little trick is to post a question yourself and answer it yourself as well. But use different accounts for that so it looks natural of course. This Q and A thread may be made up but it will still be valuable to the others reading it as they’re searching for answer to that question.
• Get your own Wikipedia page: If you’ve built enough authority, get yourself a Wikipedia page. Just have someone else write it for you so it looks natural and is unbiased.
• Interlinking: Interlinking is not offsite but can still add a lot of value and help in ranking. It involves linking your sites internal pages to each other. Since the links are coming from your site, you have the authority to choose their location and anchor text so take advantage of that. You can link from your highest ranking and most visited pages to pages you want to boost, to your ranking pages to help increase their ranking further or to important landing pages. There are many choices, split test them and see what works.
• Link Roundups: These are compilations of great links on a certain topic you can put together on your blog. These can be lists of great articles that recently came up in your industry or links to niche influencers sites. After you’re done publishing your roundup, contact the people linked to in it. They will appreciate the mention and most will either link back to your roundup article or at least socially share it.
• Forum Link Building: Forum link building is similar to Q and A sites. Forums are like online groups. They’re created for a specific industry where people post threads to ask questions, ask for opinions, or simply just discuss a particular topic. You can become a member of a few of the main forums from your industry and join in on the conversations taking place. Getting links from the forum threads is not always possible in the beginning since the admins are strict about it. But once you gain a reputation by becoming a frequent poster, you can start dropping links. Comment on popular threads or ones you think will gain popularity soon and try linking your answer back to your business in some or the other way. Offer the thread poster help or a valuable opinion and let them know they can visit your site for more information. The thread poster and also the hundreds, if not thousands of people viewing the thread will read your answer.
• Blog Commenting: This is something a lot of people do naturally. We all read many blog posts a day to do our share of industry reading. Why not leave a comment after reading while you’re on the page? Try not to leave spammy links in every comment though. Most commenting systems such as Disqus let users profiles link to their sites, so you end up getting a link that way. You can provide a valuable point not discussed in the article or give your opinion so it stands out and gets noticed by people reading the comments. We often underestimate the number of people who read comments on an article and because of that blog commenting is often overlooked, but give it a try.
• Getting Trackbacks: When you link to other bloggers from your blog articles and source them as relevant blog posts or references, you can fill their link in the trackback section. This then leaves a trackback (also called pingback) on the other bloggers article in the comments section as a link and short summary to your article. These may not always appear instantly though as some bloggers like to manually approve them. But either way, they’re great for relationship building.
• [*Job Postings: *]Have an open position? Many times business owners rely on filling positions through referrals and don’t post job openings online. It’s a good idea to take advantage of the opening and post it on high traffic job sites like Monster, Workopolis etc. You get a link and also get more applicants.
• Classified Ads: You can also get links from online classified sites such as Craigslist and Kijiji. If you’re from a larger, more well known company, you may not want to do this to keep up your brand image but if you’re just starting out and like the sound of the idea then go for it.
• Add A Snippet Feature to Your Content: Uploading your content online will attract people stealing your content no matter what. People will right click and save and republish elsewhere. A trick to try to get a link while they do that is adding snippets to your content. That way, along with picking up your content, the person also copies a link back (and also a short summary) to your site along with it.
• Blogrolls: Blogrolls are lists of blog owners favourite blogs. They’re a way of listing out all the blogs they read and recommend to their readers. While it may be tough to get on someone’s blogroll without knowing them at first, it’s a good idea to build a relationship and introduce them to your blog so they see the value in adding it to their roll.
• Expired Domain Link Building: Sites become expired and shut down all the time. You can take advantage of that and either purchase those domains and redirect to your site or simply check their backlinks and request the sites linking to them to link to you instead. This only works and is worth doing if the expired sites are in the same industry as you. It can work with sites in adjacent industries as well. These links are also easy to get because the site owners are informed they’re linking to expired domains so they’re interested in removing the link immediately and mostly open to replacing it with your link in exchange for the help.
• Non-existent Service Pages: Find pages or sites that used to offer a service but no longer do and have their backlinks pointed to your site instead. Businesses get shut down or have some of their products/services removed all the time. If you find out about something shut down in your industry and the particular page or site that used to represent it has a good number of backlinks, inform the site owners they’re linking to a removed product/service and have them replace the link to your existing product instead.
• Expired Blogspot Blogs with Good Backlinks: Blogspot is a blogging platform providing free hosting. It uses a .blogspot domain that looks something like: www.example.blogspot.com. The great thing about blogspot is that when a user shuts their blog, their blogspot address is available for anyone to register. And it’s free. You can take advantage of that by registering shut down blogpost blog addresses that had some good backlinks.
• Moved Sites: Some businesses close or move to other sites, leaving their old site behind and expired. Register any such sites from your industry that have a good backlink profile and use them to your advantage. You can either use those domains for building a site and linking to yourself from it, or simply redirecting it to a relevant page on your site.
• Link Poaching: Link poaching involves having your competitors backlinks replaced to links pointing to your site instead. It’s sneaky and even a little mean. But if you can provide sites that are linking to your competitors sites with better content to link to on your site instead and replace the links, just think of it as adding more value to those sites for their readers. Be careful about this though. You may not want to have all of your competitors links replaced and start a war.
• Link Re-purposing: This isn’t a technique to build new fresh links, but rather repurpose old ones. You may have most of your link pointing to your home page or even an old landing page that might not even exist anymore. You can reach out to the site owners linking to you and have them link to a different page instead that is a more important internal page. It’s a good idea to have your links pointing to your home page as well as deeper internal pages. But if too many of them point to your home page, go for some diversity and request some of them to be changed.
• Link Reclamation: Some of the links you previously built or earned may go missing with time. This could be due to pages removed from the sites of previous linkers or they could go lost during their site redesign processes. You can always reach out to them and ask for a link again in some way. You don’t have to manually keep a check on this. Upload all links built and earned into Raven Tools and it will automatically notify you each time a link is removed.
• Phone Based Link Building: Not exactly a link building method but this idea works extremely well. When you request for a link through a phone call rather than an email, it is a lot easier make the relationship and get the link as you can be more personable and communicate better over phone. It’s not possible to pick up the phone for each link you’re trying to build so do this for the top sites you’re trying to get a link from.
• Display Ads: Display ads through banners on other sites get you an immediate link. While this may be a short-term image link, it’s still worth experimenting with. This can allow you get a link on some of the best blogs in your industry and for a much lower price than if you directly asked them for a link and they wanted it to be a paid transaction. This is also really good for increasing traffic and leads.
• Buy Expired Domains with Backlinks: Point #26 spoke about checking the backlinks pointing to expired domains and having the sites giving them change them from pointing to the expired domain to point to your site instead. But you can also just buy the entire domain and take advantage of the backlinks it has by redirecting it to your site.
• [*Reclaim External Profile Link Pages: *]People will link to you if they like your product without you even requesting a link. But at times, such naturally earned links can be pointed to your social profiles instead of your website. A lot of times people link to Twitter the most and while getting a link to your Twitter is great, it’s a good idea to reclaim links to your social profiles to your website instead. At times you can even keep the link to your social profile because the webmasters just needs to add a link to your site in addition.
• Reclaim Links Pointing to 404 Pages: If you’ve been making some site changes recently and deleted or moved some pages and now have a few missing pages a.k.a 404s, check to see if there are any links pointing to them and have them changed to existing and more updated pages on your site instead.
• Content Gaps: Filling content gaps involves improving the content on topics in your industry on other sites. There’s plenty of content out there that is incomplete and could just use a few additions to improve it. You being the industry expert can reach out to those sites with additional information and be quoted as a source or score yourself a link in some other way such as through a guest article or on their blogroll.
• Content Link Replacements: This is similar to link poaching, except that it doesn’t involve stealing your competitors links but just links to other content. Find content in your industry that ranks well and you have a substitute for on your blog, get a list of its backlinks, reach out to the sites linking to that content and let them know that you have a similar article that is a better and a more updated version that they can link to instead. You mainly just find content that is ranking, make it better and ask people linking to it to link to your updated and better content.
• Create Great Content and Ask for Links: One of the simplest ways of link building is to just create linkable content. Create assets that are link worthy. This could be in the form of eBooks, whitepapers, infographics, guides, market research studies/surveys or just blog articles. It doesn’t have to be super fancy and lengthy. Just provide value and make it better than your competitors so people see why they should link to you.
• Dead Content Recreation: This involves offering to update old content out there on other sites that is outdated. Find content from your industry that was written a few or many years ago, reach out to the webmasters and offer to give them an updated version. This works well not only for old content, but also content on different strategies/techniques/technologies from your industry that are now obsolete and replaced with something more updated.
• Blog Post Translation: If your blog is in English, have some of your blog posts shared on other sites in other countries in other languages after translation. Some popular language choices other than English would be Mandarin and Spanish, which are the most spoken languages globally before English. This can be like a guest article, except that you’re not writing new content but just repurposing old content and making it new through translation. This is great for businesses that have their product/service available worldwide so they can target audiences in other countries.
• Infographics: Though infographics and guest posts as strategies have been exhausted in the past, they still work, provided you do them right. Have a few infographics designed each year that are high quality and unique so they’re shareable and stand out from all the other infographics out there so people want to share them. After having them designed reach out to site owners and allow them to use the graphics on their site with a link back.
• Memes: Memes may not be suitable for all businesses but if your business isn’t too formal, give memes a try instead in addition to other graphics like infographics.
• Comics: Again, not suitable for all businesses but worth a try. If done well, they have chances of going viral and they’re definitely unique and not something everyone is doing.
• Infoanimations: Infoanimations are short animated videos. They’re usually a few minutes long only and are made with the same goal infographics are made with: to explain complex topics in an easier way. These again are something that not everyone is doing and have better chances of going viral.
• Monthly/Weekly ‘Best of’ List: Create an ongoing ‘best of’ list either each week or month where you link to the best articles or overall blogs from your industry by compiling them into a list. This is like a round up and similar to article round ups that are one question interview style, except that with this strategy you’re creating a list style compilation of your favorite links. After creating and publishing it, reach out to the people you mentioned in it and let them know you gave them a shoutout on your site. This will allow you to build a relationship with them easier and at times they will link back to the list they’ve been mentioned in or return the love some other way.
• [*Best Blogs List: *]Also known as ‘blogrolls’, this is a list of your favourite blogs from the industry and can also be made as a list of your favorite tools, softwares etc. You can then reach out to the people listed and let them know they’ve been mentioned and get links in the same way as monthly/weekly ‘best of’ lists mentioned in the previous point would get you. Another method is to reach out to sites that have their own blogrolls and request to be listed on them.
• [*Transcribe Videos: *]Transcribing videos involves making a transcript of the content of the video i.e. producing a written version of the videos content. Find YouTube videos in your industry that have done well, contact the owner and ask them if they’d like you to transcribe the video so they can use the written version of the video on their blog. This would be useful to them because the written version of the video as a blog article would also have chances of doing well. Also, it is something that’s easy for you to produce and can be done from Fiverr and relevant websites for just a few bucks. Transcribing other site owner’s videos is a way to get links by helping others. It’s a fast way of relationship building that gets you links back in return some or the other way.
• Translating Content: Similar to transcribing content, translating content produces another version of the same content as well. Offer to translate other people’s popular blog posts into other languages such as from English to Mandarin, Spanish etc., so they can avail benefit from those markets as well. Again, this is a strategy of link building involving helping others to build relationships that can be used to get links in return.
• [*Fixing Grammar/Spelling: *]Grammar or spelling mistakes can be found at scale using tools so don’t worry about spending hours manually looking for mistakes. Have the tool search for any errors in popular articles from your industry and if you find any errors, let the site owner know so they can correct them. They’ll appreciate your help and it will be easier for you to get a link in some way from their site then from a guest post, resource page, blogroll etc. because you’ve helped them and built the relationship.
• [*Quotes: *]Find quotes from popular (but not very popular) influencers from your industry and use their quotes in articles on your site and let them know you mentioned them. Don’t do this with very popular personalities though since it’s difficult to contact them.
• [*Blog Carnival: *]Blog carnivals are like link submission parties, except that the link needs to be to an article. Blog carnivals, which are sometimes also called blog parties, have a theme or topic announced before hand and ask for bloggers to submit articles links talking about that topic. If you participate and submit a link to your article on that topic, you get an immediate link.
• Blog Incubation: Blog incubation involves starting your own blogs to get links from. This refers to blogs separate from your main site. These are like mini blogs you make just for the sake of linking to yourself from. Keep them on topics related to your industry so the links built are relevant.
• [*Check Copyscape for Copied Content: *]Everything that you put out on the web has chances of being stolen. Keep a check on which of your content gets copied and posted on other sites. If you’re sensitive about it you can just ask those site owners to remove the content. But if you’re more concerned with getting a link, reach out to the sites and ask for your site to be linked to and quoted as the source of that content. Ideally you don’t want entire articles of yours to be posted elsewhere as Google treats it as duplicate content and it’s not favored. So if possible, try to have portions of the original content used instead of the entire article.
• Content Curation: Content curation involves finding the best content on the web, compiling it and sharing it with your network. There are various sites you can use for this, one of them being Scoop.it. Create an account on them and post curated content regularly to build a following. Once you’ve created a following, you then have access to a network of people interested in your industry that you can post your content to whenever you need to.
• Web 2.0: This involves creating a presence on web 2.0 sites like Tumblr, Blogger, Wordpress etc. Web 2.0 sites are like free blogging platforms. You can put relevant content on them by outsourcing articles or through article spinning. Use a good quality paid article spinning tool so it results in articles that are completely different from the ones you input into it and it gives you fresh readable content. Don’t go for article scraping though. Once you’ve built up authority and a readership on your web 2.0 properties, you can start adding links to them pointing to your main site. These links will be relevant and all in your control so you get to choose their location, anchor text etc and since the articles are spun content, you do all this through minimal effort.
• Instructional Gifs: Instructional gifs are a very new strategy. Hardly anyone is doing them so it’s a great time to jump on board. Instructional gifs are like screencast videos, except much shorter like 15-20 seconds long. Though you can’t explain in-depth and do an entire strategy tutorial, you can make these about little hacks and make multiple of them that all flow together as single steps to complete one large task.
• Contact People Using Your Images: Similar to using Copyscape to check people using your content, use image source checker tools like Tineye to find people who have used your images without permission. If you’re sensitive about it, you can ask them to remove the images but if you want a link, you can have them add a link back to you under the image and quote you as the source for the image.
• Image Embed Codes: Similar to using snippets for content, add image embed code options under every image. This will give people the option of using the images on their site using the embed code instead of saving and uploading them. This also straight away gives them permission and encourages them to use the images. You automatically get a link back from the embed codes used and you can set that up by creating custom codes through Embedly (www.embed.ly).
• Offer Images to be Used With Credit: In addition to providing image embed codes and getting credit from those using your images without permission, it’s a good idea to simply offer your images for use as well. When you offer them, more people will know they’re available for use and they are more likely to end up on sites and so, more links obtained. Just put giving credit through a link back as the source as the criteria for being allowed to use your images.
• Get Image Hotlinkers to Link to You: Image hotlinking involves displaying images on your site that belong to another site and are displayed by linking to the image on the other site without having to save and upload the image. It is also referred to as inline linking. When the website with the hotlinked image is opened, the image is displayed but it is actually loaded from the site where it is originally located. Note that this also uses up more bandwidth from your site so if you want to prevent that, you can disable hotlinking altogether. If you’re okay with giving up a bit of bandwidth in exchange for backlinks from hotlinkers, you need to enable a script. This can be done easily using a plugin.
• PR Commenting: Make an account on PR commenting sites like HARO (Help a Reporter Out) and Response Source. These sites have a lot of journalists sign up that are looking for opinions from specialists in different fields. You get all of the questions/topics that replies are required for from journalists and you can answer the ones related to your industry. If the journalist finds your content useful, they use it in their article and quote you and link back to your site. This is great for backlinks and excellent for traffic. At times you can get links from very reputable sites such as Huffington Post, Forbes etc. that is otherwise quite difficult.
• Get Interviewed: Offer yourself for interviews. You can reach out to industry bloggers and offer to be interviewed or find interview opportunities through PR sites. You can also follow the interview path of your competitors to see which sites they’ve been interviewed on and try to score an interview for yourself there as well. All this is easier to accomplish if you’ve developed a bit of a following.
• Give Product/Service for Review: Give your product or offer your service to influential bloggers to try out and review on their end. This helps get the word out and backlinks.
• Give Products/Service Away in a Giveaway: Give away your product or service in a giveaway or contest on your site. You can set sharing your site socially or writing a blog post about an industry topic with a link to your site at the bottom as the rules for entry. This way, all the participants will link back to your site in order to get an entry to the contest and so you end up getting multiple links.
• Contest/Giveaway on Other Bloggers Sites: In addition to giving away your product/service on your site, offer to give it as a prize for other bloggers giveaways with a rule for entry being either sharing your site socially or linking back to your site through a blog post. This way, all the participants will link back to your site in order to get an entry to the contest and so you end up getting multiple links.
• Interview Journalists Who Cover Your Niche: Similar to reverse guest posting, interview influential bloggers on your site instead of you being interviewed on theirs. They will appreciate it and in most cases, share a link to it on their site.
• Reciprocal Link Building: Make a deal and link to relevant sites to have them link back to you. This basically involves trading links. Do this sparingly and with caution though.
• Ask Your Customers: Ask your best customers which business they’re in and see if getting a link from them is possible. Often times your customers have their own business too and can give you a link if relevant.
• Ask for Links from Partners and Vendors: Have vendors you frequently purchase from? You’ve already built the relationship so leverage it and get a link out of it. You can ask to be places on their ‘friends page’ if they have one or offer to write them a testimonial for their site.
• Ask People You Know for a Link: People you know refers to your friends. Think about all the friends you have and all the contacts you’ve built through networking that have their own businesses whose sites you can get a link from.
• Associations/Organizations: Get a link from associations or organizations in your industry you’re a part of or join them.
• Awards: Get a link from sites of committees or organizations your business got awards from in the past.
• Sponsor Events: Build relationships by sponsoring local events. The event sponsors are shown on the event site and usually linked to.
• Volunteering: Volunteer to help out local charities, NGOs, organizations. This helps build relationships and it is easier getting links with those relationships. Most such organizations have a members page on their site which they use to link to participating companies.
• Donations: Through donations you build relationships and look good in the community. Philanthropy work is always appreciated. Organizations that accept donations usually have a donators list on their site where you can have yourself added and linked to after giving the donation. A good idea would be search before hand which sites offer this.
• Testimonials: Reach out to the sites of products/services you regularly use for your business and offer to provide a testimonial for their site. They’ll not only use it and give you a link back from it to your site, but also appreciate it and easily accept it.
• Create Industry Tools: Industry tools liki09998e widgets and calculators are great linkbait. They are helpful to people and so get shared and linked to easily and frequently.
• Find Sites With Malware: Malware is a hostile software causing viruses and computer damage. Using tools, find sites with malware and contact the owners and let them know about it. This puts you in their good books and is more likely to get you a link. This is similar to broken link building.
• Find Sites With Spammy Links: Similar method to malware and broken links, find sites in your industry with spammy backlinks using a backlink checker and inform them about it. The following methods, #84 to #128 all refer to manually submitting your link to directories or submission sites. Some of them are asset based and have been discussed in earlier points above but those points were keeping mind that links would come in after building the assets from people who wanted to link to them from their sites. The points below however refer to using the same assets and building links for them manually by submitting them to directories and submission sites.
Blog URL directories
Event marketing directories
Live Webinars/Google Hangouts
Offer student discounts
95.Web App Directories
97.Audio sharing sites
Offer free downloadable assets
Submit to Image Sharing
Submit to Infographic Directories 121. Videos
Web design and development 123. Press Releases
Reblogging on Tumblr
Submit to classified Ad sites
Importance of Link Anchor Text:
Anchor text is the visible clickable text on a link. In simple words, anchor text is the word or group of words that are clickable that open a link when you can click on them. The anchor text of the links you build are important and powerful. Having your targeted keywords as the anchor text of the links to your site helps you rank for those keywords. Google takes the anchor text to be the description of the link, and thus, the description of the pages content, thereby increasing your chances of ranking for such terms. Although anchor text is powerful, it can also have a negative effect if exact anchor texts are used repeatedly for many links. To avoid overuse of specific keywords as anchor text, use different keywords or variations of your main keyword. Of course when you’re building links, choosing the anchor text is at the discretion of the person giving you the link so your choice of anchor text is not always guaranteed and the most you can do is simply request it. Another thing to keep in mind is to have a good mix of branded links, naked links and anchor text links. Branded links use your business name as the anchor text and naked links are just links without any anchor texts. This makes your anchor text portfolio appear natural. It’s also good to have a mixture of pages to which links point. It is natural to have the majority of your backlinks point to your home page because most times the home page is the most relevant page to represent the brand overall and most naturally earned links are pointed to the home page. But because home page links are common, try gaining links to deeper internal pages wherever possible.
Nofollow vs. Dofollow:
Not all links are created equal. A link can either be dofollow or nofollow. A dofollow link passes link value and a nofollow link doesn’t and they are not followed or considered by search engines. In short, a nofollow link has no value in terms of SEO. But that doesn’t mean they’re completely useless. They are still visible to the readers and bring in traffic. It’s also a good idea to have a link portfolio containing a mixture of dofollow and nofollow links, as it appears more natural. The decision of whether a link is to be dofollow or nofollow is made by the site owner who creates the link. You can check whether a link is dofollow or nofollow using a browser add on called Mozbar (moz.com/tools/seo-toolbar). It automatically highlights all dofollow and nofollow links on a page.
What Makes a Good Link:
1. From a site with content relevant to your niche
2. From a site with high metrics (DA, PA, PR)*
4. Relevant anchor text
5. From an authoritative site with a good TLD
6. High on-page social shares
*The metrics referred to above are DA i.e. domain authority, PA i.e. page authority and PR i.e. page- rank. These are all website metrics that give a number denoting the power of the domain in the case of DA and the power of the page in case of PA and PR. You can check these metrics for sites from using URL Profiler (urlprofiler.com) or Netpeak Checker (netpeak.net/software/netpeak-checker).
Outreach Email Do’s and Don’ts:
While building links, in many cases to get a link you will have to reach out to people and request it. These people are the webmasters get hundreds of emails a day with requests such as for being added to a resource page on their site, to be allowed to submit a guest post etc. Your email has to stand out and so it’s not rejected. Your subject line is the first thing the webmaster sees so make it attractive enough so they actually open your email. A small part of the beginning of your email is also visible to them before they actually even open your email so make that part interesting too. Try sending emails from a personal name rather than using the company name, as people are more likely to open it then. It’s important to keep it short and to explain the value that they’re getting as well.
Outreach Email Tips:
While searching for the contact information of prospects you want a link from, you’ll notice that the email given on the website about page is usually a generic email such as [email protected] or [email protected] and mostly not for a specific person. If you know the name of the person you want to contact, you can usually get their name through a Google search.
If you don’t know who you want to contact but are looking for the email of anyone that works there over contacting a generic email, type in the website with .com and add in the term ‘email’ and search. This search will look for emails with that sites domain name for you. For example, if you’re looking for all possible emails associated with a website, you need to insert the following into Google:
If you were trying to find my email you’d type in: kane.com email
It will then pull out all pages not just on that site but other sites as well with emails using the example.com domain. While you’re on the search page, press CTRL + F (or Command + F for MAC users) and type in @. It will then highlight all @ symbols, and thus, highlight all the emails it found making it easier for you to spot them and you’ll get a list of all emails with that site on one page.
To see if emails you’re sending are being opened, get Yesware (yesware.com). You can also save a significant amount of time and effort by sending emails in bulk through a mail merge instead of sending each email one by one. For that, just make a template that can be used for all the emails and insert a simple script in place of terms that need to be changed such as name, company name etc. It will then pull those terms from the sheet automatically and customize and send each email. You can send these emails off through a list created in Google spreadsheets using the Yet Another Mail Merge add on. Save time by scheduling emails and schedule them for days and times with higher open rates (weekdays and earlier in the day). Another important and popular software for link building is Buzzstream (buzzstream.com) which helps find contact information, conduct outreach, build databases of people to contact etc.
Link Earning Strategies:
The strategies mentioned above are link building strategies. But what every marketer should aim for is link earning. Link earning is the automatic acquisition of backlinks without manually building them. It’s work that automatically happens for you. It is when people naturally link to your content without you having to ask them to do so. When and why do people do this? Link earning is possible when your content provides people value. In addition to that it is also important that your content ranks and is shared socially so people find it.
Here are some ideas for different kinds of content you can generate for your blog to serve as link bait that people find value form and link to naturally over time:
• Resource Pages
• Interviews of Influencers
• Epic Content: articles
• Evergreen content
• Research Papers
• Market Studies
• Monthly/Weekly ‘Best of’ Round Up List 16.Best Blogs List:
• Coming up with a new term
• Great images
• Offer free downloadable assets
• Recorded webinars
• Powerpoint Slides
• Reader submitted queries/requests
• You don’t have to create all of the above. Just create whatever valuable content you can that is shareable.
Creating and Using Search Strings:
Search strings are a combination of keywords, characters and modifiers that make conducting more detailed searches a lot easier. They play an important role for searching for link opportunities.
Most people conduct searches in search engines by just inputting normal keyword combinations. When you’re searching for something very specific and only want particular results, using search strings can help significantly. They’re excellent for finding link building opportunities.
As mentioned above, search strings contain modifiers that in a way let the search engine know what it is you’re searching for and also what you’re not searching for i.e. what to exclude from the results.
Here are some modifiers you can add to your keywords to create search strings to conduct very specific and detailed searches:
1. “ “
The quotation marks modifier yields exact results based on whatever is inserted in the quotations. Whether you insert the entire search phrase into the quotes or a just a part of it, whatever it encloses is what the search engine is told to search for exactly as an exact match of the word(s).
Whatever part of the keyphrase lies outside the quotation marks may or may not be part of the search results (though it being a part of them is aimed for) but the words within the quotations are exactly matched in the search results.
Eg. Let’s say you were to search the name John Jon. You could search the name like you normally would by inputting it as: John Jon into a search engine like Google like most people would. That would give you only some accurate results. It will give you some results by combining the two together as Johnjon, some with only John or Jon but not both and some with either of them but with a different first and last name.
If you add quotes to the name and search as: “John Jon”, it gives you only John Jon in the results and exactly in the same order as written with a space and the same spelling. That’s how the quotations modifier works. It gives you results containing the exact match of the keyword(s) inserted in quotes. Just a small addition can change the search results entirely and help you save a lot of time.
The AND modifier can be used to combine two keyphrases to ensure both of them are part of the search results.
Eg. You want to adopt a pet and are confused between a cat or a dog so you’re searching for cat and dog shelters. If you simply insert the term ‘cat and dog shelter’ you’ll end up getting results for either of the two in both cases but rarely for both cats and dogs both. Instead, you need to search using: “cat” AND “dog” shelter Toronto. Using the quotes is important here.
Eg. You want to search for a person named Jane Doe who is a lawyer. If you simply search for Jane Doe lawyer, you’ll get some pages that either have Jane Doe on the page or the term lawyer on the page, but not both on the same page. Use the search string “Jane Doe” AND “lawyer” instead and you’ll get both of the terms on the same page and so, more relevant results.
[* 3. –*]
The minus sign which is called the subtract modifier excludes any word(s) you don’t want to be part of the search results.
Eg. If you’re looking for furniture, let’s say a sofa in Toronto but you’re mostly getting back results from Kijiji and Craigslist which are sites you’re not interested in buying from, you can use the following search string: buy sofa in Toronto -Kijiji -Craigslist
Insert the above into Google and it will remove all results from Kijiji and Craigslist. If you only search for ‘buy sofa in Toronto’, you’ll get a lot of results from Kijiji and Craigslist. So using the subtract modifier helps in removing them.
Used to get search results for either of multiple terms – either of two or more keyphrases but not necessarily all of them.
Eg. You want to search for gold jewellery but there are many ways of spelling jewellery based on location such as jewelery, jewellery, jewelry etc. Instead of searching three times, just search:
“gold” jewellery OR jewelry OR jewelery.
Since the term gold is the common one here, it needs to be in quotes.
[* 5. Inurl:*]
Looks for presence of the keywords you’re searching in the URLs of different sites rather than the content. Search:
It will then give back results with Barack Obama in the URL of the page.
[* 6. Intitle:*]
Looks for pages with the keyphrase in the page title.
Search: Intitle:Barack Obama
It will then give back results with Barack Obama in the title of the page. You can also search
It will then give back results with Barack Obama in the text (content body part) of the page.
[* 7. Related:*]
It returns related results and sites similar to the
keyword used. Search:
It will then give back sites relevant to Reddit.
[* 8. Link:*]
Acts as a backlink checker and finds pages linking to the URL inputted.
Allows you to search anything within a particular site. So it yields search results from that one particular site only instead of from all sites across the web. Just put whatever you’re searching for after the site address.
Eg. While searching the Amazon site, you want to search for articles on link building, to search the entire site for link building articles you’d search:
Site:Amazon.com link building
After the .com part, leave a space and enter whatever it is you’re searching for.
The above are just some of the main modifiers, but not all.
Using Different Modifiers Together to Create Search Strings:
Here are some examples of search strings using modifiers:
Example: Suppose you’re in the health industry and you’d like to guest post on other sites for building links to your site.
The search string you’d use to find guest posting opportunities in the health industry:
health “guest post” OR “guest author” OR “guest blogger”
Example: Suppose you’re a personal injury lawyer and want to make donations on behalf of your business to brain injury not for profits with the aim of being featured on the sites that you donated to.
You’d search for donation opportunities using:
“brain injury” donate OR make donation OR donate online
The above are just short search string examples. You can go a lot more in-depth and add more variations and modifiers. There are in-depth lesson on creating and using search strings in the Digiologist Digital Marketing course.
Also, a useful tip is to increase your search results per page from 10 to 100. This just gives you more results on one page and you don’t waste time clicking next again and again. To do this, click on the settings wheel at the top right hand corner on a Google search results page and choose ‘search settings’. Go to where it says ‘results per page’ and set to 100.
Steps Involved: Local SEO
Local SEO involves applying techniques to rank in local search results that provide relevant results to users based on their location. For example, if a user located in New York searches for the term ‘ice cream shops’ and gets ice cream shops located in the UK as results, it wouldn’t be useful at all right? Local SEO makes sure users get results relevant to their location.
Local SEO practices are important for businesses that have a fixed physical location and get a significant chunk of their business form that particular location.
This allows you to be visible to local customers in local search results and appear on map results as well which is important because it shows your location and contact information and is visible to people looking for your business while they’re out and about. This contact information appears in the search results so people don’t need to open your website and specially look for your contact information.
Local SEO involves making efforts in the following areas:
Google My Business Page
On site on-page optimization with geo-targeted keywords
Local Links (local sites, local directories)
Google My Business Page:
The Google My Business page is the main Google account you need to set up for local SEO currently but local SEO has been changing frequently over the past couple of years so expect more changes soon. The main profile to be created was called Google Places in 2011. It was called Google + Local in 2012 and currently it is called Google My Business, which you can sign up for at google.com/business.
Setting up your Google My Business page is quite easy. Just follow the steps at google.com/business. It instructs you on adding all of your information such as business name, categories, address, phone number, operating hours etc. You get to add pictures, link to your website and add a description. In case your business has multiple locations, you can add their info in bulk by importing a file.
Tips for setting up your Google business page:
Have as many images as possible and make sure they’re high resolution. In addition to general photos, add a good profile and cover photo as well.
Add a keyword rich description.
Choose the your business categories with care.
Add a local phone number with the local code over a toll free number.
There could be a chance that your listing might have already been created before so you don’t need to make a new one. In that case you need to claim the existing one and make any changes if necessary. When you start filling in your details, Google will let you know if you need to make a new one or claim an already existing one. Your profile also needs to be verified. This is done by entering a code Google will mail to your business address in a few weeks to verify that your location is real.
Add your NAP to every page of your site in the footer. If you’re unsure on how to format your NAP, see the citation building section below. Target geo-targeted keywords on your site as well. These are keywords you normally target as well but with a location modifier added. Add them to your page titles, meta descriptions, page content etc like you normally do on-page SEO, except that in this case, you’re inserting geo-targeted keywords into your site pages.
Also make a page on your site for each location in case of multi-location businesses and have your URL structures that reflect that. For e.g., if your business has locations in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, set your pages to:
Citations are a very important part of local seo and are similar to links and involve citation building, similar to link building. A citation is an online reference to your business NAP on external sites. NAP is an acronym for name, address and phone number and that’s exactly what a citation is, your business name, address and phone number combination. Citation building is similar to link building except that citations don’t link to your site, as in they’re not clickable hyperlinked links but rather just a collection of text in the NAP format.
The way it is similar to link building is that is involves the process of building as many citations on external sites as possible. Build profiles on local directories and add your citations there and also in the footer on every page on your site.
Here is a commonly used format for citations:
Company Name, Company Address, City,
State/Province, Postal Code/Zip Code Phone Number
The above format can be changed around as well, as long as they make sense and are in the right order. For example, you can have the city and state/province in one line together as well or have the city, state/province as well as zip/postal code all in one line. As long as it is a NAP combination in the right order.
Here’s an example on how an actual citation would look like:
72 Highland Ridge, Midvale,
*Note that the above information is a false address and number for demonstration purposes only.
Putting your NAP together is quite easy but complications arise when there is no NAP consistency in citation building. The way you initially decide to format your NAP is exactly how each citation needs to be built. Inconsistency will occur even in small cases such as addition of or removal of a space, addition of a dot or just general changing of the format.
You can find citation opportunities through manual searches as well as by using the Whitespark Citation Finder tool (whitespark.ca/local-citation-finder). You can also track your local rankings for different location based keywords using any of he following: Georanker (georanker.com), Whitespark Local Rank Tracker (whitespark.ca/local-rank-tracker) and Brightlocal (brightlocal.com/seo-tools).
You can also track where your competitors are getting their citations from, just like you can check their backlinks in the case of link building. Track your competitors citation courses using the above mentioned tools. To get a bit of an idea where your competitors citations are coming from, you can also do a manual search without any tools. To do that, just Google the competitor’s name and zip/postal code together and you’ll get results of all of the pages with their citations. You can also add the subtraction modifier as: -competitorsite.com to eliminate results of all of the pages with citations from the competitors site.
[* Google+ Reviews *]
Getting favourable reviews and a good star rating is important for local SEO as a ranking factor and also a conversion factor. Good reviews and ratings influence people to make purchases. The best people to ask for reviews are your customers of course. These are people that have already tried out your product/service and are eligible to give their thoughts on it.
A lot of companies incentivize their customers for leaving them reviews by offering them a free product or discount on their next purchase. This is against Google’s terms though. It’s better to be safe in this case instead of being penalized. There is no restriction against asking for reviews though so ask your customers to leave you reviews. Do this as a soft sell though so don’t pressurize them. You can ask them verbally and also print it on your corporate packaging so they’re reminded later on.
It also helps significantly if you ask for reviews on your website and add a quick tutorial video or written list of steps on how to leave a review. As surprising as it may sound, some people are confused on how to do it. Ofcourse another obvious way to get reviews, and good reviews that is, is to be so good that your customers love your product and want to review you.
Build as many links and citations on local sites as possible. These are sites in your city like city specific blogs and news sites and directories. Find these sites manually using search strings by adding local modifiers and citation finder tools like White Spark.
Optimizing your website for devices
In case you’re living under a rock, you know that mobile is taking over the world! It’s now a daily tool for people, it’s use in finding whatever they need via Google and other search engines.
I want to set the right expectations for my awesome readers first. This chapter will only be focusing on some tricks and tactics to mobile optimized a website. I will give you though, everything you need to know to make your website mobile optimized. I made it short in purpose because I want people to understand one topic and take action, instead of studying hundreds of pages, getting overwhelmed and then giving up on SEO.
Search engine optimization doesn’t have to be hard. Some parts of it are complex but I will try to make every instruction as simple as possible. Kind of like an idiot proof guide. This book will be no different, there will[* probably*] be some technical stuff, but I will make sure that you’ll get to follow it step by step.
What is Mobile SEO
Mobile seo is basically optimizing your website for mobile devices. Which means it has to look good not only on the eyes of the viewers but also in the eyes of Google.
The website on the left side is NOT mobile optimized. If you are using an Iphone to look at products and services, having a small interface would really make it hard for you to search, read and review the products you wanted to buy.
However, if that website is mobile optimized, it’ll be easier to navigate a site. Buttons, text and the overall feel of the site looks much better.
In addition, Mobile SEO is all about ease and pain free browsing. Just imagine reading a 1,000 word article in your Iphone, that’s gotta be annoying as fuck. (By the way, if you are easily offended by words like fuck, shit, bullshit etc. – then this book is not for you).
Now, there’s more to mobile seo than making buttons bigger and all that stuff. But, the main point of doing mobile seo is to make it easier for the visitors to use the website. That’s it
Why Mobile SEO
Last April 21, 2015, Google unleash the beast. If you’ve been around seo for a while, then you know about the updates like Panda, Penguin and all those lovely animals that ruin the lives of many internet marketers.
Well, this update did ruined many more website owners. Those who never prepared for the Mobile update got their rankings crashed into broken pieces.
Starting April 21, 2015, we have started seeing mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.
It’s now 2016 but it’s not too late for you to mobile optimized your website. From what I notice, the update is not just a onetime splash. There are some markets that got more damaged and there are some that still haven’t received the update. Now, I can’t pinpoint all of those markets, so it’s best to mobile optimized your website immediately.
Because of this update, websites that are mobile optimized will not get higher rankings in Google. Google said it themselves, websites that are not optimized will suffer and will take a hit.
There are many ways to fix your website and I’ll teach a lot of those tricks inside this book.
Did you know that 80% of all the internet users today are now using mobile phones? Yup, it means that if you leave your website the way it is right now, then you’ll be losing 80% of your potential customers/website visitors!
Just imagine how much profit you would lose by not mobile optimizing your website! In addition, I don’t think the train is stopping yet, more and more people will use mobile as their search device. We’re just in the beginning stages at the moment. I don’t remember the exact data but I believe that 50%-60% of the world is not even using the internet yet! Over 4 billion people are still not using the internet, holy macaroni! The opportunity for growth is still there!
[* *]Look at the website above, assuming that you are interested in foods (who doesn’t?) what website would you most likely choose to browse?
The left one? The right one?
The obvious answer is the right one.
It’s easier to navigate and I can see the tabs about different stuff that I may be looking for.
That’s the value of a mobile optimized website. You’ll not only get more people but you’ll also get more people to stay.
All the traffic in the world doesn’t really matter unless you can turn them into paying customers.
The look and feel of your website will hugely affect the number of visitors that will stay and actually look at your products or services.
Here’s another example.
Let’s say you are selling your consulting service, by having a mobile site, you’ll be able to help your customers navigate the site, Thus, helping them see the features and benefits of your services. Also, you can feature your social media pages on the home page itself. A huge plus on getting more people to interact with you.
Mobile sites are also best used for high content websites like the one below.
It’s easier in the eyes, it has bigger fonts and it’ll be much pleasurable to read the content inside.
18 Little Tricks to Mobile Optimized Your Website
Here are 18 of the most effective optimization tips you could follow, to make your website mobile optimized.
1 – Mobile Friendly Test
Check your website first if its mobile optimized.
Use Google’s mobile webmasters tool.
Input your website url and then click ANALYZE.
If the notification below appears, it means that your website is mobile optimized (that doesn’t mean it’s already FULLY mobile optimized though, that’s why you should still follow my other tips).
If the RED warning appears, it means that your website is mobile optimized in the eyes of Google bots.
[* 2- Have a responsive design *]
If you are using wordpress (which most SEO’s do), you can avoid all the hustle and hard cost of making a website “responsive”. There are a lot of wordpress themes today that are designed specifically for mobile optimization.
Responsive design means that your content will automatically change in font size depending on the size of your screen.
Another awesome Content Management Service you can use, besides wordpress, is hubspot. It automatically converts your website into a mobile friendly website.
Here’s what a responsive design looks like.
Notice how the placement of text adjusts depending on the size of the screen.
3 – Shorter search terms
Target shorter keywords. These keywords are the kw’s that are more likely to be searched using a mobile device since it’s much easier to type these shortcut keywords than your normal kw.
Let’s say you have a website about web design California.
Make sure that you also out a lot of backlinks targeting the keyword:
Web design CA , instead of targeting just the keyword – web design California
Instead of typing
Certificate of deposit rates
They are more likely to type CD RATES when they are using a mobile device.
A person searching via mobile tends to type lesser keywords in the search bar.
4 – Jetpack
One way to instantly turn your website into a mobile optimized website is by installing a wordpress plugin called JETPACK.
What Jetpack does is it allows you to show (or not) full post, excerpts of post and pages for mobile devices.
Aside from the mobile feature, it can also help you in other aspects of SEO like Google authorship, widget visibility, managing comments etc.
5 – Font Size
It’s important for the readers to be able to see the font clearly, especially if your market is the old peeps.
I recommend that you use a base size of 16 CSS pixels.
If you don’t know how to change the font size, I recommend that you study basic html.
If you are using wordpress (like me), then you just have to install a plug in. Search for text size editor or font size editor plug in. You can then directly change your font size via the post/page editor.
In addition, limit your website to at least 2- 3 font designs. Too much of it will make your visitors confuse, which may make them leave your website.
Google needs these (css etc.) features to sort of, calculate the mobile power of your website.
7 – Buttons
If you have a lot of buttons in your website, make sure that you space them apart quite nicely. Just imagine yourself in the place of the customer, he’s touching different buttons from his iphone and he’s touching the wrong button because it’s to small or there’s too much button in such a little space.
I suggest that you talk to a developer when it comes to your link buttons.
You can spend all day worrying about or studying how to make a button move, or you can hire a developer to do it for you. (Probably in 2 minute or less).
8 – Page speed Insight
The page speed (loading) also has a huge effect on your rankings. Google and your customers don’t want a website that loads for minutes!
Type your website and click analyze.
If you page speed is less than 50, then you have a lot to fix.
My own website here below is at 33/100.
Now this is quite a new website, it’s still under construction and there’s still a lot to change. I just need to actually follow my advice and this website will perform well.
It’ll give you suggestions to change. Follow these advices and you’ll surely get faster website.
5 minutes later after following my own advice…
BOOM! 87/100! Not bad!
Here’s the simple trick. I just install a plug in called “W3 Total Cache”, activate and then it does everything for me.
If I want to make this website even faster, I’ll just follow what Google advices me to do.
9 – Crop unnecessary large images
Crop some super large images that you don’t really need to show. Too much images will also make your website a bit unprofessional (Unless of course if your website is about photography).
This trick requires a bit of a trial and error. You never really know if it’s too large or too small until you see it live (on mobile) yourself.
Images will look different in size when it comes to different mobile devices.
Go to this url to read more about this.
10 – Dudamobile
https://my.dudamobile.com/new (not an affiliate link)
This is an all in one tool that you can use to make your website mobile and responsive.
You can even see what your website would look like even before you buy dudamobile.
Price depends on the package that you’ll choose.
I suggest that you give it a try for 30 days.
You can also use its other features to modify your website the way you want it.
11 – Videos
Don’t you just hate it when a video you want to watch loads like a snail?
When you are embedding your videos, make sure that you avoid using
So instead of copy pasting the url.
Like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVJcLcuQdOw
Use the embed feature rather.
12 – Use short forms
You’ll probably be tempted to use long forms, and you’ll justify that it’s beautiful.
It is probably a beautiful form, but your customers don’t like to fill up a long form via mobile.
Make them short and simple.
Make it short or at least step by step.
Show 2 bars, then next, then 3 bars, till the form is complete.
Too long for mobile -
13 – Ditch the FLASH
(not this Flash – I love this Flash)
I mean this one…
Most mobile doesn’t have a feature to play Flash.
Flash has a good run, but it’s time to let go.
Trust me, for now, its better not to use it in your website.
I recommend that you use HTML5 instead.
If you insist in using flash, then use it at your own risk. I’m warning you though; you’ll probably lose a lot of followers and website visitors irritated by non-working Flash features.
14 – Annoying Pop Ups
If you one of those annoying pop-ups, ditch it also for mobile seo purposes.
Pop ups are very-very annoying especially for mobile devices.
It’ll also make your website a little bit slower.
Remember to test it though, sometimes your pop up can be your best lead capture tool. Sometimes, not so much.
15 – Optimize Your Title and Your Meta Descriptions
For mobile website, I recommend that you make your title as straight to the point as possible.
You can only so much space for mobile. Also, try to make your articles short and concise. People read less in when they are using mobile.
16 – Mobile Sitemap
Create a different sitemap for your mobile and desktop pages.
This is important because you’ll get to organize your content, and separate desktop to mobile.
There are ways to do this.
For wordpress site, you can simply install UDINRA MOBILE SITEMAP or you could search for other “mobile sitemap”.
For other platforms, you can learn more about sitemaps on this site.
In addition, I also recommend that you install YOUTUBE SITEMAP to make Google know every time you put a YT video in your website.
17 – Consider transcripts
In your videos, consider adding transcripts of your video – since not all of your visitors will be able to play a video for some reason or another. This helps in retaining visitors.
In addition, this also helps SEO wise, since you’re adding some original content in your website. Don’t forget to put some keywords in your content.
18 – Submit to Google
Once you made these changes, make sure that you let Google know of the following changes. This will make your site rank faster.
Just put your url and click Continue.
You can also use another tool from Google. It basically does the same thing.
Leveraging social media to make your business shine
The Facebook challenge is on, and new social networking websites break out on a regular basis—every site hoping to replicate Facebook’s success. These are the first, and most powerful, nerve centers for your social media.
You may wonder what these particular social networking sites have to do with SEO. Their value to your SEO efforts is staggering. Properly implemented, these sites can catapult your website to Google’s first page in keyword searches, even filling up the entire first page of Google results.
Especially in a search for your company name (referred to as branding), you want the search results page filled with your website properties (your website, your Facebook page, your Twitter page, etc.).
I’m starting with[* Facebook*], and so should you. Facebook is a super-powerful—dare I say it—drug, and billions of people are hooked. To say that it is an exceptionally effective marketing tool, when strategically used, would be an understatement.
Create a Facebook page for your business using your company name. Input your business information (contact information, hours, logo, photos, and special offers.)
Take advantage of the custom URL Facebook offers after you reach 20 users (people who “like” your page.) Your new URL will look like this: ().
Invite friends, family and existing customers to “Like” your Facebook page to get the custom URL offer sooner rather than later.
Post in Facebook at least once a day. That should be your goal. Share interesting stories relevant to your followers, announce product or service specials, cover noteworthy industry events before and after they happen, even share a good (appropriate) laugh now and then. The operative word in the previous sentence is interesting.
I’m going to assume most readers of this book have a basic familiarity with Facebook. Check out the business pages of your competitors to see how they engage with their followers.
When you create a post, ask yourself, “If I saw this post, would I like it or comment on it?”
If your answer is “no,” improve the quality of your post and change your answer to “yes.” Whatever time that it takes you is worth it, and it’s important for you love what you do and display that passion because it will make itself evident very quickly.
Schedule time every day to interact with your loyal followers and fans and as if Facebook doesn’t do enough to help build your business…
Facebook offers built-in analytics they call Facebook Insights that catalogs your most popular posts according to activity and what’s referred to as reach, which can help you make smart decisions about future posts.
Reach refers to the number of people who can physically see each individual post. They don’t actually have to engage with it. It just indicates that the post was on their screen at some point regardless of whether they actually read it or not.
Though you have 2,000 followers, not all of them will see all of your posts. When you post on Facebook, there will be a small percentage of your followers that will actually see the post.
Facebook will only display your post to the people that are most likely out of your followers to interact with it based on what they’ve done before, their interests, etc.
If you cousin John always clicks “Like” on your posts, he will most definitely see all of the posts that you submit.
Facebook bases the number of people who see each of your posts on activity or interaction. A reader who clicks “like,” shares or comments on the post, signals “activity” to Facebook.
Initially, only a few people will see your posts. That’s common. As interactivity grows, your reach expands.
Happily, reach can expand even beyond your own audience. When posts are shared, another person’s audience sees your post. You can view at the bottom of each post you submit exactly how many people saw that post.
Some people still can’t wrap their heads around[* Twitter*]. Posts are limited to 140 characters, with the usernames and URLs taking their share of those characters. It doesn’t seem possible that there’s enough opportunity for any marketing, but you would be very wrong.
Twitter requires an ongoing conversation to be successful. It’s fine to post information about a new product, service or special, but don’t expect other “tweeters” to help push your marketing.
Follow people in your industry including salespeople, managers, and bloggers. When those individuals tweet (post) interesting items, “retweet” their posts, and even comment on them when appropriate.
You won’t lose business by patting someone else’s back—in fact, consistent interaction on Twitter works to your advantage. A “retweet” or comment on a post is a “thumbs up” to that individual or business.
Twitter lets you know when others retweet, comment, and follow you—and those you follow have the option to follow [_you _]and respond to your tweets.
On the downside, Twitter can be addictive, with moment-to-moment postings. There are literally thousands of posts every second on Twitter. Depending on how many people you follow, it could be very overwhelming. Keeping up with a Twitter feed—posting, reading, retweeting, commenting, thanking—can be a 24/7 habit if you let it.
You’re engaging in active, real-time conversations and constructing relationships. Make time in your daily routine to interact with the Twitter-verse, but within reason. Post interesting, amusing and useful information for your followers. Then move on to one of the other thousand things on your daily agenda.
Your casual Twitter conversations can pay off in a big way when you market a new product or service! You have a huge, friendly audience of potential customers on Twitter. Share it, and watch your followers blast your new product or service across the Twitter-verse with reciprocal retweets and comments.
LinkedIn is specifically a business-to-business (B2B) site for establishing strategic business relationships, so don’t spend too much time on it unless that’s your business model.
Connect with people who can become customers or draw attention your business. Build your account communicating your business focus and the value of your service or product without a hard sell. People will seek [_you _]out if you take advantage of the networking opportunities LinkedIn offers.
Google+/Google My Business
Google+ for business is a difficult call from a “necessity” standpoint. At one point, Google pushed hard to replicate Facebook’s success, so it was beneficial to sign on for their service.
Google lured us with some elements from our Google+ page that would upgrade your search engine listing with your company hours, logos, product photos, reviews and other extras.
While their pushing has slacked off, Google still creates a detailed area on the right-hand side of the results page for brand searches (when someone searches specifically for your business name), which showcases your photos, hours, busy times (based on the day and activity), reviews, map and other data.
The image example shown is what appears on the right hand side of Google search results when you do a search for YP Tucker, GA.
This basically means that Google can take any of that data you have put into your Google+ account (such as your hours of operation, your address, photos, etc.) and decide to use them in some form or fashion on your search engine listing like they have above.
The lesson to be learned here is to make sure that you actually use whatever they offer so that when they [_do _]decide to use it in future experiments; it’s there for them to use.
Other Google services, like Google Hangouts (free online conferencing) and Gmail, make it worthwhile for every day usage anyway, so you may as well take advantage of what they’re giving away for free because it could be to your advantage down the road.
Head to https://www.google.com/business and sign up.
Even when your website becomes fully and precisely optimized, it might take a while before positive changes materialize and you see the results of your hard work.
High rankings in the[* organic ](non-paid) *listings are tough, but not impossible, to acquire. Is paid advertising worth the money to get the ball rolling? Absolutely, if you are strategic. Otherwise, it can be costly.
The first bit of advice is to have your website running smoothly before you spend money to jump-start traffic and sales for a specific product. If your website has broken links, unfinished pages, or poor navigation, the results can be disastrous.
Additionally, Google makes decisions on where your ad will rank partially based on a quality score. They measure quality by how relevant the website is to the topic and how well people interact with with it. Part of that quality score also analyzes broken links, the content, grammatical and spelling errors, etc.
Among many, my top two recommendations for paid advertising are [Facebook advertising *]and[ Google Adwords*], but I will briefly chat about Bing and Yahoo offerings as well and also a general idea about what you should be spending on each of the platforms.
When it’s done correctly, advertising on Facebook is powerful. However, if your ad isn’t set up correctly, it can fail miserably. Set up Facebook ads carefully and with purpose.
Facebook’s power lies in what it knows about its users. Pay close attention to your target demographic when setting up Facebook advertising—it’s the game changer between success and failure.
Facebook’s advertising can be highly targeted—wedding planners can market directly to people who change their relationship status from “single” to “engaged” or who recently started posting about weddings. Automotive parts dealers can market to people interested in cars.
The beauty of Facebook advertising is your ability to choose the audience who sees your ads. If you have a limited budget of under $100 per month to put towards advertising, Facebook advertising is your best bet and will yield the most results. Their system handles smaller budgets much better than Google Adwords.
On the other hand, Google Adwords has a wealth of information about a person’s online activity. With Google Adwords, you can market to certain demographics, show ads to people based on sites they’ve visited previously (known as retargeting or remarketing), show users banner ads (display advertising) on Google’s network of partner sites, and that’s just the beginning.
Google has a toll-free number to call and chat with a customer service rep who’s happy to hold your hand during the order process.
If you have the budget, there are companies and individuals that are [*Adwords Certified *](tested and certified by Google as an Adwords professional), and they can help you zero in on your target audience, work with Google Adwords to create the ad using your parameters, and can manage your advertising campaigns for a fee.
If your budget is anywhere from $250 month and upwards, Google can be the better advertising beast. It doesn’t handle smaller advertising budgets very well because it’s constantly adjusting bids and monitoring what is working by trial and error.
Luckily, Adwords also offers free $100 advertising coupons through many of its providers and that helps to take the sting off. Once it finds the sweet spot, and you are monitoring activity while making adjustments, it’s a behemoth and a very powerful ally.
Bing AdCenter and Yahoo Gemini
Enter and into the mix. Each have its own advertising platform now, but the amount of visitors they display to is a minor fraction of the audience that Google or Facebook offer.
However, they have a very legitimate audience and if you have advertising dollars to put there, it is worth the time and effort to make sure that you have a full saturation of all of your potential audience across all of the search engines.
Plus, it doesn’t hurt that both of them have the ability to import your Google Adwords accounts and settings directly into their platforms to make it a less arduous process.
The Popularity Factor
How many times have you heard about a sensational video or something big breaking in the news and immediately headed to Google to scope out the buzz? Like most people, you’ve done it many times.
Search engines continually monitor traffic, news sites, , highly trafficked websites, and the latest trends.
Google specifically provides you with a public monitoring station called Google Trends, so that you can see what is trending for yourself at http://www.google.com/trends.
The story or event doesn’t necessarily have to be covered by media, though. Imagine that you write a great blog post about the 10 best flower arrangements, and a popular florist forum such as FTD links to your website, suddenly bringing you a slew of unsolicited traffic.
Google will make note of that traffic and will give your site major consideration when someone searches for something similar, such as “best flower arrangements.”
If your website is a blog, pay attention to trends and create blog posts that take advantage of surging traffic activity. It increases your site popularity and doesn’t go unnoticed by search engines.
Black Hat vs White Hat
White hat SEO contains all of the SEO practices that are in compliance with search engine regulations. These practices are non spammy and aim to prove value to site owners and include ranking techniques that are fair and clean. Black hat on the other hand involves practices that are not in compliance with search engine regulations and involve manipulation and deception to rank.
An example of doing the same work through white hat and black hat methods can be explained in the case of link building. A white hat approach to building links would be through publishing good quality content that earns links over time. A black hat approach would be purchasing links instead on sites across the web. Black hat methods don’t have long lasting effects and are ultimately caught by search engines and the sites are penalized. Some other examples of black hat SEO include using keywords numerous times in articles just for ranking purposes i.e. keyword stuffing, comment spamming, aggressive profile creation using softwares, using hidden invisible text to stuff keywords etc.
Let me cover a few of the many techniques people use to manipulate search engines, so you have a better idea of what I’m referring to.
1. Keyword stuffing – Overuse of competitive keywords within page content, Meta tags, Alt tags etc.
2. Hidden keywords – Keywords can be used on pages and rendered invisible to searchers. This is often accomplished by setting the text color of the words to be the same as the background color of the page.
3. Frames – some designers use textual content in the no-frames tag which has little relevance to what is on the actual page being displayed to the visitor.
4. Redirections – there are various levels of page redirection, where a visitor lands on a page and is automatically redirected to another page on entry.
5. Link-farms and other off-page linking techniques may also be classified as “manipulation” by search engines.
So you can see from the above list, which is by no means exhaustive, that it wouldn’t be too difficult to bring penalty to your website if you didn’t know enough about what you are doing.
Let me give you the best piece of advice relating to using this deceptive level of manipulative SEO techniques – don’t do it! – and when you come across SEO companies who claim to have insider secrets and “special” techniques to gain advantage – run a mile!
To help you do the right thing, I’m going to share some information with you that you’ll probably never hear from another person who makes their living from SEO.
Clearly, the aim of Google and the other search engines is to deliver quality content to their users. This isn’t born from an act of altruism, it’s completely selfish on their part. The more people using their website freely, as a search tool, the more money they make from advertising revenue.
Google views SEO companies as a threat to their business. If it is possible to manipulate search results then it is possible to degrade the quality of content served to their visitors. With poorer quality comes the risk of reduced market share and reduced advertising revenue.
So Google does all that it can to detect and penalize any forms of manipulation by “optimizers” and basically does its utmost to reduce the urge for legitimate companies to resort to using paid SEO services – they do this by minimizing the benefits and increasing the risks.
But the most brilliant way that Google has found to reduce the need for SEO is by simply publishing the rules and methods required for true “optimization” on their website. Under Google’s Webmaster Tools, there’s an extensive database of all the knowledge and techniques required to gain the best possible rankings on Google. What they’re basically saying is, “read the rules, stick to the rules, implement what we’re saying, and you shouldn’t need to pay for SEO!” – Brilliant!
Of course not everyone has the time or inclination to perform their own SEO, so if you’re hiring an SEO company, I recommend that you find one who will play by the rules of the game.
The Power of Content – Content is King
You have built your site and now you need to invite people over. Directing traffic to your website can be a frustrating process and can be tricky and expensive. I feel your pain.
However, there are tools and sites that are already out there that can bring tremendous sources of traffic to your website. I have some prescriptions for this dilemma that will inject some inexpensive ways to spread the word about your website and content.
Getting Relevant Links
Directories and indexes like [ *]are a good start. Acquiring new and relevant links can be tricky, but it can be one of your most important SEO goals. Earning those premium links takes a lot of work and it’s worth it. Here are some quick *white hat ways to get links ethically (white hat = legal and following Google guidelines and terms of service.)
Write Awesome Content
The ultimate no-brainer. For some people, compelling writing comes easy and, for others, it is their worst nightmare. They tense up just thinking about the need to write content.
You can hire good writers, but that is often an expensive proposition. You may be under the impression that it will take an extensive amount of time to create enough content to make a difference or to start appearing in the search results. Just breathe. Even the creation of one blog post a week will reap you 52 posts over the period of a year.
SEO should never be your primary reason for creating a website. You should have a passion for what you are doing and be excited to have an online presence and to share that passion with others. When you focus your writing on that excitement, the traffic will come, and when visitors begin linking to that content, better rankings aren’t far behind.
If your focus is making money, expect to be frustrated. There are ways to make money online, but there are no shortcuts. Good rankings aren’t attracted to that type of website since your lack of passion and effort can be easily recognized by visitors and Google.
Creating “Link Bait”
A quick way to solid traction is link bait. If your [quantity _]of content is low, make the _quality of your content powerful.
There are general rules to writing great content and especially when constructing your article titles. Ask yourself this question while you are writing:
If I were online and saw this article title, would I click on it and read it?
Which articles and posts get the most clicks? Not surprisingly, posts containing countdowns and Top 10 lists are heavily clicked. Not only do they get an enormous wave of traffic when first launched, but they’ll continue to attract traffic for months and even years later.
In 2009, I created a blog post of the Here we are many years later and that post still gets an insane amount of traffic and ranks in position 12 for worst wedding photos.
While you may think that position 12 is nothing to brag about, it ranked in position 1 thru 3 for over 5 years, stayed on the first page for another 2 years, and only recently dropped to the 2nd page (NOTE: This book was first published in 2016.) Pretty [_amazing _]for a post that hasn’t been touched or updated since its creation seven years ago.
For example, Funkatopia features concert and album reviews, as well as 20 Best Funk Albums of the Year. These posts draw traffic from around the world and continue to drive traffic to the website throughout the year. The artists often link to reviews from their websites, which then further increases relevance in the genre.
Prince, Isley Brothers, and music legends like Thomas Dolby, Wang Chung and others have linked to my site, which gives me a lot of authority on the topic of funk. That heavyweight link juice pours into my site from time to time and those links are forever indexed by Google until the originator removes them, which they almost never do.
When your site gets this kind of attention, you begin to rank for the terms that you are chasing—if you’ve optimized properly. Funkatopia consistently ranks well for many funk-related terms like new funk music, funky bands, funk music reviews, and others.
What content can you create to draw people into your website?
[_Do you sell flower bouquets? _]
How about a Top 10 Wedding Bouquet Arrangements post?
Do you provide wedding travel services?
Why not a Top 10 Cheapest Wedding Destinations page?
To develop effective content strategies, look at which search terms attract your audience. Now create articles, content and posts that entice them to click through to your website.
There are hundreds (if not thousands) of directories online have listings to businesses around the world. Strangely, there are people that would rather use these directories directly to find providers instead of Google.
Getting listed in dozens of business directories might do more harm than good, though directories relative to your business are worthwhile. Before I share a very important tool that can help you find relevant directories fast, let us first explore a manual process to locate some of the directories specific to your industry.
If you are a wedding florist, visit Google.com and search for wedding florist directory or wedding florist organizations. While some directories charge fees for listing your business, others offer free listings that can be upgraded (for cash, of course) to more comprehensive listings with add-ons such as photos, logos, store hours, etc.
Here are the main issues to look for when considering being listed on a directory that wants you to input credit card information:
Are the links they provide ?
If it’s a directory, it probably doesn’t matter which one. Remember— even if it is “followed,” there are dozens of links on that page already, so any that you may squeeze from that page is already heavily diluted and probably not too beneficial.
How much traffic does this website receive?
This question is essential if you are in a position to pay for a listing service. There is no need to pay for positioning on a website if that link can’t supply you with any business or traffic to your website.
Several major wedding directories out there draw a high volume of traffic, but the amount of traffic they direct to your website from their directory is insignificant. This is why it is important to use Google Analytics to see where your traffic is originating from. Also to monitor the sales funnel process to see whether it’s converting into sales.
If you think that you might be able to acquire leads or business from a directory, sign up for a monthly option that doesn’t require a long term commitment. This way if it doesn’t work out, you can simply jump ship instead of being trapped for the term of the contract.
Is the site related to your industry?
At this stage, your primary focus should be relevance. If you are a wedding planner, focus on wedding or event-planning sites. Google must see that relevance—it’s critical to your goals.
And now, the tool that makes everything you just read somewhat irrelevant—if you like saving time.
Talk about a wonder drug for directories! Yext automatically posts your company information to all the biggest, most relevant directories available, listing your business name, address, logo, store hours, photos, description, and other items.
While Yext has monthly options, there typically isn’t much need of it for most businesses since once a listing is on the directories, it stays there.
That being said, Yext [_does _]offer a monthly subscription that businesses can utilize if they need to update their information such as seasonal hours, changing phone numbers, etc. Instead of the need to go to each individual directory website, you can do it all underneath the Yext umbrella quickly and easily.
Yext is a lifesaver because it accomplishes this daunting task in mere minutes. Yext currently submits to these directories below, but keep in mind that these are [general _]directories and _not industry specific locations. Getting your business submitted to these directories drastically helps your link count and help you get found easier.
Additionally, some of these directories submit to other outlets such as GPS systems, smaller directories and mobile applications:
Some SEO consultants and specialists roll their eyes when I stress the value of blog commenting. In my practice of SEO, the impact is real. Regularly visit blogs that are related to your industry to find individuals who need guidance or have questions that you can answer.
On a side note, this practice can also help you to discover common questions people have that are related to your industry. If people are continuously asking the same question, you could write a blog post addressing the answer on your own website that could draw people to your site to discover the answer.
If you are the owner of a Mercedes Benz car repair shop, it will take little to no effort to respond on forums and blogs focused on Mercedes issues, luxury car repairs, etc.
Head to Google and search for forums or blogs related to your industry (such as car repair forums or car repair discussions) and browse through the listings to find active discussions asking questions that you feel confident to answer. Then join the discussion by signing up as a user and participating in the topic.
When filling out the sign-up page for a forum or blog to “join”, remember to give yourself a descriptive username like GeorgiaMercedesRepair. Also, when you fill out your profile, be sure to list your website URL so that your user name will be hyperlinked to your website when you leave a comment.
GeorgiaMercedesRepair is obviously just a suggestion. If you service different types of vehicles, just change the username depending on the brand (FordRepairShop, BMWRepairShop, etc.). If you are a wedding planner in Denver, then call yourself DenverWeddingPlanner. No brain surgery here. Give yourself a username that leaves no question as to what your line of business may be to the reader when they see your username.
Use a spreadsheet to keep track of the different usernames and passwords that you may use on the various sites. The Rx for success? Stay active.
When you are responding to a question in a forum, do [_not _]post a link to your website within the blog comment itself, because both the blog system and readers may identify it as spam and unjustly categorize it as one of those annoying or irrelevant messages. Your only goal should be to provide only useful information for the reader. Why?
First, if readers like your answer, they are likely to 3notice your username which describes what you do, click it and potentially become a customer.
Second, you have created a link that Google can see, regardless of whether it is .
Lastly, if the blog moderator sees that you have contributed to a conversation or supplied a valid answer without spamming their blog, they will typically approve your content and your input could be invaluable and lead to you being perceived as an expert.
While this approach does technically add links to your link count, your over-arching goal with this strategy is to lure those blog readers to click through to your website. That type of activity impacts SEO.
*Guest Blogging *
Before I even start to discuss this in detail, I can already see some SEO experts and people that have read otherwise, that this particular practice is “old school” or a total waste of time. Once again, it’s not.
Professional SEO forums such as Moz, Search Engine Watch, and Search Engine Land are filled with posts submitted by guest writers. This extends into well-known magazine websites and other literary publications. It works for these industries and it will work for yours. You are probably well aware that there are thousands of independent bloggers with websites on topics relevant to your industry.
Finding those relevant bloggers is fairly easy: go to Google and search for your industry, followed by the word blog or forum (i.e. – wedding blog, car repair forum). If your product is a magnet for rabid fandom, you are in even better shape (think: Mac fan blog; Martha Stewart fan blog.)
In particular, look for bloggers who don’t post regularly (averaging a post a month or so). These bloggers will be your targets.
Email the bloggers individually, indicating that you found their blog, enjoyed it (don’t gush, unless you are absolutely blown away) and would love the chance to write a guest blog post for their site.
All you ask in return is to post a link to your website in the “About” section (also called a “resource box”) so that readers can reach you if they have questions. More often than not, bloggers are delighted to have someone else write content for them.
Write an entertaining, informative, error-free blog post with a link to your website in the resource box, send it, and in return, you get a good high-quality link. When your link comes from a relevant page, it’s gold.
Though Google has recently made algorithm adjustments that took away some of the value of this practice, the acquisition of relevant links will always be a strong signal to Google. The more relevant links you acquire, the more valuable they become.
The nay-sayers can roll their eyes and laugh if they wish, but until the links cease to be counted, this is good way to get some exposure. As mentioned, popular websites have guest bloggers that account for a majority of their content.
Posting on forums works for you in a similar way to . Find forums engaged in conversation about a topic relevant to your industry and contribute to the conversation in a useful way for all involved.
Remember not to spam your services or sneak a link into your message.
Use the same strategy. Establish a good username utilizing keywords like BMWDealer or CaliforniaWeddings to communicate your expertise and be sure to remember to input your website address [_inside _]of your profile.
Again, the object of this strategy is to provide free and useful information. Your username describes what you do, and when forum fans click on your username, they will be taken directly to your website or to your forum profile, which contains a link to your website.
When I review to see the origin of my traffic to my websites, it never fails that various forums and blogs where I have participated are still sending me visitors on a regular basis. The strategy works regardless of whether those links are .
Google notices and indexes those links. Again, the only keeps Google from passing on [* *]to my website. It doesn’t hide the link from Google. Google can see the link placed on a website that is relevant to my industry and that I’ve created a link to my website that readers can click to access my website. That is my primary focus.
Who wouldn’t want a tool that helps you find linking opportunities? scours the web for healthy link opportunities and shows you exactly how to get them. They only offer a monthly paid service, but the prices are reasonable considering the legwork that it does for you.
They uncover opportunities including blog or forum commenting, along with slew of additional opportunities that it finds on the Web.
LotusJump’s best-loved feature not only shows you where to place your link, but also supplies you with step-by-step instructions on exactly what it wants you to do to acquire that link.
Fact: When you make an adjustment to your website, it may take days, weeks or longer for Google to find and index your new information. This is where the power of social bookmarking works in your favor.
Of course, you are familiar with +] sites like , , , Pinterest and others.
However, social bookmarking sites like as Digg, delicious, Bibsonomy, Reddit, StumbleUpon are probably less familiar to you.
You may have visited a website in the past and bookmarked it in your website browser so that you could visit it later. Social bookmarking websites accomplish the same thing by giving you the ability to bookmark a website, but for [_everyone _]to see, making it easier to share websites, pages, images and videos with the world.
Because of the sheer volume of information shared on the Internet every hour, Google (and the other search engines) need to them several times daily to document all of the new information.
When you create pages showcasing your new products and posts, your first task is to post your new information to those social bookmarking websites so that the spiders can see your new posts and information.
It’s a win-win! People immediately see your new content and Google indexes your new info that day.
Measuring your online performance through analytics
Once you have put your website together, it is extremely important to monitor what is happening. It’s time to learn how to take advantage of Google Analytics and other success-tracking tools necessary to make sure that your website is performing as expected. Here is a basic overview of the analytics tools you need—and why.
Rather than a detailed breakdown of Google Analytics, I think it is more important to examine the power of this tool and how you can harness that power for good.
Not surprisingly, the most important piece of your website/SEO monitoring is Google Analytics. This completely free, value-added data diagnosis tool provides amazing insight into the standing of your website compared to your competition. It examines the individual pages of your website, indicates how many people are visiting, how they navigate your site, how long they stay, where those visitors originated from, and much more.
Google Analytics will also extract some of the more important pieces of information about your visitors. Your involvement to get things up and running is very minimal, but there are two very important steps.
The two things you simply must do in order to get the bare minimum from Google Analytics is to first make sure that the code they provide is correctly installed .
The next important item to set up would be to create sales funnels in order to determine if your visitor traffic is converting into sales. Knowing whether a visitor becomes a conversion is an extremely important piece of data.
A conversion means that the visitor has taken a desired action that you have set for them which might be defined as someone providing their email address, purchasing a product, signing up for your newsletter, etc.
Conversion reports empower you with in-depth statistics about your traffic, which enables you to fine-tune your SEO efforts.
Sales Funnels or Conversion Funnels
A sales or conversion funnel is the route potential customers typically follow from the moment they land on your website to the moment they convert to a customer (or leave).
It could also be considered a conversion when visitors leave their name and email on a newsletter sign-up form. That is a valid lead and why most consider it a conversion.
However, you can identify a conversion as whatever you wish. You might define a conversion as someone simply visiting a specific page or viewing a video. The definition of the conversion is completely up to you and Google Analytics can track it for you.
Google Analytics can help you identify which page of your website is best at getting subscribers to your newsletter or getting customer to add products to their shopping cart.
Below is an example of a typical sales funnel, starting at the home page and ending on the thank-you page (which means that the visitor purchased your product or service.)
1. Home page (Where they start.)
2. Products page (They view a listing of products.)
3. Product detail page (They view details on a specific product.)
4. Add to Cart page (They have chosen a product.)
5. Customer Info/Shipping page (They input their personal info.)
6. Payment page (They provide their payment.)
7. Thank-you page (The sale is completed & confirmed.)
When you set up a sales funnel like the one above in Google Analytics, you can track customers through those steps to see exactly where your website wins and losses are located.
For instance, you might see customers leave the sales funnel during the shipping page stage. That may lead you to investigate whether your shipping costs are too high or your delivery timeframe doesn’t suit their needs. Without this data in place, you are flying blind with no real indication as to why your website is suffering, or worse, why it is[_ flourishing_].
You need to track your progress or you won’t be able to fix the problems or reproduce your successes.
As mentioned, I do not plan to provide much detail into Google Analytics because it is a very deep rabbit hole that many have already traversed.
There are plenty of videos and books that delve deeply into the mechanics of Google Analytics. One of my personal favorite web-tool “evangelists” is . I recommend a high dose of self-education daily.
There are a variety of ways to track and monitor which SEO strategies are working for you and which are not. If you have decided that you need to opt for [ *](details on this coming up), then you should learn what you can about what’s referred to as *attributes and what they do to help identify your successful ad pieces.
[*Attributes *]are pieces of data that can be added onto the end of a web address to identify specific things about the visitor such as what search engine they came from, what keyword they typed in that led to the click, etc. Short of learning how to create code, the easiest way to accomplish embedding attributes into your web address is using a tool like .
Google URL Builder
can easily create a new website address (URL) that will send people to your website and include extra tags that will show you specific details about that visitor. This is my highly recommended way to track the progress of your advertising efforts.
Hang on. Do not let your eyes gloss over. Here is how it works:
Let’s suppose that I want to drive traffic to your website via paid advertising, but I also don’t want to throw my money away and start running a lot of ads that don’t work correctly.
It’s imperative for me to know which ads bring me the heaviest traffic and that are getting the most clicks. When I have that knowledge, it allows me to be able to create slight ad variations to duplicate that success and maybe even try different wording.
Perhaps I have an SEO book (like this one) that I want to create ads for and in one group of ads, I plan to advertise an online SEO class where you will get a free book if you attend. Then in [_another _]group of ads, I want to simply talk about the book.
If both groups of ads are running at the same time and the book starts selling, how would I know which group of ads is working? One way is using the Google URL Builder.
Here is a screenshot of the Google URL Builder and how I might fill in the fields:
In this example above, I simply fill in the form fields per their instructions providing Google with the information they want.
Let us assume that my website URL is , but after I submit the form on the URL Builder, it takes all of the extra info I have entered into the fields and incorporates it with my website address and gives me the following [_new _]address;
Everything I have put in the form fields get added to the end of my website address and will get documented via in a report that shows me which ad group is performing better in an easy to read format.
Google Webmaster Tools
Another free tool that is just as valuable as Google Analytics is Google Webmaster Tools. Through Webmaster Tools, Google reports fundamental information about your website from a technical standpoint.
This essential tool brings any technical issues with your website to your attention. For instance, if your website cannot be crawled by the search engine spiders, takes too long to load, has [* *]or other detrimental issues, Webmaster Tools notifies you of the problem so that you can make the necessary corrections.
To access Google Webmaster Tools, visit the site at http://google.com/webmaster and verify that you actually own the website. That is all there is to it! When you enter your website URL, you are offered a variety of ways to verify ownership, such as adding a line of code to your home page, uploading a file to the website directory, and other options.
This extraordinary tool is invaluable to identify technical problems that can weaken your website, from minor issues that need correction to more serious problems that must be fixed as quickly as possible.
Some website owners with over 100 or more pages on their site may prefer to examine their information about pages with potential problems in a spreadsheet format to make it easier to view and identify issues.
Screaming Frog offers a free and paid version of an actual website crawler that provides SEO and technical site data that you can utilize to dive deep into your website.
It will list the website problems in detail, including broken links, pages with loading hang-ups, and plenty more, which prevent your site from performing at the highest level.
For the technical junkie, Screaming Frog is an outstanding way to analyze websites that have far too many pages than a person can reasonably monitor manually.
Google monitors how often your website is updated. A stagnant website creates an unwelcome pattern, taking weeks before your new content is indexed.
Imagine Google comes to your website on the 1st of the month to and review your content.
Google returns on the 3rd to find that not much has changed. It then decides that every 2 days is probably too quick to revisit, so the search engine waits 5 days instead.
Google comes back on the 8th and [_still _]nothing has changed from when it visited on the 1st.
Google now decides to increase the time it visits and come back only once a week or maybe even in a couple weeks. It’s not like there aren’t other websites to visit.
Frequency and “freshness” determine how quickly Google accesses your website to re-index your content. This stresses the importance of , because those sites notify Google to index your site the moment you submit something new to them.
This way, if Google isn’t scheduled to visit your website for another 5 days, you are resetting that frequency clock.
Analyzing Your Site
I can’t emphasize this enough—continually monitor the indispensable tools I suggested that you install . Here is a brief, barebones list of items to check routinely in the tools I mentioned and how to find them.
[*Google Webmaster Tools (www.google.com/webmaster) *]
404 errors (Crawl > Crawl Errors) 404 errors are what is referred to as “page not found” errors. They are links that exist to pages on your website that maybe have been moved to another location or never existed in the first place. For instance, if another website links to a page on your website, but mistypes the address in the link. When a reader clicks on that bad link, they arrive at your site only to experience a “page not found” error. That visit (and the address they attempted to visit) is recorded as a 404 error.
Google won’t penalize you because of an error that someone[_ else_] made on their website inputting a bad web address, but when those errors originate [_on _]your website it needs to be repaired. Those normally happen when you create a link on Page A to Page B. Then months later you move Page B, but forget to update the link on Page A. Look for 404 errors that originate internally and fix them.
Page Load Time – (Crawl > Crawl Stats)
Monitor your page load time to make sure nothing bizarre has happened with your page load times. Pages taking too long to load can create a bad visitor experience.
Excessive page load times are normally caused by improper image sizes or problems with the scripts that run your website. Scripts are blocks of code that run certain elements of your website such a dropdown menus, rotating photos, and other interactive elements that might be on your site.
If you suspect that a script may be causing the problem, reach out to your website developer to have them investigate. If [_you _]are the developer or use a DIY website solution, use a tool like Google’s PageSpeed tool that will analyze your website and sometimes can even identify which culprit is slowing down your site.
Manual Actions (Search Traffic > Manual Actions)
When Google identifies a problem with your site, like suspicious coding, the presence of viruses or “malware”, the possibility that you’ve been hacked, or something similar, you’ll see it here. This can have a major potential negative affect on your rankings, check frequently for any entries that may appear here.
If you don’t handle these situations quickly, Google could apply a manual action to your site which means that when someone clicks on your website in the search results, before they get to your site, they will be presented with this lovely introduction;
So if you see a message from Google in the Manual Actions area, drop everything and handle it or your website traffic may take a devastating hit.
HTML Improvements (Search Appearance > HTML Improvements)
Google is kind enough to let you know if there are elements of your website that it feels can be improved including , , and a host of other items they feel will help improve your rankings. No reason not to fix them.
The Google Delay
I’d like to mention an anomaly I refer to as the Google Delay. It’s one of the topics I save for last because it is the bane of SEO consultants existence everywhere and is the cause for much anxiety.
The “Delay” is the time that Google waits before rewarding you with improved rankings after you make all of those adjustments.
You have made your website better, yet weeks pass, even months, and nothing seems to happen. You become frustrated. Understandably so. You start second-guessing your adjustments and then start altering more and more. Don’t.
Google works in many mysterious ways, and none of us will ever have the ability to reverse-engineer the search engine’s algorithms.
If you were to make an adjustment and see immediate results, you would think, without doubt, that the change you just made actually made their needle move. Google can’t allow that—for your own good.
You would then make that same adjustment to every website and website page with those same expectations. Google is saving you from yourself.
It’s important to remember to love what you do, have fun, write interesting content, follow the rules, avoid trickery, and the rankings will come.
12-week SEO checklist for your business
Week 1 – Prioritize Core Keywords
Week 1 will cover prioritization of the core keywords for the web site. For search engine optimization, it is critical choose a selected group of keywords and analyze the industry as well as the competition. However, prioritizing the core keywords is equally important. Factors such as profitability and matching the context of the keywords with your content are quite essential.
Here are some factors that will help you move forward while prioritizing the core keywords for your web site.
Cost Per Click
Google Traffic Estimator is a free tool that can help you to estimate the cost per click for a particular keyword. The maximum cost per click indicates the upper value that people are paying for a particular keyword. For instance, if the estimated cost per click for the keyword “SEO Services” were $8.83 per click, it would imply that the maximum value per click for the keyword “SEO Services” would be close to $8.83.
Therefore, if you have a group of keywords, it would be a good idea to use the tool to analyze the value associated with each keyword. Determining the Cost per click is essential to estimate the highest earning potential per keyword for your website.
Determine the relevant keywords
If you wish to use strategies such as PPC, content network marketing and search for partner marketing strategies, cost per click might not be the only factor that you may want to consider. Your quality score is an important consideration as the keyword with the highest CPC might not be the one relevant to your business or content.
If your business line were “Web Development Services”, using a keyword, “Website Services” that has a CPC of $9.9 instead of a keyword “Web site development” with a CPC of $7.9 would not be a good idea.
Therefore, rate every keyword on a score that is a combination of both cost and quality per keyword. This will also help you score better while using Adwords and keeps your web site optimized for SEO strategies.
Use SEO Strategy built around the primary keywords
Once you have assigned the priority of your keywords and estimated the potential per keyword, you can proceed with the SEO strategy. It is also important to consider the level of online competition per keyword. Once you have the primary keywords around which you can build your SEO strategy, move ahead with including the keywords starting with the most effective and relevant on your web site. Once this is done, you can move forward with the secondary keywords.
The strategy for choosing the secondary keywords is same as the primary ones. The only difference is that secondary keywords are less popular or relevant than the primary keywords. Secondary keywords help to generate qualified traffic to your web site. Ensure that your secondary keywords are related to the primary keywords. If this is not the case, it may cause confusion and ambiguity.
Use Google Keyword Tool to search for your primary keywords and look for additional suggestions. Many times, the secondary keyword will include a word or two from your primary keyword.
Build your marketing strategy around the secondary keywords
Secondary keywords can be well placed on your web site. Off lately, many people prefer to use secondary keywords with link building, article marketing, video and social marketing as well.
Secondary keywords can be a boon if you want to build a mini-websites that has the secondary keyword in the domain URL. These are targeted to optimize the secondary keywords and test the responses from the visitors.
Week 2 – Assign Core Keywords to Pages
The week will cover assigning of the primary and secondary keywords to the web pages. This is quite important as it has to be done effectively and efficiently to improve traffic on your web site.
Assigning the core keywords to the pages is an important task, and it will use the basics and the results of the week 1.
Use the generic prioritized keyword lists with both primary and secondary keywords. Create an excel spreadsheet and create a column known as “Page”. For every primary and secondary keyword, add a page that suits the keyword. For instance, if the keyword is “Web programming services”, the page that should be assigned to the keyword must be something like http://www.business.com/web-programming.htm
Use the same steps for the “long tail” prioritized keyword list. In case you have confusion at any stage, use Google search. Go to Google and type in “site:business.com web programming services”. Remove the quotes from the query.
The search will return the most relevant results from your existing pages with the appropriate keywords from your web site. Notice the order of the search results carefully, as that is the procedure of Google marking the content for your web site.
The first search result on Google should be the priority for assigning the keyword. In case, any page in the search results should not show up for a particular keyword, note it down separately. Remove the keywords if it is not suitable. It is also essential to note that once you have assigned the keywords, no page should have more than one keyword from the generic list. In case of two keywords for the same page, create a new page to target the other generic keyword.
To get more ideas on what page you should assign the keyword to, you can search and look at the top 10 pages of the search engine. The page you have assigned should match with the results.
For instance, if you have 50 keywords in total, it will take about 10-20 hours to complete this task. Once you have assigned all the keywords to the pages, check it on the Internet marketing checklist.
Week 3 – Install Tools
Google Analytics is a free service that helps the user to generate detailed statistics about the visitors to a web site. It is used to track referrers that include search engines, pay-per-click networks, email marketing, display advertising and digital collaterals.
Installing Google analytics is simple –
Create an account – Create an account on Google analytics. If you do not have a Google account, create one. Sign up and enter your website URL. Enter your contact information and configure your web site profile. Set your default page to your index page. Add the tracking code from Google to your web site page. In case of a simple web site, simply add the script before the
tag. If the web site is a database driven, add it to the index.php file.
If you have an Adwords account, link it to your analytics account. Create your goals and funnels. A goal is a web site page a visitor approaches in order to make a purchase or initiate an action such as a download. A funnel is the path that you expect the visitors to take. Once you define your funnel, you can ascertain the number of times a visitor deviates from your goals.
In case you are running an advertising campaign, you can use the URL Builder tool to tag your links. Create filters for your reports if you want to exclude anything. You can apply various custom filters.
You can add more users to the account and grant them different levels of access to your reports. As Google analytics allows for the automatic detection of e-commerce product information, you may want to enable e-commerce tracking as well.
[*Google Webmaster’s Tools *]
Google Webmaster tools are a medium that helps you to interact with Google engine spider and displays how your web site should be indexed.
Before you start working with the tools, you will have to verify your website. Choose the verification method and once this is done, you are good to go.
Once you are done with the verification process, you can view the statistics. When was your site last crawled? You can check if it is included in the index. If it is not, there can be many possibilities.
The diagnostics’ section will tell you the problems that the Googlebot had while trying to crawl your site. This includes reports of individual page and the reason why the bot were not able to crawl it. The statistics will show the top queries for your web site. It shows other components such as clicks, page rank distribution, etc.
The Links tab shows, whether the pages are linked, externally and internally. It provides a segregation of every page that links to your site. However, you should note that the tools cannot distinguish between followed and non followed links. The sitemap tab is useful when you have added a sitemap on your Wordpress blog.
The tools section contains most of the features required to communicate with Google. With this section you can –
• Robots.txt – This shows you the content of your robots.txt file. You will know if there is any problem with it.
• Site verification – This ensures if your web site is verified or not.
• Crawl Rate – You can set instructions for Googlebot to crawl on your web site. If your web site is large, you can set the Googlebot to crawl faster. Faster crawling does not influence your ranking.
• Preferred Domain
• Enhanced Image Search – With this option, Google will index the images on your web site thoroughly.
• Remove Urls – You can use this option to remove pages from the index.
The dashboard tools are a place full of options that enhance your convenience. It includes options such as Message center, download data, report spam, report paid links and request reconsideration.
Track e-commerce transactions – To track your e-commerce transactions, you will have to enable ecommerce for reports and configure your shopping cart to send the data to Google analytics. For enabling e-commerce for your reports, change the E-commerce website option from No to Yes from the profile page of Google Analytics. For configuring your shopping cart, you will need to add a customized tracking code to the shopping cart pages using the server or editing the HTML.
*Crazy Egg *
Week 4 – Website Architecture
Week 4 will cover the concept of building efficient web site architecture. It is important to ensure that your web site has a SEO friendly architecture before implementing a strategy. While mapping your objectives, it is a good idea to start with the web site architecture.
Always remember that everything on your website is an opportunity to define your theme. Search engines have certain dynamics on which they work. By creating consistent site architecture, naming conventions, header tags, sitemaps, internal links and off the page inbounds links, you can decide a structure for your web site rather than letting the search engines decide things using their algorithms.
As the above diagram states, it is essential to make a systematic structure of your web site. It shows how you should make a primary root folder / homepage, number of pages for ranking consideration, sitemaps, dynamics of how each page shares internal link, external links, navigation system, etc.
Week 5 – Basic Global On-page SEO
Week 5 will discuss the basic global On-page SEO. Before proceeding with the basic global on-page SEO, it is important to understand the most critical components of a website.
The search engines follow a particular ranking algorithm and consider these critical sections of a website –
Title Tag, The main body text, Meta Tags, Link Popularity, Domain Name, Heading tags, Keyword density, text type (bold or italics), File or Folder name, Image alt tags, Title attribute and keywords at the beginning of the sentence.
Most of the search engines would rank the above factors according to a certain priority level.
Optimizing The Title Tag
The title tag is a critical component of a website. It is a short description for a particular page. The title tag should include short, crisp yet effective words that describe the page. It is perhaps the first thing that the search engines would check. Therefore, SEO optimization of the title tag is necessary. You should be careful while writing the title tag for every page, as it should be unique. Similar title tags would render your SEO efforts ineffective.
The title tag should be inserted in the header of your web page.
For instance –
SEO Tips for optimizing the title tag
1. The title tag should appear immediately after the
2. It should only contain precise and specific keywords
3. The keywords used in the title tag should be same as the ones in the body text
4. Keyword density is important however, never place the same keywords next to each other
5. The title tag should range between 6-12 words
6. It should not be wholly keywords rather a phrase that makes sense
7. Plural and singular forms of keywords should be used
8. Use title case and avoid using superlatives
9. Avoid using search engine stop words or words such as index, default, home etc.
10. Use the primary keywords at the starting of the tag
11. Keyword density of 25-35% is decent. Minimize the use of commas in the tag
12. Use unique descriptions and keywords
Following the above tips for optimizing your title tag will ensure maximum search engine optimization.
*Meta Description *
Meta tags consist of Meta description and Meta keywords. These tags are embedded in the HTML code of a page. This is inserted after the
Optimization Tips for META Description
1. The description should be structured as a sentence
2. It should be relevant in accordance to the description on the page
3. Never repeat keywords more than twice
4. Avoid using stop words such as “and, the , of “
5. Higher ranking is given to the keyword phrases that are placed at the earliest in the meta description
6. Do not over use keywords in the meta description
7. A keyword density of 6-20% is sufficient
8. Each web page should have a unique meta description tag
Optimization Tips for META Keyword Tag
1. To get better optimization results, prefer keeping 100 to 250 characters
2. Prioritize the most critical and move to the lesser ones
3. Prefer using keywords and phrases
4. Never use words more than twice
5. If you want to repeat keywords, make sure they are not placed closely
6. Reflect your content by using keywords present within the text of your web page
7. Place comma in between the keywords instead of space
8. Use small case
9. 4-10% keyword density is efficient for proper optimization
Making your website search engine spider friendly
Optimization Tips for spider friendly website
1. Always use a phrase or a keyword that describes the target page
2. Use primary keywords in the link text once or more on the page
3. Use the primary keywords at the beginning of the link texts
4. Use title attribute in the text links if possible
5. Do not use image maps
6. Avoid using a long text
8. Use text links for every page
9. Always use a common navigational menu
10. Link all the pages on your web site to one another
11. In case you have 30 pages or more, include a site map
12. Use Google Sitemaps to submit an XML site map
13. Use less than 20 links per page for effective results
14. Use text links at the bottom of the page in case of flash web site
15. Use hyphenated file names
Week 6 – Directory Submission
Week 6 will brief you about the directory submission services for enhanced optimization. Directory submission is a service where your web site is added to the proper category that is searchable by search engines. In order to improve the directory submission and for quick approval, it is important to follow certain guidelines. Usually, every directory web site will have own approval procedure.
A directory submission web site has the following components –
9. Site content
1. URL –
• Ensure that the domain is in correct format. Most of the directories would accept the URL in the format http:// while the others would accept without it.
• Never submit domain that will redirect the visitors to other web sites.
• Most of the directories would not allow submitting pages from the web site. However, many directories would allow you to submit the inner URLs.
• Many directories might require a “/” at the end of the URL.
• Avoid using free domains
2. Title – The title of the web site is the headline of your listings. Ensure that the title follows the SEO standards.
• Title should be relevant to your web site
• Keep the description precise yet effective
• Do not repeat keywords
• Do not use promotional language
• Never use CAPS for every word
• Do not exaggerate on adjectives
3. Description – The description should be relevant to the web site. It should express the gist of the purpose of the site.
• Include what you offer, features etc
• Never make it promotional
• Do not repeat keywords
• Avoid putting contact details such as phone numbers
4. Keywords – Many web sites require you to associate keywords with the listings.
• Never use irrelevant keywords
• Most of the web sites would require you to enter commas after each keywords
• Other web sites would require you to separate the commas with spaces
5. Category – Choosing the right category is critical for your web site, the directory submission site and the visitors. It identifies your web site on the directory submission site. Select the deepest level of categories and always choose the right one for optimization purposes.
1. Name – Many web sites would require you to enter your name.
2. Email– Provide a valid link for your email, as it is the primary source of contact. Prefer using official email address instead of generic ones such as gmail, yahoo etc. Many web sites would not allow you to enter generic ones.
3. Address– Web sites will require you to enter your address along with the pincode for the place.
[*Site Content *]– A few general guidelines for submission are –
• The language should be English
• Always provide a link to complete web sites
• The web site should be fully operational
• Many web sites would not allow you to enter web sites with just one page or landing pages
• Never submit web sites that have no content
• Ensure that you view all categories to ensure the best fit
• Minimize the use of affiliate links and ads
• Many web sites would not allow different domains with same content
• Avoid illegal, violating content
• Keep in mind that many web sites would approve your web site in a few days while others may take months
Here is a list of top 50 directory submission web sites ranked according to their PR.
Yahoo! Directory (PR8)
Uncover The Net (PR0)
192 Directory (PR5)
SevenSeek Directory (PR7)
Web World (PR6)
Biz Directory (PR6)
Best of the Web (PR7)
WoW Directory (PR6)
Small Business Directory (PR8)
Index Unlimited (PR6)
SunSteam Search (PR6)
Blue Find (PR8)
All the Websites (PR5)
All The Bizz (PR5)
Site Sift (PR4)
World Site Index (PR4)
Web’s Best Directory (PR5)
Better Business Directory (PR5)
Web Beacon (PR5)
Pharos Search Directory (PR5)
Human Edited Directory (PR4)
Topical Beach (PR4)
Re-Quest dot Net (PR0)
Ajdee Directory (PR5)
Sphericom Directory (PR5)
Search Turtle (PR6)
01Web Directory (PR5)
Net Zoning (PR4)
Master Site (PR5)
Frequently Asked (PR5)
Anthony Parsons (PR6)
Seekon Web Directory (PR0)
Network-Room Links (PR0)
TurnPike Directory (PR6)
Blue Daffodil (PR4)
Week 7 – Detailed On-Page Optimization
The Body Text
The main body text includes components such as the text, keyword prominence, heading tags, keyword density, text type (bold or italics) and Alt Tag.
Tips For Maximum Body Text Optimization
1. Use the most critical keywords into a well-crafted paragraph at the beginning of your page. The closest keyword appearing in the initial paragraph should be the most prominent.
2. For every page that is less than 500 words, a keyword density of 1-3% is recommended. For a page with more than 500 words, a density of 3-5% is appropriate.
3. A minimum word count of 250 and a maximum of 750 words per page is recommended.
4. Instead of tags use CSS
5. It is advised not to use java script in the code
6. Use heading tags and precise words in between them. Do not place more than 5 characters for these tags.
7. Comment tags are not visible to the users and some of the search engines may read this text.
8. A font size of 11px or 12px is appropriate.
9. Target two or three focused keywords for the website
10. Regular updates for your body text are important. Most of the search engines give preference to updates.
Optimizing and increasing link popularity
Linking is necessary to promote traffic and gain a rapport with high-ranking pages.
Tips for Optimizing and increasing link popularity
1. Get reciprocal links between your site and others in your vertical
2. All the Incoming links should use your keyword phrase
3. Link with others that have higher page ranking
4. Install Google tool bar to analyze the page rank information
5. Always make sure to include your reciprocal page link from the main page of your website
6. Never use link text such as “links», link exchange”. Always prefer using “Resources” instead
7. Build a link category that matches your web site content
8. Use brief text for describing the content of the outbound link page
Anchor Text Optimization
Anchor text is the hyperlink text that is visible on the page. Anchor text optimization is the process of optimizing the anchor texts with the right keywords. This is done to get higher rankings. Most of the search engines lay huge emphasis on anchor text optimization as this indicates the relevance of the web site.
Optimization of anchor text can be done both internally and externally. Internal text optimization implies linking the web pages within the web site with other pages. This is done using keywords in a similar context as anchor texts. External text optimization includes receiving outbound links through directories, web sites, blogs and forums using the relevant keywords as the anchor texts.
Internal text optimization is the optimization within the web site. If a web page has a link to another page, then specified keywords are used instead of generic words.
On the other hand, external anchor text optimization implies optimization of the anchor text in the inbound links received by the site. The following ways can be used for the optimization of the anchor text –
• Link Exchange – This implies link exchange with similar web sites and the use of relevant anchor text on the inbound links. An anchor text associated with a similar site is considered very important.
• Directory Submissions – Submitting your web site to directories is a great way to optimize incoming links. Search engines give utmost importance to websites and crawl them frequently.
• Forums and Blogs – Participating in forums and blogs and leaving a rich keyword anchor text is a great way to optimize the text and incoming links. Never spam a forum or blog as it might leave a bad impression.
• Article Submission – Article submission is a great way to optimize external anchor text. Many web sites allow you to submit quality articles in exchange for back-links using specific keywords. It is a great and effective means of exposure.
Week 8 – Create Content Strategy
Week 8 will tell you about the basics of creating a content strategy for your site. Content development is an important search engine marketing strategy. The major consideration is that you are working on a budget, and you are working for a niche where it is difficult to find quality content. Prepare a summary and ask yourself the following things –
1. Where do you find information on your competitors, clients etc?
2. What is the most relevant information service for your niche?
3. What are the commonly asked questions while dealing with a client?
4. Are there any special cases while dealing with clients?
5. Do you or your team contribute to the society?
6. Do you update yourself with blogs, podcasts, radio shows, and magazines that are relevant and important for your business?
7. How much time are you willing to dedicate for content?
Once you ask yourself the above questions, you can perhaps relate your business with some relevant ideas such as –
• Summary of the latest news of your niche
• Opinions and summary related to print articles
• Well focused FAQ
• Case Studies
• Information about the local area, history
• Community and the business in your niche
• Critique, summary and other information related to your customers
Segregate the content into strategies. Create a structure that will answer the most commonly asked questions, give detailed information, include the common tips, reviews, etc depending on the type of the content. The client can pick up the components that are most relevant and actionable. A blog is the perfect means of organizing the content as it has tags and categories.
When creating a content strategy, always ask yourself the following points –
1. Have you identified the need for the content?
2. Have you identified the resources available?
3. Have you decided on the type of the content?
4. Have you decided on how to go about with the handling of the content?
While implementing a SEO strategy for the optimization of the content, the following checklist should be considered –
• Category and tags
• Out Linking
• Internal Linking
• Call to Action
• List of ineffective writing style and topics
Once you have taken all these steps and adhered to the checklist, you are good to go.
Week 9 – Usability Issues
Week 9 will discuss the usability issues for your site. While considering usability, people often think about design. The critical component that they forget is SEO. You should understand that the design, usability and SEO are the ingredients for creating an effective web site.
You should remember that good usability is the key to SEO. Usability is important to send your site to the top results of a search engine. It is also the key to ensure good ranking for your web site. Moreover, you should always concentrate on delivering good usability yet adopting a normal SEO strategy. If these things go in tandem, your strategy will be effective.
With the introduction of new concepts and methods, the concept of SEO is fading and the new concept of search and user optimization is coming to play. Search engine spiders are developed to copy the human link-following, occurrence of keywords and the relevance of the information. However, this concept is being replaced by the elements such as measurement of popularity, authority and usefulness.
The concept that needs to be followed should be a web site that appeals to both search engines and users. It should be constantly optimized, and you should ensure good usability.
Here are some tips to improve the usability –
1. [*Navigation *]– It should be consistent and easy to use. It should be user-friendly and a new visitor to your web site should be able to comprehend with the design and accessibility of your site.
2. [*Search *]– In case your web site does not have a search engine, you should include one. Navigation might not be enough at times and search engine saves the time for the users.
3. Click Here – In case you want the visitors to read in-depth information, you should use phrases and allow the visitors to click links to know in-depth. It is not important that every user may prefer to go for deep information. They may find too much detail tedious and irritating.
4. Title and ALT – Use the title and ALT attributes the way it is supposed to be. Fix it if in case it is not up to the optimum standards.
5. Scripts – Remove any scripts that you might be including on your site. This includes opening a new window in a separate tab, java script, pop-ups etc.
• Use simple language
• Always use clear link labels
• Easy site navigation
• Clear site architecture
• Site content with objective
• Pages to have a common focus
• Clear click paths
• Contact link on every page
• Include personal information on “About us” page
Learn more about usability using web sites such as usability.gov, usabilitynews.com, credibility.stanford.edu, etc. and use their guidelines. Test your site usability by calling potential customers, visitors, etc. Check it from time to time and keep it updated. Hire a usability consultant to ensure full optimization.
It is also important to audit your web site for usability from time to time to check for the effectiveness.
In case you have a shopping cart, you should consider the following guidelines –
• Reduce the number of clicks and characters to be entered from the site
• Use clear and precise button labels
• Make the registration process easy for the user by using their order information
• If possible, remove the geographical restrictions from items
• Always place form labels above the fields
• Provide easy solution to error solving
Following these steps along with the SEO strategy will ensure maximum optimization for your web site.
Week 10 – Build Links
Link building is the method of making other web sites to use hyperlinks back to a web site. Week 10 will give you an insight on effective link building. There are many strategies to do so including –
• Link exchange by asking for a link
• Giving content / Tools
• Development of widgets
• Social Media
• Press release
• Purchasing links and many more
Link building is important to increase the relevance of your web site on the search engines. Earlier, many people used to buy links in order to enhance their ratings but Google has taken strong steps against it. It is totally up to you to make a link building strategy. Depending on your goals, it can be short-term or long-term.
Search engines have two ways to evaluate the link –
1. Relevance – If the links are coming from a site that is similar to the domain or niche of the publisher’s site, it will be highly preferable and relevant. Moreover, if your link were included in certain reviews, it would add to its relevance.
2. Authority – Authority measures the trustworthiness of a site. If you know a web site with high authority, consider link building there, as it would add to your search engine effectiveness. To view the authority level, use Google Pagerank available free when you install Google toolbar.
Link Building Structuring
It is not easy to decide the strategy for link building. However, if you are running a link building campaign, you should look at the following components –
• Links from Authoritative domains
• Links from volume of domains
• Getting deep links
• Local Links for local rankings
• Drive rankings using anchor texts
Authoritative domains are the ones with maximum authority. They are the most effective and powerful sources of link building. Create a list of the best authoritative sites for link building. You can use Yahoo to make a list –
Use the following query at the search
You can check if domain 2 links to domain 1 in a quick way. If you are creating a list of 10 authoritative web sites and if all of them link to the domain 1 then you have a better idea where to start. There are two approaches for link building on such sites. It can be direct or indirect. Contacting a web site is a direct method while using Press release and social media campaigns are indirect ways.
Volume Domains refers to a large number of domains[*. *]One link from a bulk of domains is always a good proposition. Though this needs time, you can use direct and indirect ways for volume domains link building.
Deep Links are the links to pages other than the home page of a particular site. This strategy provides a chance to create anchor texts and is a great way for link building. If a campaign gets to the highest level of pages and sub pages of a web site, it will be very effective.
[*Local Links *]may be used for local link building. It utilizes sources such as local business directories, local libraries, business bureau and local clubs. This is region specific and a great way of link building in a particular geography.
Anchor Texts acts as a big boost to increase search rankings. It is powerful as a person giving the link specifies them. Using the right and focused keyword with anchor texts boosts the ranking drastically. This is the reason why many businesses prefer buying links.
Some of the best strategies of professional link building are –
• Ask for a Link – If you are dealing with a high authoritative website, you can ask for a link either via a PR strategy or by directly contacting the publishers. It is important to write a convincing pitch and personalize it while addressing the publishers. It can be a difficult task if the publisher is not aware of you.
While sending an email to a publisher, make sure that it is in the right tone and follows every guideline of the CAN-SPAM act. You may even request them for a link via social networking websites such as twitter, Linkedin etc.
• Directories – Directories are a great means to obtain links. Here are some of the examples for directories –
• Librarian’s Internet Index
• Open Directory Project (DMOZ)
High quality directories that require a fee are:
• Yahoo Directory
• Best of the Web
• Back Linking – Back linking is perhaps the oldest way of setting up a link campaign. It is used to see who links to whom. For instance, if you are a blogger and you link to someone else’s blog, there is a high possibility of them doing the same.
• Press Release or PR – Press releases are one of the best ways of link building. SEO optimized press releases would help you to optimize your SEO and link building campaign. Try to add value for the readers by publishing content that is informative. There is a high possibility of people writing about your PR and linking it.
• News Media – As compared to the traditional PR, this highly customized effort includes magazines, papers and high-end blogs.
• Buying Links – Buying links is a popular technique as it is easy and the potential linking site can just specify the anchor text to be used. However, Google has stringent policies on buying links.
Using the above strategy will ensure maximum optimization through the most effective link building campaign.
Week 11 – Local SEO
A local SEO is a great way to start if you are inexperienced about optimization. Here is an easy to implement way towards making a local SEO strategy –
• Write down your goal of implementing a SEO strategy. What are the reasons behind the strategy? Why do you want to make your site searchable? Write down your goal accordingly.
• Write down the words that you think the clients would use to search for your company. Make the list comprehensive and long.
• Research the list of keywords you have found. Use Google Adwords for generating better ideas.
• Choose and write down the best keywords for a particular query.
• Analyze the search engine by using the best keywords as query. Know your competition.
• Create a list of competitors. Use Yahoo Site Explorer to gauge your competitor’s links.
• Search for your site. Ensure that it is using the proper search engine tactics. Search for their title tags and record your observation.
• Sign up with services like Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, and Bing Webmaster Center
• Use Google Analytics and allow it to run for a week or two before initiating any SEO work.
• Analyze the visual feel of the site. The SEO will be ineffective if the design of the web site keeps the people from visiting it.
• Check for browser compatibility. Check the web site on browsers such as Mozilla Firefox 2.x, Internet Explorer 6 and 7, Safari 3.x etc. You should do this step for both PC and Mac.
• Analyze the HTML and optimize the SEO related tags –
o Keyword in title tag (Unique, should include keywords)
o Keyword in H1 on each page
o Text Keyword
o URL Architecture optimization
o Less dependability on clicks
o Use ALT Tags and in-filenames for images (include keywords)
o Nofollow the relevant links
• Decide the meta description
• Use company details such as address, phone number as search engines detect it in different formats.
• Use Robots.txt – This gives instructions to search engine for crawling. Moreover, it makes tracking search engines easy as the file can be downloaded before the actual navigation.
Add your site to the top local search listings such as –
o Yahoo Local
o Google Local
o Bing Local
o Ask City
o CitySearch (data on this site feeds Ask.com and Bing)
o Yelp (data on this site feeds Bing and Yahoo)
• Add your site to industry specific directories
• Use the list of link sources and acquire the links your competitors have already obtained. Get your keywords in anchor text links.
• More links – Find web sites that may be willing to link to your web site. Place good anchor texts and look for the relevance and authority of these web sites.
• Social Media – Is social media useful for your web site and business?
• Create and Submit Sitemaps – Create a sitemap and use Google Webmaster Central and Bing Search Webmaster tools to submit it.
• Google optimization – Check for optimization of your web site from Google. Use Google webmaster tools for this purpose.
Track and Improve
1. Track Progress – Track your progress and take monthly screenshots. Use Search Engine Results Page (SERP) to keep a track of your progress.
o Use Local SERP
o Use Main SERP
o Use Google Local SERP
o Use Google Main SERP
o Use Google Webmasters Tools
o Use Bing Maps SERP
o Use Bing Local SERP
o Use Bing Search Webmaster Central
o Use Yahoo Local SERP
o Use Yahoo Main SERP
o Use Yahoo Site Explorer
• Maintain a spreadsheet of your rankings. Always keep a track of your progress and continue to make changes, build links, analyze and record results.
Week 12 – Study Key Reports
Studying key reports is essential to gauge the effectiveness of your marketing campaign. Studying reports has to be done from time to time while implementing continual changes to your strategies.
• Visitors Overview – It talks about the new and returning visitors to your site. How did they interact with the content? The traffic overview talks about the quality and the characteristics of your web site.
• Visits – It talks about the number of visits that your site receives. It is also a measure of how effectively you should promote the web site.
• Pageviews – It shows the total number of pages viewed on your web site. This can tell you the effectiveness and the importance of each page on the site.
• Average Pageviews – A high average pageview would indicate that your web site is viewed intensively. It can be due to high traffic or high quality content.
• Time on Site – The ‘time on site’ talks about the time spent by a visitor on your web site. It is a measure of the effectiveness and the quality of your site. However, do not rely too much on this measure, as it can be misleading.
• Bounce Rate – Bounce rates is the measure of the relevance of your web site. High bounce rates would mean that your web site is not relevant to the visitors.
• [*New vs Returning – *]High number of new visitors indicate that your promotion campaign is in the right place. High number of returning visitors indicates that visitors find your web site intriguing and informative.
• [*Others – *]Besides the above most important report section, there are other sections that talk about the visitors’ behavior, browser capabilities, network location and properties, connection speed etc.
The mobile reporting keeps a track of how users interact with your web site using their mobile phones. It keeps a track of the user activity, access of your web site from a high-end mobile etc.
The traffic sources report provides information related to the sources that send traffic to your site. It shows the traffic trends, pie chart, graphs and tables to give you a better analysis. Direct traffic includes the visitors directed to your web sites via bookmarks, typing URLs or from media sources.
Referring sites is an indicator of the people who referred from other sites compare to the average visitor on your site. The report also indicates the search engine traffic as compared to the traffic on your site. This is also applicable to keyword search.
If you are running an Adword campaign, the report would also talk about the number of visitors who referred from your campaign as compared to the average visitor on your site. Moreover, it also talks about configured campaigns, keyword position for Adwords and comparison of Adwords ads against each other.
The e-commerce section report provides a brief about your e-commerce activity. It indicates your total revenue, which is determined by the total number of purchases and average purchase value.
To maximize revenue –
• Purchase targeted advertising and write effective ads
• Landing pages should show information that is assured in the ads
• Simplify the conversion funnel
The report includes conversion rate that indicates the rate at which the visitors on your site result in purchases. Tracking conversion rates is perhaps the best way to check for the effectiveness of a campaign.
In addition, the report also discusses the average order value and the product performance. It indicates the time and the visits to purchase as well.
The goals section in Google Analytics reports indicates the fulfillment of your goals and business objectives. The graphical representation indicates your performance and your overall conversions.
The total conversions provide a breakdown of daily or hourly goal conversions. You can check the conversion rate in percentage as well. The goal value indicates the total revenue realized from the goal conversions.
The site search trending helps to determine the usage of the site’s search functionality. It tells you detailed search statistics such as visits with search, total unique searches, pageviews per search, percentage of search exits, refinements and search depths.
The other reports include –
• Category Report – This indicates the categories selected by visitors while performing a search.
• * Destination Pages Report* – It talks about the most commonly found pages through search on your site. You can analyze to know where the user ends up after searching for results.
• Start Pages Report – This report discusses about the searches that occurred your site.
Google Webmasters Tools
The Google Webmasters Tools helps the users to track different metrics for their web sites or blogs. It includes things such as problems with search crawls, prominent keywords while search etc.
Once you sign in with your Google webmasters tools –
Once you have validated your web site, the dashboard can provide you critical statistics regarding the things Google found while crawling your web site.
The menu on the left side helps you to configure your web site, view robots.txt and check if your site map is functioning properly. You can even submit your site map manually. The diagnostics panel is used to – identify problems with a particular section, check for duplicate Meta tags, descriptions, etc. You can even find the top search queries along with the site rank.
The index stat tells you about the links that have been indexed for your site. With the tools option, you can analyze your robots.txt file, manage verification for your site, set preferred domain, set enhanced image search, remove indexed URLs from your site and associate a geographic target to your web site.
I hope this book helps you in building a stronger digital profile for your business. If you enjoyed reading this book please consider reviewing it on Amazon.
If you’d like to learn more and take your digital marketing to the next level, check out our website at http://www.thewordpressgenie.com/ You’ll find a lot of how-to tutorials there.
In case of any questions, feedback or media requests, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Appendix: The Ultimate SEO Checklist
Marketing a website is no rocket science. With proper guidance and steps, you are good to go. With the right skills and time, you can do it easily. Having said that, you should be aware where you are spending your marketing efforts. If this is not clear to you do not start or your efforts can only result in ineffectiveness.
Web marketing efforts include many components such as website development, SEO, usability, accessibility and much more. It is very important to remember the things needed for successful web marketing. Before jumping into “How to do something”, it is very important to know “What to do”.
Our web-marketing checklist will tell you about the things necessary for effective marketing of your website. Moreover, this checklist is comprehensive so you can always keep it handy, take a printout and implement it right away.
Domain Name and URLs
Brief – The domain name and URLs checklist includes the different elements of the domain and web site URL structure. This also includes efficient web site usability and functionality.
Importance – The domain name identifies your website and your business. The URL you choose has a critical significance in terms of creating a brand and a value for your business. This directly affects the keyword ranking, search engine crawling and for the overall efficiency of the web site.
Brief – The placement and functionality of the logo is important.
Importance – The logo gives identity to your brand and identifies your business. It adds the components of visual appeal and professionalism to your web site. It is also critical while navigating.
Brief – Browser compatibility is an important consideration. It directly affects the user interface and experience for the website.
Importance – For the best web site experience, it is important to consider the browser compatibility and related issues. Different users have different browsers and medium through which, they will access your website. Therefore, it is your goal to give them the best browsing experience.
Web Site Design
Brief – The web site design checklist talks about the visual element of the web site. With these points considered, you can be assured of an efficient and effective web design.
Importance – Other than the content, the design of the website is the first impression for any visitor. That being said, the web site design brings you ahead of your competition and also portrays the professionalism of your business. Moreover, depending on the type of your business, you can portray your visions, missions and belief with the design.
Brief – This checklist talks about the various architectural elements of the web site.
Importance – Website architecture implementation is one of the most important components of a web site. As the search engines attempt to crawl your website, a poor architecture may reduce your SEO effectiveness.
Brief – This checklist includes the considerations for effective primary and secondary navigation menus.
Importance – An organized, strong and search engine friendly navigation menu is important for both visitors and search bots. To put your visitors at ease, you need to make a navigational menu that requires few clicks and fast results.
Brief – This checklist covers everything related to content that includes message, issues related to readability and the content effectiveness.
Importance – Content is an essential component that forms a part of information that a visitor is looking for. Great content that adds value for the visitor will form a part of the persuasion process.
Brief – This checklist talks about the appearance of the content on your web site.
Importance – Even if your content sends a nice message to the visitor, it can be ineffective if it is cluttered. Appearance of the content is very critical as it needs to go with the flow.
Buttons & Links
Brief – This checklist talks about call to action buttons and textual links implementation.
Importance – Textual linking and call to action buttons are great way for visitors to make a purchasing decision or take an immediate action. Lack of implementation of these can lead to confusion in regards to “What next?”
Brief – This checklist talks the homepage and functions related to it.
Importance – The homepage is the first impression for a visitor. It tells them what they can expect from the website.
Brief – This checklist covers everything related to the About Us and About the Company page.
Importance – The About Us page and the About Company page are the critical components for a web site. They are the credibility pages for your website. A visitor is bound to check these pages to check your experience, credibility etc. Links – Support pages should be linked here. If people are looking for detailed information, they can find it here.
Brief – This checklist covers the elements to be included on the contact us page.
Importance – The contact us page is an important medium for the visitors to contact you. There are various things to be considered in order to initiate effective communication.
Brief – This checklist covers everything related to specific e-commerce web sites.
Importance – Many things need to be considered while operating an E-commerce web site. The web site needs to be convincing, as it is a one-point contact for the visitors.
Brief – This checklist covers everything related to single product pages.
Importance – A product page focuses on a single product. It should have the appropriate information that can convince the visitor to make a decision. As the visitor is buying online, you have to consider many factors due to lack of touch and feel of the product.
Brief – This checklist covers everything related to the basket page where the products added to the cart are accumulated.
Importance – The basket page is an important component of the e-commerce system. Often, visitors may add products but may leave the cart without buying anything. These recommendations will help you to plug such loopholes.
Brief – This checklist covers things related to mini-baskets.
Importance – Mini-baskets helps the visitors to keep a track of the items, quantity, price and provides a back link to the product page.
Brief – This checklist covers everything related to the checkout process and the purchase completion stage.
Importance – The page is important as it gives the visitors an assurance to make actual purchase. If the trust factor does not exist, they may lose interest and eventually leave without buying anything.
Login / My Account
Brief – This checklist talks about the login process and the information for my account page.
Importance – It is necessary to make the stay of the visitors on your web site as smooth as possible. Make sure that they can login and check the information regarding their account without any problems.
FAQ & Help Section
Brief – This checklist covers the FAQ and Help section that deals with helping the visitors in answering the most frequently asked queries and questions regarding the web site.
Importance – FAQ and Help section is required to give the visitors a push to make a decision. If the visitor has reached this page, it is quite evident that they are interested in making purchase.
Forms & Errors
Brief – This checklist covers everything related to handling of web forms and errors.
Importance – Over the Internet, forms are the most reliable medium for placing an order, filling in contact information and for many other purposes. However, it can be a real frustration in case these forms do not work. You should know how to handle these errors efficiently.
Brief – This checklist covers everything related to site search, requirements and visitors expectations.
Importance – Site search increases the usability for the users. Moreover, it helps the visitors to search for the relevant information they are looking for.
Privacy & Security
Brief – This checklist talks about the privacy and security policies for your web site.
Importance – Generally, visitors might not read the policies. However, they need an assurance form the web site many times so they will rely on your privacy and security policies.
Brief – This checklist talks about the site map for the web site.
Importance – Site map provides a single-click navigation map to the user. It helps the search engines to quickly find and index the pages of your web site. This is important to ensure quick indexing of your website.
301 Redirect – A way to make one web page redirect the visitor to another page. Whenever you change the web address of a page, apply a 301 redirect to make the old address point to the new one. This ensures that people who have linked to or bookmarked the old address will automatically get to the new one, and search engines can update their index.
ALT Text/Tag or Attribute - A description of an image in your site’s HTML. Unlike humans, search engines read only the ALT text of images, not the images themselves. Add ALT text to images whenever possible.
Anchor Text - The actual text of a link to a web page. On most websites, this text is usually dark blue and underlined, or purple if you’ve visited the link in the past. Anchor text helps search engines understand what the destination page is about; it describes what you will see if you click through.
Blog - A part of your website where you should regularly publish content (e.g. commentary on industry/company topics, descriptions of events, photos, videos, etc.).Each blog post on your website is a new page that a search engine sees, and therefore a new opportunity to get found online. Make sure you keep your blog within your own domain.
Bookmark - A link to a website saved for later reference in your web browser or computer. Social bookmarking sites (example: Delicious.com) let users share websites they like with each other. Having links to your site in social bookmarking sites is a sign to crawlers that your website content is interesting to people.
Canonical URL - The canonical URL is the best address on which a user can find a piece of information. Sometimes you might have a situation where the same page content can be accessed at more than one address. Specifying the canonical URL helps search engines understand which address for a piece of content is the best one.
Conversion Form - A form through which you collect information about your site visitor. Conversion forms convert traffic into leads. Collecting contact information helps you follow up with these leads.
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) - The part of your code that defines how different elements of your site look (examples: headers, links).
Directory - Just like directories for people and phone numbers, there are directories for websites. Submitting your site to a directory gives you more than just an inbound link; it helps people find you. The most popular web directories are Yahoo! Directory and Dmoz.
Domain - The main web address of your site (example: www.yoursite.com). It’s good to renew ownership of your domain for several years. Search engine rankings favor websites with longer registrations because it shows commitment.
The Fold - The “fold” is the point on your website where the page gets cut off by the bottom of a user’s monitor or browser window. Anything below the fold can be scrolled to, but isn’t seen right away. Search engines place some priority on content above the fold, since it will be seen right away by new visitors. Having too many ads above the fold can be seen as a negative issue, too. (See Panda).
Headings - Text on your website that is placed inside of a heading tag, such as an H1 or H2. This text is often presented in a larger and stronger font than other text on the page.
HTML - The code part of your website that search engines read. Keep your HTML as clean as possible so that search engines read your site easily and often. Put as much layout-related code as possible in your CSS instead of your HTML.
Inbound Link - A link from one site into another. A link from another site will improve your SEO, especially if that site has a high PageRank.
Internal Link - A link from one page to another on the same website, such as from your homepage to your products page.
Indexed Pages - The pages of your website that are stored by search engines.
Keyword - A word that a user enters in search. Each web page should be optimized with the goal of drawing in visitors who have searched specific keywords.
Link Building - The activity and process of getting more inbound links to your website for improved search engine rankings.
Long Tail Keyword - An uncommon or infrequently searched keyword, typically with two or more words in the phrase. Small businesses should consider targeting long tail keywords, as they are lower difficulty and often have more qualified searchers. Common keywords such as ‘software’ are more competitive, and very hard to rank high for them in search.
Metadata - Data that tells search engines what your website is about.
Meta Description - A brief description of fewer than 160 characters of the contents of a page and why someone would want to visit it. This is often displayed on search engine results pages below the page title as a sample of the content on the page.
Meta Keywords - Previously used by search engines in the 90s and early 00s to help determine what a web page was about, the meta keywords tag is no longer used by any major search engines.
mozRank - A logarithmic ranking provided by SEOmoz from 0-10.0 of the number and quality of inbound links pointing to a certain website or page on that website. A 10.0 is the best linked-to page on the internet, and a 0 has no recognized inbound links.
Nofollow - When a link from one site does not pass SEO credit to another. Do not use nofollow when linking to internal pages in your website. Use it when linking to external pages that you don’t want to endorse.
Page Title - The name you give your web page, which is seen at the top your browser window. Page titles should contain keywords related to your business. Words at the beginning of your page title are more highly weighted than words at the end.
PageRank - A number from 0-10, assigned by Google, indicating how good your overall SEO is. It is technically known as ‘Toolbar PageRank.’
Panda - Refers to a series of updates released by Google to its search engine ranking algorithm that are intended to discourage people who create large amounts of mediocre content in an attempt to claim many keyword rankings without generating much value for users.
PPC (Pay-Per-Click) - Advertising method in which an advertiser puts an ad in an online advertising venue and pays that venue each time a visitor clicks on his/her ad. Google AdWords is the classic example of this.
Ranking Factor - One element of how a search engine determines where to rank a certain page, such as the number of inbound links to a page or the contents of the title tag on that page.
Referrer String - A piece of information sent by a user’s browser when they navigate from page to page on the web. It includes information on where they came from previously, which helps webmasters understand how users are finding their website.
RSS Feed - RSS stands for ‘really simple syndication.’ It is a subscription-based way to get updates on new content from a web source. Set up an RSS feed for your website or blog to help your followers stay updated when you release new content.
[*SERP (Search Engine Ranking Page) *]- The page that you are sent to after you run a query in a search engine. It typically has 10 results on it, but this may vary depending on the query and search engine in question.
Sitemap - A special document created by a webmaster or a piece of software that provides a map of all the pages on a website to make it easier for a search engine to index that website.
Social Media - Online media created by and shared among individuals. Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter are popular social media websites. It’s important to have links to your site spread throughout social media.
Spider - A computer program that browses the internet and collects information about websites.
Traffic - The visitors to your site.
Title - The title of a page on your website, which is enclosed in a
Traffic Rank - The ranking of how much traffic your site gets compared to all other sites on the internet. You can check your traffic rank on Alexa.
URL - The web address of a page on your site (example: www.yoursite.com/contact).
All you need to know about SEO
Today, every business is dependent on the Internet for a share of their business. With so much competition online, SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the key for your web success. It includes various elements of Internet marketing, but starts with the basics that every business should be aware of. SEO is CRITICAL for your business as it boosts your website ranking and places it in the top of the search engine results. Well-written content with a combination of the right keyword is essential for a successful SEO campaign. As an online business owner or simply if you have a website online, you want two things: traffic directed to your website, and the conversion rate of traffic to sales. SEO tactics were developed to solve both purposes. For a successful Web marketing campaign, you need to consider many points to achieve success over the Internet. Our web-marketing checklist will brief you through every pointer that is required for an effective web marketing campaign. You can take a print out of this checklist and tick the required steps that you have accomplished. If you have a website online, it is necessary to analyze it. The course of this guide will help you to learn SEO strategies from scratch and achieve high ranking in all the prominent search engines. This book provides a simple yet practical approach to search engine optimization. If you are a new business owner or have just started your website, this guide will provide you with step-by-step instructions on ranking your website ahead of your competition. I have also added a 12-week crisp plan at the end of the book along with a checklist that will get you started in no time. Happy reading! The team at The Wordpress Genie