How Anyone Can Improve Their Search Engine Rankings

The goal of the search engines is to provide the most relevant information to its users. It’s in the best interests of the search engines to be relevant because if the information returned is not relevant, the web user will use a different search engine and this will take money out of their (massive) pockets.

The majority of searches worldwide are conducted on 3 major search engines (Google, Yahoo! and MSN).

Are you familiar with algebra? The search engines use mathematical formulas called ‘algorithms’ to evaluate your website’s relevance in relation to ‘search terms’ or ‘keywords’. Each search engine uses different algorithms (which are not disclosed to the public), which focus on 2 main areas which I call: Content and Link Popularity.

The term ‘link popularity’ as I refer to it, means: “How authoritative your website is in the eyes of the search engines according to the amount of links you have and the quality and relevance of those links.” (When compared to the content on your website and your competitors’ websites).

This means any content in your website including: all text, images, audio and videos.

PageRank� is a series of algorithms that was invented by Serge Brin and Larry Page, (the billionaire founders of Google) in 1998 and is constantly evolving.

Google’s description of Pagerank:

“PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page’s value. Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes or links a page receives, it also analyzes the pages that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves ‘important’ weigh more heavily and help to make other pages ‘important’.”

PageRank (from here on I will refer to it as PR) works on a scale from 0 – 10, with 0 being lowest and 10 being highest. The higher your PR is, the more authoritative your site is.

Each website that links to you will give you some of their PR (if they have any) and vice versa. A great analogy is that PR is like water. The higher the PR of the website that links to you, the more water that they will give you. It’s important to remember though that if that webpage is already giving water (linking) to lots of other sites, they will not give you as much as they would if they weren’t linking to so many sites.

Most websites have the highest PR on their homepage because that’s where the majority of their incoming links point to. A common theme is that a website will have a high PR on their homepage, but low or no PR on most of their internal pages.

It is important to have “deep links”, these are links going to a page in your site other than your homepage.

FAQs:

Do I need to have a high PR to get into the top listings of the search engines?

That’s a tricky question, my answer is Yes and No! Each of the search engines has different criteria when it comes to listing your website on their first page. It is possible that you could have PR of zero and get the first listing. However, this would most likely be only on a keyword with no competition. Example: “vanilla carrot croisants” Obviously this is not a word that anyone is typing into the search engines, (as of now lol).

If the keyword you are trying to get high rankings on is competitive, usually the top spots go to relevant sites that have the highest PR.

As the PageRank formula is an algorithm, how many links would it take from a PR 4 site webpage to equal one link from a PR5 site?

The answer to this is kept top secret by Google and Yahoo, but some industry experts predict that you would need between 8-10. So if that is true than it would take from 60-100 PR3 links to equal just 1 PR5 link based on PR alone.

Personally I think this is just a vague guideline that doesn’t hold true in many cases. A PR5 link will be more or less valuable depending on: how many pages it is already linking to, it’s relevance to your website theme, and other hidden factors.

How do I get onto the first page of Google?

Getting onto the first page of Google (and the other search engines) for a particular keyword or keyword phrase depends on 3 factors:

*Content – what your webpage contents say that it is about in relation to a particular keyword.

*Link Reputation – what other web-pages say your webpage is about (based on the words in and around the links that point to your website) and the determined quality and authority of those web-pages.

*Authority – how important your website is in the “eyes” of the search engines based on the amount of links and quality of links pointing to your site (PageRank)

The position that your site will get depends on the ‘score’ that it receives based on these factors. Remember that this ‘score’ is always in relation to a particular keyword.

If your website is about “chocolate cake recipes” (are you getting hungry yet?), your website can achieve rankings related to this keyword. You won’t be able to rank for “banana pudding” or “creme brule” unless you have that content in your website.

If you would like to get higher search engine rankings I suggest you start to learn about how to optimize your content and how to get quality links to your site. Happy Optimizing!

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About the Author: Jason Storm is an SEO Expert who consults for small-business owners and webmasters who want to increase their search engine rankings by using content optimization and link building strategies. Visit his site http://www.Affordable-SeoServices.com.

Ecommerce Marketing – Improve Landing Page Performance

Undertaking any new advertising campaign should also entail the optimization of your landing pages. These pages need to be set up primarily to convert the visitors that your advertising generates. No matter the method of marketing or advertising you use, even offline advertising, you should have a clear understanding of the visitors that it will produce.

- What keywords, if any, led a visitor to your page?
- Are your visitors looking for information or products?
- Where are your visitors likely to be from?

The first step to landing page optimization is getting to know the resulting visitors. With paid search and even organic search you should have a good level of knowledge of the keywords that those visitors have used to visit your site. Consider whether the keywords and your campaign in general is geographically targeted, whether it will lead to visitors that want more information or are ready to start the buying process, and their general demographics. The more information you can determine about your new visitors, the more effective your landing page can be.

- Have you included the most relevant keywords in your page?
- Are the images relevant to the topic your visitors want?
- Are ALL of your page elements relevant?

The landing page should be optimized so that it is relevant to these visitors. Page relevancy is always a popular topic. The more relevant a page is to its visitors, the more targeted those visitors will be, and the more targeted a visit is, the more likely they will convert and perform your desired action. Including keywords is a part of page relevancy but generally matching all of the page content to the needs of your visitors is vital.

- Why did a visitor choose to visit your site?
- What did you promise or infer in your advertisement?
- Do your visitors want information or do they want to buy straight away?

If you promise information in the advertising link then you should provide that information. In contrast, if an advertisement implies that your visitor will be taken to a purchase page, then that is where they should be taken. Most searches are done by surfers looking for information on a topic – this may or may not lead to an immediate purchase. By providing the information that a visitor is looking for it provides you with the opportunity to increase brand awareness, and even make an immediate sale.

- What makes your product better than your competitors’ products?
- Why should visitors use your website rather than the next one?
- What do you have to offer that no other service, or very few services, also offer?

A Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is what makes you stand out from your competition. It’s the reason that your visitors should choose you over any other site. It’s also one of the most powerful conversion tools you have available to you. Many websites do not include their USP because they have yet to identify it – virtually every website and every company has a USP and promoting it early or prominently in the content of your site will help to increase conversion rates.

- Does the first paragraph of content include a summary?
- Have you got all of the important information on the page before the fold?
- Have you used an appropriate web content writing format?

Reading from a computer screen is very different to reading from paper based media. We can’t read as quickly, we digest less information, and we comprehend fewer facts and less information. As such, it is good practice to write differently for the Internet than we would for a magazine or other publication. The very first paragraph needs to be a concise and informative summary of the rest of the page. Sentences and paragraphs should be shorter in length and, therefore, simpler in their reading. Headlines and titles, as well as other formatting, should be well employed in the relevant areas.

- Have you removed any unnecessary links?
- Is advertising kept to less visible sections of the page?
- Have you moved distracting page elements below the fold?

The more external links that appear at or near the top of the page, the more likely that your visitors will leave your site. Similarly, distracting advertisements that aren’t a part of your CTA (Call To Action) need to be placed somewhere less distracting, along with other potential diversions. While these page elements all have a place on websites, they shouldn’t detract from a well optimized landing page.

- What do you want your visitors to do next?
- What will your visitors want to do next?
- Have you clearly defined and implemented your CTA?

The Call To Action, or CTA, is the online vehicle that will drive your visitors to take the next step in the process. What this step is will differ according to various factors. If you sell your own products then the next step for your visitors could be to make the purchase. Alternatively, the desired action could be to sign up for a free newsletter, click an affiliate link, or download a free ebook. Identify what it is that you want your visitors to do next as well as what you believe they will want to do next. Once you’ve identified your CTA you need to implement it on your page so that visitors recognize what they are expected to do.

- Do you have any special offers, reductions, or discounts?
- Do you have any promotional giveaways or other incentives to offer?
- Have you pushed these incentives above the fold?

Incentives are a great way to persuade undecided visitors to take the plunge and move on to the next step. Either have a creative ad made that is relevant to the incentive, or at the very least ensure that it is mentioned in or around the first paragraph of your page. It should also be considered one of your USPs so it is a critical part of optimizing your landing pages.

- Is there any way you can make improvements?
- Are you tracking results?
- Are you prepared to make changes according to those results?

Your landing page is all about getting results. This means you need a powerful analytic package so that you can track the performance of these pages. You should have this software installed on your site anyway, in order that you can track the results of the advertising campaign itself, determine your most successful and least successful pages, and gather important data. Make small changes in a bid to improve page performance, and ascertain the success of those changes before making any others. Keep monitoring and optimizing until you get the best possible results.

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About the Author: The landing page is as important as the advertising itself. Poor landing page performance essentially means wasted advertising revenue while optimized pages can mean excellent sales levels and highly profitable marketing campaigns. Matt Jackson, of WebWiseWords, creates compelling web site content, and also specializes in a range of other .

Wake Up Call – People Use The Internet To Shop

Results from a survey conducted by Cambridge-based Internet design and marketing company, Netflare revealed some startling statistics about small businesses and eCommerce.

Stats like:
- 23% of sites hadn’t been updated since their launch leading to inaccurate and obsolete content

- Only 8% even had an eCommerce element to their site

- 25% had no way of tracking online sales

- 38% didn’t have a budget at all for updating their sites
And the survey covered small businesses in 19 different sectors.

So if you run a small business and are starting to feel guilty reading over these stats, this is your wake up call! The amount of people using the Internet to do at least some of their shopping is growing all the time. Do you really want to miss out on all of these potential customers? Nobody said it was going to be easy, but you just can’t neglect your website and expect to get sales.

Not Selling Goods Through Your Site?

If you are selling goods, it’s time to offer them through your website. Not just through your brick and mortar store. Not only will this increase convenience for your customers (they love convenience by the way), it will expand your customer base across the world.

Not Tracking Online Sales?

Don’t you want to know where your sales are coming from? Knowing this will only help you better target your customers in the marketing process.

Not Updating Your Site?

Do not leave out of date content on your site for potential customers to find. I promise you that they will not buy from you if you are still promoting some dated content that isn’t even relevant anymore. It’s just unprofessional, and nobody wants to take a chance buying from someone they’ve never heard of if they can’t even present themselves in a professional manner.

No Budget for Site Updates?

If you don’t have a budget for keeping a website updated, it’s time to reorganize your budget. If you can’t afford to hire your own designer, work with whoever designed your site and learn how to update it yourself. And make sure you have someone available to assist in case your site experiences technical difficulties.

It’s the year 2008. It’s time to start taking the Internet seriously as a way of attracting customers. Why deprive your business of more sales?

About the Author:
Chris is a content coordinator and staff writer for SmallBusinessNewz and the iEntry Network.

Top 5 Ways To Benefit From Universal Search

What is Universal Search and Why Should You Care?

Universal Search combines all the information within its Vertical engines/databases into one index to serve a single set of SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

An example of Vertical engines/databases are Google News, Google Video, Google Images etc.

What this means is when you go to www.google.com, (their most highly trafficked domain) and do a search, rather than just getting websites from their main index, you will also get results from the News, Images, Video, etc databases as well. It is a more comprehensive results page.

Google Vice President of Search Products and User Experience Marissa Mayer said the company’s goal for universal search is to create “a seamless, integrated experience to get users the best answers.”

Sometimes the information you are looking for is best delivered by video, or images or a news story. Currently, you would have to search each of the Vertical engines/databases to get all the information. Google is planning to integrate it into one search engine.

As a searcher this means easier access to various forms of information with only one search. It seems like a good thing, as long as the results are easily organized on the page. It could mean more scrolling to get to the different areas of results, depending how they lay it out.

What To Do and Why

Changes with the search engines can sometimes be confusing. There is a lot of information to evaluate and some decisions to be made. Before you decide anything, you need to understand what your options are.

If your site isn’t already properly optimized for organic rankings, that would be the place to start. You want to make sure you have clean, search engine friendly code and a solid foundation, as well as on-page optimization. This would be the starting point, without this in place you have no hope of competing in the engines – with or without Universal Search.

If your site is already properly and aggressively optimized, then you are in good shape to build on that and benefit from Universal Search.

Since Universal Search will take information from the Verticals (like images, press releases, videos, audios, Blog postings, etc) you want to make sure that you have some exposure in each of those areas.

Imagine someone does a search for what you have to offer, and in the Universal Search results your webpage comes up. In the same search your competitor’s site comes up PLUS your competitor has video, images and Blog posts as well. A searcher is more likely to click on your competitor’s site since more of the total number of results that come up will belong to your competitor.

The other factor is the layout of the results page. We don’t know yet how it will play out. If Google mixes all the results together (ex: videos, web pages, Blog posts, images, etc all come up intermingled) that creates one scenario. It means you aren’t competing apples to apples for the top spot. It could be video in the 1st position and you are hoping to get your web pages ranked in the 1st position.

Another way of delivering the results would be to group them by category. They could líst all the Blog results, then all the video results under that, and then all the image results under that, etc.

If that is the case, you want to have something listed in each category section because if you happen to have a ranking in the last category section but nothing higher on the page, you are not likely to get a click.

What you really need to do in addition to adding content and optimizing your site, is also focus on getting something in the other Verticals.

Top 5 Ways To Participate in Universal Search

1. Google Image Search: It has always been a good idea to use images on your site for illustrating your products and services. Now customers can find your site via Google Image Search. Optimize your images with descriptive, keyword-rich file names and ALT tags. Use accurate descriptions of your image files for the benefit of those who might need to view the site in text only format.

2. Google Video (beta): Use descriptive, keyword-rich file names for your video files. Also create a keyword-rich title tag, description tag, and video site map.

3. Google News: Submit your press releases for display as news, and also as a new content page on your site.

4. Google Maps: AKA Google Local – this has been included in Google search results for a while. Give your site a local presence through the Google Maps Local Business Center where local businesses can get a free basic listing to extend their reach in the SERPs.

5. Google Blog Search (beta): Use social media and Blog engines to drive traffic to the site. Submit to the Google Blog search and have your Blog help boost you in the new world of Universal Search.

With a better understanding of the options, it becomes clear that in order to boost your exposure in the search engines and get new traffic you need to be proactive in anticipation of these Universal Search changes. Don’t wait until it is too late and you are scrambling to catch up.

About The Author
Jennifer Horowitz is the Director of Marketing and co-owner of EcomBuffet.com . Since 1998, her expertise in online marketíng and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has helped clients improve revenue and achieve their business goals. Jennifer has written a downloadable book on Search Engine Optimization and has been published in many SEO and marketing publications. Jennifer can be reached at Jennifer@ecombuffet.com.

5 Competitive Research Tools To Boost Your SEO Performance

An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage. – Jack Welch
Many people may believe that obtaining top rankings in Google is nearly impossible. The competition for page 1 is fierce and it seems daily there is yet one more marketing must have that you must learn and apply to achieve top positions.

This is partly true. There are general markets that are hotly competitive, such as real estate, health and beauty, weíght loss or general medical supplies. Niche markets present an easier opportuníty to predict and/or manage the outcome of specific search terms.

Far from being an exercise in futility, top listings drive traffic and can lead to tremendous success online. You may be surprised to learn your competition can help you get there faster. Do not overlook the value of competitive intelligence in Search Engine Marketing.

When performing competitive research, the goals are to discover:

What methods and channels your competition is using, i.e. are they using social media such as video or social bookmarks?

How entrenched a competitor is and how hard it is to unseat them;

Level of SEO skills; and

Link prospects, so you can trade links, host articles and do reviews.
Competitive research should be an integral part of your SEO strategy. While it is sometimes painful to review and compare yourself to your competitors, it will always result in you improving your business and strategies.

There are several things that you can do to uncover competitive information and here we’ll cover:

1. Who is Top “Dugg”?

Social book marking sites can yield a wealth of information about your competitors and target market. What are the top stories in your niche area? This can help you to shape content that will draw your target audience. Check your competitors to see if they have any diggs and if so for what type of content. There are many social bookmarking sites such as Mixx, Reddit and StumbleUpon. Digg has a large content base which makes it a good site for assessment.

2. Determine Link Popularity.

Using tier 1 keywords, do a Google search. Pick the top three ranked Google sites. Take this information and check the link popularity using marketleap.com.

Take note of the number of incoming links. You want to review sites with the lowest number of incoming links and highest Google rankings. Do not limit your review to Google but check Yahoo and MSN results as well.

3. Perform Keyword Research.

Use the search term suggestion tool at inventory.overture.com, and look for keywords and their permutations with a good search volume. Continue looking at the tier 1-type terms until you spot an opportuníty to build on. Use other tools like Google keyword tools (free) and keyworddiscovery.com (paid). Use the keywords you select in this step by adding pages to your site, a common and ‘must-do’ SEO practice.

4. Find Sites to Target.

Go to Google and enter “allinanchor: tier 1 keyword” If your tier 1 keyword is weíght loss you will type “allinanchor: weíght loss.” This will restrict the results depending on the number of links coming into a site based on that key word phrase. You are using this to determine sites from which you will target links. You can combine this with “allintitle:” as well – showing keywords used in tag of your pages(s).

5. Read Their Content.

Read and keep competitive marketing messages you receive in email or traditional mail. Review the messages, call to action statements, and special offers. What are they doing to engage customers and encourage them to buy? How does this compare to your marketing messages? Visit their website and compare it to your own. Is the site easy to navigate? Does the content encourage conversion? Do they emphasize call-to-action statements like “download a white paper,” “sign up for this newsletter” or “buy this product now”? Are they using long tail keywords, such as “weíght loss products for women in South Beach?” If they are using this method, you should consider employing it in your efforts.

Competitive research is an integral part of any marketing effort.

Competitive intelligence provides valuable information about your market, trends and your position. Include online and offline channels in your research to get a comprehensive view of your competition. Use tools like UrlTrends to track your progress and SpyFu to look at advertising costs, giving you an indicator of your competition’ s activity, spending and strategy.

The hard work is worth it as someone once famously remarked, “competition breeds excellence” and that excellence can result in a dramatic upside to your bottom line.

About The Author
Jon Rognerud is a recognized authority on the subject of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) , and has spent over 15 years developing online solutions at companies like Overture and Yahoo. His business, ChaosMap.com, provides informative articles and resources about search marketing.

Marketing Through Controversy

Ah, the good old tactic of using controversy to get exposure. The “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” cliché. Though this may be true sometimes, I don’t think it’s quite as simple as that.

Lets take a look at the positives and negatives of controversial marketing.

Why Controversy Can Help Your Business

Just look at the exposure that has gotten from the recent “Crispy Frickin’ Chicken Sandwich” controversy. I’ll tell you right now, I had never heard of Sheetz before this. Of course I don’t live in the region where all of its stores are located, but now the whole world knows its name thanks to this controversial ad.
I have to admit that I’m a little surpised that this ad has caused such a stir considering how “controversial” our pop culture and society itself have become, but Sheetz knew exactly what it was doing. Ruffling a few feathers always gets exposure. Exposure, means branding.

Now everyone that lives outside of the Sheetz region, knows what Sheetz is and will remember the name if they visit the region. And everyone in the region that is already familiar with Sheetz will have that Crispy Frickin’ Chicken Sandwich on their mind and just may want to check out the meal that has everyone riled up (I use the term “everyone” very loosely).

Why Controversy Can Hurt Your Business

Now we have to consider just how many people are turned off by this Crispy Frickin’ Chicken Sandwich ad. How many would’ve-been customers has Sheetz lost because of this?

Controversy can’t hurt your business because when you offend people, they want nothing to do with you. I’m guessing Sheetz didn’t think the ad would be offensive to too many people and was willing to alienate a few to bring in more. Shining negative light on your business is generally not something you want to do, but sometimes negativity is in the eye of the beholder, so judgment and risk assessment are things you have to use.

Consider Your Target

If you intend to spark controversy with your marketing, it is important to consider your target audience. Who is most likely to buy the product you are selling? If you can appeal to the target, the controversial campaign is more likely to be successful, but if your target is broad, controversy may not be the best route to go, due to the risk of alienating part of the demographic you are trying to reach. Again, this comes down to risk assessment. Sheetz no doubt considered that a chicken sandwich would appeal to a pretty broad spectrum of people, but felt that the campaign would gain them more customers than it would lose them.

The very topic of controversial marketing is controversial itself. Personal ethics come into play and there will always be disagreement. I’d love to hear your opinions on controversial marketing as well as stories of how controversial marketing has impacted your business. Please share in the comments.

About the Author:
Chris is a content coordinator and staff writer for SmallBusinessNewz and the iEntry Network.

Get Your Blog Google-Ranked In 30 Days or Less, Part 1

Blogs have been around long enough to become standard elements of the web landscape. They’re easy to construct and manage, they create fresh, user-generated content and, if well-executed, blogs draw crowds and the attention of search engines.

Whether starting out with a new domain name, or a domain that’s been around for a decade, you can rank your blog on Google if you just do what Google wants you to do. So here are 25/50 tips to get your blog ranked by the world’s biggest SE.

50. Build a blog or move to WordPress. WordPress is a blog platform that’s open source (free), robust, extensible and easy to use. Add Feedburner, which equips site owners to broadcast RSS feeds and develop user metrics. Next, synch up Google Analytics and a sitemap plug-in to simplify populating the blog and developing useful, actionable metrics. Also, make sure your blog is pinging www.technoratti.com and other social-ranking sites like www.digg.com.

49. Don’t worry about page rank. PR is highly over-rated as a yardstick of online success. Connectivity within a web community and expansion through content syndication and guest blogging are more critical to building site credibility than page rank. PR will take care of itself over time if you do it right.

48. Make a difference, or at least have a clear purpose. Differentiate your content on every post. Cover lots of editorial ground.

47. Use a conversational tone. Dry, starchy academic writing is strictly for the textbooks. Write words that people “hear” instead of read.

46. Provide a “Tell Your Friends” link on your blog. Birds of a feather do, indeed, flock together. So, if one of your regulars shares an interest in philately, chances are s/he has other friends with an interest in stamp collecting.

45. Study the competition. They’re studying you. Check out spyfu.com to do a little undercover work on search analytics employed by competitor sites and their visitors. You can’t touch the content but you can’t copyright an idea, either, so pick up some new paths of thought from others in your site’s arena.

44. Remember SEO basics. Use provocative, keyword-rich title tags, meta keywords and descriptions, and only link to high-quality sites. Never over do it. Keep your posts relevant, natural, accurate and, above all, current.

43. Don’t stuff blog post titles with keywords. It’s a form of keyword stuffing and spiders hate keyword stuffing. The ratio in headlines should be 40% keywords, 60% non-keywords.

42. Submit your URL to blog directories. There are “best of the web,” and paid directories, like Yahoo, and free directories like the Open Directory project at www.dmoz.org. Every directory listing is another link to your site and another way visitors can find you. Just google them to find more.

41. Create blog categories that contain keywords, i.e., Ecommerce, SEO, Affiliates, etc. for use with a “site hosting” or “site design” blog.

40. Content quality counts. Research topics about which target readers want to learn. Write something new, useful and relevant. And don’t forget to regularly update older posts. Things change fast on the web so last year’s “next big thing” is this year’s hackneyed cliché.

39. Vary topics, content length, relevancy and posting times. However, be consistent, as well. Keep blogging. It can take time for a blog to catch the notice of a search engine spider.

38. Get guest bloggers. Add links from their blogs and establish your site’s link community. There are people within your web neighborhood with opinions and good information. Contact them to invite submissions to your blog and your site in general.

37. Don’t use duplicate content. The only duplicate content that appears in your blog posts are quotes, and they should be identified with quotation marks.

36. Call posters by name. If Bob M. from Athens, Georgia, posts to your blog, recognize his contribution with a “Thanks, Bob” at the end of your response.

35. Make friends with other bloggers in your commercial, business or NFP space. Ask to become a guest blogger, or seek endorsements from the “names” within your site sphere.

34. Send a personal note to posters. Not all bloggers have the time to do this but if you can send a personal email thank-you note to a poster, you’ve increased the chances of that poster becoming a member of your site community.

33. Encourage viral link building. Take a stand. Introduce the coming paradigm shift in web commerce, provoke controversy. It sells. Just ask Ann Coulter.

32. Ensure the blog is optimized for Technoratti. Claim your blog, set an avatar and pings, use tags where appropriate and be sure to ping various blog tracking sites.

31. Don’t place ads on your blog, yet. If you feel you must (you’re seeing nice PPC revenues), determine that your site’s HTML is optimized to position those ads at the bottom of each blog page.

30. If your blog isn’t pulling, have the code reproduced so it’s as semantic, accessible and code-to-content optimized as possible. Also, hire a code expert to position content above ads or any other content in the site markup.

29. Ignore Alexa. A lot of new site owners rely on Alexa for site metrics but remember, Alexa is a popularity metric since only Alexa toolbar users contribute data – and that’s a less-than-universal test population.

28. Build credibility. Publishing authorities on your site’s topicality usually does the trick. Once blog credibility is established, identify trends, solve new problems and gradually expand the topic range of your blog.

27. Buy or build a screamin’ hot blog design and submit it to design galleries. Hire a site/blog designer, or bring your vision to fruition. This enables your blog to appear five or six demographic iterations from your home site, expanding the site’s reach outside the immediate site community. This creates new marketing channels fast.

26. Develop some friendly contacts on social media sites and participate in the community. Ask contacts to promote your blog content. Also ask for contributors. People love to express their opinions.

To learn even more about making the most of your site blog, check out Get Your Blog Google-Ranked In 30 Days Or Less, Part 2. You’re going to love it.

About The Author
Frederick Townes in the owner of W3 EDGE Web Design. W3 EDGE is a Boston web design company that specializes in search engine friendly design, Internet marketing and conversion optimization. Contact them today for a quotation and more information on how to make the most of your online presence.

Keyword Research and Analysis – The Art of Internet Marketing

Do you know what your target audience wants and how they are looking online? As an Internet Marketing Consultant I am often surprised that many website owners don’t know who their market is, and how to target them with web copy and SEO.

Keywords are the words that web surfers enter in search engines to find websites about their search terms. If you want to get in front of your potential audience, it’s important your website has good search engine rankings for your keywords that are related to the theme of your website.

Knowing what your target audience wants and how they are looking online is crucial to your online success. Optimizing your web pages for keywords that nobody uses in the search engines is useless. In addition, in order to get targeted visitors, the keywords must not be too broad or too general. Your copy and metatags should also support the keyword phrases your market uses and entice them with copy that meets their needs and compels them to action.

The First Step to Internet Marketing – The Right Keywords for Your Website

The first step in successful SEO copywriting is choosing the right keywords to make them very specific to your market. You can survey your target market for their keyword usage or use more thorough keyword research tools. When conducting the keyword research and analysis:

1) use keyword phrases containing two to four words
2) be specific – geographically, topically, or by product
3) only use the keywords that are important to your web business
4) avoid very competitive keywords or general keyword phrases

Use focused and targeted keyword phrases that are common enough so the web searcher will use them, but selective enough that they don’t return millions of matches. Most web surfers use a two to four word phrase when they search online, so phrasing is very important. For example, if you are offering a service like dog training or Internet Marketing, you wouldn’t target the key phrase “dog training” or “SEO”, but something more specific like “Chicago dog trainer” or “Vancouver Search Engine Optimization”. Very specific keywords generate highly qualified, targeted traffic that increases your sales opportunities.

The Wrong Keywords for Your Website

Single words cannot promote ranking or sell effectively, for example you wouldn’t want to target “dog” as a dog trainer in Chicago. Avoid the most popular keyword phrases or general keyword phrases because you’ll be competing with millions of other web pages for a search engine ranking.

It’s unrealistic to think that a new web site could rank number one on a popular phrase like “Marketing”. You are better to target “Internet marketing strategies” or even better, “Internet Marketing Strategies Vancouver”. More established companies who have been on the Internet for several years will have the advantage of link popularity and a high Pagerank and therefore better rankings in the search results for these broader or general keyword phrases.

Search Engine Optimization – Feeding the Search Engine Machines

Another critical factor to help drive the targeted traffic to your site is optimizing the site using metatags. Metatags, often overlooked and misunderstood, are elements of HTML coding on a website. Search engines use these metatags to help them determine what the site is about and assist with indexing a website. Most metatags are included within the ‘header’ code of a website. The most important tags are the title tag, description tag and the keywords tag. Different search engines have different rules about how these tags are used and how many characters they should contain. Of importance to the process is if you know how the big three – Google, Yahoo and MSN – review the tags, then you’ll be targeting 90% of potential web surfers.

To make good use of your metatags use your targeted keywords that you found during your keyword research and analysis in the site copy and the metatags.

By reviewing or crawling your website content and metatags, search engines will find out what your web site is about. As soon as search engines consider your web site relevant to the topic or search, the easier it is to get high rankings for your keywords and key phrases.

About the Author: Keith Raymond is a . Internet Marketing includes keyword research and analysis, search engine optimization (SEO), creating compelling web content, and producing online marketing strategies. Visit Netsurf Marketing to learn more about Internet marketing strategies to turbo charge your web presence.

WNW Design Launches New Website For M.J. Baker Foodservice Ltd

WNW Design is pleased to anounce the launch of a new website for M.J. Baker Foodservice Ltd. M.J. Baker Foodservice is the West Country’s leading independent Foodservice supplier.

Please use the website www.mjbakerfoodservice.co.uk to view the latest product promotions and price lists.

New Internet Marketing Tools

New Internet marketing tools are coming online each and every day. Why should you care? Mainly because these new marketing tools can have a dramatic impact on your online traffic, leads and sales. So much so, your online competitiveness can greatly depend on you finding and using these new marketing tools before everyone else does.

And as Internet marketing grows more and more lucrative, it is becoming more competitive each day, so staying aware of what’s happening has become vital to your online success. More importantly, if you’re a full-time marketer like me, your livelihood will largely depend upon you being able to keep on top of all the new ways of marketing on the web.

With these considerations in mind, I would like to líst some new or relatively new marketing tools that have been effective for me in my online marketíng. Some of these are marketing software, others are SEO strategies, marketing tips and the like… all have helped me achieve my online goals.

Here are some new marketing tools you can try:

1. Real Link Finder

Neil Shearing’s “RealLinkFinder” is a handy little link-building tool you can use to increase your link popularity and SE rankings.

It lets you find targeted blogs that don’t have the “nofollow” attribute tag so your links will count in all the search engines. Great way to build targeted links related to your site’s main keywords or keyword phrases. This is one “No Cöst” link-building tool you should try.

2. Peel Away Ads

Simple ads which sit at the corner of any webpage, when a cursor hovers over the pulsating image – the page peels away to reveal your ad or promotion. Might seem a bit gimmicky, but like the pop-up or fade-in, they do work. You do get more sign-ups and sales. www.pealawayads.com

3. Video Marketing

Using videos as marketing tools has now become commonplace on the web. If you’re not promoting with videos, you are losing a large portion of the online traffic or surfers currently on the web.

Even using videos to explain your site or product will increase your conversions and sign-ups. Viral videos embedded with your links or site url can produce results when placed on YouTube or Google Videos. If you need help, one recent commercial product has been from Simon Grabowski (GetResponse) called TalkStream, which lets you put streaming audio and video on your sites. Just google to find it.

4. Social Media Bookmarks/Tags

One of the most significant changes in recent years has been the rise in importance and use of social bookmarking sites like Digg, Del.icio.us, Technorati… these sites are now commanding huge traffic numbers and should not be ignored in your online marketíng.

You must connect your content with these sites. This is very simple to do since social media sites use tags, which are more or less simple keywords that help classify content and links. If you’re using the popular WordPress blog software, each category will be considered a tag.

You can create a simple tag in technorati by using this code:

5. Add this Button

One of the easiest ways I have found to tap into the whole social media bandwagon is to put the Addthis button on your webpages and let your visitors bookmark your content for you.

This button is free and only takes seconds to set up on your pages. In case you’re wondering if this button works, I recently received 70,000 visitors to one of my sites in one day from these social media sites. Granted most of this traffic is transitory and not permanent – the huge traffic numbers will only last as long as your links/bookmarks are on the front pages of these popular sites.

But where there is smoke, you can make fire.

6. Blogs RSS Feeds

Likewise, you must have a blog and RSS Feed associated with your site or product. It is vital that you take advantage of this technology to get your content broadcasted across the web and around the world.

RSS is only simple code that syndicates your content to all interested parties; it originally stood for “Rich Site Summary” and was a way of summarizing your content and broadcasting it. Most people now refer to RSS as Really Simple Syndication. You need a “newsreader” or aggregator such as Newsgator, Google Reader, My Yahoo! or Feed Demon to access all your feeds.

One little blog traffic tool I find helpful is John Reese’s BlogRush, which helps syndicate your blog posts on other blogs.

7. Expert Marketing

Another effective way to market online or off is to promote/prove yourself as an expert in your chosen field. Creating articles, ebooks, websites on a subject that interests you will make you an expert. Once you gain credibility as an expert, your marketing will become much easier.

Some obvious places to help build this credibility would be Ezinearticles, SelfGrowth, Ideamarketers… I have found these places are excellent for getting your name and your content noticed.

8. Long Tail Niche Marketing

One of the most effective ways to market online is to use long tail keywords in your niche market. This simply means instead of targeting very general and very competitive keywords, you target less competitive long tail keywords in a smaller niche market.

I have found this tactic especially good for affiliate marketing, and the trick is to find the exact long tail phrase someone is using in the search engines and then construct content/url to match it. I find Brad Callen’s Keyword Elite software program extremely helpful in finding those long tail keywords.

9. Guru Fast-track

One of the fastest and quickest ways to earn large amounts online is to hook up with big marketing GURUs and use their huge contact lists. If you have a high quality info product, then JVs (joint ventures) with these savvy marketers can be a very viable option for you to try.

These marketing gurus or experts are valuable marketing tools you can use to your advantage. Granted, their aggressive marketing methods do turn many people off, but there’s no denying their methods do work.

10. Micro-List Marketing

Micro-List Building is one of the most effective online marketíng tools you can use. Quite frankly, I have found building a large opt-ín líst is not the real key to online wealth but instead creating small micro lists for each of your promoted products to be much more effective. You can have hundreds, even thousands of these different micro-lists. Use an unlímited autoresponder program like Aweber to handle and manage all these lists.

Studies have shown interested customers may not buy on the first visit, that it may take up to six or seven reminders. So keeping in contact with an interested customer, one who is looking and in the right mindset to buy, will definitely increase your sales.

Here, rather then the hard-sell, the emphasis should be on collecting contacts in order to give them helpful informative content on the product they’re interested in buying. Supplying quality content should be your main goal; let the selling take care of itself. If you get the first part right, the sale will come naturally.

In conclusion, you must remember when dealing with such a complex creature as Internet marketing, in most cases there’s no one single marketing tool that will do the job. Instead you need a whole orchestra of tools working together in order to make your online marketíng the most effective. So why not try some of these tools in your own online marketíng and see the results for yourself. You have everything to gain.

About The Author
The author, a former artist and teacher, is now a full-time online marketer who has numerous websites, including two sites on Internet marketing. For the latest web marketing tools try: BizwareMagic or MarketingToolGuide
2008 Titus Hoskins. This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.