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Browsing "search engine optimization"

10 Simple Steps to Boost Search Engine Rankings

Apr 2, 2008   //   by FreshTraffic   //   internet strategy, keyword, online marketing, organic, search engine optimization, website principles  //  Comments Off

There are several steps to follow to ensure top rankings in search engines. Sites that follow these simple steps will likely see their traffic and search engine rankings soar through the roof. The better optimized your site is for the search engines, the better results you can expect.

1. Implement Title Tags and Meta Tags
Title tags are an important aspect of search engine optimization as they are the way to convey your marketing skills to your target audience. The wording should flow smoothly while containing important keywords. This is where the search engines and your target audience get a feel for what your Web site is about.

You want to stress all the viral information in this limited area of space. This is your area for free advertising, so take full advantage of this. Insert information like company name and your targeted keywords that you have chosen for this page. Every page on your site should have unique title tags and meta tags.

2. Offer Quality Content
Your content is very useful for the search engines in determining whether or not your Web site is relevant to your topic. You want quality, keyword rich content. You do not want to stuff your keywords, but place them sporadically throughout you site.

Keyword stuffing is a black hat technique that will get you permanently banned from the search engines. Make sure that your content flows smoothly and rolls off the tongue easily. Remember, humans — not search engines — have the ultimate decision to purchase your product or service. Write your content first for your audience and then add keywords where it makes sense to.

3. Acquire Quality Links
Links are a valuable tool for gaining top search engine rankings. Links (backlinks) are viewed as a vote from one site to another, so the more links to your site, the more popular the search engines think your site is. Higher-quality links from authority Web sites are weighed more heavily when ranking your site. So, acquire links from reputable Web sites that are popular.

You want to get links that are related to your line of work to increase rankings. Make sure all your links are related in one way or another to your Web site. If not, then your site will be penalized in the rankings, which is the opposite of what we are trying to achieve.

4. Strive for Quality Backlinks
Recently, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) began to crack down on link farm sites (sites where you buy links) by penalizing them in the search engine rankings. Avoid link farms or buying links from non-authority sites, as they will only do more harm than good.

Remember, it’s not the quantity of links you have, but the quality of those links you do have. Make sure your links appear natural, not like they have been paid for. You must have something of quality to offer others so they will link to your site and increase your search engine rankings.

5. Have a Keyword Relevant Domain Name
Before purchasing a domain name, you should look for a URL that has relevant keywords to your company. Ensure that your domain name has some relevancy to your Web site.

Your sub domains should not be long and full of strange characters and symbols. This will only confuse the search engines and your human visitors. The simple domain that has your keyword specific to your page is great for the search engines and human readers.

6. Use HTML
Search engine spiders have a hard time reading coding other than HTML (hypertext markup language). To avoid any confusion for the spider, have your Web site written in HTML — not Flash. If you are a large, well-known company, this does not play as big a role, but if you’re a small company trying to make a name for yourself, ensure that your programmer is using HTML.

7. Make Site Navigation Easy
You want a Web site that is easy to navigate through. The more confusing and broken links to your site, the less likely it is that the spider will fully crawl and index all your pages.

You want to submit a xml sitemap for Google so it can find and index all the pages in your Web site. Sitemaps are a necessity for Web sites getting all your pages indexed and included in the search engines.

8. Use Fresh, New Content
Search engines do not want old, outdated content on their search results, so you must make sure to add new content to your site on a consistent basis. Both humans and spiders like to see new content on your Web site. Make sure to update your content to make sure it is up to date and relevant.

You can make simple grammatical changes to your site or add pages — anything counts as new content. If you stop adding new content to your Web site, your rankings will start to slip and fall way below your desired results. If you see your rankings start to slip, make sure you add new content to your site.

9. Add a Blog to Your Site
A blog is a great tool for keeping visitors up to date to with your site. Blogs help promote your site and give your visitors another way to locate your Web site. Blogs and blog posts get indexed in the search engines quite quickly as well.

If you start a blog about the industry you are in, you can quickly build up your rankings. Blogs are especially useful for adding fresh content to your site. Blog posts are seen as new content, so post in your blog at least once a week to keep your content new. Blog postings do not have to be relevant to your Web site, but it does help to keep the content somewhat relevant to build up and authority blog.

10. Make Your Web Site for Humans – Not Spiders
This is probably one of the biggest mistakes committed by newcomers to Internet marketing. They write and organize their Web site for the search engines to achieve high rankings, yet the traffic that comes in does not make a purchase.

You want to have a Web site that is easy to read and comprehend — not a site that is made for the spiders to read. Ultimately, your site is viewed by humans who hold the purchasing power. Ensure that your Web site is easy to read and does not have any misspellings.

When SEO Isn’t Really SEO

Apr 1, 2008   //   by FreshTraffic   //   internet advertising, online marketing, search engine optimization, seo  //  4 Comments

A potential client recently asked a good question. She regularly reads various search-engine-optimization websites, and she was confused as to the current meaning of the term “SEO.” What, she wondered, was the difference between SEO and online marketing?

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is constantly changing. As the major search engines update their algorithms and redefine how their search results will be determined and displayed, the SEO industry must adjust and redefine to follow those trends. But there is a new trend as well: Search optimizers going well beyond search engine results and into other marketing areas but still calling it SEO. It gets a bit confusing.

By definition, SEO refers to the process of optimizing a website with the goal of having major search engines (primarily Google, Yahoo! and MSN Live Search) return pages from that website in highly-ranked search engine results. SEO is almost always employed as a form of marketing, but it is a very specific form of marketing that takes place within the search engines.

Lately, some industry blogs have suggested that SEO has grown beyond its primary parameters, suggesting that successful SEO includes expanding into other realms of marketing. I don’t think that makes any sense. By definition, SEO – search engine optimization – does not include any form of marketing that goes outside of search engines. The use of the term SEO in such a way is disingenuous and confuses many webmasters and owners of ecommerce sites.

Let’s be clear: Online marketing (also referred to as web marketing and Internet marketing) is a term that includes SEO as one marketing aspect among many and not the other way around. It may be a matter of semantics, but as there are well-defined terms to describe the wider practices of marketing on the Internet, why is there a need to redefine SEO to reflect that process? It’s a very useful term as is!

Some SEO professionals may be recognizing that search engine optimization is moving away from a stand-alone industry and towards being one arrow in the quiver of the online marketing industry. They are compensating for this by simply including more forms of online marketing under the SEO heading.

But SEO practitioners shouldn’t fear this move. If the natural path of SEO is to interact with other forms of online marketing, so be it. One can hold this SEO position quite confidently because SEO is not going away. Or, SEO practitioners can expand their boundaries to become more general online marketers – and call themselves just that. But, it should be one or the other; there is no point in redefining terms.

What does this imply for ecommerce sites that are simply trying to employ some SEO to boost sales? Well, first and foremost, a well-optimized and usable site is still priority number one. The best bang for your buck (or your time) is addressing the basic SEO assets of an ecommerce site because natural search engine results are still one of the best ways to drive traffic and sales.

If the SEO is solid for a website, look to augment it by incorporating other forms of online marketing, especially social media. Get involved in the blogosphere whether you do it yourself or hire an outside firm. Taking into consideration a website’s focus and demeanor, consider using YouTube and other video sharing sites to promote a website and drive traffic directly. Remember that PPC (pay per click) search advertising, while often overpriced, can augment a natural search campaign.

But don’t be confused by those who are twisting terms. SEO is still SEO – search engine optimization. Make SEO the skeleton of your online marketing efforts, but don’t be afraid to hang a little muscle and meat on those bones. If your optimization is strong, other online marketing avenues may be a natural – and logical – step towards more sales.

Local Optimization – Local SEO

Mar 11, 2008   //   by FreshTraffic   //   fresh traffic, internet strategy, search engine optimization, Winnipeg  //  507 Comments

Local search engine optimization is something that every business with a website should take very seriously. Advertising locally can only get you so far, having your website optimized with geo-targeting and proper keywords in mind, you can bring in a lot of traffic that you would otherwise miss.

Using a single keyword phrase in geo-targeted optimization could mean that you lose out on a lot of traffic and potential customers. While it may be the most widely used phrase in terms of your business, bear in mind that not everyone searches the same way. As an example, “local restaurants” may be the most obvious of search terms, but some people will search for those same restaurants as “best eatery” or “local hotspots”, the terms are many; it pays off in the end to remember that.

Local SEO can definitely be focused around a single main search term, but add others throughout the site. This can help boost your ranking on the search engines and you´ll find that your traffic will increase.

–N

SEO all the way to Pics

Mar 10, 2008   //   by FreshTraffic   //   search engine optimization, seo strategies, website optimization, website principles  //  3 Comments

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a virtual no brainer when it comes to the long term marketing of your website. When you work to develop your website using SEO strategies you will likely focus most of your approach on the development of knowledge-based content filled with keywords or phrases that assist in positive site rankings.

Some online business owners do themselves a disservice by stopping short of full optimization. For instance site development can include adding SEO keywords and phrases to meta titles. This is information visitors will not see, but search engines will. Since they pay attention to the meta titles shouldn’t you?

Some website owners also stop before they provide a full compliment of SEO strategies in other text based areas of their website. This may include the ‘about us’ section that allow visitors to learn more about the company. Presumably your SEO keywords relate to your business. The use of those keywords in this section is very important.

Site owners can tastefully place their keywords in product descriptions and the frequently asked questions (FAQs) segment of their website.

Your home page should also include SEO strategies. The truth is you should pay attention to every single page and every text entry you place on your site. This includes any forums or blogs you might host on your site.

One area that is often overlooked when it comes to Search Engine Optimization is the photos you might display on the site.

Visit virtually any website and roll your cursor over a picture. In most cases a small yellow box will pop up and a series of words will pop up to describe the picture. Most visitors do not use this function so enterprising web owners will use photos to increase their SEO exposure since search engines do pay attention. You can use the name of the website or the primary key phrase you are using to enhance search engine placement.

There are other areas where SEO principles apply, but the above principles should help you fully develop a website that is inviting to a system that can do more for the long-term marketability of your site.

SEO principles are not the stuff of overnight success. In fact it can take several weeks for search engines to crawl and index your website to improve your website’s placement in overall search rankings.

Think of SEO like you might a mutual fund. You invest in SEO, but the accumulated interest can take time to mature. Ultimately it is a sound investment, but your interest is always drawn later than your investment. It also has the potential to return more than you invest.

It always surprises me to see web owners who refuse to consider the use of SEO because they believe that the merit of their business is based exclusively on marketing skills that may be best applied in a brick and mortar environment.

The problem is the skills associated with online marketing operate on a different platform. You will help yourself, search engines and best of all your potential customers by making sure your site is optimized for search engines – all the way down to the photos.

Search Engine Optimization is BIG

Mar 6, 2008   //   by FreshTraffic   //   fresh traffic, search engine, search engine optimization  //  Comments Off

These days, search engines’ results are directing people to sites, products and services. That is why search engine optimization has gained a big importance. Search Engine Optimization is also important in the age of the powerful web when more and more people are buying everything online.

Power of the web has promoted online shopping culture and customers mostly develop confidence in their favorite product by seeing them in searches and decide to buy. If they do not see a results, the odds of the online purchase are reduced. But if they see result of a brand they know clearly and like, then they will check the price and terms, make their selection, and purchase.

Businesses try to strengthen their presence by Search Engine Optimization. For measurable results in searches, businesses need to know what they want to project, should be committed to build by doing whatever is necessary to get the message to any segment of a target market.

This can be best done by a experts and professionals. Fresh Traffic are one of the best to build a powerful web presence that remains in front of the eyes of the customers.

Explore resources and information, rich site content and learn how they can position you at a vantage point. Better still, let them handle your optimization strategies.

Mapping Basics

Mar 4, 2008   //   by FreshTraffic   //   search engine optimization, sitemaps, website principles  //  2 Comments

Have you ever wondered how a search engine works? Have you experienced instances where the link that supposedly contains your keywords is not exactly what you have in mind? You would probably think that there must be something wrong with the search that it generated irrelevant results.

How does a search engine work? Two things figure greatly in making search engines work: the electronic spider and the sitemap.

A sitemap is basically a page serves as a directory by listing all the links to all documents and files on a website. It is not just a random listing of links, it is organized in such a way that it gives the user an idea of how all the information that can be found in the site fits into an outline. It is like viewing the table of contents of a book.

What is a spider? In SEO language, spider is not an animal, the search spider is actually a bot which collects data and copies content to be stored in the search engine’s database when keywords are fed into the search dialogue box. The spider reads the content of the site and sends another bot to follow the links and copy the content contained in them.

What purpose does a sitemap serve?

A sitemap like any other map gives directions to a navigator. It primarily targets search engine spiders so that they are properly directed to your site and to the links where keywords entered in the search box. It is actually a useful tool in search engine optimization. A well organized site map would guide the spider to find the information it needs when keywords are entered during a search.

What are the benefits of having a sitemap for my website?

1.No page would be left out:
Back to the purpose of sitemaps, having one would mean faster and easier tracking and crawling of spiders all over your site. As a result, search engines would get to the view all the pages of your site and not just the pages containing keywords.

2.Easier navigation for visitors:
Once a user has accessed your sitemap, they need not go back to the search engine page to look for what they need. If what they are looking for is in your site, then they would have an easier and faster way of finding it.

3.Encourage traffic to your site:
If your company site has a sitemap then potential buyers would have an easier time in accessing your products and services. Also, they would not miss out on any product that might be of future interest to them.

There are at least three major kinds of sitemaps: indexed, categorical, and restricted categorical. An indexed site map appears as an alphabetical listing or directory. A categorical map displays all links classified into categories; while a restricted categorical sitemap displays all links listed in a chosen category at a time. The full and restricted sitemaps are very similar except that the former displays all links in all categories all at once in a page, while the latter focuses only the links under the selected category for easier and less eye-straining viewing.

Some tips in setting up your sitemap

1.Link the sitemap only to your homepage. This ensures that the spider will start searching from your homepage down through all the pages listed in your sitemap. In this way, no page will be missed.

2.Try not to go beyond 30 pages for a sitemap. Large websites having 50 plus pages should not go beyond 30 since this adds more pages to the site, and may make search engines think that the sitemap is a link farm.

3.Check the integrity of the links listed in your sitemap. It can be discouraging when you click on a link only to find out that nothing is displayed. Test your sitemap!

4.Give keyword-rich titles to sitemap links. Keyword-rich titles give your site more advantage in being searched properly under the right category.

5.Provide a short description for the links in the sitemap gives readers a better idea of what to find in the link.

6.Be consistent in designing your sitemap with the other pages of the site.

–N

Search Engine Optimization Techniques

Mar 3, 2008   //   by FreshTraffic   //   fresh traffic, keyword, search engine optimization, website principles  //  2 Comments

Webmasters who are interested in building high traffic to their site and maintaining a successful site, should pay particular attention to Search Engine Optimization techniques which can help them improve the search engine rankings. All search engines employ some type of algorithm that brings up the resulting links when a user searches for something. No, all search engines don’t use the same algorithm. But that’s not what this discussion is all about. I’m sure all of you are interested in getting your website/blog listed in the topmost search results. listed below are 5 simple tweaks that can greatly influence your ranking in the search results.

1. Keyword Optimization

The use of relevant keywords in your site is one of the most common and also one of the simplest ways to optimize search engine ranking. It will increase your ranking if you use commonly searched words like for example: If you have a gardening site, you might want to use the word “Home gardening” or maybe even “House-keeping” more in your posts. As a result, when people actually type those phrases in the search box, your website is shown earlier because of the use of it in your web page is higher than the rest.

TIP : Don’t ever overdo it.

2. Get Link Love

Many search engines (almost all) rank your site on basis of the number of back links that lead to your site. Now basically you could do link-exchange, but search engines will rank you even higher if you get one-way links. It’s simple: The more back links one has, higher up in the search results you climb.

TIP: Try and get as many as One-way links as you can.

3. Use Image Tags to your Advantage

Site owners should also be aware that any pictures used on their site can be used to improve search engine rankings with some search engines. This aspect of search engine optimization is often overlooked because many believe the pictures are not viewed by search engines. While this is true the search engines do crawl the code of the blog in addition to the content on the blog. This means the search engine will view the information provided in the image tags. Take advantage of this by using the image tags to provide relevant keywords which can bolster search engine rankings. However, care should be taken to ensure the keywords used in these tags also accurately describe the image because visitors will often see the text included in these tags when they scroll over pictures on your site.

TIP: Make sure that the tag is relevant to the picture.

4. Site maps are Necessary

All websites need site maps. Why? Well, every site map has links to all the pages in a website and it helps search engine spiders gain even more easier access to your content. And it’s obvious that if more content is tracked by the spiders, the more results appear.

TIP: Well, K.I.S.S, keep it simple silly.

5. Search Engine Friendly URL’s

Using Search Engine friendly URL’s like http://www.freshtraffic.ca/search-engine-optimisation/ will be more effective than the long ones. Why? Well long URLs are most likely to be considered as spam by search engines and users. Keep it brief. Don’t be under the impression that longer URLs will impress your visitors. Users generally despise those kind of addresses. It’s not tough to make the change, and frankly the faster you shift to Search Engine friendly URL’s the better.

–N

Natural vs Paid

Feb 27, 2008   //   by FreshTraffic   //   online marketing, organic, search engine optimization  //  176 Comments

There are two major techniques in use today that are used for Online Marketing. These are Natural Organic SEO and the other one is Pay per click advertising.

Pay per click advertising is a technique that works by taking a specified sum of money for listing your advertisement on any of the major or minor search engines. These sponsored links usually appear at the top, bottom or, as in the case of Google, the right hand side of the search engine results page.

Natural Organic SEO: Natural Search engine optimization is defined as the process of redirecting traffic volumes to a specific website through a search engine like Google by using natural or organic or algorithmic techniques.

Search Engine Optimization not only makes use of keywords, although that is the most popular method of conducting Search engine optimization processes, it can also carry out different kinds of searches including image search, local search, and industry-specific searches.

As a marketing strategy utilized primarily for increasing a site’s ranking, Search Engine Optimization will take into account how search algorithms work and what exactly do people search for. Search Engine Optimization efforts would involve a number of things such as a site’s coding, presentation, and structure, in addition to fixing problems that could prevent search engine indexing programs from fully spidering a given site. Trying to Compare Natural SEO and Pay per click advertising is like trying to compare your right hand and your left hand and asking which one is better? Each has its own importance and is usually advisable to use a combination of the two techniques.

The major advantage that Pay per click advertising offers is that it gives faster results as compared to the Natural search engine optimization techniques; only at a cost.

SEO When Should You Invest?

Feb 14, 2008   //   by FreshTraffic   //   internet strategy, search engine optimization, website principles  //  195 Comments

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a necessary part of any website strategy. The potential traffic is simply too big to ignore.

The question isn’t “Should I do SEO?” it’s “When should I do SEO?”

As a site owner, you have to make hard decisions about how to spend your always-not-enough budget and when. In this post, I’m going to talk about some of things your should consider when trying to determine…

When Should I Invest in SEO?

SEO is not direct marketing. Just because you put a dollar in today does not mean you’re going to get a $1.50 out tomorrow.

Fundamentally, natural search optimization is a long-term investment. With the right strategy and the right implementation, I do believe you will get the return on that investment and, possibly, a sustained competitive advantage.

Of course, this presents a problem: you have to spend the money now, but you might not see it for a while.

Fundamentals to Make the Most of SEO

Search engines don’t buy from you, people do. There a few things you need to have in place in any site to make the most of SEO:

Functioning Site – There’s no point in bringing people to your site if it doesn’t work. People don’t like it and neither do the search engines. Getting your site to work properly is as important as getting people there.
Great Product – You can optimize your site till you’re blue in the face, but if you’re product stinks, you’re fighting an uphill battle. They say the quickest way to kill a bad product is to advertise it…
Measurement (Web Analytics) – Spending money without any way to track it is pointless. What’s more, you need analytics in place to help you refine the SEO you do execute.

The Resources You Need to Execute SEO

There are 2 paths to SEO: do-it-yourself or hiring an SEO consultant.

The choice between the two could fill several blog posts. For the purposes of this post, I’m going to assume you are looking for professional help.

A good organic search optimization agency will:

Do your keyword research
Make recommendations about your platform and information architecture
Address on-page code elements
Conduct a competitive and market analysis
Make specific content recommendations
Build and, possibly, execute a link strategy
You then have to execute that advice you paid so much for.

Oftentimes this is a hurdle for people who buy SEO services. With so many priorities clamoring for your attention, it’s easy to put off.

Don’t.

Make sure your marshal the right people together before the start of the project to convince them of the value of SEO.

Your key people will be:

The Developer – Someone will have to change your code and address server/platform issues. With apologies to the technology folks in the audience, these folks are usually the least inclined to understand the importance of SEO, but they’re absolutely essential to doing it right.

The Creative – Search engines are text readers. You will probably need to get more content onto your sites. This is going to piss of some artist. Best to suck up to them now and get them on your team.

The Copywriter – Somebody has to write all of that new content. What’s more, they have to do so in a search engine friendly way. A new way of writing + new things to write = another team member to persuade.

The Marketer – If this isn’t you, then it’s likely your colleague or boss. The marketer has to ensure everything is on-brand, and that includes the changes to the meta-data and content you’re going to recommend. Figure out the approval process and key concerns early.

Chose: Buy SEO Services or Something Else?
You can buy $25 worth of paid search. You can’t buy $25 worth of SEO.

In reality, you’re going to have some per hour, per project or per month fee to get sound SEO advice customized for your business.

Assuming you’ve addressed the fundamentals mentioned above and can convince the key team members to pitch in, you now have to ask yourself: is this the best time to invest in SEO services?

There are times when SEO is a no-brainer:

Pre-Launch – It is 10 times easier to change things in the design phase than during coding or after launch. What’s more, the education and research will also weave its way into all of your decisions the sooner you learn about SEO.

Starting Paid Search – It makes sense to coordinate paid and organic search marketing. Think about it: do you want to pay for clicks you could get for free? Shouldn’t buy words that will take you months to win?
You’ve Done Everything Else – Well, that just makes logical sense :-)
It’s always better to start SEO sooner rather than later, but there’s often an opportunity cost with that choice. The opportunity you could be giving up is better email marketing, more paid search, affiliate expansion, upgraded user experience, multivariate testing… the list goes on.

You need to ask:

Do I have the cash flow to pay for natural search optimization when it could take 6-9months before I get that money back?
Can I execute the SEO recommendations in a timely fashion?
Are there minor site changes that I could address in 1-3 months that would produce immediate returns across all channels (e.g., shopping cart improvements)?
How much traffic and revenue would I have to generate to make this investment worthwhile?

Conclusion

I’m not trying to scare you away from SEO. It’s totally the opposite–I think SEO is vital and, frankly, amazing. It’s important to have realistic expectations about how and when SEO will pay off.

The point is that there’s a reason many people don’t succeed at SEO–they’re not willing to put in the effort and give it time to succeed.

Understanding what it takes to be prepared for SEO will help you understand when you should invest in it.

Let me turn the question back to you: how/when did you decided to focus on SEO?

SEO Winnipeg – SEO Manitoba – Search Engine Optimisation Company Canada

Jan 29, 2008   //   by FreshTraffic   //   fresh traffic, Google, search engine optimization, seo  //  380 Comments

Looks like we have coursed a little stir within the SEO community in Canada,especially in the Winnipeg area where I new office is to open shortly, not before time may I add as Canadians spend more time online than any other country, have more connected households than anyone else and most are still in the dark ages when it comes to online marketing for there business.

Yes a new office in Winnipeg, another soon in BC and newly trained staff are ready to bring the world of search engine optimization and online marketing to the Canuck’s.

It’s going to be tough, these guys have heard it all before, they have either been ripped off by some website design company who profess to be SEO’s, been shafted by individuals who think SEO Winnipeg is being listed on top of Google AdWords and the list goes on, we have heard some horrendous stories within the last 6 month’s in Winnipeg while setting up the new global office.

All is not lost, we have been inundated with requests from every Province, why, because we get the job done right, we get results and we get return on investment, not hard to work out really, that’s all that anyone could ask, after all is that not what they pay us for.

So if your in need of an SEO company in Canada or search engine optimization in Toronto, a SEO consultant in Vancouver, a trusted SEO company in Winnipeg, SEO services in Calgary, website optimization in Montreal or an seo expert in Quebec, please give us call, it’s free and you have nothing to lose.

We work with company’s large and small from $100k – $100 million turnover, be the best you can, make that call today. SEO Winnipeg 204 942 4200