Kamis, 06 Oktober 2011

12 Things You Really Should Know About SEO

Studies show that over 90% of all online users use search engines to find what they are looking for, whether products/services, or just plain old information.
seo, search engine optimization, hosting, web, internet
Studies show that over 90% of all online users use search engines to find what they are looking for, whether products/services, or just plain old information.

The following twelve points will, I hope, summarize a philosophy, approach and methodology to the SEO question which is both sound and effective, along with giving some helpful insight into the industry itself.

1. Content. Content. Content.
Effective, professional, optimized Copywriting is the single, most important factor in any SEO campaign. Search engines index websites based on the content found on each page of the site. With a thorough understanding of the language and grammatical conventions combined with intensive research, to find and exploit the market focus, one can move a website to the upper echelon of the "SERP's" (Search Engine Results Page) in a methodical as well as ethical manner.

2. Analyze Web Logs.
Measure everything, at least twice, and then check again. While I would be the first to say that many of the procedures that make up website optimization are more art than science, one needs to take a very scientific approach to the results of the effort. This is done by methodically keeping a record of, and making an analysis of the sites web logs. There are a number of specialized software which make the job easier but at the bare minimum, one needs to keep a close eye on the site visitors and their activity while on the site. No matter how well planned the strategy, it is largely theoretical until proven by the results, which can only be measured by the logs, and a thorough analysis of their content.

3. No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google, or any other search engine.
Those who promise such feats will either optimize for such vague search term phrases (such as, "green stunted widgets with purple Polka-dots and icing") that no one will ever likely look for, or they are making a false claim, which they have no intention of keeping, or they have an inside edge at Google, something which they will loose, quickly, when the honest folks at Google find out about it. The other option, that they will take the money and run, is worth mentioning here but I'll be polite.

4. Some things are just plain silly.
You don't need to submit your site to 50,000 search engines. Businesses which offer this service are suspect, at best. 85% of the search results on the Internet come from one search engine, which, if you have one link from an established website, or better yet, a directory, will find your site just fine, on it's own. Four (4) search engines account for over 90% of the traffic on the web. As for any supposed benefit which may accrue from being listed in an obscure search engine in Botswana which specializes in safaris to the Kalahari Desert and receives 7 hits per day; well, you figure it out.

5. SEO is not Pay-per-Click.
While no one would argue the effectiveness of getting increased traffic and sales, through a well planned, pay-per-click campaign, the fact remains that the conversion rates are generally low and they cease the moment the "pay" stops. With a well planned and executed SEO campaign, while results may take a bit longer, they continue to produce, and in fact grow, long after the work is done and paid for. Quite often we have found that after a thorough optimization of a site, only minor adjustments are needed on an ongoing basis, primarily related to new content and/or new items of sale or service.

6. SEO is not witchcraft, Druidism, shamanism.
Neither does it require any special chants, ceremonial fires, or vestments, though some of us do like to howl at the full moon, on occasion. There are no "Top Secret" practices which a reputable SEO can not tell a client, a judge, or his mother, for that matter. The very nature of the Internet has always been cooperative and there is nothing about SEO that can't be learned, with a heavy dose of time and money. A reputable SEO firm will give you an item per item breakdown of just where the money goes. Be wary if you sense a secretive atmosphere or any unwillingness to answer questions. While there are technical points which might take some background to fully understand, if one has a solid overview of the entire situation, a simple explanation should be easy enough to come up with.

7. Do-it-yourself SEO.
Yes, you can execute your own SEO campaign and find a reputable SEO firm to help plan and organize it for you. About one half of my own clientele do some part of the actual work themselves, or have their in-house dedicated personnel do it, after discussion of the goals and aims of the business/website, a thorough website analysis, comprehensive search phrase research, and focused instruction on the ways and means of achieving high SERPs. These preliminaries are followed up with a detailed program of suggestions and methods which the client can then implement themselves or hire others to perform. Average savings; 30-40%.

8. Phased Implementation.
While many companies spend thousands of dollars per month on Search Engine Optimization, an alternative is available which will pay dividends to you in increased sales and leads without the high initial investment. The most important consideration is to have a reputable firm handle the initial evaluation and suggested optimization planning first. The trial and error method will cost much more, in the long run, with or without the desired result. After studying the plan and establishing a workable budget you may implement the plan as finances allow.

9. Remember the old saying, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."
Never was this more true than in the realm of SEO. While concrete and measurable gains will always come from a well thought out and executed optimization strategy, the Internet is a competitive media and we all want to be number one. Accept that a steady upward movement, over time, will place you worlds ahead of a flash followed by a crash.

10. A thought to ponder.
At stake, in the race for the top, is the very existence of your website, your business, and quite possibly your reputation. Beware of any "shortcuts" or less than ethical schemes that anyone might suggest to further your business goals. When it's all said and done it is you, the business owner, who bears the responsibility for any company or individual you hire. Insist on knowing exactly what the strategy is and what steps are being performed to implement it. If it seems, in the least, suspicious, ask for and get an explanation. In this case, not only is Ignorance not bliss, it could very well be the beginning of the end for your business.

11. All incoming links are not created equal.
Both the relevance to your line of business and website subject matter and the PR value of the incoming link determine how valuable they are to your own PR ranking. With Google starting the trend, nothing new there, and most of the others following close behind, the days of grabbing all the inbound links, in any way possible, are gone. Not only will low ranked and/or irrelevant inbound links not help, they will, in fact, cause a penalty. Link farms, free-for-all link schemes, automated link accumulation software, or any other fad that doesn't carefully screen the links and websites they are coming from will, in the long run, do more harm than good.

12. It's more than just facts and figures.
The relationship between an online business and SEO is, perhaps, one of the closest of business relationships. In order to be effective, a SEO must know not only the facts and figures pertaining to the endeavor, but s/he must know something of the dreams and aspirations of the business principals. Things which don't normally come out in a prospectus are often invaluable information when searching for the "right fit" into the complex world of the Internet. My own clients sometimes ask, due to the frequency of my calls and email in the early phases, "Am I your only client?" I usually laugh and say something to the effect that until I know your business almost as well as you do, yes, you are the only one that counts.

Search Engine Secrets - Get Top Listings On Google & Yahoo!

Did you believe this? If your like me you've probably seen a million pages and emails like this that claim they can work miracles for you in all the search engines. They claim everything from having inside information or special relationships with Google and all the search engines.
marketing, search engines, seo, sem
Let me show you How to Get Top Listings for every page of your site and Rank #1 for all of your Keywords in the Search Engines - Guaranteed.

Did you believe this? If your like me you've probably seen a million pages and emails like this that claim they can work miracles for you in all the search engines. They claim everything from having inside information or special relationships with Google and all the search engines.

The simple Truth is this: No one can guarantee top listings on any search engine, in fact, no one can even guarantee that you'll ever be listed. So beware of big claims and unethical SEO firms as there are many out there.

So how do you get top listings in the major search engines. Let me try to answer that as simply as I can without thoroughly confusing you. CONTENT - yes that's right... content is still king... the more you try to fool search engines the more damage you'll do to your rankings. Search engines are getting smarter and smarter and they have seen every trick in the book done by every unethical SEO/SEM firm and spammer out there. So don't fall pray to the hype and false claims.

Here's the big Search Engine Secret

Well Written and Related Content, Relevant Page Titles and Meta-tag Descriptions. So there you have it, the secret is out... if anyone tries to tell you different or convince you otherwise - put away your check book and run. Yes, there are other things you can do to help your rankings using the 3 items above and a few more.

How to improve your chances in the search engines rankings:

*** Know your top keywords.. Use Yahoo's Keyword Tool http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/?mkt=us〈=en_US or Goggle's Sandbox https://adwords.google.com/select/main?cmd=KeywordSandbox to find what users are actually typing into the search engines to find sites like yours. Once you have all your top keywords - don't loose them... you will use these over and over and over again.

*** Use your top keywords in the content of your pages, in your page titles and in your mate-tag descriptions. I don't mean to use pages that are filled with nothing but keywords, use them in Real Sentences. Pages that are nothing but keywords will hurt you in the search engines, this is called keyword stuffing and will hurt your rankings or worse yet, get your site delisted or banned from the search engines. Simply take your current site content and use your top keywords in appropriate places where they make sense in real sentences.

*** Don't over use keywords or try to use to many on one single page. Have your main keyword in the title, the description and a couple times on the page content is usually sufficient. Do this for every page of your site optimizing it for the subject of that particular page using the relevant keywords from your research. I see so many sites with the same Title and Meta Descriptions on every page. Make sure yours are different.

*** Get as many high value links as possible. Best way to determine High Value links is to install the Google Toolbar at http://toolbar.google.com/ and use Google's Page Rank to determine link value. You can also use out PR Tool at http://www.i4market.com/tools/rankcheck.html. The higher the rank the better. You may have to pay for links on PR7 or higher sites - but don't pay too much. You can also use Alexa Traffic Rank or their toolbar - http://www.alexa.com/. The more High Value links you have the better your Search Engine Popularity will be.

*** Install Link Exchange Software... but be selective about the link exchanges you approve.

*** Add value added relevant content to your site, such as articles, news, blogs or tools related to your business or industry. This will increase your search engine saturation. A site with 100 pages of good quality content has much a better chance of being found than a site with only 10 pages.

*** Use Google XML Site Maps or find and company that will create one for you. http://www.google.com/webmasters/sitemaps/docs/en/about.html

*** Offer a site map to your users with links that point to the important parts of your site. If the site map is larger than 100 or so links, break the site map into separate pages.

*** Try to use text instead of images to display important names, content, or links. Search Engines do not recognize text contained in images or flash content. If you must use images, then always use the Alt tag to describe the link.

*** Check for broken links and correct HTML.

*** If you decide to use dynamic pages (i.e., the URL contains a "?" character), be aware that not every search engine spider crawls dynamic pages. It helps to keep the parameters short and the number of them few. Don't use "&id=" as a parameter in your URLs, as Google does not include these pages.

*** Keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number (fewer than 100).

*** Make use of the robots.txt file on your web server. This file tells crawlers which directories can or cannot be crawled. Make sure it's current for your site so that you don't accidentally block the spiders from content you want included.

*** Understand the difference between a Search Engine and a Directory. A Search engine uses spidering technology and will search the web for new sites. Directories will not seek you out and you will have to be tell them about your new site manually.

*** Revisit your keywords on a regular basis. There are a 1000's ways to search for the same thing, search patterns change from time to time. You'll want to keep up with those changes.

*** Submit your site to the search engines if it has never been submitted or you are not listed in that particular engine. Most search engines still have a free submit for the "Natural Listings", yet they may not be easy to find. You can find Google's ADD URL here http://www.google.com/addurl/?continue=/addurl

*** Submit your site to the Directories including Yahoo! and DMOZ. DMOZ http://www.dmoz.org/ is the Open Directory Project and is used to power thousands of other sites and directories - Inclusion in this directory gets you links in 1000's of other sites. DMOZ is also the directory Google uses. http://directory.google.com/


-- Don't Use hidden text or links
-- Don't Use doorway or gateway pages.
-- Don't Use pages that redirect users to other places.
-- Don't use any type of cloaking technology - no matter how great it sounds. It might work for a short time - but you will get caught.
-- Don't use Flash content for important information. Flash is an application that is completely invisible to most search engines. Flash is good for animations and other page elements - not for an entire site unless you also have an html version.
-- Don't Use Misleading or overly repeated words
-- Don't Use Bait & Switch tactics... they don't work.
-- Don't Use Duplicate sites or pages
-- Stay away from Free For All or Link Farms schemes, as these will only hurt you.

There are many things that affect your rankings then just the content on your pages, so DON'T obsess about being #1 - you may never get there no matter what you do. Your time is better spent operating your business in areas you have more control over.

Following the above guidelines will get you the best results your site will achieve. That's not to say that there is not more you can do - but these are the main items that will effect your rankings in the SERP's (Search Engine Result Pages). The internet a huge place and technology changes all the time - so do the search engines - a site that is #1 today might be #1001 tomorrow.

You can try to do all this yourself or you can hire a company that specializes in SEO/SEM (Search Engine Optimization & Search Engine Marketing), however beware, there are many that will separate you from your money quickly and leave you with little to no results. We suggest you take some advice from Google concerning selecting an SEO firm for your company. http://www.google.com/intl/en/webmasters/seo.html

Above all else - remember this - There are NO GUARANTEES in any type of marketing campaigns, be it on the web, in print, on television or radio. So spend prudently and select your Marketing firm wisely!