Do You Need a SEO Consultant?

Posted by enetwal on Aug 2, 2012

Virtually every business needs to attract new customers on an ongoing basis. And while its possible to learn how to do search engine optimization on your own, most business owners rely on staff or outside help in the form of a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) consultant.

Traditional forms or advertising still work in some cases, but for the most part not as well as they once did.

Newspapers are dying.

Television viewership is spread across way more channels, and a significant portion of people Tivo away the commercials.

And if Newspapers are dying, the Yellow Pages are in hospice care. All but dead.

Today you need traffic, and the main way to get it is by being easily found online. And found by the right people.

A billboard advertising season tickets for the Minnesota Vikings in Downtown Green Bay, may get seen by tens of thousands of Packer Fans, but will result in relatively few ticket sales compared to the same billboard in Minneapolis.

And that is why it is essential to target your advertising. And that is what an SEO consultant can do for you and your business.

You see it’s not just about getting the top ranking on Google that matters. It’s getting the top ranking on the specific keywords that matter to active buyers who want your goods or services.

Now it’s one thing to have visitors see your site, it’s another to get them to take action right then and there.

While compelling copy may help, the long term key is to find a way to capture the emails of those who do come to your site, so you can keep in touch with them.

A search engine optimization consultant will help you with each of these tasks. They will help you attract the right viewers by focusing your efforts on the keywords that matter most to your prospects.

Then they will set up your page, including critical elements of the hidden code that operates behind the scenes of your page.

A lot of factors go into the algorithms that the search engines use to decide who goes on top and who follows and in what order. There may be as many as 200+ distinct factors, and they are changing constantly.

A knowledgeable SEO consultant keeps as up to date as possible on the changes in these factors. However, for the most part basic key criteria remain fairly constant. That said, things do change and you need to be prepared to face the fact that Search Engine Optimization is not a one time thing, but an ongoing process.

Your web designer may well have told you that they optimized your site for you, but only part of what is required is based on what is on your page. In addition to off page factors which in some circumstances can trump even the best designed page, you need to be aware that your competitors are also getting calls every day form SEO consultants.

When they start making improvement to their sites, your site loses relative standing. Today’s top ranking can easily become a second page ranking, if you do not keep up with SEO on an ongoing basis.

Now this is not much different that in the old days when you needed to pay for advertising on an ongoing basis. The difference is merely that these days you need to be investing your marketing funds into the features that are most likely to be seen by your prospective customers. That means, you need to invest in your search engine visibility.

That visibility can take on many different forms as the internet continues to evolve. Unless you are in a position to keep up with all the changes yourself, you really have no serious option to developing an ongoing relationship with a qualified search engine optimization consultant.

To learn more about SEO, sign up for this free 12 part course.

Search Engine Optimization Basics

 

 

 

 

 


Posted in SEO || No Comments »

The Evolution of Google Search in 6 Minutes

Posted by enetwal on Nov 29, 2011

Google published a short video I found worthwhile, outlining the history of search and showing an insight into its future. Search is what made Google the giant it is, because its focus from the start has been on the needs of the person doing the search.

My goal as a marketer is to put my products on the internet in such a way that they will be found by the people who are looking for them. Google is a key player in this process.  So while some people think of SEO work from a black hat perspective, trying to game the system, I tend to look at it from the white hat perspective of helping Google find the right content, my content, when that is what they are looking for.  Anyway, here is there video.

for more information on my services go to Minneapolis Internet Marketing Consultant . com


Posted in SEO || 1 Comment »

First Link Priority – Are You Shooting Yourself In the Foot?

Posted by enetwal on Apr 16, 2011

Here is an SEO tip I picked up from my Market Samurai friends. It concerns something called the First Link Priority, which can hurt your ranking chances without your being fully aware of it.

They suggest some options in the video.  Perhaps the simplest is to not link your images on some pages. But there are other approaches as discussed.

[tags]first link priority, seo, anchor text, image links, [/tags]


Posted in SEO || No Comments »

Description Meta Tag – Key Considerations

Posted by enetwal on Sep 27, 2010

I’ve just completed a new youtube video in my ongoing series teaching main street and other businesses how to more effective set up their web sites for marketing purposes.

For a site to be of value to any business it must of course be found by prospective customers.  Ideally, you want to be number one on the free organic listings.  If you are, you will get more people clicking on your listing than any other on the page, including those who are paying to have ads at the top of the page.

While every site is different, the most recent statistics suggest the top organic listing will get 43% of all the clicks on a search engine generated page compared to about 18% of the clicks that will go to one or another of the paid advertising ads.

The second highest organic site will get on average between 20-25% and the rest will go to those organic listings from positions 3-10.

For some reason, the 10th place listing does better than those ranked 3-9, presumable because some people like to start from the bottom up.

These numbers change from time to time, the most significant change appears to be that fewer people are clicking on the ads.  It used to be that they claimed a full 25% of all the clicks.  Some think that’s just a function of more people being aware of the difference between the paid ads and the organic research as more and more people gain computer literacy.

Now the first struggle is to get to page one. The second struggle is to get to the top of page one. But in the interim, what you have in your Description meta tag can help you wrestle a few more percentage points of clicks on your listing, wherever you are in the rankings from #1 to #10.

I hope you found this video and post useful. Please leave any comments, questions or suggestions in the comment section.

[tags]Meta tags, metatags, description tag, organic listings, seo, search engine rankings, page one ranking[/tags]


Posted in SEO || 2 Comments »

Local Business Marketing SEO Tips: Title Tags

Posted by enetwal on Sep 21, 2010

The single easiest and quickest thing most local based businesses can do to positively impact the value of their web site is to change their title tags. This is particularly true for small businesses serving a local market.

The title tag is the text that appears in the uppermost left corner of your computer screen when you go to any page on your web site. This is the title of your page which was set up when your web page was first designed. It can be changed at any time.  You should do so as soon as you finish reading this article if any of my suggestions apply to you and your business.

Your title tag is set up in the header code of your website in what are called the Meta Tags.  There are several key things a business needs to know about meta tags, but we will focus in this article on the Title Tag.

Each page of your web site should have a different title tag. Many small business web sites have a home page and a handful of other pages. If you got a simple web site built for your business, your home page may well be called, “HOME.”

If this is the case you definitely want to change it.

Another common title tag many businesses use is their name. Such as “ABC Co.”  This is almost always a poor choice.

A far better idea is to use the dominant term your customers are likely to use when doing a search to find you. Thus if you are primarily involved in installing replacement windows, you want our title tag to be “Replacement Windows.”

That tells the search engines that your web site and your business are about replacement windows.  Then, when someone does a computer search for “replacement windows”, the search engines will consider your site as a possible result to display for them.

Since people from around the entire world wide web might be searching for replacement windows, they will want to narrow their search down a bit.  If they live in Atlanta, Ga  they probably want to find a contractor somewhere near Atlanta, no matter how superior the skills of your installers in Minneapolis may be.  So while they may initially search for the term, once they see the millions of results, they will instinctively add a modifier to narrow their search to their local area.

Thus if your business serves the Atlanta area, you want to put “Replacement Windows Atlanta” as your title tag.  In Minneapolis the same, “Replacement Windows, Minneapolis – St. Paul or something similar.

This geographical add on, is the secret weapon of Search Engine Optimizers the world over.  As simple an idea as it is, there are tens of thousands of small business web sites that still have “Home” as their title tag, and it’s costing them lost business.

Now your business may have more than one main product or service.  In that case you should have a separate page to your web site for each of these functions.  Every page has a title tag, and so your page on “Vinyl Siding” should read “Vinyl Siding Minneapolis St. Paul.”

This change can be accomplished in mere seconds, by your computer person or even yourself if you have access to the c-panel of your web site.  In some smaller markets, this alone may be enough to move you to the first page of results and help you generate new business.  It is a powerful tool, but only one of several steps you need to take as part of your business marketing strategy in more competitive markets.

Far too many businesses have given up hope on their web sites.  Mostly because they never see any real business as a result of them.  Many small business web sites were originally set up people who knew how to do the graphics and such but did not understand how to effectively market the sites.

While title tags are an easy start, you want to find a knowledgeable search engine optimization resource who can help you transform your business’ web site into a marketing tool and not just an internet placeholder.  The surprising news is that local businesses are the easiest to apply these business marketing strategies to. Now go and get your title tags fixed.

There are several other changes you may want to make to your Meta Tags and the actual pages of your web site. To learn more about these you may want to purchase my ebook on the topic, Main Street Rises to the Top of the Search Engines,

[tags]local based business,small business,marketing your business,business marketing strategy,local business marketing,business marketing online,title tags,SEO tips,meta tags,[/tags]


Posted in SEO || 4 Comments »

Plumbing Minneapolis – an SEO Study

Posted by enetwal on Sep 9, 2010

I just completed the first in a series of studies I intend to do on local businesses in Minneapolis area.

In the study I look at the top 30 web sites on Google when searching for the term, “Plumbers Minneapolis.”

The objective for me is to develop clients for my SEO consulting services in the “real world” of day to day businesses.  Each of the participants will get an email informing them that their web site was mentioned in the study and provided with a link to the study.

While the report focuses on their specific results, a lot of it is boiler plate that applies to the topic in general. Thus I expect to re-use the bulk of the report for additional industries.

It turns out that there are several pretty good web sites in the area, but most are shall we say “less than optimal.”  Any experienced internet marketer should be able to assist any of those of page two or three of Google to win a first place showing.

Now of course that will vary keyword by keyword, but as the plumbing example seemed to show, the major term”plumbing” was better accounted for that was a second term I selected which had to do with one possible reason a person would call a plumber, ie Hot Water Heater Replacement Mineapolis.

For this term, the competition was very limited.  This points out a basic error of many main street web pages. To the extent they are set up to rank for  a term, at least in this case they were ranked for the term they may have wanted to appear under in the Yellow pages: ie Plumbing and Plumber.

This old way of thinking reflects the Yellow page tradition and not today’s likely web search that is more likely to be based on the issue on the mind of the searcher, in this case hot water heater problems.

The report I prepared can be viewed at http://microbusinessspecialist.com/IndustryStudies/Plumbing_Minneapolis.html

I expect to refine the report, and hopefully find a way of condensing it as I do repeats of the effort in the coming weeks and months.  If you happen to see any errors in the report or have other suggestions, particularly on making it clearer and more readable, please let me know.

I note that a new training program aimed at reaching out to Main Street Businesses is in the offing Called Street Fighter.  It will go into pre-launch next week, and are actively looking for affiliates to join them in the launch.  I’ve signed up and you may want to as well.

As this little study shows, there is a lot of room for improvement in main street business web sites.  If you aren’t making as much money as you would like online now, or better yet, if the people on your list aren’t you may want to steer them into this course and opportunity.  There are many wide open opportunities in your community. Street Fighter

[tags]industry report, Street Fighter, off line marketing, main street marketing, affiliate programs,SEO, search engine optimization,[/tags]


Posted in SEO || 11 Comments »

Articles For Backlinks – Using Articles For SEO Purposes

Posted by enetwal on Aug 31, 2010

The primary goal of writing articles for SEO purposes is to generate as many backlinks as possible to your web site or blog post.

Creating articles for backlinks is a long term strategy that will generate traffic to your site from people who happen to read your articles and come to your site for more information. This traffic can be substantial, if your article is attractive enough to get a lot of people, or even just one person with a large following to reprint your article on their site.

More powerful in the long run is the value of the backlinks these reprints generate. Every article directory that carries your article will generate a backlink to you, and thus help raise your sites ranking on the search engines.  That’s why some people use article submission services like Content Crooner to get their article posted on as many different article directories as possible.

Since many of these article directories have moderate to high page rank status, these are often valuable links.

The better the article itself, the more likely that it will then be reprinted on other blogs, ezines, etc.  And that is where writing articles for SEO really pays off.

Whether you have posted in many or few article directories, your goal is to get as many of these other blogs and ezines to post your article as possible.  To do so, you need to provide interesting topics for people to read.  Seems simple, and yet a lot of articles people post online are BORING, or pointless.

People go to the internet most frequently to find information. And while you may be mostly interested in selling them something as part of your business, that’s not what your article should be about.

For example, if you are a building contractor that specializes in remodeling bathrooms, you would be better off writing about new trends in barrier free tubs and showers for the graying baby boomer population.  An anecdote about Mrs. Brown who was having trouble getting into and out of the tub, will be interesting to thousands of Mrs. Browns and their children.

This potential interest by potential readers is the secret to getting other people to reprint your article. The editors and bloggers you want to reprint your articles are looking for material their readers will appreciate.

While your market may be local, the interest in your topic is more global, so you may get reprints from bloggers around the world. Their readers may be thousands of miles away from your market, but since you are writing articles for SEO purposes that doesn’t matter to you.

Your targeted web site is getting the backlinks you want, and they in turn will help you raise your standing in the search engines. Since you compete locally, you don’t need to have more backlinks than anyone else, you need to have more backlinks than your local competitors.

And in most fields, that is still relatively easy to do. Thus when a local Mrs. Brown starts searching for a barrier free shower or tub, the odds are better that your website will appear on the first page, where she may actually see it.  And that’s when the payoff of creating articles for backlinks begins.

[tags]articles for seo, articles for backlinks, seo, article marketing, more backlinks, backlinks, Content Crooner, article submission, article submission services[/tags]


Posted in SEO || 2 Comments »

10 Strategies to Increase Backlinks

Posted by enetwal on Aug 26, 2010

Strategies to Increase Backlinks

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been working on a new report that outlines 10 strategies to increase backlinks.  Backlinks are critical to getting a better page ranking for your keywords and pages.  I am pleased to say the report is now finished, and I am offering it for sale for a mere $7.00.

Online Backlink StrategiesTo Rank High on the Search Engines You MUST Get Backlinks,  and Usually a Lot of Them.

This report outlines 10 basic strategies you can use to generate all the backlinks you could ever need, without having to pay a dime for them.

  • Discover which tactics work and which to avoid
  • Learn why all backlinks are NOT created equal
  • Learn Best Practices for Twitter backlink success.
  • Is Article Marketing a Relic of the Past?
  • How to Get Others To Give You Tons of Links
  • Do you Want Quality or Quantity?
  • Should you PAY for backlinks?
  • Are Link Swaps Worth the Effort?
  • How to Use Facebook for Links
  • Are Press Releases Old Hat?
  • and Much more… Now Only $7

Full 30 Day No Quibble 100% Money Back Guarantee

[tags]increase backlinks, backlink review, how to increase page rank, pagerank backlinks, add backlinks, backlink seo, free backlinks[/tags]

Posted in SEO || No Comments »

Why Backlinks Improve Pagerank

Posted by enetwal on Aug 25, 2010

How and why one web site gets ranked on the first page of a Google Search and another is on page 23 is a mystery to many small business people. And even experts will disagree on the details.

The exact formula used by Google is a closely guarded secret that changes from time to time. However enough is known to provide practical guidance to anyone who wishes to improve their overall ranking for any given keyword phrase.

There are a number of “on page” factors that matter a lot in this ranking process. This includes a proper set of meta tags, and the effective use of keywords on the page and if possible in the URL of the site. But once these basics are properly completed, the focus of search engine optimization shifts to the creation of backlinks.

A backlink is any link from another web property that connects (or links) to the target site. These can be links from other pages on the site, but most importantly include links for other web entities.

In the simplest way to think of it, you could consider each such link to be a vote. The site with the most votes wins.

And while in general this is true, it is only part of the story.

In the internet world, not all votes are created equal. Google in particular give the votes from your cousin Susie’s occasional blog far less value than a vote from the Smithsonian. Different web sites are assigned a page rank value which is a rough estimate of its standing in Google’s eyes as an authority. The higher the page rank, the more weight in has in the equation to rank a site.

In a recent report released by Ryan Deiss called the Authority Codes, he suggests that a single link from a site with a Page Rank of 5 is roughly equal to 555 links from sites with a page rank of 1.

While I cannot verify his information, I use the example to point out that the differences in page rank are significant.

That said, one backlink is better than no backlink, and the more links you get the better in terms of your sites ranking.

Because in the final analysis, the fight for a high ranking is very much like the old story of two hunters who have a bear chasing them. One stops to tie his shoe. The other says, Don’t be silly, you can’t outrun a bear. The other says, I don’t need to outrun the bear – I just need to outrun you.

In the page ranking game you are striving not to be the highest ranking site in the universe. You just need to be the highest ranking site in your particular niche. And for most local businesses that means being the top ranking butcher in Peoria, or St Louis or what ever geographical reference point that applies to you.

Now you still do want to get the high value links when you can. Among the better values are links from .edu or .gov sites. Educational institutions and governmental agency rankings carry more weight than those of a standard .com. Why? Because the search engines tend to assume that such links are more authoritative and less likely to be “Commercially” motivated.

Google also appears to look at the relevance of the referring source. If your site is all about elephants and you are getting links from a petting zoo and a veterinarian, the links will likely help you more than a set of links from a poker site and a car dealership.

These effects are magnified on some popular web sites like Squidoo. Many know that Squidoo carries a fair amount of weight due to its relatively high page rank. However, the real power of link from Squidoo come when the referring lens is part of a group of similar lens on the same topic.

Thus a link to the elephant site from a single lens on Google may have some decent weight, its likely to loose out by a single link from a lens that belongs to a group of circus animal related sites on Squidoo.

All of this conversation on backlinks is preliminary to a series of posts I will be adding to this blog from time to time in the coming few weeks.

I am in the final stages of preparing a report on back linking strategies.
With any luck I will have it available in the next day or two.

In the meanwhile, I invite you to leave any questions you have about backlinking in the comments section. Also feel free to copy this post in its entirety to repost on your own blog or to provide a link to this.

And one quick tip. When you leave a comment here you will be building a backlink to your web site. So it pays to comment in the form of gaining a backlink. Now I do moderate the comments on my blog, and will delete any spam or irrelevant comments. But if you ask a legitimate question, or leave a useful comment, you win a backlink.

[tags]backlinks improve pagerank, improve pagerank, backlink, backlinks, seo, authority codes, Ryan Deiss, Squidoo, meta tags, page ranking, [/tags]


Posted in SEO || 4 Comments »

Is Google Broken? Get the Perpetual Traffic Report

Posted by enetwal on Jul 27, 2010

One of the first eBooks I wrote from scratch was my Main Street Rises to the Top of the  Search Engines.  I’ve distributed almost 2000 copies of it over the past 16 months.  During the research phase I gathered information from many different authors, membership sites and more.

During that process, I was able to form judgments on people and their comments. Some were into black hat techniques to fool or beat Google at their own game.  Others were more interested in doing “natural” SEO tactics designed to promote their sites but not to “Game” the system.  These guys often sounded a little defensive pleading the case to do it right and not suffer the potential negatives of Black Hat techniques because despite the fact that the techniques work, they and or their sites will eventually be found out by Google and they will need to start from scratch.

Well, maybe its my temperament, but I have firmly joined the White Hat guys and encourage you to do so as well.

Now the truth is that there are a lot of people teaching and doing SEO the right way. But the other thing I found out when doing my research is that there are several major disagreement as to what is the right way.

One of the best new pieces of information I have seen on doing SEO the right way has just been released by Ryan Deiss.

He has issued several new reports as part of a new launch he is doing tomorrow.  Frankly, I wish I had taken the time to read his emails a bit earlier as I am getting on the bandwagon late.

I did however really enjoy his new take on the current status of SEO considerations in the current Google environment.

The new Caffeine rollout by Google appears to return to the key basics that underlined the approach I taught 16 months ago.

There are three major components according to Ryan, Page set up which includes all the meta tags, keyword placements on the page, etc. as one component.

Effective backlinks is the second part of the triad, and here is where Ryan adds some new free tools to the equation.  If you sign up for the free eBook in the link below, you will probably be able to get them as well, depending on how long Ryan leaves them up. (Word to the wise – These often come down once a launch goes live or shortly after so don’t dawdle. )

Finally, the third element in the equation is evidence of human activity.  I like this. I see so many people selling web site with gobblie gook articles, RSS feed only content all on automatic pilot, all designed so no one really bothers to read the articles, but may click on an adsense ad or affiliate ad.

The presence of human activity, blog posts, comments etc as well as content that people go to an actually read, is now being rewarded. And it should be.

These three things, page set up, backlinks and human activity are the foundation now of Google’s Ranking algorithm.  This third element is not fully discussed my me eBook, but the other two are and most if not all of what I have written there is still current and valid. Particularly the on page factors.

At any rate, I encourage you to sign-up and download Ryan’s Perpetual Traffic Report. It will give you a solid history of the Google changes to its ranking approach and will show you where you need to focus your attention today.

Perpetual Traffic Report

[tags]Ryan Deiss, perpetual traffic report, perpetual traffic, SEO, Google Ranking, Google algorithm, [/tags]


Posted in SEO || 1 Comment »

Squidoo eBook Gets Some Backing

Posted by enetwal on Jul 7, 2010

Some time ago I got interested in Squidoo as an inexpensive way to create a web presence.  It was relatively easy and free.  It wasn’t until later that I learned how valuable a site it could be for generating backlinks to other web properties.

Now knowing something and doing something with that knowledge don’t always follow. At least in my case.  It turns out I know how to do a lot of things that frankly I don’t always do. How about you?

I published a Squidoo eBook called Squidoo Basics and get a few sales every now and again, but haven’t actually promoted it in the past. I had a stray sale the other day that reminded me of its nearly orphan status, and I decided to give it a promotional push.

I’ve also been experimenting with Market Samurai a keyword research tool plus more and selected a series of keywords to focus on. The best in my estimation was the phrase Squidoo eBook.

So I went to my one page sales letter and added my new keywords, title and descriptions as I teach others to get the page itself set up properly for the search engines.

I then started writing. First a I did an article on my Home Staging Business Tips blog on Squidoo, making sure to create a Squidoo eBook  anchor text backlink to my sales page.

I then took the guts of that article and posted it on Active Rain, which is a real estate authority blog site that many homestagers also use.  I again used the same anchor text.

From there I went on to create a quick Blogger blog who’s one post is on Squidoo and yes with the same anchor text.  Then on to Hub Pages, and then Knol, and now back here to Micro Business Specialist.  You can fully expect to see a link in the coming paragraphs.

I intend to follow this up with a series of articles that I will post to the article directories.  With any luck the combination eventually gain me a first page listing on Google.

Anyone who searches Google for the phrase Squidoo ebook should be a pretty good prospect for an eBook Called Squidoo Basics, don’t you think?

Now, I’ve heard varying theories on how best to do this, so I am open for your comments. But my goal here was to create a circle of backlinks from a variety of high ranking web sites and some less so to start driving my single page sales page higher in the Google Search engines.

In the past, I have advocated linking first from one source to another and then to another to flow the accumulated Google Juice to one spot.  In what I did today, I did not link from one to another, but just to the sales page.

While I like to pretend I know everything, I’d be interested in readers comments on this.  I can always go back to each of these and create some cross links.  I do know that I do not want to have links going from a to b and b to c and c back to a.  That creates a circle and apparently negates the value of the back links. Same with a to b and b to a.

The topic of Squidoo is certainly large enough that I could easily go to any of these sites and add more content which will give me ample time to promote my Squidoo eBook.  I am also likely to go back to Squidoo and create some additional lens on the topic, rather than add to the existing one. That way I will have another backlink, rather than just a backlink from a longer Squidoo Lens.

If you are new to Squidoo I invite you to click on my link and join  Squidoo for FREE!

[tags]Squidoo, squidoo ebook, backlinks, seo, search engine optimization, hub pages, knol, market samurai,[/tags]


Posted in SEO || 3 Comments »

Press Releases Payoff Huge, When Used

Posted by enetwal on Jun 23, 2010

I have a confession. In just about every Search Engine Optimization eBook I’ve read there has been a section on Press Releases. And yet despite this I have pretty much ignored the power of press releases until just recently when I chanced across a free email course on the topic.

Now I didn’t even read the first email I got from the course for several days. I guess my mindset was that press releases were for big corporations and earth shattering news. I remember the bad old pre-internet days when a press release was usually tossed away as soon as it was received – if it didn’t have clear and obvious immediate news value. Today, in the internet era, these press releases live forever, and can drive traffic to your site years after the fact.

Once released they travel the world at internet speed, and can result in new traffic from a worldwide audience. Better yet, you can set up a section of your blog or web site to archive past press releases. Since a good press release also needs good keywords, this archive will be another source of on site keyword content that can be picked up by the search engines.

As I learned in the first lesson from the email course, there are at least three major benefits of press releases.

While you may think of the news media as the biggies on TV and Major newspapers, there are tens of thousands of small niche media publications that also search the press releases looking for something new and different. The gold in a press release comes when one of more of these guys picks you up and mentions you or your business or perhaps even contacts you for a follow-up interview.

Additionally, and worthwhile even if you do not get picked up, is the weight search engines appear to grant press releases. Since they are fresh and timely content, the search engines seem to love the press release outlets. A good press release can raise a ranking in hours, its claimed.

Finally, press releases tend to get aggregated and distributed via RSS feeds multiplying the potential exposure of your release.

Now the downfall of the press release approach is that many of the premier press release distribution services are a bit too spendy for the casual player. The big guys charge a fee for each and every release. However there are a handful of free services and perhaps even better a couple of one time fee services that permit access to the press release world without the repeated costs. Of the three options this third is probably the best choice in terms of effectiveness for most micro businesses.

The free course I got came from one of these one time pay services. It’s run by Rod Beckwith and Jeff Alderson and is called Press Equalizer.

I recommend you sign up for their  free press release course, and reacquaint yourself with the power of the press release. Then if it’s for you, you can decide whether or not you want to use their service or one of the free and or more expensive alternatives.

One thing for sure, you will want to add the press release to your standard marketing approach. It’s too powerful to ignore.

[tags]SEO, Search Engine Optimization, press release, marketing tactics, [/tags]


Posted in SEO || 2 Comments »

Your Business Can Climb to the Top of the Search Engines

Posted by enetwal on Jul 2, 2009

You Can Climb to the Top of the Search Engines

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    • Almost Five Pages of Resources Revealed
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  • Discover the role of Anchor Text
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Only $17.00

I Guarantee It

Buy with confidence. If you are not happy with the report for any reasons, just email me at enetwal@gmail.com. (My eMail Address is also on every page in the report.) I will refund your full price with no questions for up to 60 days after your purchase.

37 Pages

My advisers have praised this 37 page report, but advised me that I need to refocus it away from Ma and Pa businesses.  “They will never buy,” they tell me. “They would rather hire somebody to do the work, than learn to do it themselves.”

Are They Right?

They may be right. So I will rewrite it over the fourth of July weekend.  The content won’t change much. All the concepts and insights will remain the same, I will just redirect the wording to the internet consultant community.  I may add some suggestions about how they can charge you hundreds of dollars for some of this, and I may be able to edit out some of the more basic “how to” stuff to keep it from getting too long.

How About You?

It’s up to you. Do you want to pay me $17.00 and learn how to do this yourself, or pay someone else hundreds or thousands of dollars?

I’m Not New To This

I’ve been working this beat for some time now. Trying to help micro businesses learn how to do this stuff themselves. That’s because so many of them are not doing it right.  All the professional internet marketers know it. It’s just not been worth their while to step in and give advice.  My first eBook on the topic was called, “Why Most Small Business Web Sites StinK!

Most of them STINK!

It compares a business web site to the functions of a typical trade show, like a home improvement show.  It compares aspects of the crowd at trade show to the traffic you get online. It compares three different aspects of a trade show booth with a basic web page layout. It also talks about the promotions at a trade show and the booth staff and what happens after a trade show is over. Each function is compared to the similar functions your web site should performing for your business.

Too Much Flash And Bang That No One Ever Sees

This comparison with something everybody can understand, gives the reader a clearer idea of what they want their web site to do. Too many businesses have nothing more than electronic Yellow Page ad for their web site. Others, have gone overboard in the other direction with way too much Flash and Bang that unfortunately no ever sees.

You Will Have A Better Page and People Will Be Able To Find YOU

Together these two eBooks will give you a strong handle on what your web site should do and how to get people to find it. That’s why I am going to give you this first eBook absolutely FREE to anyone who buys from this link before I take it down.

You Also Get this Bonus Ebook

Even if you decide to let someone else do it for you

There, I’ve made this as powerful a package as I can. Two ebooks for the price of one. Two eBooks that I have put a lot of thought and effort in.  I know that they will give you a far better handle on what your web site could and should be all about even if you do decide to let someone else do the work for you.

But Hurry

As soon as I get the revisions done, this page will come down. And let me warn you, it won’t take long. And don’t forget, I am offering you a full 60 day money back guarantee. If you are not satisified for any reason, email me and I will refund your money in full. No questions asked. So you see you have nothing to loose and everything to gain.

Best Wishes,

Earl Netwal

The Micro Business Specialist

www.MicroBusinessSpecialist.com/blog

enetwal@gmail.com


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Beyond Squidoo: Get Support from HubPages

Posted by enetwal on Jun 10, 2009

Get More Link Juice Via Hub Pages

In my last posting, I spent some time describing Squidoo.com and how useful it can be as a source of quality backlinks to your site.

Squidoo offers you the opportunity to create your own backlinks that you can custom design. By that I am referring to your ability to use anchor text that uses precisely the keyword phrase you want to rank for, and the ability to direct that link to a specific page on your web site.

Since Squidoo is free to use, there is no reason why you can’t create multiple Lens, and add additional links to your site.  From a search engine optimization standpoint it makes sense to have multiple short Lens rather than one long comprehensive one. So if a home stager wants to create a lens on staging a bedroom and another on staging a living room and a third on outdoor landscaping you now have three sources from which you can send links back to your web site. Within each lens you want to include a couple anchor text links to various pages on your site.

The power of Squidoo comes from it’s internal grouping system. Once you have created your lens, you want to join your lens to every relevant group you can.  If you are a potter, you will want to sign up your lens with all the various pottery groups, as well as art and crafts groups and any others that make sense.

The search engines see Squidoo as a large web site with many different topics. Normally this would be negative as it’s not focused and many lens are not specifically relevant. However since your lens is connected and linked to internally via your group memberships and also by  Squidoo’s own internal tagging system you are seen as part of all the groups you are associated with.   The strength of your  individual link is a product of all these relevant association within Squidoo.  To learn more about the internal linking and groups within Squidoo get a copy of Squidoo Basics.

A similar venue like Squidoo is the Hub Pages site. Go the www.hubpages.com. Set up an account there, and jump right in.  The set up is different but similar to Squidoo. You will need to create a title of 120 characters or less, which becomes part of your url. Just as with Squidoo, you want it to consist of the keywords you want your own web site to rank for. So if you are following my advice on using geographical keywords you may want to name your site, CincinattiDryCleaning if you are a dry cleaner in Cincinatti.

Just like Squidoo, you want to create anchor texts in your hub pages. You can use much of the same material in your hub pages that you did on your Squidoo pages, but you want to rework it into a different format so it is distinctly different than the way it appears on Squidoo or anywhere else. Make it unique.

Now while you will be including links to various pages on your web site, you also want to create some links from your Hub pages to your Squidoo pages. That’s why we talked about Squidoo first.

Remember last week when we talked about “link juice.” Hub pages have a little less link juice than Squidoo. But they are still a highly ranked site, just not quite a big. Your link from Hub pages pours link juice into your Squidoo lens. This link juice accumulates there and is passed via your Squidoo lens to where it links, ie. your web site.

It is important that you maintain the one way nature of this linking. As we also discussed last week, if you reciprocate links the link juice cancels each other out.  So for my purposes, I always link from my Hub Pages to my Squidoo pages and never the reverse. Since I have many different niches this rule keeps me out of trouble.

Which one you use to link to the other is less important, than that you make sure to keep the one way relationship alive. And please remember that means you cannot link from your web site to your Hub pages as this would create a circle and negate the benefit of all the links.

Next time I will begin to discuss why article marketing is so powerful.

—–

Two additional tidbits. I have had a lot of projects building up lately thus the delay in getting this post out. I am still doing my analysis of peoples web sites. But am now restricting myself to just four a week. These are very useful to people and I want to maintain my hands on service to as many people as I can. To get details go to http://cli.gs/7gH1Zr

In addition to maintaining your web site and getting it set up for search engines, the most powerful thing you can do for yourself is to blog from your own wordpress blog. WordPress blogs are easy to use and free, but can be very bewildering because there are so many options in terms of themes, plug ins, widgets and settings. I have learned a lot about blogging from Mike Paetzold who is a master blogger. He just released a new “How to” eBook and video series Tuesday night and is offering $20 off until sometime Saturday.  It’s called Word Press Made Easy and is a “must have” in my opinion. He walks you through all the plug ins and settings he uses on his plethora of blog sites. If you are going to blog, and you should, it is a good idea to copy a master blogger, until you learn enough on your own to make specific variations. With his help you can have your blog up and running and or re-tuned in about an hour.  Well worth it, I promise you. http://cli.gs/mv5Whd


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Squidoo – Who ever came up with this name?

Posted by enetwal on Jun 4, 2009

Getting to the Top of the Search Engines XI

Squidoo – Who ever came up with this name?

Building Backlinks on Squidoo

We have established that to advance up the search engines your site needs to be set up properly in terms of on page factors, and also needs to get Back Links from other sites to boost your credibility. Ideally these backlinks should be in the form of anchor texts that highlight the specific keyword you want your page to rank for. For most locally based businesses, it also makes sense to have these keywords and anchor texts include your specific geography such as Home Staging Atlanta or Minneapolis Best Meat Market, etc.

One point I should have made already and didn’t is that these back links need to be one way backlinks. I’ve used the term “Link Juice” before. Imagine that a web site by linking to you is passing on to you some of their Link Juice. If they are a high value web site the back link may be a gallon jugs worth, if it’s a lower ranked site you might just get a pint. That’s if the link is one way to your site from theirs. If you return the favor, you have a hole in your bucket, dear Liza. The Link Juice leaks right back to where it came from. Now if you have a higher ranking than the person linking to you, you may actually loose juice in the process.

At one time it was all the rage to build reciprocal linking arrangements, and one of our readers reported just that after my last post. Unfortunately these are no longer wise moves in terms of search engine ranking. That said, they may still make sense if they send traffic and business from one market to another as part of a referral system. If that’s the case, you may well want to keep them even if they cost some “juice.” But don’t build reciprocal relationships hoping they will help out your search engine ranking. They won’t.

Nor can you set up a circle, where A links to B and B links to C and C in turn links to A. Such circles are readily detected by the search bots, even when inadvertent. So pals we may be, but mutual admiration societies are not the way to get ahead on the search engines.

So how do we get these one way links? There are a lot of ways actually. I mentioned a few to you last time and today we will take a closer look at one of my favorites, Squidoo.

Squidoo is one of many so called Web 2.0 sites, which merely means it is part of the recent wave of sites that allow visitors to interact with the site rather than just read it like a static web page.

There are four primary things I like about Squidoo. First it’s Free. Second, it allows you to put blatantly self promoting commercial messages on it. And thirdly, it’s relatively easy to use. A fourth factor is that is has a high page rank of 7, which means that back links from Squidoo to your site send you giant economy size bottles of Link juice, which is very nice indeed.

To get to Squidoo just go to www.squidoo.com. Once there, sign up for an account. It’s free and easy.

Once you have your account, you are going to create your first site, which Squidoo refers to as a lens. Perhaps the most important thing to remember when setting up your first lens is that what you name it is critical.

For my Minneapolis Meat Market, I want to name the Lens “Minneapolis Meat Market” – if that is the phrase that I want to rank for on the search engines. Now every lens on Squidoo needs to have a different name, so your favorite term may already be taken. If that is the case try adding hyphens between words, or an extra relevant word before or after your desired name.

Some times it is easier getting your Squidoo lens ranked high in the search engines than your main web site due to Squidoo’s high page rank and its tens of thousands of pages, many of which are new every day. The search engines are crawling all over Squidoo constantly, and they will find your new lens very soon after you publish it.

Once you have created your title, you need to fill in the introduction module. Here you want to repeat your keyword/title in anchor text with a link to the page on your web site you want to drive traffic to. So if you are Shar Sitter, one of my Home Staging Clients you may introduce your lens as: “Rooms with Style is a Minneapolis St Paul area Home Staging firm specializing is serving the South Metro Area etc etc…”

If you did a good job creating your web site’s meta tag description, you may want to use that here. It should have your keywords in it, and be a pretty good sales pitch while including the key geography you serve.

By using HTML code to create a link on “Minneapolis St Paul area Home Staging” as I did above, the search engine bots learn that the end link is about Minneapolis and St Paul Home Staging and they have good memories. This is called anchor text and we went over how to set up this HTML code a few messages ago.

This is one of the advantages of Squidoo. Since you are creating the link yourself, you can control the way the link is created. You always want to use anchor text links. The only exception is when you are specifically letting people know what your web site address is and even then, make sure you use anchor text elsewhere in the posting.

If you go to Shar’s site via the link above, you will see it doesn’t go to her home page. It could have, but instead I set it up to link to her page titled “services.” This is called internal linking because it links to an internal page on her web site. Google in particular likes this, and you get a little extra juice for your overall site because of it. Since you have control of the link creation on sites like Squidoo, it makes sense to create these internal links whenever you can.

At any rate, the goal is to use anchor text right away in the introductory portion of your Squidoo lens. That will serve as a powerful back link to your web site. Complete the first module with what other introductory material you feel appropriate.

I’m already at book length for this post. So let me quickly say that the rest of the lens can be simple or complex. It’s up to you. Squidoo uses modules. I tend to use their text modules and fill them with text and pictures. To insert pictures you will need to learn a tiche of HTML code, which is not difficult. You can search on Squidoo for a lens on HTML, there are several good ones. Alternatively, I publish an inexpensive ebook called HTML in Simple Terms for under $10. The advantage of the ebook is that you can print it out and keep it handy by your computer. I find it easier to look things up in print than online.

I also publish an eBook called Squidoo Basics. It costs $17 and will help get you acclimated to Squidoo quickly.

The thing to keep in mind about Squidoo, is that you can publish as many lens as you want. For link building purposes they don’t need to be fancy or even complete. But spend a little time on them and focus on one topic about your business. Create another lens to discusss another aspect. If you serve more than one town, you can be DryCleanersOmaha and OmahaDryCleaners or SouthOmahaDrycleaners. Etc. Each additional link of this sort will help increase your ranking for Omaha Dry Cleaners.

If you are a home stager, you might want to create a lens just for Realtors, and use the Lens as the place you make your special pitch to them. Just be sure to link back to the Realtor page on your main web site.

Once you get the hang of putting up pictures, and I promise you that learning the little bit of HTML code to do that is not difficult, you may want to create a before and after lens for each of your projects.

Just be sure to include back links in each new lens to your web site’s various pages and in no time you will discover than not only is your web site on the top of the search engines, so too will be a number of your Squidoo lens.

When your prospects find you not just on the top, but also number 2, 4, 6,7 & 8 on the listings, they get pre-sold pretty fast that you are the dominant player in your community.

Yes, it will take a little work. You may need to learn a couple new tricks, but with a bit of persistence you can do it.

Next week, we will look at a similar site called Hub pages and maybe a couple of others. If you have questions about today’s post be sure to leave a comment. As I did today, I will incorporate any questions into the next posting.


Posted in SEO || 7 Comments »

How Many Backlinks do you have? Getting to the top of the Search Engines IX

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. )


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Get Stomping the Search Engines 2 (a $497 value) Today for $1

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 in SEO || 5 Comments »