Small Buisness Web Sites


Overlooking Important SEO Factors

October 7th, 2015 ernie Posted in SEO 1 Comment »

Overlooking Important SEO FactorsMost business owners do not even know what SEO is or why they should pay for this service. Search engine optimization is something that should automatically be built into every page and post of a web site and yet there are many web developers that focus on the glitz and grammar instead of making sure that you have rich content, original content, and content without spelling and grammatical mistakes. There are multiple levels of SEO factors to consider. If you are a business owner, you may be on a limited budget and wondering just how to go about determining if a developer is providing a well designed site that is SEO’d.

Overlooking Important SEO Factors

In addition to well written content, here are a few factors to consider when designing and building a web site, whether it is done in-house or whether you subcontract the site to an outside firm:

  • Excellent well written content should be at the top of the list
  • Use keywords that are important in your industry
  • Original content, never copy others content
  • Your pages should look great on desktops as well as mobile devices
  • Test your website by searching for common keywords to determine ranking
  • Keep your web site current with up to date information
  • Ask the questions – is this what your customers are looking for

Overlooking Important SEO Factors

While the above is certainly not an exhaustive list, they are some of the more important factors. In fact most SEO experts will agree that there are over 200 potential factors that can make a difference in terms of how search engines view your web site and the subsequent ranking that they give it. While you may not want to pay for an exhaustive list of tweaks to get it just right, you can focus on the important issues and still get descent results.

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Simplify SEO for Content Marketing

August 21st, 2015 ernie Posted in SEO No Comments »

Simplify SEO for Content MarketingContent is king and many bloggers and website owners are looking for ways to simplify SEO for content marketing. They want to add a lot of content that will be picked up by the search engines, ranked well and read by readers. If they can make some money at it as well then so much the better. In some cases bloggers are writing content for the sole purpose to generate income, so it becomes even more important that their content meets all SEO requirements as well as relevance for the reader. Turns out that there is a process to follow for generating content and if you follow a scientific business like process you have a much better chance of being successful. Focus on quality, interesting material for the reader and content that will withstand the test of time.

Simplify SEO for Content Marketing – Process

Generate Ideas – The hardest part is coming up with idea for a web site and the corresponding posts that will be written. Competition is a factor, understanding what people are searching for and what kind of advertising will be generated on your site by systems such as Google adsense. Once you have the idea, use Goodle’s Adwords keyword tool to help you pick titles.

Generate Blog Titles – with the tool mentioned above, you may receive over 800 possible combinations of titles and keyword topics. Use a spreadsheet to rank them in terms of search volume, competition, adword cost etc to prioritize the list. Now that you have a prioritized list the next step is to do some research.

Research Your Topics – know your topic. Remember that you are writing original quality content that readers will find valuable, interesting and worth spending their time on. Note that it must be high quality both for your users as well as the search engines.

Write your Story – practice proper writing techniques. Introduce the topic, deliver the details and summarize the results. Your readers should find value. Use a grammatical and spell check engine to make sure that your posts are well written and follow standard English spelling and grammar.

SEO Adaptation – Next you need to adapt your story for SEO. There are hundreds of parameters, but tools like WordPress SEO can help with assessing each post to ensure that it meets the basic SEO requirements.

Promote Your Content – on social media, share it, tweet it etc. The more your material is shared the greater the chance that readers are going to see something they like, place orders etc and generate income for all of your efforts.

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Four Silly SEO Mistakes

July 7th, 2015 ernie Posted in SEO No Comments »

Four Silly SEO MistakesSEO is all about making sure that your website and the content on it will rank well. Ensure that the search engines rank your page or pages high enough for your customers to actually be presented with your URL in the search results. There are hundreds of things that a webmaster needs to pay attention to. As they develop a website, there are four that play a large part in both ranking as well and attracting potential readers to your page. We will review these four areas and hopefully add to the success of your online experience.

Four Silly SEO Mistakes That We all Make

The title needs to match the content to give the reader some idea of what your page is all about. We have all been caught by this trap from time to time. A great sounding title that matches what we are looking for. When we get to the page the content has nothing to do with the content, in fact sometimes it is just bogus material. There are some sites, that I will never click on even though they somehow manage to rank high on the search results. Make sure the content matches the title and provides value to the reader.

Duplication of content sometimes occurs intentionally and sometimes by mistake. If the content sends the same message at least your customers will not be confused. But what if the information disagrees? Then what do you do? From a search engine perspective, you are trying to game the results and the search engines could even assign a penalty placing you way down in the search results. Your customers will never be presented with your pages unless they go to page 20 and beyond!

Poor internal linking or links that simply do not work are also something that the search engines frown on as well as it frustrates your readers and customers. Links that work are important. Links to pages that are consistent with the material being presented are valued by search engines and customers alike. Review all of your links from this perspective.

Considering your Social Links, we are all encouraged to link to various social media, however this can backfire if not done correctly. Your page may look great on your web site, but how does it look on a social media page. Is it still attractive, easy to navigate etc? Many sites are becoming mobile friendly. However lots of testing needs to be done to make sure that you customers can actually read it online on their mobile phones.

We home these four ideas help readers to understand how they can improve their web sites and their customers experience.

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SEO – Strategic Content Plan

March 28th, 2015 ernie Posted in SEO No Comments »

Strategic Content PlanDeveloping a strategic content plan as part of your SEO responsibilities for a customer is actually much more complex than most people think. After all don’t you just have to have a couple of pages that talk about who your company is, the products and services they offer and how to contact you? The answer is yes you need these things, but as most web masters for small and large companies know, you are just beginning to scratch the surface. In this post we will list and discuss a few other topics that need to be thought about when a web site is launched on behalf of a customer or even yourself for that matter.

Strategic Content Plan – Areas to Focus On

  • Company Description – one page
  • Company Services and Product descriptions – many pages
  • Contact information – one page
  • Ordering information – one to several pages
  • FAQ-Frequently asked questions – one page to many
  • Customer reviews – one to many with approval?
  • Images of Products – one to many

The above are definitely important and must be included, however there are other areas that should be though about that are aimed at helping the search engines decide how to rank you against other similar web sites. These can include:

  • Linking to other websites
  • Links from other web sites
  • Linking to customers, suppliers or even competitors
  • Quality of content
  • Length of pages in terms of text
  • Image control and linking
  • Tracking of customers on your site
  • Chat room capability
  • Content pages related to typical search terms
  • Search phrases and links to your site
  • Conversion rate tracking of visitors to paying customers

Some web masters would suggest that there are well over a hundred variables that should be taken into account when developing a web site. Following the 80:20 rule, we believe that these are the major ones with the addition of one more.

Every page must offer useful content, informative and valuable content to the reader. Above all you need to try to answer the question the reader is looking for. If you can do that you most likely will rank well and attract the kinds of customers you are looking for on your site.

 

 

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SEO – Strategic Design Change

March 14th, 2015 ernie Posted in SEO No Comments »

Strategic Design ChangeYour adding content, maintaining the basic design, a good balance of images and crawl-able text, yet you are not getting the traffic that you feel that should be coming your way. What changes should you make and how far should you go. Is there a light bulb moment as shown in the diagram that changes everything? What about the investment that has already been made in time, design, writing etc. Do you just through this out and start over? There are so many questions and most website owners as well as web site managers just do not have the time to deal with these kinds of issues. It is important to have a strategy for your web site – what are the objectives, what customers are you trying to reach, what is the best way to reach them and how much investment do you make in this aspect of your business compared to other possibilities.

Strategic Design Change – Decisions

These are hard decisions to make and most people will just go on doing the same thing until something happens that forces them to change. In addition, the search engines are constantly updating their search engines all of the time to try to deliver a better result to their customers who pay the bills.

We feel that the right strategy is to define the following attributes and then focus on delivering to your customers:

  • Who are your customers
  • What products are you offering them
  • What services are you providing
  • Have you described these well on your web page
  • Do you have high quality well written content that describes the above
  • Is your site responsive
  • Can your customers find the information they need and are looking for
  • Is there a way for your customers to provide feedback
  • The old principle – Apply the KISS principle – Keep it Simple ….. applies

Every customer will have a different strategy, but the point is that they need to have one before they even begin building a web site and they need to have a strategy before they begin making serious changes to an existing web site. They also need to understand the changes that they will make to existing sites and what impact this will have on search results.

 

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Three activities that may put your website at risk

March 7th, 2015 ernie Posted in SEO No Comments »

website at riskMany websites are penalized by poor content management and linking strategies. There are a number of symptoms to look for to determine if you have been penalized by the search engines.   Your website at risk if your site has been penalized in the last year. Your ranking has declined or your traffic has declined then you might be suffering from one of the following three items:

Website at Risk – Poor content

We cannot emphasize the quality of the content of your website enough. If you have low quality content, content that would be considered spamming, or content that is not useful to the reader them both the readers as well as the search engines will not be ranking your website very well. Write for the reader and try to answer the question that you believe the reader is searching for. Make it useful and informative. Make sure that the Content is unique and don’t use someone else’s content. You should also avoid duplication on your own website even if you wrote it. Some areas that are easily overlooked on websites is the content in the header page as well as the footer page. this could cause you some problems. keep the content new and exciting, refresh old content and keep it interesting and useful for the reader.

Website at Risk – Poor on page optimization

Avoid packing your title and content full of keywords. This typically will get you penalized by the search engines including Google. Easiest way to test whether you becoming spammy or not is look at the content, tag lines etc. and ask yourself does this look spammy? Is it natural ? Also avoid linking content since it is frowned upon by the search engines. Write for the users and readers of your content and don’t write for the search engines. You will be much better off in the long run.

Low-quality back links pointing to your website

Back links are particularly problematic for many website owners. Back links are links from other websites to your website which you have really no control over. However if you have a lot of back links from other websites that are spammy, then it will bring your website down as well. Investigate tools that will help you with in identifying back links and contact the webmasters to determine how you can have the back link removed. Alternatively you can implement a no follow approach telling the search engines that those back links are not valid and should not be included in the analysis.

These three activities when followed on will significantly improve your website optimization and ranking in the search engine indexing. It takes a bit of work. Particularly with large sites so be prepared to put a lot of effort into this. From the get-go focus on quality content.

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What Permalink Structure is the Best for Optimal SEO

March 7th, 2015 ernie Posted in SEO No Comments »

What permalink structure is the best for optimal SEOWhat permalink structure is the best for optimal SEO? In the opinion of most SEO experts the permalink structure that is the best is “postname”. There are several reasons for this position. When you use your focus keyword for the post as part of the post name, it is then also listed in the SERP results pages. The search engines treat the post name as another SEO factor which contributes to overall ranking. In addition it is much easier for navigation by both readers and bloggers if the post name is being used.

What Permalink Structure is the Best for Optimal SEO

When WordPress is initially installed, the default used for permalinks is a numeric, which really contributes nothing for SERP results. Before adding any new posts, change the permalink setting to “postname”. Click on settings and then click on permalinks. Select the postname setting and all new posts and new pages from that point forward will use the “postname” in the url structure.

If you have already written a few posts with a numeric as a permalink, your webmaster should add 301 redirects to direct the old post to the new post using the postname convention.

Most bloggers don’t give this issue much thought. However it is one more factor in SEO optimization to consider and once implemented no more changes are needed.

Always select post names that are 5 to 6 words in length, avoid using stop words, and use your focus keyword in the post name so that is also reflected in the permalink. As always write excellent original content that is related to the post name to ensure your readers and visitors can find the information they are looking for.

Finally we do not recommend the use of dates as part of your post name permalink. Using a date tells the reader how old your post is. They may tend to click on newer posts and bypass yours. Even though the content is up to date and current.

For a lot more SEO related information, click here.

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SEO – Inconsistent URL Structures

February 28th, 2015 ernie Posted in SEO No Comments »

Inconsistent URL StructuresThroughout our posts we have emphasized that the content on web sites must be great content, interesting to readers, answers their questions and generally solves their problems. After all they have initiated a search to find the answer to some question that they have and they do not want to be bothered by poor content and content that does not address their needs. This is the objective that the search engines have set for themselves. They want to meet the customers demand and present the best possible results to their customers each and every time. Search engines employ search and indexing algorithms that are complex to say the least. They are kept very top-secret for the most part by Google, Bing and Yahoo as well as others.

Web masters are tasked with keeping their content up to date and meaningful for their customers. They also try to make sure that they place well on the search results. After all if you cannot be found then no one is going to read your web page, blog etc

Inconsistent URL Structures

One attribute that we believe the search engines value is consistent URL structures. In other words they see the same URL’s each time they visit and index a site. They also see new content being added. Many web masters will look at old content that is no longer relevant for what ever reason. They may simply delete that page. This action can be interpreted as Inconsistent URL Structures and cause the search engines to rank a site lower in search results.

Instead web masters would be better off updating the content of the page. They should make it more relevant to today’s issues and needs of the consumer etc and retain these older URL’s. It spells longevity, commitment to content and commitment to ensuring that a websites information remains relevant.

This is part of the SEO activity that many web masters need to address. We will be discussing further issues like this one in upcoming posts.

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Website Recovery From Google Penguin

February 21st, 2015 ernie Posted in SEO No Comments »

Website Recovery From Google PenguinMany websites were penalized by Google Penguin and other algorithm releases from Google. If you are one of them don’t despair, just get ready to put in some hard work. Be patient as long as you are following the guidelines publicized by Google. Website Recovery From Google Penguin will consume a lot of time. The holy grail of web sites is that you must have high quality content. It must be attractive, informative and useful to your readers.

This is the first requirement. It is a must have if you are going to be in this business for any length of time. There are other areas to focus on as well that we will cover in this short article. However rest assured that this is a complex subject and requires much more discussion. We will focus on what we consider to be the basics of SEO recovery. But do not even bother with these other issues unless you have focused on quality content first.

Website Recovery From Google Penguin

Every time that Google comes out with new release there are many steps for an SEO website administrator to consider. The first task is to try to asses what the impacts will be on the industry and specifically your website. Many online blogs are dedicated to this subject. It is worthwhile to spend a few hours to get a feel for what the SEO community is suggesting. You may need to adapt your website in order to comply with these changes. This is really the first order of business to avoid your site being indexed and penalized as a result.

Once you feel that all of the steps have been taken to adapt your website to whatever Google has changed in terms of SERP. The next step is to continue optimizing your site to improve the quality of your site. In terms of content, in terms of quality links to other quality sites and to terminate poor quality links where you are able to. You may have to contact other web masters to request them to remove links so that you can improve your overall link strategy.

Whenever you touch a page, take a few moments to review that page. Update it from the perspective of checking current information to ensure it is accurate and up to date, grammar and also spelling. If your company has changed services, products or policies for example, this is the time to also make sure that your pages are not only up to date, they also meet Google’s guidelines for SERP. This is an opportunity to improve your web site every time you touch a page.

 

 

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Website Ranking, SERP’s, Google Updates and more

February 7th, 2015 ernie Posted in SEO No Comments »

Website RankingIt used to be that you could just develop a website, upload it to your server and presto you were live and even ranking well in the Search Engine Results Pages or SERP. Unfortunately this dream is long past with many web masters scratching their heads regarding what to do next in regards to developing content and managing ranking on the SERP results. With Google updates coming on a regular basis, it is really difficult to now what will be hit and what will be enhanced. For example, Penguin 3.0 impacted thousands of websites that had less than optimum linking strategies. If you had bad links, if you had links to sites that were unrelated and on and on, then you were probably impacted by Google’s penguin. To make matters worse, those web masters who spent thousands of hours cleaning up the links have not seen a resurgence in their ranking since Penguin has not been rerun and is not part of the regular algorithm update. It is not part of the normal Google search engine refreshes.

Website Ranking – What to Do

If you are building a new site, stick to basics with high quality information and content. Link to other sites that are legit sites that also have quality information and respect. Before approving links to your site, ask yourself if they are similar in content and quality as well. But beyond everything focus on content to make sure that it is something that your visitors will want to read.

An existing site may have more issues to deal with. Clean up your linking strategy and unlink to any questionable sites. If you find links to your site that are also questionable, request that they also unlink. Clean up your content so that it is clean, grammatically correct and has value for your clients. Even with all of this work you may have to wait awhile until Google decides to rerun the Penguin algorithm. If your site might be considered spammy, clean this up as well.

Website Ranking – Next Big Thing

No one knows except Google what the next big change will be. The only recommendation that we can make is that your site be pristine in terms of content, links and the spam index.

For example, never link to a site that you would not spend time on and that does not somehow relate to your content. To the extent that you can, only allow sites to link to you that also are of high quality and have content of the same subject as you. Sites that are in direct competition with you may also be avoided in terms of inbound and outbound linking.

Follow the blogs and the chat rooms, you may pick up some hints, however if you follow a quality strategy, you should be ok!

for more ideas and changing trends with regards to managing SEO, click here.

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