Posted by enetwal on May 31, 2009
The twitter craze has spawned dozens of ebooks, and countless tools and an awful lot of advice, much of which is itself awful.
While the eBook itself costs $47, the tools he recommends and I now use are free. So you don’t need to worry about an up-sell, need to invest in a handful of expensive tools to make the strategy work. Additionally, Doug offers a 60 day guarantee so you can really dig in and prove the strategy to yourself. But frankly you won’t need 60 days. The value of the book became self evident to me right away as I realized I had been going about twitter all wrong. My guess is you are too.
I can’t let the secrets out, it wouldn’t be fair, but suffice it to say I now have multiple twitter accounts, and am not focusing all my attention on getting the biggest number of followers as possible.
Maintaining multiple account has its own issues. Providing value is another important aspect of twitter success. And that can take time. Now I learned a trick on how to provide that value a while back for my original twitter list, but when I went to duplicate it, it turned out I lost the secret link I needed to make it all work.
The idea is to use Google Reader to find relevant posts in Google, patch a Reader feed into Friend Feed and get Friend Feed to automatically post the items into Twitter. This tactic is very powerful but tricky to set up. Thankfully MikePaetzold came to the rescue with a new ebook and video product that describes what to do, and then mercifully shows it step by step on video.
Now I’m dense and it took me while to get it down, but I now have added this technique to the six twitter accounts I have running at the moment.
This time saver is called Twitter Time Saver and it is a godsend. I don’t know about you, but I have found myself spending way too much of my time on Twitter. This simple idea combined with the main strategy outlined in Advanced Twitter Marketing has moved my Twitter game plan ahead significantly already.
More importantly it has set the stage for a bright future with Twitter as I develop a series of targeted twitter accounts. If you can see beyond the ego trip of building the largest list of followers possible and can see the advantage of highly targeted lists where you are perceived as an expert by your somewhat less large number of target followers then you are
an ideal candidate for both products.
Twitter may be a passing fad, but it is more likely to be a growing fad for the next year or two at least. There is a lot to be said for having a sound strategy to position yourself as a leader in you niche or niches of interest. Now is the time to do it.
P.S. This morning, I posted over a dozen news articles to 5 of my 6 Twitter accounts in less than 30 minutes. These were interesting topical articles in newspapers from around the world. Stuff my list members wouldn’t otherwise see. That’s adding value to my twitter lists.
Posted by enetwal on May 29, 2009
If you have been reading my messages for a while now, I want to thank you. I do appreciate it. Over the past several years I have often talked about Bob Jenkins, aka Bob the Teacher.
I’ve learned a lot from Bob, in fact I probably had my most significant aha! moments from him as he actually explained how to do various things, like understanding my cPanel, using autoresponders effectively, creating products, and doing tele-seminars among others.
I got so much out of his products I’ve been a little like the new convert who tries to convince everyone else to join their new found faith. If I have ever gotten too out of line, I apologize, but I retain my conviction that Bob has some of the most useful, and more importantly, most accessible training online.
I’ve since found several other good teachers who have helped me build on the base I got from Bob. I will always be looking for others, cause I will never stop learning. But when it comes to the basics and more, Bob is top notch.
My only problem with Bob was he was always creating new courses, and the prices were a bit aggressive in some of them. Not that they weren’t worth the price, it’s just a bit of a stretch when one is starting out. That’s why his new program has me so excited.
Instead of selling his products individually, has put most of them, including some of the most expensive ones, into a membership program you can access for under $50 a month if you act right now. Since I paid over $1000 for the courses I took that are in this package, I can tell you this is a super deal.
And no, I’m not bitter that you will be able to get them so much more cheaply, because frankly, I am hoping you will learn the basics faster and eventually become a joint venture partner of mine as I start to produce more of my own products down the line.
Since you can quit at anytime, you can grab the ones you want and then leave. But as I’ve learned it takes time to learn well. And since Bob is always adding new products, he’s betting and I’m thinking most of you will hang around a while. I know I will be, and I’ve already taken over half the courses he offers.
I see myself as a teacher. And I have been trying to do that with my blog and e-mailings. But I recognize talent and want you to take advantage of the best, particularly now as he is launching this new service. The price will go up soon, to around $80 a month so that should be incentive enough. But for those of you who are really quick, he is making the monthly membership a 35 day membership, which means that you will get two months free in your first year. Nice idea.
I am a grateful student who has learned a lot from Bob. I know you can too. And since you will be able to access courses Ipaid hundreds for right from the start, I can’t see how you can afford to pass up this opportunity. I’m serious. This is golden.
Posted by enetwal on May 28, 2009
Posted by enetwal on May 28, 2009
Getting to the top of the Search Engines IX
How Many Backlinks do you have?
A bit of a detour today. I have had several people ask how they can find out how many backlinks they have to their web site. A good question and one I can answer.
First thing you want to do is go to Yahoo.com rather than Google or MSN and search for the term “linkdomain:” and then the web site you want to inquire about using the Yahoo search box. This will take you to Yahoo’s Site Explorer site.
When you do this for your site you will see two boxes at the top of the page. One will show the number of pages on your website, and the second will show the total number of inbound links to your site. These are your backlinks.
Now if you want to see what you need to do to outrank that pesky competitor of yours, it wouldn’t hurt to enter their domain name the same way and see how many backlinks they have. You might want to check out who they are, because there is a good chance you should be able to get back links from some of the same places.
Now as we mentioned before, not all backlinks are created equal. Some have higher page rank and are thus weighted more than others. So it’s possible that someone with fewer backlinks could rank higher.
As an experiment, go to Google and enter the keyword “Home Decorating” in the Google Search Box. When I did it for this article the top three “organic” listings were www.home-decorating-made-easy.com ; www.tuscan-home-101.com and www.hgtv.com
I looked at each site with the Yahoo Site Explorer and found the top ranking site had 627 pages of content and 1726 back links. The second ranked site, the tuscan one, had 88 pages of content and 794 backlinks. I believe the number of backlinks to be the major determinant in the higher ranking by home decorating made easy site.
But what about the third place site, HGTV? It has 203,974 pages and 7,285,773 backlinks. A behemoth by anyone’s standards. This is where relevance plays a role. HGTV has a lot of pages and backlinks, but not all of them were specifically relevant to the keyword term “Home Decorating.” At least not in Googles eyes.
If you enjoyed this exercise, play around with a few other keywords, and see if the number of backlinks doesn’t seem to play a role in most of them. As you do, you will come to appreciate how important backlinks are to ranking.
In our next article we will discuss some easy ways to get a bunch of high value backlinks. ( I should be charging for this. )
Posted by enetwal on May 26, 2009
The Stomper net folk are the leaders in Search Engine Optimization. Compared to them I am very small potatoes, but I do try to learn all I can from them and others to prepare my advice for Micro Businesses and other small business people.
Now many of you don’t need to concern yourselves with all the nitty gritty the stomper net people get into. Afterall, they are aiming much of their attention to highly competitive situations, and frankly most locally based small businesses can usually win the top listings in their markets following the tips I offer. However, it never hurts to listen to the big guys, and take from that conversation the underpinnings you need to meet your challenges.
Now they are running a promo for a new membership newsletter called the Net Effect, and in the process are making available their highly valuable Stomping the Search Engines 2 release which is $497 value and easily worth that much.
If you have been following my search engine series and want to learn more, there is not likely to be a better opportunity to grab a deal like this. I encourage you to sign up for the package and if you decide you don’t want the newsletter, cancel it. Times are tough, take advantage of the offer and you will be miles ahead in understanding the issues involved in search engine optimization. Your first copy of the Net Effect is free as well so, you only need risk a single dollar for a ton of valauble information.
There are thousands of people making a living on the subject of search engine optimization that probably know less than you will once you go over this package. http://cli.gs/TpmR1u
Posted by enetwal on May 26, 2009
SEO Off Page III
What is a backlink?
I’ve already spent a couple articles talking at least in part about back links without specifically explaining what a backlink is.
According to Wikipedia, Backlinks are incoming links to a website or web page. In the search engine optimization (SEO) world, the number of backlinks is one indication of the popularity or importance of that website or page. In basic link terminology, a backlink is any link received by a web node (web page, directory, website, or top level domain) from another web node. Backlinks are also known as incoming links, inbound links, inlinks, and inward links.
Thus when I create a hyper-link in this blog post to one of my Home Staging clients, Jane Ann Lance and her web site http://enhancedbylance.com it appears blue in most web browsers and you know that when you click on it, you will be taken to her web site. This is thus a back link to her web site and when the Google bot or one of the other search engine bots scans this page it will follow that link to her site and note it as a backlink. Notch one up for Jane Ann’s site.
Now even better would be a link to another of my home staging clients if instead of using her web address, I just sent you to this link: Hamptons Home Staging. In this case, the link is being made to http://www.styledandsold.com/home.html in the form of what is known as anchor text. This anchor text, “Hampton’s Home Staging” tells the bots that this back link is about Home Staging in the Hampton’s and reinforces the keywords on Allegra Dioguardi website. While both are backlinks, the second is more powerful.
Unfortunately, since we are now dealing with off page factors, you no longer have direct control over how others will link to you.
Thus we come to realize that not all backlinks are equal. Some are more important that others. A backlink from a blog that’s been published regularly for many months is going to have a somewhat more valuable link than one started today with just a single entry assuming the new blog is even visited by a bot. Even more valuable is a link from a site Google considers to be an authority site. Google has devised a series of page rankings that it uses to provide guidance as to the relative standing of various major web sites. A back link from a site with a 6 rank may be worth dozens of back links from dozens of unranked sites. That said, there is still a great deal of value in having back links from a large number of sites even if smaller.
So while we will be talking about some places where you can get some relatively highly ranked backlinks, don’t neglect getting links from lesser lights as well.
In our next session, we will show you how to get some backlinks with anchor text that you can control and that have high page ranks. The best of both worlds.
Posted by enetwal on May 25, 2009
As a veteran myself, I tend to give pause for a moment or two on Memorial day to recall friends of mine who lost their lives in battle, and to reflect on all of my compatriots who stood side by side in the call of duty. As a typical American, I also relish this day as the unofficial start of summer, and while the water is still too cold for swimming here in Minnesota, it sure is a great day for picnics. In an hour or so I will be off to the Wabun area of Minnehaha Park to snag a table for the Minnesota contingent of Netwals to gather.
As a marketer, I recognize most of my readers are away enjoying their weekends, but as an international marketer, I know not everyone celebrates this day.
For those of you who use the internet like me to generate an income selling goods or services, my strongest recommendation has to do with a new eBook called Advanced Twitter Marketing.
This seemingly inconsequential service with its tens of thousands of unread tweets seemed like a fools errand to me. Why would anyone give it a second thought? And yet today, I am tweeting a way, several times a day, and while its not yet raking in tons of new business, I am making real progress with it.
There are a lot of twitter tools out there. Some are paid, some are free, most work and a few don’t. But other than building a list for the fun of building a list, what good are they? Not much, unless you have a strategy. A plan of attack that makes sense. And that is what I have found in a new eBook by my mentor Doug Champigny. Now I’ve been associating with Doug for a while now, so some may think I am touting his book as a team player. And the truth is, I would. But I am asking you to understand that this book opened my eyes to a strategy to use this new Twitter craze effectively.
No longer is my goal to build the largest possible list, it’s to build the largest “focused lists” possible. The keywords are focused and lists (plural.)
While the book is an investment of just under $50, all the tools described and recommended in the book are free. So no traps here. No expensive upsells, no memberships. Just a solid straightforward way to think about and execute a successful Twitter campaign. Now as I mentioned, above, I haven’t been making huge sales off of Twitter directly. But I have been successful in sending people to my blogs and getting them to join my lists.
I’ve been using www.cli.gs to shorten my links so they don’t take up as much space in my tweets. The advantage of this service is that they offer statistics so I am able to see how many people actually click on the links. Thus I know, that people do read and follow my twitter messages. While it’s hard to sell an ebook in 140 characters, you can get people to go to your site, where you can pre-sell them and offer alink to a sale page.
I hope you can see the power of the above scenario. And let me warn you. There is a bit of a first adapter advantage for niche marketers. You will have an advantage in your niche, if you start implementing the strategies in Advanced Twitter Marketing, before your competitors do.
And while you may be hesitant to put out $50 let me remind you that the ebook comes with a full money back guarantee. If you think you may already know all you need to know about the topic, fine. Buy the book, read it and if you don’t find it to have a significant new wrinkle to the topic of marketing on Twitter, ask for the refund. Don’t be bashful about it. But I will be surprised. Cause this isn’t some fluffy duffy rehash of everything others have written on the topic, this is cutting edge.
This eBook has my highest recommendation. If you are into internet marketing, and list building, you really should grab a copy today. You will find the contents easy to read, understand and follow. You will change your opinion of Twitter, and will quickly see results.
Posted by enetwal on May 22, 2009
Posted by enetwal on May 21, 2009
Getting to the top of the search engines VII
In out last post we suggested that the key to getting ranked higher in the search engines was getting back links. Today, we will look at that a little closer, but first we are going to discuss my perceptions as to what Google is looking for when it ranks web sites.
Now keep in mind that Google is just one of about 40 major search engines. And what applies for Google doesn’t always apply to all the others. But also keep in mind that Google has about 60% of the search market in the US, so it really is the elephant in the room.
The key distinction that lead to Google’s ascendency in the search engine business is not just the speed with which it found relevant sites, but the relevance of the sites it found.
Google understands this deeply, and it remains their paramount objective to deliver the most accurate results to their search engine customers as possible. Most of the people who go to their computers to look up something are looking not for something to buy. Most are looking for information. And most are looking for free information, if they can find it. I bet that true of you as well.
Now if Google finds more than one site that appears to be relevant to a particular keyword search, they need to find a way to determine which one is the more valuable site. There ability to do that is what has made them famous.
One of the factors is size.
That’s why we suggested you might want to get your main page up to at least 425 words of text when we were talking about on page factors. That suggests to Google that your site contains some material of relevance. It’s also why we suggested that you try to have your keyword appear from 1-4% of the time.
When you do that you are offering Google an indication that the CONTENT on your site is relevant to what the searcher may be looking for. In internet marketing circles the mantra is, “Content is king.”
It’s one thing for you to say your site is about the keywords you put in your meta-tags and on your page. Too many people have tried to fool Google before by stuffing keywords on the pages and in their meta tags. Google learned and adapted. It now looks outside those factors to what others have to say about your page. Do those outside factors confirm what you have listed on the page? And who is it that is confirming the authenticity of your site and your keywords. We will discuss all of this, but the first message I want you to understand is that the more and better the content of your site meets the needs of the searcher the better your chances of ranking higher in the search engines.
You may think your visitor is looking to hire you. Maybe they are, but what they are more likely interested in is information about the type of product you are selling or the service you are providing.
They are searching for information, and that is what Google wants you to be giving them. The searcher has questions in their head, they may not even be fully able to articulate them. You must answer those questions on your site, in your content.
Google looks to your site and those sites that link to you for clues about the quality of the content on your site. If you appear to be answering peoples questions, you will rise in the ranks compared to other sites.
I hope I have made myself clear. Way too many web sites are brochures about the company or person portrayed. Instead they should be about the questions their likely visitors have in their minds. Google isn’t a mind reader, but they do everything they can to figure out if your content answers those questions or not. Make sure your pages do.
Thus for my home staging friends. Your page will perform better if you answer the questions, “How much does it cost?” and “Is it worth it?” Or, “Do I need to de-clutter my house fist and then invite the stager in, or can I call her fist and get her to help me,” and a myriad of others. If you spend at least some of your time answering these questions, Google will notice the content and you will probably rank higher. More importantly, you will be giving prospective customers the information they want and need.
There are a lot of tactics to getting links to your pages, and thereby improve your ranking in the search engine. The first and foremost item is providing worthwhile content on your site.
Due to the Memorial Day holiday in the US, the next post on this topic will be scheduled for next Tuesday, May 26. We’ll get into more nitty gritty next week.
Now I have been doing my homework in an effort to share with you the lessons I have learned about SEO. While I’ve learned alot about the topic, the experts in the SEO field are the guys at Stomper Net. They are probably the number one resource used by professional internet marketers on the topic. They have just released a FREE 7 lesson course on SEO that you will find interesting. While it covers some of the same material as I do, I think you will find their presentation to be more than worthwhile, and as I said its free. Go to http://cli.gs/T8aGze
Posted by enetwal on May 21, 2009
Getting to the top of the Search Engines VI
Over the past two weeks or so, we have focused on what I call “On Page” search engine optimization. We are now ready to move forward to discuss the “Off Page” factors that affect how Google and the other search engines rank your site.
It was important to deal with the on page factors first. They are for the most part they are the easiest to change and or fix. You have complete control of the on page factors. Second, the off page factors require work. Now some of you may go running and screaming because of that four letter word, but what we are about to launch into take some effort. It will be worthwhile effort, if you did what I have already advised.
If you haven’t yet or are confused about any part of it, spend a few bucks on my <a href=”http:///askearlabout.com/WART/index.html” target=”_blank”>WART Analysis</a> and I will tell you exactly what needs to be done. Then if you find you still can’t do it. Let me know and I will arrange to do it for you. Most of it is simple.
But if you only have 60% of it done, all the work you will be doing on off page factors will only get you about 60% of the effect they would have if you had fully completed the front end on page things. Clear enough?
In the old days, getting your keywords, meta tags, titles and etc. done correctly was enough to get you to the top in the search engine rankings. In narrow niches it still may be, but if you are playing second fiddle to a competitor or two for your favorite keyword you have some homework to do.
Professional search engine optimizers use a wide array of tools to get their client sites to the top of the search engines, many of which aren’t necessary for most small business operators serving a local market. You can largely count on your geographical keywords to get you in front of most of your customers.
While there are a variety of tools, the key concepts of off page search engine optimization is focused on one concept: Backlinks. And when discussing backlinks the two major components are Focused Keywords and Anchored Text.
As we progress over the coming week of two, these words will reappear frequently.
There are many different ways to generate backlinks to your web site. In discussing this topic we will return to talk about the content on your site, social media sites like Squidoo, Twitter, Hubpages, directories, article marketing, forums, press releases, blog networks and more.
In the next post we will talk about Google in particular, and ask why Google ranks one site higher than another. Or at least my best take on that topic.
Posted by enetwal on May 20, 2009
Teleconferencing is a powerful tool, but when it goes badly it can ruin your day, and even lose you customers and clients as well as immediate business.
One of the top teleconference providers is Ric Raddatz. I’ve used his prior company without any problems, but that wasn’t true of everyone. Not that Ric’s system was faulty, the occasional problems were true of all conference systems. Ric has identified the 7 most significant problems and designed his new service to specifically deal with each of them.
I signed up and will be announcing my upcoming teleconferences soon. One will be aimed at the Search engine optimization topic we have been dealing with here for the last few weeks. The other will be aimed at one of my niche markets, the Home staging industry.
The teleconference system will record these teleconferences, and with a bit of editing, I will be able to turn the conference into an audio product I can sell or give away or include as a bonus. I can also get the audio transcribed into text and have a written version that I can edit and reuse in the same manner.
Imagine a one hour tele-seminar can be re-purposed into a product much quicker than if I were to try to write it out in long hand. Think about that. And then grab your own account with Nconnect.
Here’s a five step process to get started.
- Signup for 30 day trial membership
- Mark a date on your calendar for your first conference
- Write up a simple outline of 3-10 key points on the topic of your choice
- Publicize the event to your list, customers, students, friends etc.
- Do it.
Doing a teleconference is nothing more than talking on the phone. You can do it naked and no one would know. Pick a topic, organize your thoughts, and recruit an audience.
Posted by enetwal on May 17, 2009
Posted by enetwal on May 14, 2009
In our last discussion we talked about keyword density and the need to have your keywords appear on your page, frequently but not too frequently. The need to do so early on your page, and some suggestions on making sure you had enough words overall to appear substantive to the search engines and pointed out a need to have keywords that appear in your meta tags also appear on your page.
These are all important factors visible on your page. Today we will talk about three more elements of on-page importance. Your URL, the originality of your content and finally internal links.
You probably already have your URL or web site address. So this first topic may seem pointless, but let’s dig in anyway. If your business is counseling women going through a divorce on their financial matters, you may be better off trying to get www.DivorceeFinancialAdvice.com as your URL rather than www.JBBrown.com.
Way too many business web sites use meaningless business names as their URL in the hopes of creating some branding value. While some will take issue with me here, a URL that includes your major keyword may do you a lot more good, unless your brand is already deeply ingrained in your marketplace. Similarly, MinneapolisChiropractor.com
may be superior to WellnessClinic.com, although MinneapolisWellnessClinic may be worth a shot.
If you are wedded to www. your name.com you might still want to consider buying domain names of the better combinations of your major keywords and geographical areas and redirecting them to your web page. This serves a defensive purpose of keeping them out of potential competitor’s hands. Once you own these domains you can have them point to your existing web site. It’s not the ideal from an SEO standpoint but will help drive traffic to your site for the relatively minor cost of the domain name.
Originality of content shouldn’t be a problem for most business websites. But if your website is a template and you are using essentially the same text as another website, you may not get your site indexed at all. Google and the other search engines want to see unique new content, and not a duplicate of the same old thing. They will index the first copy they find and ignore the duplicates. You don’t want to have your site ignored. Make sure you are not using a carbon copy of someone else’s web site.
They also like to see new content. You can do that by adding new pages on occasion, or by making changes to existing pages. Is there a portion of your page that can be updated from time to time? If so, make sure you do so. This lets the search engines know that your site is active. That said, if you are going to do it, make sure you do. No one is impressed with a site that is talking about an upcoming holiday from two years ago.
Internal links are the links on your site to your various pages on the site. Most web sites have a home page and links on almost all their pages to “Home.” A better strategy is to use your major keyword, be it “Minneapolis Dentistry Home” or “St. Louis Sewer Repair Home.” By adding your keywords, you let the search engines know that that’s what your pages are about. It reinforces all your other keyword efforts.
This may be a bit tricky in some cases where space is tight, but where you can include links within the text of your pages to other pages, you should be sure to use anchor text links like this. Next week we will discuss off page factors. There we will go into more detail on linking to your site. When you are off page you have very little control on what links others will have to your site. When you have complete control such as on your own page, it behooves you to make maximum use of your ability to use internal links that let the search engines know what your pages are about.
Don’t forget about my WART Analysis program. For next to nothing I will do a diagnostic of your web page and provide you with my personal advice on steps you could take to make your web page more effective in terms of search engine ranking.
Posted by enetwal on May 12, 2009
In our last article, we discussed the hidden or invisible “on-page” factors that can help or hinder your ability to rank high on the Search Engines. Today we will look at some on-page factors that matter as well. By on page I am talking about the text that people can read on your home page.
From a search engine optimization standpoint, the key factor for any web site is your selection of keywords. These are important in both the visible and hidden portions of the page. They should be in your meta tag title tags, keyword list and description. They must also be on your page.
If the search engines see keywords in the hidden code that aren’t on your page, they will discount them and possibly even penalize your site.
Specifically you want to have your primary keywords appear in the first 50 words of your page text at least once. In the past some internet marketers tried to game the system. They would stuff their keyword on the page over and over to get a high ranking. Such tactics worked for a short while but Google and the other search engines changed their algorithms to punish keyword stuffing. The rule of thumb now is that you want your main keyword to appear between 1-4% of the time. If you have a thousand words on your page that would mean you would use your primary keyword from ten to forty times. For five hundred words of text that would be five to twenty times. This is called keyword density in the trade.
This is usually not a problem for most sites, but it does require keeping in mind which keyword you want your web page to rank for, and them being sure to use it when you are writing your page. When working with a home staging client, I noticed one occasion where they used the term “home stager” repeatedly, while the focus may have been better put on the term “home staging.”
By the way, if you have a top three or four keyword variations that people search for, you may want to have one page of your site optimized for one term, and another for the second, etc.
So, my home stager above might have stressed the term Home Staging on her home page, but talked about House Staging or Home Stagers on another page talking about services provided, or a third page on her certifications, Qualifications etc. This takes a bit more time, but helps raise your sites ability to rise to the top not just on your main keyword but on other keywords as well.
The final topic we will discuss today is total word count. It appears that the magical number of words on a page that the search engines like to see is 425. In my experience most business web sites don’t have that many on their home pages, while most information sites do. The search engine bias is toward sites that provide more information, so it’s not hard to understand that they would tend to reward sites that appear to be “meatier.”
For many of the sites I have reviewed in my WART Analysis program I have had to suggest they add a paragraph or two of text to their front page. And since I am an advocate of using geographical keywords in the meta tags I encourage them to consider adding their geography to their home pages as well.
Many of them have followed this suggestion and added a final paragraph on each of their pages. A butcher for example might include on the bottom of each page a phrase like the following: “South Minneapolis’ premier source of quality meats serving Minneapolis, Richfield and Bloomington as well as the Highland neighborhood and the rest of St Paul.” This adds some words to the page, and also the geographical keywords to complement those in the meta tags.
One final comment on words on the page. Words that are placed on images or graphical elements such as on your header are usually invisible to the search engines and don’t count as keywords on the page, or in the total page or first 50 word counts. If you put your cursor on your header and right click and do not see View Source or View Page source in the box that appears, you are probably on an image that cannot be read. There’s nothing wrong with that, but you need to keep it in mind when designing your page so it can compete in the search engines.
That’s it for today. We will continue with on page visible factors in the next article. After that we will explore off page factors.
Posted by enetwal on May 8, 2009
The hidden essentials to attract the search engine bots are your title tags, your keywords and your meta description. In addition, your keyword should appear on your page in an <h1> tag. We will discuss each in this article.
First let’s talk about where to find your hidden code. Go to a place on your website where there is text and not an image. Right click, and a box will appear with a number of options. Look for one that says View Page or View Page Source, click on it. It should bring up the HTML code that is behind your web page.
Near the very top will be a header tag. It looks like this <head>.
A variety of different types of code can be placed here. For our purposes, the three important items are the title tag, the keywords, and the description. Sometimes one of more of these will be missing.
This section of code always ends with an end tag that looks like this: </head>
The next section of the code starts with the body tag, <body> and this is where the parts of the page that are visible appear. But except for the <h1> tag we won’t be dealing with that today.
Each page of your web site has a title tag. The title tag will show at the very top left of your browser when you are on the page. When you go to some people’s web page you will see the word “Home” in the top left. That’s because they named their home page “Home.” More frequently you will see the company name, ABC Jones & Company or something similar.
In terms of search engine optimization, you would be better off to include your primary keyword and your primary geography. So if you were ABC Jones, I would consider putting “ABC Jones & Co San Diego Home Staging Experts” or “ABC Jones New Jersey’s Best Wedding Arranger.”
The title goes between the <title> and the </title>
Each page has a different title so you might add a Pipe sign after that and use, About us, Contact us and your other page names on the relevant page.
You should also see a line of code that starts with, <meta name=”keywords” content=” and then a series or word separated by commas.
Most businesses have more than one keyword that people use when they are trying to find you. Hopefully you have identified the primary one or ones. Keyword research is a major topic on its own, and one you should pay attention to. For example, while home staging is the dominant keyword to use in the home staging business, about 10% of people will type in “house staging” when looking for a home stager. You want to include the keyword “house staging” in your keywords.
Note that this two word phrase is still a keyword. Internet marketers have long know that you want to use keyword phrases, because that’s what some people type. Two and three word phrases and sometime longer yet can generate positive results for them. If you are the only person who puts “best specialty cold cuts in Chicago” in your keywords, and also in the body of your site, there’s a pretty good chance you will pop up pretty high if someone actually searches for that term. Now don’t go hog wild, as relatively few people will use the phrase.
The key here is to focus on what people who don’t really know what to ask for are likely to use when they are trying to find you.
Finally, I recommend that you use not only “fresh cut flowers” as a keyword but “Toronto fresh cut flowers” if you are a Toronto florist. Use the suburbs you sell to as well. When someone searches for Pizza in the search engines millions of sites appear. When they search for Pizza, 55417 a zip code, they get those closest to home.
Similar to the Keywords, you should see a line of code in the meta tags called description. This should be kept to 160 characters. Some search engine results display this description when your site comes up in their listings. As such you may want to make it a sales pitch. You want to come up with a coherent statement using as many of your best keywords as possible, especially including your primary geographical reference points.
If you say, “Dog Walker in Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, Edina….etc.,” even though you might not come up number one on the listing yet, a person from Edina or St Louis Park will recognize that you are in their bailiwick. They may check you out before the top guy, just because they see that you are local to them. This is a side benefit, worth getting, but your primary intention is to rank high when the search for “dog walker Edina,” rather than “dog walker Minneapolis.”
While you want to focus your site on your largest geographical target, consider using the smaller ones as well, but don’t get carried away, you only have 160 characters. When consulting with others, I try to include at least the top three keywords and then work as much geography as I can all the while trying to make a strong sales pitch. It’s an art form.
You may have a header on your web site that may have been designed as an image or may be in HTML code. Many web sites will consider this their headline and launch right into the body of their message on their main page. This is a mistake.
Start you page with a headline. That headline should include if at all possible your primary keywords including you primary geographical market. This is done by using <h1> tags in the HTML code for the headlines. Thus while the headline is visible the code isn’t.
So if you are a Hair Salon in South Omaha, you might top you page with </h1><h1> South Omaha’s Premier Hair Salon </h1> in the meta tags. This will automatically make it headline size on your actual page. More importantly, it will let the little bots searching your page that these are important words and what your page is all about. And that is what you want.
The four steps outlined above are crucial first steps to getting your page optimized for the search engines. We’ve covered a lot of material here. If you have any questions, let me know.
In the next issue we will talk about some of the visible on page factors. This ran a bit long today, so I may break the next section into two parts.
If you would like to have me take a close and personal look at your web site, I am offering a special deal on my new diagnostic service. The price is incredibly low, and the service a great value. I will look and see what if you need to make any changes to your site and actually call you and discuss them with you. For more info go to www.askearlabout.com/WART/index.html
Posted by enetwal on May 6, 2009
There are two main areas of attention when discussing how to move your website to the top of the search engines. The first are the on-page factors and the second are the off-page factors.
The on-page factors are the easiest and quickest to deal with and are where we will start to focus our attention. They are critical but not the most important. The off-page factors will in the long run carry more weight. But that said, if your on-page factors aren’t set up properly you can and will lose much of the benefit your off-page efforts could supply.
We will talk about 10 on page factors. Of these four are invisible, and of the six that are visible, one may already be cast in stone for better or worse.
The invisible elements are the Meta Tags. The meta tags are in the hidden code that the search engines can see, but your visitors normally don’t see. You will learn how to see them, and anyone else’s when we discuss them in detail in our next section.
The meta tags include your title tags, your description and your keywords. The fourth of the invisible items is called an H1 tag. The results of it are visible, but since it’s also HTML code (of the simplest kind) I am listing it as one of the invisible factors. Almost all of you will be able to make improvement to these elements on your web page. For some of you this alone will make a significant difference in your page ranking. So stay tuned.
I’ve been surprised at how few websites I’ve reviewed have had adequate meta tags. Even those done by expensive web designers are often poorly done or in some cases missing altogether.
The visible elements include your first 50 words specifically, and the total number of words altogether. The total keyword count within your text and the percentage of the whole they comprise. We call this keyword density. The visible elements also include the internal links you have on your site and the way you link them, as well as the originality of your content.
The one item that may already be locked in stone is your domain name itself. As we will discuss, you will do better with the search engines if your web site includes you main keywords in it. If your site is already up and established you may not want to change it. That’s understandable. But if you are just now starting up and or are considering a complete makeover of your web presence, give serious thought to including your keywords and geography if appropriate in your new domains.
In our next article we will focus in detail on the hidden items. That will be followed by a look at the visible elements. Once we have covered those we will move on to discuss the off-page strategies.
P.S. I have just launched a new service I call the WART Analysis and Consultation
I have been testing it over the past week or so with home stagers and it has been very well received. I’ve got the service rock bottom priced for a short while, but will be raising it soon, so check it out now and take advantage while the price is so low.
Posted by enetwal on May 3, 2009
What’s a top listing on Google worth?
Whether you are a home stager in Philadelphia or a shoe store in Omaha, or a Dentist in Los Angeles, getting your business to the top of local search engine results can make a significant difference to your profitability.
How much more traffic does the top listing get, compared to the number two listing? I don’t know. It varies. But I have seen estimates that claim the top listing can expect from 1.5 to 3 times as many visitors compared to the number 2 listing. These same estimates suggest that the number three listing gets roughly the same drop off compared to the number two listing.
What’s that mean in numbers?
Say on a given day or week, 100 people search for “Chiropractors in Minneapolis,” the odds are that 95 of them will look at the top listing. (Count on 5% doing something else)
If the ratio of drop offs is one and a half – on the low end of the above estimate, that means about 63 people would see the second listing and just 42 the third listing.
What’s that mean to your business?
Fewer eyes on your website results in fewer eventual conversions, which is marketing talk for sales. No matter how effective your web site is, it can’t create customers out of people that don’t see it.
Now some web sites convert better than others. And just getting a lot of traffic isn’t a substitute for having a web site that produces, but that is another topic. The first objective is to get eyes on the page. Then we will worry about getting those eyes to do something.
If that first website is a dog, the second one will see more traffic as a result. If it’s great, the second site may see even less traffic, as it scoops up all the business right then and there. This and many other factors may affect the actual drop off in your market, for your specific keywords.
The bottom line is that there is a drop off, and it matters to you and your business whether you are on top or not.
Now, what if you are no where near the top? Your web site can still be useful if your drive traffic to it by other advertising efforts. So don’t give up on your site. But there may be ways to climb from page 3 or 23 to the top in many markets, once you learn a few of the tricks to search engine optimization.
For many locally based businesses, getting on the first page of the search engine listings is very doable. The reason I say that is because the majority of your competitors don’t understand search engine optimization either. If you follow me and this series, and apply what I will be sharing with you, most of you will be able to make some significant progress.
Just for the sport of it, pick one keyword you would like to rank for in your market. In the example above I used, Chiropractor in Minneapolis. Find one appropriate to your business and market. Now go to Google or MSN or which ever search engine you use and figure out where you web site is. Write it down.
At the end of this series, I’d love to hear from those of you who made the greatest progress. If you’re already number one, don’t get too comfortable, one of your competitors may be reading this and planning on overtaking you.