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7 Ways to Improve Your SEO and Get More Traffic to Your Website

Friday, January 27th, 2012

SEO

Search Engine Optimization or “SEO” has been around since the search engines like Google and Yahoo came into existence in the late 1990s. While a lot has changed over the years, a lot has remained the same regarding technique and strategy. Back in the day, it was all about having good, complete “meta-tags” on every page of your website which told the search engines what the page was about so they could catalog and rank them properly. Having good meta-tags is still a good thing to have going on, but additional factors play into your website’s overall rankings for various keywords in this day and age of social media.

SEO is NEVER a done or complete process and should be strategized on every month to improve rankings, exposure, and traffic. The search engines are still the #1 way to drive targeted traffic to your website or blog, i.e. people pro-actively searching for information or products you have available. But what are the most important aspects of SEO to focus on so you can maximize your time and effectiveness with the goal being to ranking higher in the free, or “organic”, search results better and better over time? I don’t consider myself an SEO expert by any means, just someone who has done SEO on a variety of sites over the last 12 or so years and read a lot about it. Here are some of the concepts and strategies I think are most important to gain higher search results and more free traffic.

1. On-Site SEO Optimization – Making sure your website is properly “optimized’ for the search engines is a very important task and something that should be looked at periodically. The first step is to make sure EVERY page of your website or blog has a unique page title. Also, you can look to increase the length of your page titles to include keywords that may bringing in more rankings for that page. Include the most popular keywords you are trying to rank for in your homepage’s title, but don’t over do the number of words you are going after, keep it focused. Once you have good titles on every page of your site, you can look at improving your on-page content on every page.

2. On-page Content – Most people don’t realize that content on each page can rank in the free traffic for various keyword searches, so make sure every page has good, unique content that talks about what every the page is about. This is something that can be improved upon and tweaked over time to make sure you are maximizing the rankings for every page of your site. Also, make sure you have either a site map on your site that links to all your main pages so they can be spidered easier by the search engines, otherwise make sure you are linking to all the pages on your site from other pages so they will be found and cataloged. Generally, the pages linked directly from your homepage will rank higher and carry more weight, so make sure all your main content pages are linked from your homepage. Generally speaking, the more content on each page of your site, the great the likelihood that you can pull searchers to that page from Google, Yahoo, and MSN.

3. New Content Posting – People ask me all the time how to get more free traffic to their sites…I usually answer “post more content!” Posting fresh content to your site, on a frequent basis, is one of the best ways to maximize your free traffic because the more pages of content you have on your site the more possible search rankings you can achieve with each page. If you have 1000 pages of original content on your site and each page gets 1 visitor a day, you will be getting a 1000 visitors a day to your site. I like to use that metric when talking to people about their SEO strategy. It doesn’t always hold true, but it’s a good way to grasp the concept. Posting content very frequently is a great way to encourage the search engines to come back to your site more frequently looking for your new content, because Google always wants to have the freshest content in their search results so they have relevant search results when people search…makes sense right?? So make sure to post new content or pages to your site as frequently as possible, I usually recommend 5-10 new posts a day, but sites that I follow that post 30-40 posts a day rank amazingly and get a ton of traffic. I have done experiments where I had 40-50 posts posted to my sites and their rankings and traffic shot through the roof, so I know it works well.

4. Content Syndication – Once you have posted a new page or post to your site what should you do with it? In order to maximize each and every new piece of content you add to your site you can go though a series of steps that will effectively “syndicate” your content out on the Internet in various places. Syndicating your content is a must for a few reasons. Not only could that post rank in the search results on a site you syndicate it to, but when you syndicate you are building inbound links to your site from higher rankings sites that have a lot of credibility with Google. Some of the best ways to syndicate are: posting to Facebook, posting to your Facebook Fan Page, Tweeting the post and title, sharing in relevant LinkedIn Groups, and submitting to social bookmarking sites like Networked Blogs, Digg, Delicious, and Reddit. I have written posts on syndicating your content, you can check out on this site. I personally go through a series of steps after every new content post I do and over time have noticed more traffic from those sources in my website analytics.

5. Inbound Link Building – there is a lot of misinformation out there about link building, how to do it, and whether it works or not. There is no doubt it works, you just have to do it in the right way. One of the best ways of building inbound links is to get other websites or blogs to link to your site. “Blog roll” links can be a great source of inbounds, but don’t pay for them or you could get in trouble with Google. Trade for them and you should be fine. Millions of bloggers trade blogroll links and its a very common practice. Another great way to build inbound links is through online press release distribution. I recommend eReleases.com because they are affordable and have great distribution. In your press release you can include a couple of hyperlinks to your site, which is standard practice. Once the release goes out you benefit from all the sites that publish the release linking to your site, which boosts your SEO rankings. Over time, if you do them fairly regularly, you can gain a significant boost to your overall SEO rankings and get more of your inner pages ranking higher in the search results, known as “deep indexing” if you have a lot of pages on your site. Social bookmarking to Digg and sites like that can also help build your inbound links and rankings over time. Posting good blog comments and forum signature links can also add additional inbound links to your site, boosting rankings and traffic, but you have to do them in abundance to get a great effect.

6. Saturation Strategies – ”saturating the search engines” refers to gaining multiple rankings for a particular search phrase or topic. Back in the early days this was easy to achieve, but over the years Google, Yahoo, and MSN have gotten smarter about who owns what sites and has made it difficult to achieve saturation. However, saturation can still be achieved by posting completely different content and titles, relating to the same core search phrases, on multiple sites with good rankings. One way to do this is to post as a “guest blogger” on blogs that are related to what you do. Another way is to join sites with good rankings that allow you to have a blog like Digitalpoint forums. Also, posting unique articles with unique titles to “article directories” like ezinearticles.com can be effective. Another way is to post on forums that rank well. These are all in addition to posting on your own site own site or blog. Finding and utilizing various good ranking “platforms” to post your content to is the best way to achieve saturation of the search engines.

7. Blogging – I recommend that everyone have a blog on their site for several reasons. Blogs are really just websites that use the same layout for every page. They allow you to post faster and more frequently. Blogs also allow you to categorize and “tag” your posts which increases your indexed page count in the search engines. Blogs also have RSS feeds which can be submitted to RSS directories which is another great way to build your rankings and gain RSS subscribers, who will receive your content once your new content is post it to their readers. I recommend using a WordPress blog because they tend to rank really well and have tons of free “plug-ins” that add functionality to your blog and allow you to maximize things.

Achieving good search engine optimization is a process that unfolds over time by doing the right things with your website. It’s never done and always needs to be assessed as far the effectiveness and strategy goes. Every month you should say to yourself, “What are we doing this month to improve our SEO?” You should have a good SEO strategy in place and someone in charge of it. Don’t hire an SEO firm to come in and do it for you when they will just take your money and do very little. Use that money to outsource your content writing to good writers that need the work and launching press release. I hope you liked my article on SEO…do let me know what you think. Thanks!

Why eReleases Online Press Releases Should be Part of Your Monthly Online Marketing Strategy

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

In this day and age, most companies don’t have thousands of dollars to just throw at PR agencies, especially when the results aren’t guaranteed. One of the best ways to increase your exposure and PR is to do it yourself through what are known as online press releases. I am so impressed with the effectiveness of my own press releases when using ereleases.com I have been recommending it to just about everyone I speak to and work with for the last 1 and half. In my opinion, companies should be doing 1-5 online press releases per month to keep your PR and exposure up to a fever pitch. You can always find something news worthy going in your company such as: new product launches, new part of the website we designed, new hires, new divisions, etc. It’s not hard to come up with something press release worthy if you try hard enough. In fact, I feel so strongly about online press releases, I think they should be an integral part of your monthly online marketing strategy. If you’re not current using them you are seriously missing the boat.

One of the best aspects of doing releases is that it boosts your SEO rankings because you can hyperlink to your site within the press releases on your core keyword phrases. Over time, this can boost your organic rankings and help you saturate the search engines more than you currently are doing. You can also link to categories and sub-sections of your site and pump up those areas as well. The average releases goes out on several hundred quality news sites like Reuters, Yahoo News, and hundreds of local news sites with great rankings and longevity so the quality of the inbound links is great. From my experience, I find that not only do I get more business inquires and phone calls when dropping releases, my SEO rankings and traffic boosts. Also if you have a large amount of pages on your site, you can get more of your inner pages indexed and ranking higher with these inbound link increases. I consider it an integral component of a company’s SEO and PR strategy. Each release is $325 if you mention Experience Advertising, and cheaper if you buy packages of 10 releases. Many clients I have recommended using ereleases have had amazing inquires and articles written by magazine and publications. This can be your entire PR strategy, instead of paying a PR agent a bunch of money for unsure results.

Are you looking to work with an online marketing consultant to help increase your business exponentially with several effective strategies? Call Evan today!

Basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Pointers

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of building and optimizing your website with certain principles and strategies in order to obtain the best possible rankings in the free search results, or “organic” search results. You website can always be re-optimized, so its never a perfect science or done, but there are certain pieces of the puzzle that need to be in place to achieve better search rankings. Over time, your goal should be to have really well optimized site that continues to grow and build more traffic through expansion of original content. With this strategy, you can expect to increase your website’s traffic over time as the site grows larger and larger.

Here are some of the key SEO principles you should focus on:

Meta-tags: Your meta-tags should be present in each page of your site starting from the homepage. They are located in the code or HTML of each page and can be customized on a per-page level. You can view a pages meta-tags by right clicking on the web page in any white area and selecting view source from the pop-up menu. There are generally 3 important meta-tags: Title tag, Keywords tag, and Description tag. If you are able to edit the meta-tags on each page of your site, through an admin or editing the HTML by hand, you can really customize each page’s meta-tags to focus in on describing the pages exact purpose. The more focused the better. If you have a blog you may not have the ability to edit the meta-tags on each page/post. You may have to use plugins to achieve individual page meta-tag editing with blogs.

Here is an example is well done meta-tags for a florist directory site:






Each and every page of your website can have custom meta-tags and should be optimized individually if possible. You can tweak your meta-tags to try to get the best result and rankings, but the changes may take from weeks to months to show positive results in Google so you have to have patience for the results. If your website is updated frequently with new content, it’s like the search engines are returning frequently, so the updates to the meta-tags and on-page content could yield improvements quicker than a less frequently updated website.

So what does each section of this tag do exactly?
Title Tag: Probably the most important, make sure every page Title in the meta-tags is unique to every page and very focused on what the page is about. Try to make your page titles corresponding to what people are searching for most frequently as it relates to your site and what it’s about.
Description: This provides search engine spiders with a brief overview of what your site is about. Your description tag is somewhat like a thesis for your website. It should be short, but very informative about what your site discusses. Always remember to include relevant keywords in your description, but don’t over do the amount of the same keywords.
Keywords: A list of ten or so keywords that are very relevant to what your site offers. If you are unsure of what keywords to include in this tag, check to see what keywords in your niche get the most search volume.
You can do this using the WordTracker free tool located at: http://freekeywords.wordtracker.com/ or the Google External Keyword Tool: https://adwords.goog…rdToolExternal.

The robots and revisit-after tag talks directly to the search engine spiders that crawl your site. You want to use these tags to clearly indicate to them that they should index your entire website, and come back roughly once a month to rescan and index your content. But if you update your site or blog frequently the search engines will come back more frequently, so that should be the goal.

Keep in mind that your meta tags are used by the search engine spiders only as a broad guideline as to what your site contains. Your on-page content is what the search spiders are looking at to determine what your site is about. Both factors weigh heavily in how well your website ranks and the individual pages as well, so make sure every page of your site is as “optimized” as possible.

Why It’s a Great Idea to Have an Article Directory or Blog on Your Website

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Blogger

No matter what type of website you have it’s a good idea to have an article directory or blog on the site, either in a subdomain or folder of the site such as: yoursite.com/blog or articles.yoursite.com. This can easily be achieved with a CMS (content management system), like WordPress, and theming it to match your site. Once you have a super-easy way to post new content and articles to your site you can really take off with it and pump it up with a ton of fresh content. Adding unique articles to your site gives the search engines something new to look at or and “index,” which basically means cataloging the new pages in their cache or page repository. This allows Google, Yahoo, and Bing (MSN) to stay on top of your content and serve it up quicker to searchers, which increases the chance of your content being found in the free traffic search results. The more unique content you have on your site, the more possible searches you can have a matching page for. So if you have 1000 pages of original content on your site, you can leverage that content to get a ton free traffic. And there’s no better traffic than free traffic, I’m sure you would agree!

Another good reason to have a blog on your site is it allows you to having an “RSS feed” of your articles or content, which most blog platforms like WordPress have by default. This allows you to submit or add your RSS feed url to what are know as RSS directories which can gain you actual RSS subscribers to your content. When your site’s RSS feed is added to a user’s Feed Reader, your content is pushed to them immediately once published, which creates repeat visitors to your site and therefore more opportunity to monetize that visitor with affiliate banners or Google Adsense links, as well as getting them to like your Fan Page or follow you on Twitter, so you can interact with them later.

Make sure to have the Facebook Like button on every article and every page of your site, as well as other social sharing and bookmarking plugins that allow visitors to share your content quickly and easily across social platforms. The Facebook comment box is another must-add to your site, so people can comment on your pages directly on your site which post to their Facebook Wall and all their friends see it. This is an integral part of capitalizing on your website’s traffic and making all your hard work posting content pay off.

When you publish a blog, or other form of article directory to your site, you are reaping all of the benefits that the content on those pages with bring you in the search engines. An excellent way to build rapport with your readers and the search engine spiders is to post frequently and consistently. If you only have enough time to post once a month, do that. Never let your site stagnate. If you can post once per week be consistent with it. Ideally, you should post to your blog multiple times a daily to encourage the search engines to come back more frequently looking for your fresh content and also value your site higher as being a source for fresh content. Post as much original content to your site’s blog as frequently as possible to get the best results. At the end of the day it’s a volume game, the more pages of original content the better.

Each time a user comes back to your site you will have another chance to monetize them or get them as a Fan or Follower. A very simple way to get users back to your site frequently is to post frequently. Allowing your users to receive your content via feed readers as mentioned above, or see the posts through social networking, are excellent ways to get them back to your site. You should also cater to your users who do not use this technology. There are many resources to deliver your posts to your readers other than RSS. You can use the free Feedburner service from Google. FeedBurner can help you with a tool called Email Subscriptions. What this free resource does is allow your readers to enter their email address and receive an email every time you post to your blog or site. This can be a valuable way to stay in touch with more people and create the repeat visitors and new visitors you seek.

If you have a Twitter account and Facebook Fan Page (and you should have at least one!) you can use a wide variety of tools to automatically announce every time you make a new blog post. Some of these tools are Twitterfeed, HootSuite, and Ping.fm. You can post to multiple social networks at once which saves a lot of time. Make sure to respond right away to any interaction you get on Facebook or Twitter to build a loyal following. Once you post articles on your site you can share them on Facebook and Twitter with your fans and followers and give them something great to read!

These are but a few reason to have an article directory on your website and the benefits it can yield. Let me know what you think of these ideas. Thanks!

Why Having Good On-Page Content is Good for Your Website’s SEO

Friday, August 12th, 2011

You website’s SEO or search engine optimization is so crucial to getting all the free traffic you can in your niche from Google, Yahoo, and MSN/Bing. Just like your meta-tags are really important to having a well optimized website for the search engines, your “on-page content” is crucial to good rankings as well. Adding additional content to, or beefing up, your site’s pages can allow each page to rank in the search results under a larger variety of searches.

The search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN are literally scanning and reading the content on your website, so they can catalog and index it all for their search results. You content should be well-written and thorough. Never skimp on content when editing your site or adding new pages to your site. The search engines love original content, in fact they thrive on it. So you have to make sure your site is content-rich in order to gain good rankings when people run searches for topics. The more variety of possible search phrases you are mentioning on your pages, the more times each page can rank under those phrases. For example, if a page or article is talking about remodeling a bathroom, and you add a paragraph about remodeling the sink, that page could pull rankings for people searching remodeling a bathroom and remodeling the sink in particular. So the same page can pull multiple rankings and therefore get more traffic to your site.

So why is on-page content so important?
As previously discussed, the search engine spiders are checking your site’s content to determine what your site is about. The more relevant content you provide on your site, the more chances you have to rank for your topics of choice. It is ESSENTIAL to note that the content you place on your website should be unique to your site. This will help you achieve top rankings in your niche. Search engines are looking to give priority rankings to sites that are providing readers unique, high quality information that is very relevant to the topic of the site.

Acquiring good search engine rankings is only one of many reasons that on-page content is so important. When a surfer clicks through to your site after finding it in the organic search rankings, they are going to land on your article. Keeping this in mind, your article content should be informative, but have a steady flow into your call to action and your affiliate links should be present in the content and around the content to maximize click-throughs. For example, after providing a page of quality information about remodeling a bathroom, you can easily flow to an affiliate (or any) link saying for example, “Now that you have the knowledge about the steps involved in remodeling your bathroom, click here to find a contractor that can help!” Since you have provided the surfer with quality information, that was very relevant to what they were searching for, you should have no problem getting them to convert with the advertiser you are link them towards with your affiliate links and banners.

These are some of the reason why on-page content is so important. I encourage you to build out a large, expansive website that covers any many topics related to your niche as possible and you will climb the search results at a steady pace. Let me know what you think!

Effective Ways to Improve Your Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Search Engine Optimization or “SEO” has been around since the search engines like Google and Yahoo came into existence in the late 1990s. While a lot has changed over the years, a lot has remained the same regarding technique and strategy. Back in the day, it was all about having good, complete “meta-tags” on every page of your website which told the search engines what the page was about so they could catalog and rank them properly. Having good meta-tags is still a good thing to have going on, but more factors play into your website’s overall rankings for various keywords in this day and age of Social Media. SEO is NEVER a done or complete process and should be strategized on every month to improve rankings, exposure, and traffic. The search engines are still the #1 way to drive targeted traffic to your website or blog, i.e. people pro-actively searching for information or products you have available. But what are the most important aspects of SEO to focus on so you can maximize your time and effectiveness with the goal being to ranking higher in the free, or “organic”, search results better and better over time? I don’t consider myself an SEO expert by any means, just someone who has done SEO on a variety of sites over the last 12 or so years and read a lot about it. Here are some of the concepts and strategies I think are most important to gain higher search results and more free traffic.

1. On-Site SEO Optimization – Making sure your website is properly “optimized’ for the search engines is a very important task and something that should be looked at periodically. The first step is to make sure EVERY page of your website or blog has a unique page title in the meta-tags. Also, you can look to increase the length of your page titles to include keywords that may bringing in more rankings for that page. Include the most popular keywords you are trying to rank for in your homepage’s title tag, but don’t over do the number of words you are going after, keep it focused. Once you have good Titles on every page of your site, you can look at improving your on-page content on every page. Most people don’t realize that content on each page can ranking for various keyword searches, so make sure every page has good, unique content that talks about what every the page is about. This is something that can be improved upon and tweaked over time to make sure you are maximizing the rankings for every page of your site. Also, make sure you have either a site map on your site that links to all your main pages so they can be spidered easier by the search engines, otherwise make sure you are linking to all the pages on your site from other pages so they will be found and cataloged. Generally, the pages linked directly from your homepage will rank better and carry more weight, so make sure all your main content pages are linked from your homepage.

2. New Content Posting – People ask me all the time how to get more free traffic to their sites…I usually answer “post more content!” Posting fresh content to your site, on a frequent basis, is one of the best ways to maximize your free traffic because the more pages of content you have on your site the more possible search rankings you can achieve with each page. If you have 1000 pages of original content on your site and each page gets 1 visitor a day, you will be getting a 1000 visitors a day to your site. I like to use that metric when talking to people about their SEO strategy. It doesn’t always hold true, but it’s a good way to grasp the concept. Posting content very frequently is a great way to encourage the search engines to come back to your site more frequently looking for your new content, because Google always wants to have the freshest content in their search results so they have relevant search results when people search…makes sense right?? So make sure to post new content or pages to your site as frequently as possible, I usually recommend 5-10 new posts a day, but sites that I follow that post 30-40 posts a day rank amazingly and get a ton of traffic. I have done experiments where I had 40-50 posts a day posted to my sites and their rankings and traffic shot through the roof, so I know it works well.

3. Content Syndication – Once you have posted a new page or post to your site what should you do with it? In order to maximize each and every new piece of content you add to your site you can go though a series of steps that will effectively “syndicate” your content out on the Internet in various places. Syndicating your content is a must for a few reasons. Not only could that post ranking on a site you syndicate it to, but when you syndicate you are building inbound links to your site from higher rankings sites that have a lot of credibility with Google. Some of the best ways to syndicate are: posting to Facebook, posting to you Fan Page, Tweeting the post and title, sharing in LinkedIn Groups, and submitting to social bookmarking sites like Digg, Delicious, and Reddit. I have written posts on syndicating your content, you can check it out here. I go through a series of steps after every new content post I do and over time have noticed more traffic from those sources in my website analytics.

4. Inbound Link Building – there is a lot of misinformation out there about link building, how to do it, and whether it works or not. There is no doubt it works, you just have to do it in the right way. One of the best ways of building inbound links is to get other websites or blogs to link to your site. Blogroll links can be a great source of inbounds, but don’t pay for them or you could get in trouble with Google. Trade for them and you should be fine. Millions of bloggers trade blogroll links and its a very common practice. Another great way to build inbound links is through online press release distribution. I recommend eReleases.com because they are affordable and have great distribution. In your press release you can include a couple of hyperlinks to your site, which is standard practice. Once the release goes out you benefit from all the sites that publish the release linking to your site, which boosts your SEO rankings. Over time, if you do them fairly regularly, you can gain a significant boost to your overall SEO rankings and get more of your inner pages ranking higher in the search results, known as deep indexing if you have a lot of pages on your site. Social bookmarking to Digg and sites like that can also help build your inbound links and rankings over time. Posting good blog comments and forum signature links can also add additional inbound links to your site, boosting rankings and traffic, but you have to do them in abundance to get a great effect.

5. Saturation Strategies – saturating the search engines refers to gaining multiple rankings for a particular search phrase. Back in the early days this was easy to achieve, but over the years Google, Yahoo, and MSN have gotten smarter about who owns what sites and made it difficult to achieve saturation. However, saturation can still be achieved by posting completely different content and titles, relating to the same core search phrases, on multiple sites with good rankings. One way to do this is to post as a “guest blogger” on blogs that are related to what you do. Another way is to join sites with good rankings that allow you to have a blog like Digitalpoint forums. Also, posting unique articles to “article directories” like ezinearticles.com can be effective. Another way is to post on forums that ranking well (like this one). These are all in addition to posting on your own site own site or blog. Finding and utilizing various good ranking “platforms” to post your content is the best way to achieve saturation of the search engines.

6. Blogging – I recommend that everyone have a blog on their site for several reasons. Blogs are really just websites that use the same layout for every page. They allow you to post faster and more frequently. Blogs also allow you to categories and “tag” your posts which increases your indexed page count in the search engines. Blogs also have RSS feeds which can be submitted to RSS directories which is another great way to build your rankings and gain RSS subscribers, who will receive your content once you post it to their readers. I recommend using a WordPress blog because they tend to rank really well and have tons of free “plug-ins” that add functionality to your blog and allow you to maximize things.

Achieving good search engine optimization is a process that unfolds over time by doing the right things with your website. It’s never done and always needs to be assessed as far the effectiveness and strategy goes. Every month you should say to yourself, “What are we doing this month to improve our SEO?” You should have a good SEO strategy in place and someone in charge of it. Don’t hire an SEO firm to come in and do it for you when they will just take your money and do very little. Use that money to outsource your content writing to good writers that need the work. I hope you liked my article on SEO…do let me know what you think! Thanks!