Category Archives: Intro to SEO

Google SEO News: Google Updates Algorithm To Improve Quality

Now that the Panda is out of the box, did Google succeed in improving site content quality or has the Panda update become Pandora’s box?

As many of you who keep up with Google SEO news know, the online search giant, Google updated its algorithm to improve the quality of its searches.  The algorithm (initially called Farmer update and affectionately known as Panda by Google insiders) was designed to reduce rankings for lower quality content sites while improving the rankings for high quality sites.  Since the first update in late February, there has been a second Panda update.  Now, many of you are left wondering if it was worthwhile for Google to conduct these updates.  Before we unpack this discussion, let’s look at where both sides stand on the issue.

For Vs. Against

On the one side of the algorithm equation, some are thrilled by the update and thought it to be long overdue and absolutely necessary.  You’ll find that those who are in favor of the update are frequent web searchers, website managers and some online freelancers.  These frequent searchers are among a growing group of people who demand the highest content standards and provide only the highest quality product and information.  The argument here is that if you provide a good product, you will get a good result.  The opposite is also true.  Remember the old adage?  Junk in, Junk out.  And really, if you think about it, why should anyone settle for anything less than good, quality information?  Certainly, you would want the Google SEO news you receive to be first-rate and of the highest quality.

On the other side of this equation are those who are against the Panda update and honestly quite irate over it.  Some reputable and not so reputable sites have equally seen their rankings plummet as a result of the Google algorithm update.  Keep in mind that Google’s goal was to reduce rankings for lower quality content.  In the short term, some respectable sites may be affected.  The notorious sites know who they are and they use content farms to boost their Google SEO rankings.  These websites have spammed up with low-quality content to line the pockets of the owners while depriving the searcher of information they need.

Victim Vs. Victor

Apparently, there have been some legitimate casualties in the war against poor web content.  Some sites that use 100% original content and original reporting are are now demoted in the Google search rankings.  Many of these web-based companies are asking – why us?  Google states that only 11.8% of search queries will be affected by this latest update and assures us that the content farms with shallow content will decrease.  If this is true, the cream will rise to the top and reputable websites will not be adversely affected but rather flourish in the long-term.  The true victims here are the website owners that are looking out for their own interests.  People are not interested in buying the garbage they are selling.  It is that premise that is raising the bar on quality site content.

Superior Vs. Inferior

If the Panda update is really going to do what Google tells us it will do, the superior sites and content will prevail. The high quality site owners provide a real service for the public by insisting on original content, thoughtful and thought-provoking data and research.  Think about it this way, if Google continued to provide content that was sub par, would you use it anymore?  No.  You would find a search engine that was known for its high standards and superior information.  The search engines that take the easy road will soon be taking the high road.  They will become obsolete.  Keep in mind that the sites that were the hardest hit by the Panda update were the sites that were completely saturated with garbage topics like, Male Enhancement Drug and How To Get Your Ex Back.  You get the picture here.  These inferior sites don’t provide any real service for people and just clog up the system.

Eye on the Prize

As controversial as the Google algorithm update has been, we have to keep the prize in sight.  The prize is a search engine that has integrity and has the consumer’s best interests in mind.  Google responded to the needs of searchers for more quality sites by implementing this update.  In the end, we all benefit when a search engine leader like Google demonstrates exceptional standards and integrity through its algorithm updates.  In the end, it was worth letting the Panda loose.

Google SEO Tips Part 2 – Links

Google SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is vital for any website which wants to earn viewers. It helps your website appear closer to the top of Google’s results, making it easy for people to find even if they have not previously heard of your website. Properly done, SEO can attract hundreds of unique viewers every day, which could translate into customers, clients, or simply passive income for you.

There are many ways in which websites may be optimized for search engines such as Google. A well known method is to use common keywords within web copy so that anyone searching for those keywords finds your site as a result. Since this method is so easily implemented, however, there may be many sites competing for views with the same keyword phrases. You need to make your website stand out above the rest by making it seem more credible in Google’s eyes. To do this, you can use linking.

What Is Linking?

Linking is when different sources contain links to your website. There are several types of linking which each contribute differently to how Google perceives your site. From most to least effective, these linking types are as follows.

-One Way Linking:This is when a website links to a page within your site, with no reciprocal linking. Google considers this the best kind of linking since the other site doesn’t get any benefits from it; this helps to boost the credibility of the link.

-Three Way Linking:This is when your website links to a different website, which links to a third website, which links to your site. It’s basically a small circle of linking which benefits all three websites. Google ranks this below one way linking, since all parties benefit from it, but above two way linking, since more websites are involved.

-Two Way Linking: As you may have guessed, this is when you link to a website which links back to you. Since both websites directly benefit from this sort of linking, it is not highly effective; however it is also the easiest kind of linking to set up.

Ways to Link

There are many different ways to link, some which require the aid of others and some which you can set up by yourself. You may implement any combination of the following ideas to start building a solid linking network around your website.

-Blog: Opening a blog is a type of linking which you may set up by yourself and which can be either a one way or a two way link. You will need to weigh the pros and cons of one way versus two way linking when you open a blog. If your blog gets a lot of traffic from search engines rather than from other sites linking to it, a one way link is best. If your blog relies on traffic from other sources, you might need to link to it from your website, making it a two way link, in order to get viewers.

As far as content itself, your blog should cover a topic which is at least somewhat related to your website. Be careful not to overdo the links; not every single post should link to your site. Otherwise, Google may consider the abundance of links “stuffing” and invalidate links from your blog.

-Directory Sites: There are many directory websites on the Internet to which you can submit your website’s URL. While this is a form of one way linking, it is less effective than other types of one way linking. However, directory sites are still worth submitting to since the process is quick and simple and it will help refer more people to your site.

You can do a search for directories… try to keep your submissions focused on the bigger directories (DMOZ, Yahoo, etc.) or niche directories, if possible.

-Forums: Joining forums which are related to your website’s topic can help you network as well as provide a great medium for one way links. Include a link to your website in your forum profile or signature, and be sure your posts are well thought out and worthwhile to read.

-Networking: As you’ve likely surmised, you can set up two way and three way links simply by contacting other website owners. Look for websites which are related to yours and contact the owner to inquire about link trading. You may want to make a separate “Links” page within your website to tuck the links away neatly.

Improving Your Linking Methods

Creating a network to get your website recognized through linking is a time consuming task that requires dedication and regular maintenance. Make sure you’re using your time and effort to its full potential by following this advice:

Vary Your Links: Although it can be tempting to always link straight to your homepage, it’s actually more effective if you occasionally link to different pages within your site. Your homepage should still be the primary link, used for directories and for link swapping with other websites. However, if you link to your site from a blog or on forums, you should instead link to the page on your site which most closely relates to the topic.

Don’t Overdo: “Link stuffing,” which was mentioned earlier, is something which you should avoid. Incessant linking, especially if it’s all from one source, is perceived by Google to be spam. Prevent stuffing by confining the links you have on your blog and forum sites to only one place. If you have a blog, link to your website from your “About” page and only occasionally link from your entries. In forums, link to your site from your profile, and very rarely do so from individual posts.

Optimizing your site for Google and other search engines takes time, effort, a lot of dedication, and some technical know-how. By following the advice and using the ideas here, you can boost your website’s rankings and amass plenty of web traffic.

Google SEO Tips Part 1 – Keywords

Google is the world’s most used search engine, claiming 87.62% of the all searches worldwide.  If you expect to achieve valid web presence, you must understand basic Google SEO methods.  The following Google SEO tips can be used to enhance your web site so it will be well-indexed and appear closer to the top of Google search results lists, thus driving more traffic your way.

The proper use of keywords is one of the most important parts of optimizing your web site for Google, and you must choose Google SEO keywords carefully.  Make a list of words that speak directly to the purpose of your web site.  Include words someone in your target audience would use during a Google search if they were looking for a web site like yours.

Once you have created a list of potential keywords, you’ll need to do some research to determine the popularity of each one.   Your goal is to come up with a few keywords that are very frequently used by your target audience and less frequently used by your competitors.  The best tool for this is the Google Adwords Keyword Tool.  It will tell you how often each keyword is used in a Google search and how competitive each keyword is (i.e. how many other web sites use the same keyword).  It will also show related keywords that might be good additions to your list of possibilities.

Now you should have a list of potential Google-specific SEO keywords, and you’re ready to choose your final keywords.  Go over you list one more time and eliminate any words that do not pertain directly to the purpose of your web site.   Also, make sure your keywords are as specific as possible.  For example, if you sell exclusively athletic shoes on your web site, use keywords like tennis shoes and athletic shoes, rather than just shoes.  The shorter and more relevant your list of keywords is, the better your web site will perform in a Google search.

Finally, you are ready to apply your keywords to the text of your web site.  A good keyword density for Google is between 3% and 7%.  Anything approaching 10% is considered keyword stuffing and will be blacklisted by Google.  If you do choose to rewrite any of the text to include more instances of your keywords, make sure you do it in a way that makes sense and flows like natural text.

Be sure that you’ve used your keyword in the title tag, in your headings, towards the beginning of the text on each page, and if possible, in the URL.  These are the most important places to have your keyword when optimizing for Google.  Also, even though meta-keyword tags are now useless for Google rankings, meta-description tags still apply, so make sure keep them short with your target phrase close to the start and never repeated more than a few times.

It’s important to also apply these Google SEO tips to images.  The Google Image search is becoming increasingly popular among web users, and can drive even more traffic to a properly optimized web site.  Make sure that the alt text and the file name for each image uses words that accurately describe it, and that there is descriptive text directly above or below the image.  Also, check that your robots.txt file does not block search engines from accessing your image files – this is a must if you want your images to be indexed by Google.

Finally, it’s time to test your work.  Download Google AdSense and apply it to each page.  Take a good look at what kind of ads are displayed – this will tell you what Google thinks the overall theme of each page is.  Work on your content using the tips above until the ads reflect the keywords and audience you want to target.  When you like what you see, you’re web site is Google optimized!

The Psychology of SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is more than choosing a few targeted keywords for your website content.  Effective SEO involves psychology and giving people what they want. When you study the minds of prospective clients, you improve your ability to deliver what they need.

Appeal To A Target Market

The first tier of successful SEO is defining a target market.  Who will be interested in your products and services?  What keywords do they use to find what you have to offer?  Take advantage of free online SEO tools to gather this information.  Keyword Playground is an excellent way to start incorporating SEO strategies on your website.  Popular keywords make your website domain names and pages more recognizable by the major search engines.  An improved ranking drives more traffic to your website.

Avoid Keyword Overkill

There is a fine line between using keywords for search engine recognition and using so many keywords it brings your website’s ranking down.  Avoid over-stuffing your content with meaningless keywords.  If the content is difficult to read or doesn’t make sense, you’re using too many keywords. Your website visitors should be able to read your website content naturally without stumbling over unnecessary keywords.  Keyword stuffing also minimizes the credibility of your content by making it sound unprofessional and strained.

The Importance Of Psychographics

Including top keywords in your website content is only the beginning.  What are psychographics and why do you need to know about them?  Psychographics are variables attributed to effective marketing strategies.  Also referred to as IAO (Interests, Attitudes and Opinions) variables, psychographics are attributes related to the values, personality, lifestyles and interests of your website visitors.  You want your website to include content that reflects the interests and desires of current and potential customers.  How do they live their daily lives?  What kinds of people purchase your goods or services?  What are their favorite hobbies and activities?  Relate to your visitors, give them what they want and they will come back for more and tell others.

Your Website Needs “Personality”

When it comes to your social life, you realize an attractive personality makes people notice and like you.  Your website also needs to have “personality” to get noticed and appeal to your visitors.  The language you choose should reflect the motivations and interests of your customers.  Use formal language, slang or simple words based on your potential customers.  You may even want to publish your website in multiple languages to appeal to an international market since it is a world wide web.  Analyze the personalities drawn to your product, brand and web content.  If you’re not speaking their language, you won’t hold their attention very long.

Your Website Needs A Personal Voice

Businesses of yesteryear set up alluring offices and retail sites to attract potential customers.  Today your website is the “online real estate” used to draw customers to your business.  Website content should read like you are speaking personally to your customers.  Avoid stuffy, stodgy language unless your business is related to a high tech or scientific industry that demands such specificity.  How can you find out your website “voice”? Simply enter your website address at Typealyzer to discover your current personality based on website content.  If you don’t have a sparkling personality, it’s time to update your website content to reflect your true personality to your customers.

Website Maintenance and SEO

Constantly adding fresh, new content to your website boosts your search engine rankings.  Make sure your website database is simple to manage so you can easily add new content.  Use a reliable web hosting company to ensure minimum downtime so your customers know you are always ready to do business.  The automated platform you select for your website determines its ease of operation.  Choose a user-friendly platform so you can update your content frequently.  Include product updates, industry news and personal messages to website visitors so they come back to your website often to review your new content.

Successful SEO is much more than choosing a few “magic words”.  Consider psychographics, psychology, quality web content and easy maintenance to make your website a winner!

Google Marketing SEO

What is search engine optimization?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves making Web pages more search engine friendly to promote them as the most relevant solutions for the search engines’ users.

The improvements can mean the difference between achieving top rankings, which can result in thousands of monthly visitors, and being lost in oblivion.

Why is search engine optimization important?

Search engine optimization is basically about following search engine rules. If your Web page fits the criterias that a search engine considers the most important factors in terms of relevance, then it will reward you with a top ranking.

Search engine optimizers simply modify Web pages to fit these criterias. This gives the Web pages a better chance of being selected by the search engines as the most relevant page for the search query.

The importance of keyword research

The Internet is basically a massive disorganized library. Search engines are like librarians. They both try to organize the content, so that people can find what they’re looking for without too much effort.

With books, librarians have the benefit of bibliographic databases and the information on the book covers to help them organize their library.

Search engines don’t have such a luxury. There aren’t databases of every single Web page ever created. The Internet is just too big. There’s too much information to index.

The only way a search engine can try to organize the mass of information available on the Internet is by the use of keywords and links.

It makes sense to think that if a Web page contains enough keywords related to a certain topic, it should be relevant to a search for information on that particular topic.

So part of the search engine optimization specialist’s job is to make sure the Web pages target the keywords that people search for when looking for products, services or information related to what the Web page offers.

The variety of keywords used to search for the same product, service or information is quite staggering.

For example, here are the most popular keyword phrases used by people searching for information on search engine optimization:

search engine optimization

search engine ranking

search engine optimisation (notice the English – as opposed to American – spelling of optimization?)

search engine placement

website optimisation

search engine positioning

web site optimization (notice a space between “web site?”)

high search engine ranking

web page optimisation

search engine promotion

top search engine ranking

high search engine rankings

search engine rankings

better search engine placement

web site optimisation

high search engine placement

search engines optimization

website optimization

search engine optimizations (notice the “s” at the end of optimization?)

high search engine positioning

engine optimization resources

You notice how many different variations people use to search for information on the same topic?

The fact is, unless a page contains all of the keywords in a search query, then it will have very little of appearing at the top of the rankings.

Before Web pages can be optimized, you must conduct research to determine which keywords to target. This involves finding targeted keywords, determining their popularity, assessing the amount of competition, and then deciding which keywords to use in your Web pages.

Fortunately, there are tools to help you find out what people are really searching for. You will find these tools listed as SEO software products.

Goggle PageRank™ 101

  1. PageRank™ is Google’s proprietary system for ranking web pages according to importance. PageRank (PR from now on) is a grade (on a scale from one to ten) that Google gives a page after performing a series of elaborate calculations (Google’s PageRank algorithm) that take into account the page’s content, and the number and quality of pages linking to it.

In a nutshell, the more inbound links a web page has, coming from pages that (a) have a high PR and (b) feature similar or complementary content, the higher its PR will be. The second condition is very important, since a link from a high PR soccer page to a dog grooming page is unlikely to result in any PR benefit for the dog grooming page.

The closer a web page gets to a PR of 10, the higher its importance. A PageRank of 4 or 5 is considered good. Very few pages attain a PR of 10 (among those few are Yahoo! and Google itself). Although nobody knows for a fact, it is widely believed that PageRank is determined using a logarithmic grading scale instead of a linear one. What this means in layman’s terms is that it is much more difficult for a web page to move from a PR of 6 to a PR of 7, than it is to move from a PR of 1 to PR of 2.

PageRank is used by Google to determine the position of a page in the search results after a query. For example, if you search for ‘Italian Food’, Google will first find all the pages relevant to that topic, and then will rank them based on their PR. Given equal relevance, those with a higher PR will be displayed first.

PageRank is a vital piece of statistics to track the progress of your search engine optimization strategy. By checking the PR of your pages frequently, you will be able to tell if your SEO efforts are paying off.

Aside from utilizing PR to analyze your own pages, you can also use it to determine the relative importance of other web pages. This will come in handy when conducting a link exchange campaign. Since Google weighs the quality of the pages linking to you very heavily, you want to solicit link exchanges with pages that in turn have a high PageRank.

To be able to see the PageRank of a web page, you have to download the Google toolbar, a free plug-in that works with your web browser. The Google toolbar provides you with a PageRank indicator that automatically shows you the PageRank of the page you are viewing. This is how the PageRank indicator looks in the Google toolbar (the yellow textbox that spells out the page’s PR will pop up automatically when you place your cursor over the green PR bar):

I hope that the definitions of what makes up SEO and the full disclosure of goggles proprietary system of web page grading has helped to make you a savvy and productive website optimizer.

SEO Article: What is search engine optimization?

The building and creating of a website is only the beginning of your long journey on the road to Internet success. The most relevant content available, the best looking site design and ultra fast loading pages still don’t combine to give your website the hundreds of hits a day you obviously want, and definitely won’t provide you with the customers you want. In order to make your site successful and popular as well as good looking and effective you have to use the skills of search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines don’t just randomly decide which sites will be placed high up in their rankings; they use algorithms to work out how relevant and how popular your site is. Sites like Google use links to determine how popular your site is and for relevance they use Meta Tags and Keyword.

SEO Article: Search engine submission.

Once you’ve completed your site, the next step is to submit your site to the search engines. Basically, this lets them know that you have a site and that the site is ready for the to look at. The search engines will send spiders to crawl your site and ascertain the search terms associated with your site and how relevant your site is to those terms. These search terms are referred to as keywords. In order to tell the search engines exactly what keywords your site is relevant to you should include Meta Tags that tell them.

In order to research keywords you should find out how many sites use the same terms and how many searches are done per day. There are numerous sites on the Internet that can help you with this and once you’ve included them in your Meta tags you need to ensure that you optimise your content to include these keywords on a fairly regular basis.

SEO Article; Meta Tags.

Included in the HTML code for your site you should always include Meta Tags. These are tags that Meta search engines use to pick up on the information they need to help crawl and index your site. There are two that are absolutely vital to any site you build. The keywords metatag lets the search engines know what search terms you would like your site to show up for. That is, if your keyword Meta Tag uses the keyword “Search Engine Optimization” then the search engines will include your site with the many other sites that also use these keywords. The trick here is to use further SEO tactics to make sure you appear higher than the rest of the sites you are competing with.

The other vital tag is the Description Tag. This is what shows up on the search engine results page to describe your site. You get a couple of lines at the most to sell your site and it’s content to your potential visitors. There are various other Meta tags you can include but many of them are obsolete or unused now and there is no need to worry yourself with these.

SEO Article: Site content and keyword optimization.

The only reason people ever visit your site is to look at or use the content of your site. No matter how good looking the pages are without quality content your visitors won’t hang around long. In fact they evaluate your site within a matter of 3 to 4 seconds, and if you haven’t already got their attention then you are going to lose them.

A vital part to search engine optimization is using a good keyword density to let the search engines know that your site is relevant to that keyword. You should use a minimum of 400 to 500 words for any page on your site, and you should try to use a density of around 5%.

SEO Article: Site design.

Your site design is not only important to your visitors; ensuring that they can navigate easily around your site and easily read the important content, it is also important to search engine spiders. You need to include either a site map or even better you should have static link menus on every page that lead to every page. Internal links are considered good form for the spiders; they help them navigate around the site and index all the pages within your website. Keep it simple but effective and your visitors and the search engines will love you for it.

SEO Article: Inbound links.

Google is the most popular search engine there is and getting yourself ranked on Google is the key to a successful site. As well as using Meta tags, Google heavily depends on links to determine how popular your site is, but it does so much more. You get more credibility if you get a link from a higher ranked site than from a low ranked site.

The key to getting a high Page Ranking on Google is to follow all of these steps and get as many inbound links as you possibly can, this way Google and all the other search engines will deem your site as being informative and loaded with useful content. The more popular your site seems the more popular it will become.

SEO Tutorial: All You Need to Know About SEO

Anyone with a website should have heard by now about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) even if their knowledge is limited. It is important that all Website owners know even the basics of search engine optimization even if they plan on outsourcing their SEO work. Knowing what to look for will help you determine if you are getting value for money.

SEO Tutorial: What is SEO?

SEO means using articles to get search engines to index your Website or blog. Search engine optimization works to increase the volume of traffic a Website gets when browsers search the Internet. When a blog or website is optimized, that is SEO techniques are applied, traffic is generated.

SEO Tutorial: Applying SEO Techniques

There are different ways of applying SEO techniques. One of the most popular and successful ways is to constantly update with new content. Even though fresh content is a great way to apply SEO techniques, there are certain criteria that must be met.

Some tried and proven SEO techniques include:

  • Fresh, quality content. Everyone talks about the value of content to Website success, but it has to be useful to visitors of your Website. Secondly, the content must be updated frequently. It is the frequency of content that makes blogging so successful and why so many businesses are now including a blogging component as part of their marketing strategy. Some SEO experts will even advise that you concentrate on your content and don’t worry about SEO tricks.
  • Use of relevant keywords. Use keywords in your articles and as titles for graphics on your site to get found by search engines. The density or number of keywords per article is also important. You might have seen articles where the keyword is written so many times the article loses focus, because the keyword density is too high. There are online tools that can help you not only determine the best keywords, but also the density. A 3 to 5 percent density is normally ideal for most situations. Search online for “free keyword analyzers” to get help in identifying the best article keywords.
  • Break articles into sections and use headings and bullet points to make them easy to read.
  • There are varying schools of thought about the word count in a search engine optimized article. The main consensus is anywhere between 350-500 words. Some pundits advise breaking up articles longer than 700 words.
  • Good navigation is also important in SEO work. Browsers should not become so confused that they leave a site. Use a site map or index to aid in navigation so that Website visitors can easily find the information they need. The text used in links to your articles or pages is also important. Try to use phrases you believe people would type to find your article in a search engine, however use caution with how generic the word is… for example, trying to be number 1 in the search results for the search “marketing” would be much harder than being number 1 for the search “affiliate internet marketing tips”.
  • Register your site with directories and search engines. Contrary to what you may read or hear, it is possible to register your Website with some major search engines and directories for free. A simple search for “free search engine submission” will provide lists of places to submit your Website to. The same works as well for blogs.
  • Know your competitors and study their Websites to see what works or doesn’t work. Use the information to improve your own Website and improve your Website marketing campaign.

SEO Tutorial: What to Avoid

Search engine optimization is not a one time process – to succeed you must continuously update and maintain your Website. Care must be taken however, that you or your SEO expert, do not do employ black hat techniques. This refers to unethical processes such as keyword stuffing to get on the front page of search engines such as Google.

Using unethical SEO techniques can result in a Website being banned and as such the site will not be listed on search engines until the ban is lifted.

This SEO tutorial is meant to give a person who is relatively new to SEO a nice overview of what SEO is, and the basics to SEO. Please return to the index of this site for more detailed articles, or do a search in your favorite search engine for more information.

Keyword Research

One of the more important aspects of creating a Web site for your business is to attract as many search-engine hits as possible.

The key to that is to monitor the words people use while searching for topics in your line of business. For example, if you are starting a sporting goods store online, you should research what some of the more popular keywords that are used to find sporting goods on the Web.

A random search for “baseball caps,” for example, resulted in a staggering 19.7 million listings in Google recently. The more times you have the words “baseball caps” in your Web site, the greater the chance your online business will be near the top of the list. However, “baseball caps” is a very broad term. If you use “fitted baseball caps,” you have more of a distinct description that might get your site more hits.

Your goal is to attract as much search engine traffic as possible.  The keywords you choose will make the difference between drawing plenty of new customers or failing to make your sales goals.

If you use common words similar to what the customer expresses instead of using official business verbiage for your search-engine optimization, you will draw more hits from search engines such as Google, Yahoo and AltaVista.

You can determine what keywords the customers are using through marketing research tools. Some Web sites list secondary keywords that most often go with primary keywords.  One keyword research tool offers keywords such as “Nike Air” and “Jordan” to go with “basketball shoes.”

Using this example, if your Web site has plenty of references to “basketball shoes,” “Jordan,” and “Nike Air,” chances are you will be found by a customer performing a keyword search on a search engine.

A couple of the more helpful keyword research sites are and These sites allow users to input a generic keyword and it returns a list of potential original and unique keywords that can be included.

For example, in the Google site, if you type the word “shoes” and strike the “Get More Keywords” button, the site will return a long list of keyword possibilities. Among them: “brand name shoes,” “indoor soccer shoes,” and “womens golf shoes.”

This type of research is invaluable to draw the most traffic to your site. If you specialize in soccer shoes, it would be very wise to have the words “soccer shoes” populated heavily throughout your site rather than have soccer and shoes separated. When the user types “soccer shoes” into a search engine, your site has a better chance to be recognized.

In summary, you must list a set of keywords for your business that you believe is the most valuable in terms of online searches. Research those keywords on popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo, AltaVista, HotBot and MSN. Look at the sites that are listed high in those search engines for more keyword ideas.

Write your final list of keywords that you feel comfortable with and populate those heavily into your content.

You should not take for granted what words people might use to search an item or topic. Your customers’ tendencies are very important to evaluate. Scrutinize your content to make sure it is designed for your customer.

Do not be generic with your keywords because they are most often used and are very competitive. Analyze the success your competitor has using specific keywords and go after the same audience, using your own creativity. Once you have determined the most effective keywords, extend them into keyword phrases (usually three to five words in length) that might mirror what a customer will write in a search engine. An example: Nike Jordan basketball shoes or Jordan Nike Air basketball shoes.

Do your homework on keyword-rich links from sites within your marketplace. If you can link those sites to your Web site, your business will take a significant step forward.

In short, with all the Web possibilities in today’s world, you have to plan thoroughly and be creative to make your site become a target for a search engine. Otherwise, the customers will not know of your business and where to find it. It will be like having a store at the end of a dead end instead of in the middle of a busy thoroughfare.



Web Site Linking

A sound website linking strategy is vital to the success of any website. A good strategy means higher visibility in the search engines and more targeted traffic to your site. A poor strategy means your site will be virtually invisible to the search engines and you will miss a vital stream of targeted traffic to your site.

The first task you need to perform is to carry out a website link exchange campaign. Email every website that covers the same topic or sells the same product as you do and offer to exchange links for free.

Any webmaster worth his salt will jump at the chance. Each link coming into his website from outside means more free targeted website traffic and higher search engine visibility and ranking, Once a webmaster accepts your link exchange offer, add his website link to your ‘links page.’

Targeted reciprocal links are the key. Don’t waste your time contacting websites that don’t cover the same theme as yours. Only add future link exchange requests to your ‘links page’ if the site requesting the exchange covers the same topic as you do.

Many high traffic and high search engine ranked websites sell text links on their website. These links are normally one way: i.e. you do not have to place a reciprocal link on your site. You can often purchase a link for a set monthly fee.

Make sure that you keep an eye of the effectiveness of your purchased test link. Are more visitors coming through? Are you making extra sales? If the text link purchase is not a success you may want to try another site.

There are many places and many ways to buy text links. Many webmasters advertise test links for sale on Ebay, which is a great place to buy low cost links. You can also approach a site yourself and ask to buy a link. There are dozens on online stores whose sole purpose in life is to sell text links.

Google is still the king of search engines so the rule of thumb is that the higher the site’s Google PageRank the more you will pay for a text link.

Once again, buying targeted links is the key. Before purchasing a link, make sure that the site that you are buying the link on covers the same topic or sells the same product as you. If your site offers mental health advice pick a site that also covers the area of mental health. If your site sells E-Books pick a site that sells E-Books too.

Don’t buy text links on irrelevant websites because this will not only be a waste of money but it will also lead to an unsuccessful campaign. When trying to decide on what site to buy a link on, try to look on it as a potential website visitor would. Would a visitor to an E-Book website store click on a link to a mental health site? No.